Helllooooooo and happy Friday readers! I hope everyone’s week went smoothly and that you’ve got some great stuff lined up for your weekend. I’ve got a boat load of chores and errands lined up and in between that, what else but reading! That might not *sound* like the most fun to everyone but I actually really love errands and while doing chores isn’t fun, the end result of a sparkly clean house is always amazing. TWO side notes: 1) Sam Heughan (i.e. the absolute DIME that plays Jamie Fraiser in the TV rendition of Outlander) played a prince in a very bad, very cheesy Christmas movie in 2011 titled A Christmas Prince. It. Is. AMAZING. 2) I was not in the mood to read last night so obvi I was in a cheesy movie mood, so after my Sam Heughan drool fest, I re-watched the instant classic Ever After. If you haven’t seen this, or haven’t watched it recently – do yourself a favor and watch it. It too, is amazeballs. So all that info was completely unrelated to today, sorry not too sorry.
However! On to today’s topic: a review for My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite! This novel has taken the reading community by storm, and I keep seeing it pop up everywhere. I actually finished this before the surgery but I’ve been slacking on catching up on reviews. However, this is my last backlogged review! As I’ve mentioned multiple times, I’m really working on getting some recipes with my reads up and I hope to have at least one within the next week – so stay tuned!
My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
I finished this quite a bit ago, so I’m going to do my best to remember everything I thought about this book. This is at it’s heart a story about two sisters, Korede and Ayoola. Korede is pragmatic, level headed and sensible. Her sister Ayoola, is none of these things. Ayoola is rash, beautiful, vibrant, the favored child and deeply irresponsible. Oh, also – did I mention she’s a sociopath? Yeah, well that too. This story takes place in Braithwaite’s birthplace of Nigera and follows these two sisters through a series of situations Ayoola thrusts them into.
You’re a big sister now, Korede. And big sisters look after little sisters.
You see, while Korede loves her sister and protects her, things get a little out of hand as Ayoola continues to make choices that leaves Korede having to clean up her messes…literally and figuratively. Korede is a nurse, and above all her practicality is the sisters saving grace. She knows all the best ways to clean up blood, her trunk is big enough to fit a body and not only that but when Ayoola wants to do crazy stuff, like posting pictures of her food when she should be mourning her dead boyfriend, she stops her from that too. Korede is a good sister, if covering up your siblings murders is what makes you a good sibling.
However, things change when Korede’s long time crush – a kind, handsome doctor who works at her hospital, Tade, asks Korede not for her number, but for Ayoola’s. Ayoola has shown no remorse for her actions, she’s simply moved on and is keen to get over her dead ex, by getting under some one new. As Korede stands helplessly by, watching Ayoola seduce Tade with her charisma, charm and beauty she struggles with her wish to leave this life and her obligation to look out for her sister. Korede, having no one to confide in, turns to a comatose patient and she grapples with the knowledge that if she does nothing – she is well aware of what the outcome of this new relationship will be.
It takes a whole lot longer to dispose of a body than to dispose of a soul, especially if you don’t want to leave any evidence of foul play.
This was quite a different type of story than I anticipated when I first added it to my TBR and when I first started reading it. At just 226 pages, this baby packs a serious punch. Not only that, but as Braithwaite’s debut novel I am left feeling incredibly impressed by the skill and finesse shown in weaving this story. The layered characters she created were fresh and vibrantly written – most notably Korede. Braithwaite wrote Korede in a way that you could deeply feel for her plight – especially if you know the bonds of siblings – but at the same time, I regularly found myself wanting to shake Korede as hard as I can and yell in her face “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS, GIRL, THIS DUMB!”.
Further, one of my favorite things in books, that I find a rarity these days (at least for the books I’ve been reading) is the dark, campy humor that is at play here. For such a heavy story, there is a levity going on between the lines that I think any reader would enjoy and find quite refreshing. I also really enjoyed the subtle social commentary that is woven into this story. About women competing with one another, about how we too often compare ourselves to people who are simply, completely different human beings. However, beauty in today’s society reigns supreme – so if you aren’t the “beautiful one” you’ll always be left feeling like you’re in the shadows. Even if, like Korede, you have a whole different set of attributes, that in the end, are more valuable and long lasting than perceived beauty.
Ayoola has her knife on her, since she carries it the way other women carry tampons.
In the end, I adored this story and am excited for future works by Braithwaite. However, there were a few things that left me wanting, just a bit. First, the chapters are very choppy. This is a short book, and I absolutely flew through it, but I wish the read had been a little more fluid and less jerky. While I appreciated the social commentary on societies obsession with beauty (especially since beauty, in general is fleeting and society equates beauty and youth) it did get a little tedious to focus on so much. I wish there had been just a bit more depth to their differences, instead of focusing so much on appearance. The ending quite surprised me, which I’ve found rare these days but I also wish this aspect had been fleshed out just a bit more. All in all, I think this is definitely one to add to your list, or read it if it’s already there!
Long Story Short:
Suggested For: Fans of dark, campy humor, anyone looking for a book set in Nigeria, a book about sisters, a fun and quick mystery/thriller!
Music Mood: Foolin’ by Andrew Combs
Have you read My Sister, The Serial Killer? If so, what did you think? Would you cover up a murder or murders for your sibling? Drop me a note in the comments and let me know!