I don't think this is a book I'll remember forever and ever, not will I feel compelled to reread it again and again (but maybe once again), but all that said, The Scandalous Sisterhood was a thoroughly enjoyable read.
I kind of hated Julie Berry's debut (debut? I think it was her debut...it sure did read like a debut) The Amaranth Enchantment, but she's clearly grown since then as an author because The Scandalous Sisterhood was a rip of a good time from start to finish (whereas TAE was...a sorry mix of regurgitation and weird).
The cast is huge but easy to tell apart because they're all caricatures, but in a good way (they even have little name descriptors to help you keep track of them all).
There are little romances scattered throughout the story (all aw-inducing, if not swoon-inducing), a central mystery that kept me guessing, and a perilous nail-biting "will they discover the murder were covering up" tension that kept me completely engaged. Also, there's treasure. How can you go wrong with treasure? You really can't.
I was rooting for these girls from page one, even if they were covering up a murder and one (or more!) of them was potentially a murderess.
But I couldn't care less about the moral implications of it all because all of the girls were just so gosh darn likable and, honestly, no one could possibly mourn the wretched deceased.
The whole thing had a bank robbery feel to it where, yes, we all know it's wrong to rob banks (and cover up murders), but it's near impossible not to root for our anti-heroes and hope they get away with it all in the end. Especially when it's as funny as The Scandalous Sisterhood (like, laugh out loud funny).
It's rare that I would do such a 180 with an author, but Julie Berry has gone from a total Do Not Want author for me to a definite Give Me That Book author. And I'm a reader who holds hardcore grudges, so that's really saying something.
I also couldn't help thinking this book would make a perfect movie (Kiersten Dunst as Smooth Kitty, please!). This is a nice standalone and pretty good for MG (especially MG), YA, and older readers and with such a large and varied cast there's sure to be a character for every reader to love.
ARC from the publisher, via NetGalley
Rating: 4 out of 5
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