Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Review: Priscilla the Great by Sybil Nelson

Published: WorldMaker Media (December 15, 2010)
Pages: 276
Format: Paperback
Series: This is book one in a series.
Source: I received this book from the author for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Summary: 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!

My Thoughts: I think all of us wanted to be "special" when we were kids. I know I did. I remember watching The Secret World of Alex Mack and hoping a van would tip over and douse me in GC-161, granting me the ability to zap people with my fingers and move things with my mind. And that puddle thing? COOLEST EVER. Though I was never able to do any of that business myself, I still enjoy reading about it.

I was really, really surprised by the awesomeness of this book. I hadn't heard much about it and was a little hesitant to read it, since it's a middle grade and I haven't been a middle grader in half my lifetime, but I decided to take a shot. I am SO glad I did. Sybil Nelson has crafted a fabulous middle grade novel that both the target audience, young adults, AND we old folk can enjoy. It's like Toy Story.. it's good for EVERYBODY.

Enter Priscilla Maxine Sumner--yes, her initials are PMS--the spunkiest 12 year old you'll ever read about. I fell in love with this story very early on, when Priscilla overtly threatened to tell the world about her older brother's obsession with Christina Aguilera. No, not the woman herself, but her SONGS. Things start to get ridiculous when Priss starts setting things on fire and burning people and unable to even think about her first kiss without an inferno. I love this girl. She is so well-written and rife with those uncertainties that we all remember without being anywhere near annoying.

This is fresh, fun, hilarious, QUALITY storytelling. No joke. I laughed out loud, which hardly ever happens when I read books. I can say this about maybe two or three other books. The characters? I loved them and each of them are so memorable with distinguishing characteristics. Her twin brothers, Chester and Charlie? Awesome. And I loved Tai and her "rock box." I LOVE QUIRKY CHARACTERS! It was an absolute pleasure to read about Priscilla adjusting to her new, crazy superpowers, all the while struggling with doubt, heartbreak, and her first crush(es). It ends with a killer cliffhanger and I, for one, NEED the next book in the series.

I really loved everything about this book and it doesn't get nearly the attention it deserves. You guys, I am BEGGING you not to let the fact that it's middle grade turn you off. Sybil Nelson knows what the eff she's doing. But hey, don't take my word for it. Go buy it yourself and then come back and tell me how right I am.


  1. 1. LOVED Alex Mack.
    2. sometimes i forget how awesome middle grade books are, and then they pop up and surprise the HELL out of you in the BEST way!
    3. you sold me. adding it to the tbr rn.


    Sorry. Just had to get that out. :)

    I just barely finished this one and I was surprised by how much I liked it! It's a perfect middle grade read!! :) Ya for fire fingers!

  3. ALEX MACK!!!!! I SO loved her :)

    fab review, I'm adding it to the wish-list...

  4. Yay! It actually bothers me how people who read YA make a conscious effort to stay away from MG fiction. They might not be as difficult to read as YA, but they're usually just told from a kid's perspective. There are a lot of great reads out there, and looks like you found one!

  5. OMG Alex Mack...I SO wanted to do the puddle thing!

    Yay to you for stepping out of your comfort zone and reading an MG novel - it sounds like the start of a really great series!

  6. ALEX MACK! I totally forgot about that show! I so wanted to be her.

    Thanks so much or the great review!

  7. Haha everyone is all...ALEX MACK! Well, I'll join in. Omg I loved that show. So much. Did you know you can find episodes on YouTube? :)

    I don't read a lot of middle-grade but this looks cute!

  8. This book sounds like my cup 'o tea! I read another review about it on Melissa's blog. I'm definitely going to have to check this out. Also I may or may not be hoping that SOMETHING gets lit on fire, judging by that cover. ;)