Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston
That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston was released this past Tuesday and I am thrilled to be a part of the blog tour! You will find all the book details, my spoiler-free review, and a tour-wide giveaway! Be sure to check out the rest of the schedule for awesome content! This book is so different and I really think it is must read!
Category: Young Adult, Sci-fi, LGBT
Publication: October 3rd, 2017; Dutton Books for Young Readers
Victoria-Margaret is the crown princess of the empire, a direct descendent of Victoria I, the queen who changed the course of history. The imperial tradition of genetically arranged matchmaking will soon guide Margaret into a politically advantageous marriage. But before she does her duty, she’ll have one summer of freedom and privacy in a far corner of empire. Posing as a commoner in Toronto, she meets Helena Marcus, daughter of one of the empire’s greatest placement geneticists, and August Callaghan, the heir to a powerful shipping firm currently besieged by American pirates. In a summer of high-society debutante balls, politically charged tea parties, and romantic country dances, Margaret, Helena, and August discover they share an extraordinary bond and maybe a one-in-a-million chance to have what they want and to change the world in the process.
Set in a near-future world where the British Empire never fell and the United States never rose, That Inevitable Victorian Thing is a surprising, romantic, and thought-provoking story of love, duty, and the small moments that can change people and the world.
The State has no business in the bedrooms of the Nation.[book rating=4/5]
I am slightly at a loss for words for That Inevitable Victorian Thing. It was such a surprise for me how much I enjoyed it. A quick read, once you understand this new world order, where the British Empire never fell and the United States never came to be. Diversity within the Empire is championed, and the Royal family seeks to have the best genetic matches for themselves to further their lineage, but to also increase political power. Really fascinating once I was into it!
The writing is superb and the world building is fun! I can only imagine how much research and fun went into E.K. Johnston’s writing process. Like cross out this MASSIVE political event, and let’s see where we can take this world and then let’s set it in the not so distant future, and throw in these nifty little technological booms. So speaking of technology, in order for people to be the best genetic matches, all teens when they hit 16 are giving a chip to take their genome and insert it into the worldwide gnet (short for genetic internet). Now they are told they should always marry for love but if you want the best genetic match, the gnet will find that person too. So here comes the intrigue. And I don’t want to spoil it because I wasn’t spoiled and it shook me! In a good way! Like such a wonderful and positive representation (in my opinion). So yes there is a positive LGBTQIA+ representation in this book and I loved it!
So I really adored Helena, she is in my opinion the main character and the story revolves around her. She is about to debut, and she is thrown into high society when she is invited to debut in Toronto with the Queen in attendance. Her whole life she has been in love with her close family friend, August Callaghan, whom is the heir to a prestigious lumber shipping company. Helena’s family summers on the same northern lake as August’s, and they have grown up together. Once they we of an age, they knew they would marry one another. Along comes Margaret, who is really the royal princess, posing as a commoner to try and experience life without the paparazzi. Margaret finds herself enjoying Helena’s company and she decides to go to the lake to spend the summer with Helena and the whole Callaghan family.
Well here is where I really feel this book got it right. The love between Helena and Margaret was perfect. It was such a beautiful representation of an awkward teenage discovery of one’s own self and realizing who they are and the struggles that come with that and the pressure of having to serve a familial duty. These two shared such sweet kisses and love it made my heart grow three sizes. I thought both of these girls and their representation was on point.
One thing is unapologetic and that is that colonization is definitely the path the British Empire continued on in this new world. However, they did it without wiping out the indigenous peoples of Canada, the Carribean revolted and they didn’t squash them, the southern US is its own country, most of the USA that was Mexico, stayed Mexico, and Hong Kong is a very predominant part of the British Empire. For me, and I stress for me, as person who does not identify with any of these races, it wasn’t racist, it wasn’t wrong, but it felt very science fiction, because we all know that it wouldn’t be as perfect and mixed race as it was in this story.
One of the little non-traditional things I loved were all the different chapter breaks. Some retold us snippets of how the history was changed. Some were chats within the G-net, and some were just writings on why love is important and genes aren’t the end all be all! I loved these outtakes, it brought a lot of this world into focus without having to explain it within the story. I also loved how some things stayed very traditional, tea parties, pirates, and debutante balls!
So if you like speculative fiction, but also historical fiction, because some of the traditions have not been dissolved, and you like a interesting take on the world, and sweet love, and self-discovery, I highly recommend reading That Inevitable Victorian Thing!
E. K. Johnston is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of several YA novels, including the L.A. Time Book Prize finalist The Story of Owen and Star Wars: Ahsoka. Her novel A Thousand Nights was shortlisted for The Governor General’s Award. The New York Times called The Story of Owen “a clever first step in the career of a novelist who, like her troubadour heroine, has many more songs to sing” and in its review of Exit, Pursued by a Bear, The Globe & Mail called Johnston “the Meryl Streep of YA,” with “limitless range.” E. K. Johnston lives in Stratford, Ontario. Follow her on Twitter at @ek_johnston
Enter for a chance to be one (1) of three (3) winners to receive a hardcover copy of That Inevitable Victorian Thing E.K. Johnston. (ARV: $17.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on October 2, 2017 and 12:00 AM on October 23, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about October 25, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
Blog Tour Schedule:
October 2 – YA Bibliophile – Author Guest Post | Research Done to Build an AU & Timeline for this World
October 3 – Bookiemoji – Review
October 4 – Fiction Fare – Author Q&A
October 5 – Icey Books – Quote Candy
October 6 – BookCrushin – Review *You Are Here*
October 9 – Alexa Loves Books – Bookish Style Files
October 10 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Review & Style Board
October 11 – What Sarah Read – Top 10 Most Swoonworthy Royal Couples Throughout Time
October 12 – Arctic Books – Playlist
October 13 – Xpresso Reads – Author Guest Post | Favorite Victorian Women
October 16 – A Page With a View – Author Q&A
October 17 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Royal Women Throughout History
October 18 – Mundie Moms – Review
October 19 – The Young Folks – Review
October 20 – Brittany Book Rambles – Author Guest Post | Playlist