Monday, January 12, 2015

the good sister by Jamie Kain

I never liked this book, struggled to get through it.  I did not care about the characters.  I felt like the author was rehashing stories by Jodi Picoult and maybe Sebold's Lovely Bones to name a couple.
There is lots and lots of teenage trauma drama, swear words, sleeping around but not really loving or enjoying it.  There is a cancer victim/survivor. There are speakers from the dead.  And many oddities such as Rachel being called a cross dresser, out of no where, about 40 pages from the end of the story.  There is an edgy scene between two of Rachel's casual boyfriends near the end as well that no one would miss if it had been edited out, think its filler to meet a page number contract.  A blood stained silk shirt, a clue as to the mystery surrounding Sarah's death, suddenly becomes a tunic.

The basics is that apparently Sarah's fight with leukemia was the only glue holding a dysfunctional family together.  When Sarah dies under odd circumstances (called an accident but was it?)  her sisters,  middle forgotten child Rachel and beloved little sister Asha are set adrift.  Mom is dating yet another guy and the girls don't know how serious the pair has become.  Father is working hard and often out of state so not around to be part of the girls' lives.  Asha begins staying at friends or sleeping in a park or whatever rather than going home and nearly drops out of school at 16.  Maybe the climax is when mom decides to leave her daughters without support to marry her current boyfriend, or maybe its when Rachel tries to commit suicide or maybe when the story of Sarah's death is revealed or whenever.  I talked with some folks about the great reveal and we agreed that it is doubtful that it would have played out the way it did in the book, in real life.  We thought teens were smarter than depicted or at least more likely to run by events in a sort of what if this happened what would you do way than to tightly hold on to a "terrible" life destroying secret. Things begin to turn for the better in the end.

Folks on GOODREADS are rather raving with only a couple of exceptions.  I am with the minority.

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