A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes #1) by Brittany Cavallaro | Review

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DNF

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.


The omission of a rating for this novel wasn’t an error, but a tactical decision based upon the fact that I gave up pretty early on, therefore, I didn’t rate it out of ‘farness’.
A Study in Charlotte should have captivated me! I’m a die hard Sherlock Holmes fan and I also enjoy retellings of famous stories and, or, themes, so it’s only natural that a revamped version of Sherlock Holmes featuring a female “Sherlock” and an American setting would be like literary heaven, right?

Wrong!

Since I didn’t make it far, I’ll keep this short.

The biggest turnoff about this book was the tainted partnership of Holmes and Watson. One of my favorite things about the partnership between Holmes and Watson is that it’s purely platonic. I know the original is super old, so a gay kinda romance wouldn’t have spawned from their partnership (writers back then weren’t that risqué), however, even the updated, televised versions of Sherlock Holmes never waver from that basic foundation.

For some odd reason YA always has to include some kind of romance, regardless of its usefulness. In this novel all the signs pointed toward a future romance between the two and a complicated on-again off-again love. Very few YA novels exclude romance (A Darker Shade of Magic is a rarity) but sometimes it’s just not necessary. Why couldn’t this have just been a mystery (mediocre, but still a plain mystery)?

Another reason I didn’t feel compelled to finish the novel was that I could tell it wasn’t going to be different. Charlotte read like the original Sherlock (watered down, of course) and Jamie is no different than John (again, watered down severely). Then the idea of Holmes being a drug addict and living in the US was not terribly original….

Lastly, there’s the bland voice of Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes’ unlikable nature. There’s this amazing quality to Sherlock Holmes that allows you to LOVE him. It’s quite interesting how someone so blatantly arrogant and blissfully ignorant to others emotions (or just overall inconsiderate nature) can be so magnetic, however, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was able to do that. In this case, Charlotte lacks that.

I was bored and I’m pretty busy so I didn’t feel a need to continue. Perhaps someone who had time to truly try, could extract some great qualities to this novel, but my heart just wasn’t in it.

11 thoughts on “A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes #1) by Brittany Cavallaro | Review

  1. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    Ah I get what you mean about Holmes having this very oddly likeable manner (even when he’s a bit douchy- and yes, I’m partly basing this on house) but I can see how an author would accidentally make this straight up douchy- cos it’s really hard to get the balance right to make them a likeable douche (if that makes sense!) I’ve heard quite a few people say this is mediocre, so I’m gonna pass on this. Plus the story sounds really gimmicky. Great review!

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