Today for Tween Tuesday (started by GreenBeanTeenQueen) I have a review for a great new tween book.
Title: Priscilla the Great
Author: Sybil Nelson
Meet Priscilla Sumner, an ordinary seventh grader with extraordinary gifts. As if middle school isn’t hard enough, not only does Priscilla have to fight pimples and bullies, but genetically enhanced assassins trying to kill her and her family. Armed with wit, strength, and a genius best friend, Priscilla must defeat the Selliwood Institute, an organization dead set on turning children into killing machines.
Add an older brother annoyingly obsessed with Christina Aguilera, mischievous baby twin brothers who could scare the sin off of Satan, and parents more puzzling than a Rubik’s cube in the Bermuda triangle and expect a smoking page-turner!
I absolutely adored this book! From the spunky and realistic main character Priscilla to the fantastic action it was just fun.
First let me talk about Priscilla. It seems lately I’ve read so many middle grade books where the main character was nothing like the middle schoolers I know. Everyday I’m around 800 5-8th grader, so I think I know what’s typical. Priscilla was typical. Now what she’s going through is not typical – at all – but how she responds it is so how a girl her age would react. She’s freaked out, won’t tell anyone but her best friend and tries to find ways to use it to her advantage. All things I know a real girl would do. I also liked how she felt about her mom being gone so much. She was angry and bitter and let her mom know. During one video call with her mom she lets her feelings be known and the tone that comes through was perfect. It was the exact tone a 12 year old would use! Completely perfect. To top it off, Priscilla has a crush and how she handles this crush is what I see everyday all around my school. It was the perfect middle school crush behavior.
A bit about the other characters – the dad cracked me up! He is so over-protective, to the point this its beyond normal. At the start of the book he busts her door off its hinges just because he doesn’t respond fast enough! As the reader I knew something more had to be up – at least I hoped so otherwise I felt very sorry for Priscilla to deal with a dad that intense. Her twin brothers were cute without being annoying. I loved their booger wars. Gross but fun. The only character I wasn’t completely sold on was Priscilla’s mom. I had a harder time than Priscilla letting go of her mom missing so much of her life. Minor thing but still there.
As for the plot – well paced. It starts out pretty quickly and instead of dwelling on and on about what is happening to Priscilla answers start coming. I liked that because I get kind of annoyed when a character has questions and the story goes on and on with them in the dark. This one moved along well, giving enough details to keep the reader’s interest without giving away too much. I didn’t find myself getting bored.
The ending – I liked it, but if I had any complaint it would be that part. I think there was just a bit too much after the huge high point. I guess all that was told was important, but it did drag a bit too much. It was also the one point that Priscilla actually got a tish unrealistic. She did a few things that made her seem more like a 16 year old than a 7th grader. I could easier over look it though since the rest of the book was so strong.
Final thought: Fun. Pure fun.
Best stick-with-you image: Booger wars!
Best for readers who: Like fun books with super powers
Best for ages: 11-14