Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Review: Brother/Sister

BROTHER/SISTER by Sean Olin is a Contemporary YA. The main characters are the titular brother and sister, Will and Asheley, who live in an affluent coastal Californian town with their mother, who is well known as the town drunk. Their father left the family years before and is respectively vilified and idolized by Will and Asheley. The entire book is, as Will states in the beginning, about why he had to “kill him.” Also, as he says, it’s complicated.

The story is told in chapters alternating between Will and Asheley. Occasionally, their stories overlap, showing the same scene in two conflicting lights. Neither of the two characters is what you’d call a reliable narrator, so you have to figure out which version (if any) is true on your own.

I have to admit, I thought there were some faults in the book. Will and Asheley’s voices were tough to distinguish at times, bad news considering how important it is they be distinct. I stopped in the middle of a chapter once and when I picked it back up, thought it was Asheley for almost two pages before Will’s name was mentioned. Not that this is a fatal flaw. I also thought some of the development of Will’s character was rushed in the middle. It didn’t flow perfectly and it seems like he goes from a kid with a bit of an anger management problem to a full on creep in only two chapters. Granted, some of the events in the book affected him, but it still came off a little improbably.

This book is definitely intense, and I suggest parents read it first because your kids might have some questions. It’s a book about love, neglect, jealousy and obsession, difficult topics under any circumstances.
Overall: I liked it and would recommend it, just know what you're getting into. It's not a book for everyone.


  1. Hi JEFritz. I'm here from Rachael's campaign blog, even though I didn't sign up in time to take part in it. Now I'm following your blog, so:

    Nice to meet you!

  2. This is what I've heard from just about everyone. It's definitely on my list, just maybe not as high . . .

  3. Good review. YA isn't really my reading area, but it's always something to keep in mind for neices or nephews...


Please validate me.