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.
Alright, I'll admit. I picked this book up because of the cover. I mean, just look at it! I love the way that Agnes is clutching the mummies wrappings and her dress, and the way her dress connects with the title, which connects with the mummy. My favorite color is pink, so the varying pink tones are beautiful. Even the blue background (I don't love blue) is a beautiful shade and makes the cover even more lovely. I swear, there is not one thing that I dislike about this cover. It's just perfect.
Now, past covers, this book was also amazing. From the description it kind of sounded like any other historic London action book. You know, a girl who doesn't want to wear dresses and be married off somehow miraculously winds up on a giant adventure in which she saves the world and sometimes falls in love with a commoner and gets all she wanted including marriage to said commoner.
And in a way, it was sort of like that. But it was also much, much different. For one, Agnes got along with her mother, which I found nice. Yeah, they disagreed a little, but they had a good relationship. Two: Agnes liked the dresses. Sure, she didn't love them, but she wanted to make her mother happy, was excited about her debut, and she wasn't tom-boy-y. Three: The bad guy was none other than Napoleon Bonaparte. So what if he was a distant bad guy, and not the main? Having him as the villain made the book a bit more realistic.
Alright, so here's point four of why WRAPPED is unique. Unfortunately, it contains spoilers. To see it, select it like you are going to copy and paste it: So Agnes is making her debut, and she's her mother wants her to marry Lord Showalter, who's rich and a well sought after husband. Now, I didn't like him from the start (even though he was made out to be likable, though not lovable). Then there was Caedmon, who she sees at the unwrapping party (held by the guy mentioned before), and I knew, even before she knew his name, he was the "love interest". And. He. Was. PERFECT for Agnes. And then you find out something at the end of the book about Showalter, and the Caedmon gets something that makes him suitable, and it is just great. Yeah, that was really poorly written. Sorry!
At the unwrapping, Agnes finds something on the mummy, and "filches" it (well, technically she was allowed to keep it; sorta.) It turns out to lead to a big adventure. The only complaint I have is that when Agnes and Caedmon (whose mentioned in the spoiler bit) were figuring out about the clues, it was a little hard to understand, since I'm not a Egypyoligist. But even that wasn't that bad.
WRAPPED is a historical novel taking place in 1815, and it takes place during Agnes' debut season. It was wonderful, and really let me look into that time. From a girls debut, to politics, and even to the time-periods view on Egypt, this book was breathtaking, from cover to end.
All in all, I would recommend WRAPPED to lovers of history, romance, adventure, and a wee bit of fantasy.
WRAPPED gets a 5/5!