Monday, 1 August 2011

Brother/Sister by Sean Olin

by Sean Olin

Summary: Will and Asheley have a troubled past. Their father left them when they were little, and their mother has just been carted off to an alcohol treatment center. Now, they have the house to themselves, and an endless California summer stretching out before them. Through alternating perspectives, they tell the story of how and why their lives spun violently out of control - right up to the impossibly shocking conclusion you'll have to read for yourself to believe.

I went into this book expecting it to be something along the same lines as Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma (which I absolutely adored) but it wasn’t like that at all. I really liked the book, but I think I would’ve liked it more if I read it without expectations…I just wanted to mention that so no one else would make that mistake.

I’m not big on giving star ratings to books, but this one was hovering around the 3 star level until the ending -- the ending was…wow. Totally unexpected and it was like, a really subtle kind of shocking and I had to reread the last line like four times to be sure I read it right. But that ending? That made me like the book so much more and if I had to rate it, because of the way it ended, it’d be a 4/4.5 star book.

Anyway, what I liked most about the book was the way it was written. It alternates between Ashley and Will’s point of views but it’s like they’re being interviewed by the police but we never see/hear the interviewer, just the responses and then transitions into more normal story telling…it’s hard to explain, but I really liked that, it was something original.

The story dragged a little bit in certain parts but in general, it was fast paced - one of those books that would probably make an interesting movie.

Will and Asheley were odd characters…I didn’t particularly like either of them, but I still felt for them and wanted things to work out for them. I felt particularly bad for Will because it was like his mum dropped the whole world on his shoulders and screwed him up so bad that the way of dealing with it was all messed up - he was awkward and introverted and fiercely protective of Asheley to the point where it was just plain unhealthy and then there were times when he was really creepy -- I found him more interesting to read about, maybe because I find broken people more interesting.

There’s more I want to say about the characters and the plot and things but I really don’t want to spoil the ending because the shock of that is what makes the book so good. Seriously, I’d totally like to give Sean Olin a high five for that ending.

Overall, it was a really good book -- it’s original and it’s really good if you’re craving something different from the usual books that are flooding the YA shelves right now (as much as I love paranormal/contemporary romance and dystopian novels, I do need a break from them every now and then).



  1. This is the fourth time (maybe) that I've heard about this book in a very short period. Maybe I should look into it? lol

  2. Damn your review has me completely intrigued,. Very curious! Fab review.

  3. That ending though! Tbh I loved the book. Finished it in less than twelve hours (not completely straight through), and I seriously wish I had a friend to discuss the ending with!



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