The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

Release Date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Rated: MG/YA 12+
Format: eGalley
Source: NetGalley
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
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There's a murderer on the loose—but that doesn't stop the girls of St. Etheldreda's from attempting to hide the death of their headmistress in this rollicking farce. 

The students of St. Etheldreda's School for Girls face a bothersome dilemma. Their irascible headmistress, Mrs. Plackett, and her surly brother, Mr. Godding, have been most inconveniently poisoned at Sunday dinner. Now the school will almost certainly be closed and the girls sent home—unless these seven very proper young ladies can hide the murders and convince their neighbors that nothing is wrong. 

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place is a smart, hilarious Victorian romp, full of outrageous plot twists, mistaken identities, and mysterious happenings.

I was really interested in The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place after hearing Julie Berry speak at the Boston Teen Author Festival 2014. I even had the chance to meet her before this at ALA in Chicago in 2013, and get a signed ARC of her YA novel All the Truth That’s In Me, which I unfortunately haven’t read yet. This time round though it was really cool to hear her talk about crafting mystery and a good villain. This novel was really cute and was quite a funny historical-fiction middle grade novel – it’s actually really good for all ages since all the characters seemed to be of different ages.

At first I got really confused with all the names in the book as the author names them with an adjective, so we have characters such as Smooth Kitty and Stout Alice. It takes a while, but you definitely get used to it by halfway through the novel. I really like how the book includes illustrations of the ladies part of the sisterhood – which unfortunately wasn’t available for viewing in the eGalley I received – as well as mentions the people associated with them who don’t appear in the novel, just to get a better idea of the characters’ personalities and characteristics. I wish that certain characters had more of a role, because it seemed like only a four girls seemed to be getting most of the work during the plot, but nonetheless it made it much easier to relate to the characters.

I thought that the beginning was actually really strange, and this was due to the lack of reaction to their head mistress’s death. I just thought that it was weird how they didn’t have a total meltdown or panic that much, because I know I would have if I was in that situation. Especially when they have to masquerade around as if nothing was wrong: how can such young girls be calm under such circumstances? This is probably the only thing that didn’t add up for me. I mean, yeah, sure– there are times of panic and “I can’t do this” etc. etc. BUT, on the whole, lack of panic doesn’t make it seem really plausible. However, this was still a really fun read.

I’m a fan of whodunit mysteries, and this one was really great. There’s a ton of suspense and action that’ll keep you wondering what will happen next. There’s also some romance in the book which is why I think it’s more of a middle grade meets young adult, rather than just a middle grade novel. Anyway, I seriously did not expect that ending! There are a ton of surprises that are revealed at the end, especially about people’s identities, as well as the motive for the murder. I enjoyed how the mystery was written: I’m glad to say that there are no dull moments to be found.

Cute and gripping, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place is perfect for readers of all ages, and will have you on your toes with every twist and turn. Julie Berry crafts a fabulous mystery that produces both laughs and shocked gasps, and I’m looking forward to reading more from her in the future.

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1 comment:

  1. This looks like a lot of fun and I love the title of the book!

    Kate @ Ex Libris


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