Thursday, July 24, 2014

ARC Review | The Good Sister by Jamie Kain

ARC Review | The Good Sister by Jamie Kain" class="ubb-image alignleft">The Good Sister by Jamie Kain
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on October 7, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Death & Dying, Young Adult
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

The Kinsey sisters live in an unconventional world. Their parents are former flower-children who still don’t believe in rules. Their small, Northern California town is filled with free spirits and damaged souls seeking refuge from the real world. Without the anchor of authority, the three girls are adrift and have only each other to rely on.

Rachel is wild. Asha is lost. Sarah, the good sister, is the glue that holds them together. But the forces of a mysterious fate have taken Sarah’s life in a sudden and puzzling accident, sending her already fractured family into a tailspin of grief and confusion. Asha has questions. Rachel has secrets. And Sarah, waking up in the afterlife, must piece together how she got there.

A sincere thanks to the publisher via Netgalley for an ebook edition in exchange for an honest review. 

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The Good Sister is a book that pulls you in from the very first page. It’s characters are at times infuriating, but also completely relatable. Sarah, the eldest of three sisters, has died by what has been called an accidental death. However, she had also been battling cancer for several years, but it’s not the cancer that takes her life. She leaves behind two sisters; Rachel, the middle sister with an attitude, and Asha, the baby who feels completely lost now that her oldest sister/friend is gone. She also leaves behind her mom and dad, both former hippies who divorced several years before Sarah’s death. Lena, the mom, is self absorbed and rarely plays the mom role. Ravi, the dad, has cleaned up his act and now goes by the less hippy name, John. He works a corporate job, drives a nice car, and is known to date some much younger girls. All in all…this is a broken family. However, it takes Sarah’s death for this family to come together or change – for lack of a better word – in an unexpected way.

The Good Sister is written from all three sisters points of view. I loved this. It allowed for me to get to know all three of them before and after Sarah’s death. Of course, Sarah’s POV is written after she dies and looks back on what led to her death. There is an aspect of mystery throughout the book. How did Sarah really die? Was she pushed? Was it a freak accident? What secrets is Rachel hiding? Who is this Brandon guy? And more..
All of these are questions I found myself asking as I made my way through the book. I was intrigued, but also saddened for this family. I was hopeful for a somewhat happier ending for the same of Rachel and Asha.

The story is beautifully written in a haunting way. The descriptive writing allowed for me to imagine what was happening. I love when a book does that for me. As a visual person, when a story allows for me to visualize the events taking place just by reading the words on the page, I know I am in for a real treat. It’s almost as if I am watching the events on the big screen as I read along.

I loved the message this book portrayed. A broken family learning how to move forward after a tragedy. It’s empowering.

Four out of five stars.

Happy reading.


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