Release Date: May 24, 2011
Review Source: eARC from S&S GalleyGrab
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
Agnes Wilkins is standing in front of an Egyptian mummy, about to make the first cut into the wrappings, about to unlock ancient (and not-so-ancient) history.
Maybe you think this girl is wearing a pith helmet with antique dust swirling around her.
Maybe you think she is a young Egyptologist who has arrived in Cairo on camelback.
Maybe she would like to think that too. Agnes Wilkins dreams of adventures that reach beyond the garden walls, but reality for a seventeen-year-old debutante in 1815 London does not allow for camels—or dust, even. No, Agnes can only see a mummy when she is wearing a new silk gown and standing on the verdant lawns of Lord Showalter’s estate, with chaperones fussing about and strolling sitar players straining to create an exotic “atmosphere” for the first party of the season. An unwrapping.
This is the start of it all, Agnes’s debut season, the pretty girl parade that offers only ever-shrinking options: home, husband, and high society. It’s also the start of something else, because the mummy Agnes unwraps isn’t just a mummy. It’s a host for a secret that could unravel a new destiny—unleashing mystery, an international intrigue, and possibly a curse in the bargain.
Get wrapped up in the adventure . . . but keep your wits about you, dear Agnes.
So first of all, let's comment on that GORGEOUS cover. Love it! It's not often that a cartoon/illustration cover can look YA, but this one completely does. So pretty! Second of all, I don't read a lot of historicals, but this one was great. It contained so many of my favourite things! It had a cool, forward thinking girl who I still found to be time-period appropriate. She was modern enough that readers can identify with her, but she wasn't just a modern girl transported back into a pretty dress. This book also contains a very cute love interest who just happens to appreciate an enterprising girl who can take care of herself. Plus there's the whole class difference thing that makes their feelings for each other tres forbidden and, in turn, a lot more fun to read about.
Love isn't the only thing this book contains, though. This book is all about Egyptology and Mummy curses, which I happen to find fascinating, and a lot of the action takes place at the British Museum, which is quite possibly one of the coolest locations ever at which to try and solve a mystery. Then there's the whole attitude of British Imperialism cloaking the characters' world views, and all the threats on England from Napoleon, and soon the whole book becomes full of conspiracies, with spies and everything.
Basically this is a super cool historical mystery. The characters are fun (it's lovely when a heroine can be super smart, brave, and sassy without being annoying or over the top), the writing is engaging, and the mystery kept me guessing until the end. I like how the storyline was wrapped up (ouch, no mummy pun intended), yet it left potential for more books. I'm not sure if there will be a sequel, but if there is I will absolutely pick it up and read more about Agnes and Caedmon. In the meantime I have no qualms with recommending this book -- I wholeheartedly enjoyed it.
Find Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.ca