Author: Raina Telgemeier
Release Date: August 26 (September 1 in Canada)
Source: Scholastic on NetGalley (A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.)
Check out this book on Goodreads.
Raina can’t wait to be a big sister. But once Amara is born, things aren’t quite how she expected them to be. Amara is cute, but she’s also a cranky, grouchy baby, and mostly prefers to play by herself. Their relationship doesn’t improve much over the years, but when a baby brother enters the picture and later, something doesn’t seem right between their parents, they realize they must figure out how to get along. They are sisters, after all.
Raina uses her signature humor and charm in both present-day narrative and perfectly placed flashbacks to tell the story of her relationship with her sister, which unfolds during the course of a road trip from their home in San Francisco to a family reunion in Colorado. (Source: Goodreads)
So…I finally joined NetGalley. There I found this ARC of Sisters and decided to read it. It didn’t need to be requested because I think it’s a pretty earlier ARC, not the most recent one. Either way I was glad to get a chance to read and review this book. I have been looking forward to reading this ever since I finished reading Smile and I loved this book.
Raina Telgemeier is consistent in her storytelling, and her ability to create content that readers can connect with and care about. Smile was an adorable story, and I really enjoyed seeing the follow-up in Sisters as Raina got older and learned to deal with her family and her siblings.
I am a sibling, though I’m more an Amara than a Raina because I’m the younger sister. I found myself really connecting with Raina’s own story of learning to live with your family. Having siblings is not often easy, which Raina really shows throughout the book, but she also looks at the ways in which, even subtly, siblings understand and love us more than we ever realize.
The connection between Raina and Amara is so realistic, and Telgemeier really depicted the realities of her own childhood so well and so believably. The tension between siblings you wish you and siblings you’ve actually got reads so true I felt myself nodding along as Raina laments the fact that those she wants don’t want her and the one she has doesn’t either. This is definitely one of the big troubles of childhood that I often dealt with. My brother and I were always close, but there’s always a desire for a sibling more like you who will always be there for you, so I often wished I had a sister. I think Telgemeier depicted this really well.
I also liked that Telgemeier didn’t shy away from some of the more serious content, like divorce. This really worked to her advantage because it made the whole family more real to me. The difficulties of marriage and family life are often ignored in books for younger ages, and I really admired Telgemeier’s use of the parents relationship as creating a connection between the two sisters.
I’ve always been a fan of Telgemeier’s art style as well. It’s very simple, but it works to create a very cute and sweet story. The style is also very appropriate for her target ages, in elementary and middle school range mostly, and has a very clean look to it. The copy I read was an ARC so it was somewhat unfinished, with a mixture of coloured and uncoloured pages, but I could really see how the story would look in the end.
I highly recommend Sisters and the previous book Smile. If you love graphic novels they are a really perfect duo that are light, easy reads. The art is clean and simple and works well in combination with the story. I am personally looking forward to buying a copy of this book when it hits shelves later this month.