Review: Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury

WrappedSource: Library
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Series: Wrapped #1
Edition: Hardcover, 309 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5

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’ 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.

Wrapped was a random pick of mine when I found myself in a rare mood where nothing was interesting. I really enjoy anything having to do with Egyptian things and based on the instant cover love I knew I had to read it. As it turned out it was an excellent choice for a down day where only comfort reading was possible.

Wrapped is set in 1815 in London where high society struggles to continue onward like there is no war with Napoleon. In an attempt to make a stirring start to the new season Lord Showalter sets up a mummy unwrapping for his guests, and when it seems the wrong mummy was given to the Lord things start to become increasingly dangerous for Agnes.

One of the things I hated about this time period (though there are not many) is the fact that people thought having a party centered around desecrating a mummy was a good idea. Never the less the set up is great for this Amelia Peabody-like mystery, because it’s not something you normally see in YA and that really is a shame because it’s a great atmosphere for strong women and great clothes. Agnes is suddenly thrust into something that is way bigger than her or her debut season and I enjoyed seeing how she dealt with each new turn. She’s one of those lovely resourceful Victorian ladies, who when put in a pinch will do what they deem necessary to get what needs to be done, done. Of course some of her decisions are a bit fool-hardy but she’s incredibly brave and when she’s flustered she handles things with her intellect and wit. Any girl who loves to read AND knows how to speak ten different languages has my approval. Caedmon works at the museum and spends much of his time within the dusty collections from Egypt. Like Agnes he finds the ancient culture facinating and when she comes to him with a mystery of her own he can’t help but get involved.  I really like these two together, they make a really good team and I loved their over all dynamic.

Overall the book isn’t anything mindblowing but for me it had such a nice flow and pace, and I really enjoyed the mystery presented. It’s definitely something I would define as a comfort read and I really look forward to the sequel, even though it seems to be two years away from being published.

4 stars

This entry was posted in Book Reviews (2013) and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Review: Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury

  1. Glad to hear it had nice flow and pace!

  2. jen ryland says:

    I read this too — it definitely felt like young YA, but I also love a good mystery and got that cool Amelia Peabody-vibe!
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

  3. I read it quite some time ago. I thought it was very fun.
    Have you read the Theodosia books by R.L. LaFevers? They’re middle grade, Victorian, with a strong Egyptology theme.

  4. Agnes sounds great, I love strong female characters, and like you love Egyptian anything. Wonderful review!

  5. I am in love with the cover of this one, it’s just stunning. I really hope my library has it. Agnes sounds like a great character. 🙂
    Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

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