There are some books that leave you feeling drained. Those books that grab your heart and throw it all about and mess with your mind. You get so emotionally invested in the characters’ lives that you feel their heartache, their turmoil and get completely blown away by the actions of the other characters. Justine Larbalestier’s new YA book, My Sister Rosa is one of these books. I can’t stop thinking about this incredible book.
‘I promise,’ said Rosa. ‘I won’t kill and I won’t make anyone else kill.’
I can’t see the loophole. Since the guinea pig there’s been nothing. Months now without Rosa killing as much as a mosquito.
As far as I know.
Che Taylor has four items on his list: 1. He wants to spar, not just train in the boxing gym. 2. He wants a girlfriend. 3. He wants to go home. 4. He wants to keep Rosa under control.
Che’s little sister Rosa is smart, talented, pretty, and so good at deception that Che’s convinced she must be a psychopath. She hasn’t hurt anyone yet, but he’s certain it’s just a matter of time. And when their parents move them to New York City, Che longs to return to Sydney and his three best friends. But his first duty is to his sister Rosa, who is playing increasingly complex and disturbing games. Can he protect Rosa from the world – and the world from Rosa?
This is one word for this book – WOW! It is the most tense YA book I’ve ever read with possibly the creepiest 10 year old girl you’ll ever find in a book. I didn’t want to put this book down because I was afraid that something huge would happen when I wasn’t looking.
There are times when I’ve finished a book that I wish I could wipe my memory of reading it, just so I could read it again and feel exactly what I felt that first time. My Sister Rosa made me feel exactly like this. It is such a full-on read, with so many twists, and I don’t think it would feel the same reading it a second time. The suspense I felt and the way that my heart broke for Che is something that I rarely find in a book. It just shows what an amazing job Justine has done of making her characters real and relatable.
The story is told from Che’s point of view. He has known what his sister is like for years and he has tried to keep her in check. She seems cute and sweet on the outside but inside she’s nasty and poisonous. She works out how she should behave from watching and listening to other people. She promises Che that she will be good but she knows how to stretch the boundaries. While Che is keeping all eyes on his sister, he is also trying to adjust to life in another new city, working on his boxing, making new friends and trying to get a girlfriend. All of these things collide to make one hell of a book!
Reading this book is like watching a train wreck. You know that something really horrible is going to happen but you can’t look away. You’re glued to the pages and flicking them so fast because you need to know what is going to happen.
Rosa is both a horrifying yet fascinating character. You know she is psychopathic but you want to know more about her and the things that she does. As a parent she certainly makes you thankful that your own children aren’t like her, and it makes you wonder what life would be like if she was your child. I kept thinking that the way her parents reacted to her actions were unbelievable, but it also makes you think how you would react too.
I’ve read so many great books so far this year but My Sister Rosa is by far my favourite. Put My Sister Rosa on the top of your to-be-read pile. You won’t regret it.