Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Book Review: Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis

Green Bean Teen Queen hosts a meme on Tuesdays called Tween Tuesday where great books for tweens are featured. 

More of my Tween Tuesday posts.

Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis
Release Date: April 5, 2011 US (August 1, 2010 UK)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 295
Received: ARC from publisher
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 


From Goodreads: 

Twelve-year-old Kat Stephenson may be the despair of her social-climbing Step-Mama, but she was born to be a magical Guardian and protector of Society--if she can ever find true acceptance in the secret Order that expelled her own mother. 

She’s ready to turn the hidebound Order of the Guardians inside-out, whether the older members like it or not. And in a society where magic is the greatest scandal of all, Kat is determined to use all her powers to help her three older siblings--saintly Elissa, practicing-witch Angeline, and hopelessly foolish Charles--find their own true loves, even if she has to turn highwayman, battle wild magic, and confront real ghosts along the way!


This is the type of book that makes me say words like “delightful” and “charming” in this affected and giggly tone. Readers who liked Marissa Doyle’s Bewitching Season or Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer’s Sorcery and Cecelia will probably love Kat, Incorrigible.  Kat has the same upbeat, spunky feel found in these books and is also set in Regency England. 

Though a MG book, I can see this book appealing to YA and adult readers as well. Kat is only 12 and so she doesn’t have any romance of her own, but she does act as matchmaker for her two older sisters. Her sisters’ romances were completely heartwarming and satisfying. 

Each of the sisters was equally endearing but very different from one another.  It is impossible for me to choose which sister I liked the best, though Kat and Angeline are pulling a tiny bit ahead of Elissa. Kat is spunky and always getting herself into trouble (with hilarious commentary about it all). Angeline has a delightfully wicked streak and a take-charge attitude I loved. Elissa is the prim and proper sister who harbors a penchant for the drama and romance of Gothic tales. The interaction between the sisters reminded me of Jeanne Birdsall’s Penderwick sisters (another series I highly recommend!). I hope we continue to see all of the sisters in future installments. 

There is a light-hearted streak through the whole book and all of the scenes are laced with this giggly tongue in cheek undercurrent. I was laughing late into the night at both the events of the book and Kat’s hilarious and over the top commentary. I kept reading each scene and thinking, “This is my favorite scene!” only to read a scene a few pages later and think the same thing all over again. 

This is the first book in a series, but it can easily be read as a standalone. I really hope Stephanie Burgis runs with this series and makes a bunch of books following Kat as she grows older, gets into more trouble and adventures, and just maybe falls in love.
 Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key  

Looking for something similar? You might like: 
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall


  1. I shied away from this after seeing the MG label but it looks like something I would really enjoy. Thanks for challenging my assumptions!

  2. I just finished this one last night and I ADORED IT!
    It was just so so good. :D I loved how well portrayed the sistery bond was, and how each of the girls had a distinct personality. :D

  3. this book was utterly adorrrabbblee! i agree with you on how wonderful all the sister's personalities were. great review! :)

  4. As I was reading your review I was thinking I don't know any tweens to give this book to, then I saw you wrote it would suit adults too - perfect! The cover alone is too good to resist!

  5. So glad you liked this book! I've been looking forward to it for quite a while and am now even more obsessed with reading it!

  6. I just finished and posted a review on this one myself. I adored Kat - such an intrepid little gal. I'm vested in this series, I agree with your assessment, even though its listed as MG, YA and adult readers should also find enjoyment in Kat's adventures and antics.

    I want to find out more about Kat being a Guardian. I'm hopeful there is more magic in the second book. My favorite element of this particular book was that its a series book which could be read as a stand alone. I gotta give it up for authors who do that now-a-days when the norm seems to be nasty cliff-hangers!

  7. "Bewitching" and "Season" are the magic words. I loved that book! I've been on the fence about Kat, Incorrigible, though, because I'm so finicky about having that smidge of romance and the heroine is a little young for that.

  8. I would definitely read this book. Especially after seeing all these positive reviews! Thanks for this one :)

  9. I'm a fan of books that make you laugh, and the good thing about this one is that it also features a great relationship between sisters. I'll be adding this one to my wishlist then.

  10. Yay! I'd been hoping this one would feel like "Sorcery and Cecilia Jr." so hearing your comparison has me even more psyched, if that is possible.

  11. Bookworm1858, You’re welcome! I think it’s more MG because it’s appropriate for MG readers. You know how some MG books have a very young and extremely easy tone? This book doesn’t have that.

    Alex, Aaah I can’t wait to read your review! I agree, I love the sisters’ relationships and personalities. I hope they all play a part in the sequel.

    Aleeza, Oh my gosh, it really was so cute! I can’t wait until my library gets a copy so I can start pushing it on people :)

    The Book Gatherer, Definitely good for teens/adults as well as tweens! I never felt talked down to or like the book was too “young”

    Celesta, I hope you love it! It was such a gem of a book.

    Gina, I want to learn more about her being a Guardian too! I think there will be more magic in the next book. I want to see her sister explore her magic more too. I agree! It was such a relief that this could be read as a standalone. Not that I don’t want more, because I do, but at least I get a nice, complete story and I don’t have to stress about remembering a bunch of little details. THIS is how I like authors to write books in a series.

    Rubita, I loved Bewitching Season too! You’re totally going to love Kat then. Kat herself doesn’t have romance because she’s so young, but both of her older sisters do and their romances are really sweet.

    Lazy Girl, I hope you enjoy it!

    A Canadian Girl, I hope you love it. I laughed and snickered so many times. The relationship between the sisters really stood out for me too. It was just so sweet and realistic.

    Madigan, Exactly like Sorcery and Cecilia Jr!

  12. Of the books you reviewed this week, this would have been the last one I picked; so I was intrigued to see you give it such high marks. Might need to change my opinion, from just the cover, and pick it up for a quick read. - Kate

  13. This book was just amazing! I absolutely loved it :) Great review!

  14. Kate, I hope you enjoy the book! I found it really charming and funny.

    Christie, Yay! I’m so glad you liked it too!!

  15. I've wanted to read this book for quite sometime. It looks adorable and I think that really is what pulls me in. Now I would love to read it even more, awesome review, Small!

    In the Closet With a Bibliophile

  16. Jen, TOTALLY adorable! If I were an old lady I'd so reach into the book and pinch Kat's cheeks she's so cute. I hope you like it!


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