Author: Brittany Cavallaro
Publication: March 1st 2016, Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Fantastic Flying Book Club. Thanks as always *heart eyes*Pre-order it on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | The Book Depository | Kobo | National Book Store / Fully Booked (PH)
The last thing sixteen-year-old Jamie Watson–writer and great-great-grandson of the John Watson–wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s enigmatic, fiercely independent great-great-granddaughter, who’s inherited not just his genius but also his vices, volatile temperament, and expertly hidden vulnerability. Charlotte has been the object of his fascination for as long as he can remember–but from the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else.Then a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Holmes stories, and Jamie and Charlotte become the prime suspects. Convinced they’re being framed, they must race against the police to conduct their own investigation. As danger mounts, it becomes clear that nowhere is safe and the only people they can trust are each other.Equal parts tender, thrilling, and hilarious, A Study in Charlotte is the first in a trilogy brimming with wit and edge-of-the-seat suspense.
I've been yearning for Sherlock for 2 years now and watching every episode or movie has been helping. It's kinda like Sherlock on cocaine...but rather, staring at a laptop and screaming "MOFFAT YOU DUMBASS". I'm sorry. I just had to put that. Anyway, when I discovered that there's a novel that features teenage Holmes and Watson set in high school solving a murder and Sherlock is a GIRL? I just had to read it.
Given the opportunity by the people of Fantastic Flying Book Club, I was able to read this book. So, let's start dissecting it. First, I enjoyed the book. No doubt about that. I think because it's in a more contemporary time and also because the language fits more into a younger reader, it's appealing in that sense.
I've read some Sir Arthur Conan Doyle novels and of course if I compare this to it, that would be unfair. In this, Sherlock Holmes is replaced by the equally enigmatic, stoic, cunning and emotionally deprived Charlotte Holmes, who is of course in this story is related to the Sherlock Holmes that we know. But the narration of the story is provided by James "Jamie" Watson, who is the great-great-great grandson of our beloved Dr. John Watson. And they are driven into this mad hunt to solve a case and of course, these two get paired up.
Again, as I've said, I enjoyed the book in general. But while reading it, or maybe because I have been completely instilled by the story of the modern Sherlock retelling of BBC's Sherlock, all I can see in my head as the two of them are running around the narrative is Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. I feel awful. At some point, I had a very clear image of Charlotte in my head but never solid. Jamie always went back to being Martin Freeman. There were too many similarities with the characters from the original novels, to the BBC characters, to this story itself. Maybe with the upbringings though, but all the drug things is kinda troubling don't you think? And for a YA novel too. I was like, tone it down a bit Charlotte. HAHAHA.
I have to say though, that I really liked Charlotte. Maybe because I love Sherlock in his entirety and because I see him in Charlotte is why I liked her. She has the speech of Sherlock kinda run down and she's dreamy and totally badass...at least in my eyes. She's too much of Sherlock, that's what I'm quite upset about. It's like her identity is too molded to Sherlock's identity that it doesn't feel like she's her own...a Charlotte. The same goes for Jamie. I liked Jamie but not in a way that I would feel like he has his own facet too.
However, when I found out that this was gonna be a series of books, I was hopeful that there'll be more dimension to each character as it goes by and this book somehow focused on the adventure and introducing the characters rather than totally seeing an extreme tilt to their characters.
Speaking of adventure, like many mystery books, this one is pretty hooking but not entirely exciting. Of course I wanna know who killed Dobson and who were involved and all that jazz and I think that Brittany's writing is pretty easy and I guess that's the problem in it too.
I really enjoyed the pace of Brittany Cavallaro's writing but then it didn't become too complex as I wanted it to be. More like, it provided the basics of everything but not necessarily delved into it. It hooks you into getting curious but doesn't necessarily supply you enough with the gibberish that we need. That's right! Gibberish! I dunno. I enjoy complicated gibberish that I need to understand. And that's what I felt was lacking in this novel. It could've been more out there and darker if it needed to, which by the way is pretty dark already. Cavallaro's writing is smooth, has depth but maybe not enough and could definitely be improved to a greater extent and I am definitely hopeful for the next books.
A Study In Charlotte is a really engaging book. It's again, appealing to a young audience that want an easy, fast read and somehow an introduction to Sherlock Holmes if you haven't read the other books or seen anything about it. (Have you been living under a rock? Oh my god. Read and watch them). It's a great starter definitely but could've had a bit more kick to entice fully. I am hoping and praying for the next book and excited for it. I will definitely pick it up and hoping for the absolute best it delivers more.
I just found myself drawn to Stacy's eerie, nonchalant look and I think she is fits the vibe of Charlotte well. When I saw her photos, I knew she could work as a Charlotte. And she's British too, so that's awesome in a lot of sense.
I had quite the debate in my head on who I want Jamie to be since I can't seem to imagine him in anyone coz I keep seeing Martin Freeman. I really wanted him to be British of course. Then I kinda tested out Thomas alongside kids like Max Irons and Douglas Booth and thought, well, Thomas is gorgeous but seems more natural to play a Watson, so yeah. Easy as that. Other than that, his vibe seems like he's cautious and that's one thing about Jamie but he also has a brutality within him. (Watch Maze Runner for reference).
Brittany Cavallaro is a poet, fiction writer, and old school Sherlockian. She is the author of the poetry collection Girl-King (University of Akron) and is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. She earned her BA in literature from Middlebury College and her MFA in poetry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, she's a PhD candidate in English literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she teaches creative writing, detective fiction, and lots of other things. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, cat, and collection of deerstalker caps.