Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Reading on a Theme: Troubled Sisters

These sister have been through a lot. Despite the complications inherent in the sisterly relationship, these sisters have got each other. 

See more books about complicated sibling relationships here.


Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa:
The Torres home is not a happy one. It wasn't happy before Ana, the oldest of four sisters, fell out her window and died, and it certainly isn't happy after of her death, especially as Ana seems to be haunting her sisters. I'd describe Tigers Not Daughters as a work of magical realism or fabulism. The writing has that lyrical, ethereal feel that I associate with these genres. Samantha Mabry alternates between the perspectives of the three living sisters: Jessica, who has a tough exterior, Iridian, who hasn't left the house in months, and Rosa, who believes she can talk to animals. This is a strange and quiet book. I definitely recommend for anyone who likes a little weird. Out March 2020. Review copy from NetGalley.

Camino and Yahaira:
Camino Rios and Yahaira Rios are sisters, but they don't know each other. Their father travels between New York City and the Dominican Republic, keeping each of his families a secret from the other. Then their father dies in a plane crash and his secrets are spilled. Elizabeth Acevedo's novel in verse, was inspired by the crash of flight AA587 in November 2001 that devastated the Dominican community in New York and on the island. I really like how this book reminds the reader that behind every news story are the people who were personally impacted. Clap When You Land alternates between Camino and Yahaira's perspective and is a story of family and community. The ending of this book is also really satisfying, and that is always nice. Out May 2020. 
Jayne and June:
Mary H.K. Choi is so good at writing damaged characters. This book features a set of sisters who are each damaged in their own ways. The sister relationship in this book is so good. Jayne and June both love and need each other and also drive each other mad. I don't want to give too much away, but both Jayne and June have health issues that they are not dealing with in the healthiest of ways. They are also struggling to negotiate the relationship they have with their immigrant parents and some lingering childhood trauma. Yolk is just as gritty and raw and fantastic as Mary H.K. Choi's other books, and I am so glad I read it. Out March 2, 2021. Review copy from NetGalley. 
Abby and Savvy:
After taking a mail-in DNA test, Abby learns she has a full sister, Savannah, whom she's never met. Confused over why her parents never told her about her sister and feeling like a consolation prize, Abby doesn't tell them she's found out about Savvy or that she will be spending the whole summer with Savannah at camp. Suddenly having a sister doesn't mean that you suddenly have a new best friend, and clearly there's some backstory behind the sisters' parents. You Have a Match would make for a great summer read. I love a good summer camp setting. Emma Lord doesn't take the easy way out with this story. Finding out you have a secret sibling makes for a rocky ride. Out January 12, 2021. Review copy from NetGalley.
Agnes and Beth:
Agnes and Beth live in a Red Creek, a religious community isolated from the world and led by a visionary prophet. Beth chaffs at the restrictions placed on her, and Agnes is devote but conflicted. Agnes has been secretly meeting with a nurse from the outside to get medicine for her little brother's diabetes. The collision between inside and outside becomes more fraught when a deadly pandemic touches the community. Kelly McWilliams's debut is such a genre mashup. Part cult book, part pandemic book, part zombie book, part apocalypse book. I wish that I knew someone else who had read Agnes at the End of the World so we could discuss its weirdness. Out June 2020.


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