“A regency romance that misses the mark, Sixteen Scandals may have its moments, but falls short on some key points.”Cecelia Beckman Sheaf & Ink
Primrose Ainsworth has waited for this moment. Turning sixteen means she can be seen and is on the market to find a husband. But being the fourth daughter, often ignored because of the attentions her parents have on getting the other three girls married, Prim’s parents have zero interest or time in celebrating or planning any debuts for their youngest child.
Unhappy by these dismal prospects, Prim takes matters into her own hands for a night to remember.
My Review: Sixteen Scandals
Regency novels are a favorite.
Particularly when written from a feminist POV.
So, when I read the synopsis for Sixteen Scandals I was excited to see where Jordan would take us.
After finishing, I came to the conclusion that I liked the idea of Sixteen Scandals.
As mentioned, this is a genre I enjoy reading. Primrose, the main character of the novel, seems like the perfect character to mold those feminist qualities we often want to see in regency era novels and shape her into a more modern day thinking young woman who believes in equal rights, pay, and the right to vote (among many, many other aspects women deserve).
However, Jordan misses the opportunity to do just that. To take an ignored daughter and make her more than what meets the eye. Giving her depth and substance. Having her push societal boundaries, norms, and constraints beyond the superficial.
Sadly, Primrose is your stereotypical regency character. She wants a debut into society just like her sisters (except for the older sister just before her) and sees marriage as her only option in life. She wants to go out into society and be part of the rigmarole of balls, a perfect match, and the glitz and glam of a London season. There wasn’t anything unique about her circumstances, besides scheming a rebellious way to be seen. And even during those chapters it seemed awkward and confusing.
When it comes to romance there were moments in the novel that stood out. That yes, were swoon worthy-ish, but they weren’t often and felt fleeting. I do want to point out that the novel starts off strong and brings the reader in quickly in a catching way. But the first chapter can’t sustain an entire novel.
Further, Jordan uses the love at first sight troupe and I feel this particular troupe isn’t used as often because it doesn’t feel believable. And in Sixteen Scandals this troupe is used and it feels artificial and contrived. Where the setup between Primrose and her love interest is obvious and flushed out in a way that shows her clear lack of judgement and experience.
Last Few Thoughts
Even though the novel spans over a few days, it ends rather abruptly and has an epilogue that I literally was like, wait… what?
So, if you enjoy regency era novels wrapped in the overly dramatic, with little character development, focusing solely on the adventure of being scandalous, and ends in a quick neatly tied bow, this one is for you.
Happy Reading ̴ Cece
RATING: – Adequately Inked
Author: Sophie Jordan
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May, 2021
Audience: 12 and up
Jacket Art: Unknown at this time
Jacket Design: Unknown at this time
You can find Sixteen Scandals at HMH Books.
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