I was lucky enough to meet Deirdre at Dept Con back in October of last year and attended one of her panels where I heard her talk about this series. I became interested in the series so I went home and was delighted to find it in the library.
I recently finished reading the series and I have to say I was surprised at how thoroughly impressed I was. Upon first glance, I had thought these novels would be middle grade, light hearted sort of reads. I did not account for the range of difficult topics, character emotions and resonating story the books would hold.
Through out the series Deirdre Sullivan writes about deep issues that affect Prim, from grief and loss, to parental separation, friendship, growing up, love and mental health. Deirdre Sullivan writes all of these issues with such honesty and does not rose-tint or sugar coat any of the more difficult themes. This made the story of Prim feel so real and really allows for the reader to sympathise with Prim and her family.
If I could describe the series in a word it would be quirky! The novels are unique, with a host of unusual and fun characters and the format of the novel is broken up occasionally by Prim's word definitions as she one day wants to be a crossword maker.
The writing style had great flow and kept the reader hooked. Prims narrative style was so blunt, humorous and compelling.
Prim is honestly a treasure. In the first novel Prim is twelve years old and about to start secondary school. She has also just lost her mum and has moved in with her dad, who she barely knows due to her mum and dads separation. Prim loves words, fun outfits, her friends and her pet rat Rodrick!
One of the things I enjoyed most about the series was seeing Prim grow both literally and as a character. The books are spaced years apart which was great to read and allowed the reader to feel so connected to Prim and as they are there with her on her journey as she grows up and becomes more wise.
Although every character introduced in the series was absolutely brilliant, a few stand out.
Prims friends were such a great gang to read about. They were all fun, loyal and almost as outlandishly silly as Prim! Ciara, Joel and Ella all wormed their way into my heart throughout the series and I was sad to see them go. I have to say, Ella was a definite favourite. I loved her kindness and her matter-of-fact way of speaking! Another aspect the novel deals with is bullying. Prim is bullied by a girl called Karen in her class at school. Throughout the series we see how Karen bullies Prim and although she was quite a horrible girl, I also kinda liked reading about Karen! She was a definite love-to-hate character.
Felix was a great character, new fictional crush definitely! He is Ella's older brother, and Prim developed a pretty immediate crush on him. I found myself rooting for Prim and Felix the entire way through the series, but if you want to see how that panned out- pick up the books! (Just a little extra....Felix plays in a band!)
Prim's dad was such a funny character! I laughed every time she referred to him as Fintan and talked about his mustache. Although in the first book he is not used to having a daughter in his house or taking care of another person full-time, I feel that over the series we see as much growth with Fintan as we do with Prim. I loved seeing their relationship grow and laughed out loud at points!
The series is a great series. I would definitely recommend for teens aged 13 and up. Full of funny moments, embarrassing incidents and interesting facts, Prim's adventures will keep you entertained while also giving the reader insight into some heavier topics.
Would also really recommend Deirdre Sullivan's novel Needlework for an older audience as it is amazing!