Who’s ready to talk ‘A Study in Charlotte’?!
Synopsis: The last thing Jamie 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 great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.
From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other. – Goodreads, A Study in Charlotte
Eden: I finished this book first of the three of us and I felt like I was having a meltdown until our discussion. No joke, I kind of loved this book which was 100 percent unexpected. First off. I’ve never read a Sherlock Holmes story. I’ve seen the movies with RDJ and the BBC show with Benedict Cumberbatch, but never actually read the stories, so going into this book I had very low expectations and nothing to really compare it to.
There were some problems I had that played into the plot and character development. One that, for me, felt massively problematic which I discuss more thoroughly below. But overall, I loved Charlotte Holmes. I felt like the narration through James Watson’s point of view was really good at painting a really nice reimagining of a very popular series and set Brittany Cavallaro’s first book in the trilogy apart enough to keep its readers coming back.
Jenn: This book was… okay. I gave it a 3 star rating on Goodreads. I’m not sure if I had a harder time with the book because I had just read The Dream Thieves. (Which is an amazing book.) I wish it would have strayed a little further from the original Sherlock Holmes stories. I didn’t hate it. But, I didn’t love it. It was decent and it was short. Definitely pick it up if you’re looking for something a little different in YA.
Caitlynn: Let’s see… A Study in Charlotte… I truly enjoyed reading this book. It is a nice mix to the YA fantasy that I’ve been reading lately and I do enjoy a darker book every now and then. Like Eden, I have never read or even seen a Sherlock Holmes book or movie, I’m not sure why I just havent… Nevertheless, I found the characters to be intriguing and obviously different from the original story without getting too far fetched… I found the relationships in this book to be slightly problematic for my liking but overall I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. Worth a read for sure!
DISCUSSION & SPOILERS AHEAD: If you haven’t read A Study in Charlotte and plan to read it, it would be best not to read anymore.
Eden: I really liked the book. But I had a pretty big issue with Charlotte being raped as almost like a motivation for readers to hate Lee Dobson.
Jenn: I think the point was that the author didn’t want it to become about that so she didn’t know how to find a middle ground. There was no good way to handle it.
Jenn (Cont.) I didn’t have any connections to any of the characters so I just didn’t care a lot of the time.
Eden: I went into this book with very low expectations. I was positive I would hate it. This is not the kind of book I would usually like. When I read, “Oh baby believe you fought for me,” line I was just immediately like, “What am I reading?!”
Caitlynn: Charlotte was just weird for me the whole time.
Eden: I liked her as a character. I liked her more than James Watson.
Caitlynn: No I hated him. It was like, you are the most annoying person ever. You are literally just sticking around her because of the tradition surrounding your family.
Eden: When I started the book I didn’t like it. When I read that line, I realized how dark the book was going to be. But I didn’t mind that.
Jenn: I wish it would have been a lot darker to be honest.
Eden: Yeah, I was hoping she would just be high the whole time. I was kind of excited to see Charlotte Holmes as this crazy smart chick that was clearly struggling with a drug problem.
Caitlynn: Yeah. I wanted them to maintain that darkness the whole time but it got pretty lighthearted at one point.
Jenn: They tried to make so many parallels between characters in the original Sherlock Holmes tales and the characters in this and so they would do it in some ways, but it felt like she was scared to push it too far. So the characters came off a bit too flat for me.
Eden: I do feel like Charlotte was the most interesting character just in the sense that even with her parallels with Sherlock she was still her own separate characters.
Jenn: I felt she was exactly who Sherlock Holmes would be if he lived in the same time as we did. All she did was speak in a more modern way and take more modern drugs.
Caitlynn: To be fair, I haven’t read any of the Sherlock tales so I didn’t really have any expectations or level to put her at.
Eden: That was the same for me. Not reading the stories means the parallels don’t bother me so much.
Jenn: I didn’t mind it. I just felt like I was reading a really good fanfiction.
**Caitlynn proceeds to talk about her cat for about 5 minutes**
Eden: I like that I couldn’t tell how the end of the book was going to go.
Caitlynn: Same. I had no idea.
Eden: I mean I pieced together that the nurse was Augusts fiance pretty quickly but that was it.
Jenn: See I knew the entire time and I was really annoyed by it. I just knew from the hints that were dropped throughout the entire book.
Eden: The nurse was not on my radar. I just thought she was weird.
Jenn: I thought she was poisoning him the entire time.
Jenn (cont.): I hated that they kept pointing things out to us. Like in Sherlock Holmes tales you don’t ever know what the outcome is going to be because he keeps everything so close to himself. This just kept throwing the answers at you.
Eden: I felt like that was indicative of the characters ages though. Sherlock is a full grown adult. Charlotte is young, obviously more emotional than Sherlock, so it makes sense the way it was.
Jenn: No I mean, I didn’t like the info-dump at the end.
Eden: Oh yeah. I agree with that.
Eden (Cont.): I will say. I gave this book five stars. Maybe it’s because we just read The Glittering Court, but I genuinely liked this book.
Caitlynn: Yeah. I think anything is good after The Glittering Court.
Jenn: It was ok. I gave it three stars, so…