Saturday, October 4, 2014

Review: The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place

Title: The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place
Author: Julie Berry
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: September 23, 2014
Source: I received a complimentary copy in exchange for a honest review.

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.

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place was a fun, some-what ridiculous ride. I enjoyed it overall, as long as I didn't take it too seriously.

One thing that bothered me a little was how cold and unfeeling the girls were about the death of their headmistress. Even if I didn't like her, I would have still been bawling and panicking.

The other thing that bothered me was the lack of characterization of the girls. Each girl is usually called by both her name and descripter (ie: Dull Martha or Dear Roberta). I feel like the author did this to reinforce their characters, but didn't do anything else, so they became one-dimensional. For example, Dear Roberta's only character trait is being nice. And Dour Elinor is creepy and obsessed with death (think Wednesday Addams). And Disgraceful Mary Jane's only trait is being boy-crazy, which was super annoying. The only character that had depth was Smooth Kitty, who ended up being the main character and growing up a bit. I also like Pocked Louise.

The plot was pretty ridiculous, but quite a bit of fun. It was a bit of a farce, with things going wrong all over. I think if I was younger, I would have loved this one, since it was about a group of friends sticking together and trying to make it on their own without any adult supervision.

Overall, The Scandalous Sisterhood of the Prickwillow Place was a fun read if you are in the mood for something light and a bit silly and not expecting strong characterization or realism. And bonus points for the Victorian setting.

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  1. This sounds like one of those books that you have to read purely for the entertainment value and take nothing to heart or too seriously.
    Great honest review!

  2. I have had an eye on this one ever since your post about the covers for it. Now well it seems like it wasn't as good as I hoped. I mean it seems like a really interesting read, but I really don't like when characters aren't distinct. This seems to be problem here. Great review :)

  3. HA! This one seems super cute lol! Sorry that the characters won't great though :( 7 characters does seem to be a lot so I can see how they easily fell into the flat character category! Too bad though lol. I may still pick it up though! :D