Tag Archives: sisters


29 Nov

We often make things so black and white for girls. You are either a good girl or you are a bad girl.

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, by Erika L Sanchez, is narrated by Julia, the eponymous imperfect daughter. This is a really great read and was a National Book Awards finalist.I think every young woman who reads this will connect with Julia, who never measures up to her family’s expectations because they never really see her for who she is.


Publisher’s Summary: Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family.

First Book of 2017

2 Jan


Janet McNally’s debut novel  Girls in the Moon is an understated, nicely written novel. Phoebe, the main character isn’t faced with a big crisis; she’s just trying to figure out family history and her place in it. Her story is contrasted with vignettes narrated by her mother, Meg, that sheds light on things Phoebe wants to know.

Publisher’s Summary: Everyone in Phoebe Ferris’s life tells a different version of the truth.

Her mother, Meg, ex-rock star and professional question evader, shares only the end of the story—the post-fame calm that Phoebe’s always known. Her sister Luna, indie rock darling of Brooklyn, preaches a stormy truth of her own making, selectively ignoring the facts she doesn’t like. And her father, Kieran, the co-founder of Meg’s beloved band, hasn’t said anything at all since he stopped calling three years ago.

But Phoebe, a budding poet in search of an identity to call her own, is tired of half-truths and vague explanations. When she visits Luna in New York, she’s determined to find out how she fits in to this family of storytellers, and maybe even to continue her own tale—the one with the musician boy she’s been secretly writing for months.

This soul-searching, authentic debut weaves together Phoebe’s story with scenes from the romance between Meg and Kieran that started it all—leaving behind a heartfelt reflection on family, fame, and finding your own way.

…and wish some more!

15 Jul

Yes, a second book about wishes with a blue cover!


Wishing Day, by Lauren Myracle, is different from The Seventh Wish because the process of wishing isn’t a secret.

Publisher’s Summary:On the third night of the third month after a girl’s thirteenth birthday, every girl in the town of Willow Hill makes three wishes.

The first wish is an impossible wish.

The second is a wish she can make come true herself.

And the third is the deepest wish of her secret heart.

Natasha is the oldest child in a family steeped in magic, though she’s not sure she believes in it. She’s full to bursting with wishes, however. She misses her mother, who disappeared nearly eight long years ago. She has a crush on one of the cutest boys in her class, and she thinks maybe it would be nice if her very first kiss came from him. And amid the chaos of a house full of sisters, aunts, and a father lost in grief, she aches to simply be . . . noticed.

So Natasha goes to the willow tree at the top of the hill on her Wishing Day, and she makes three wishes. What unfolds is beyond anything she could have imagined.

This is the first in a trilogy and I suspect the each of the next two books are about each of Natasha’s younger sisters. Although Myracle captures the uncertainty and anxiety that comes with being a teenager, I found the book a little slow in places and hard to get into. I wonder, if I’d brought this one to jury duty, if I’d be saying the same thing. I certainly would have read it in one sitting. But, reading it at home, I have found myself putting it down frequently to do other things. It might have to do with Natasha’s character. I wonder if the next book, centered, presumably, on more flamboyant Darya, might hold my attention better.

Two hearts beating as one

26 Feb


I’m reading Untwine by Edwidge Danticat. I might not have picked it up, but I can’t resist a good twin story.

Publisher’s Summary:Sixteen-year-old Giselle Boyer and her identical twin, Isabelle, are as close as sisters can be. They are each other’s strongest source of support even as their family life seems to be unraveling and their parents are considering divorce. Then the Boyers have a tragic encounter that will shatter everyone’s world forever.

Giselle wakes up in a hospital room, injured and unable to speak or move. She doesn’t know what’s happened to her sister, to her family, to herself. Trapped in the prison of her own body, Giselle must revisit her past in order to understand how the people closest to her—her friends, her parents, and above all, Isabelle—have shaped and defined her. Will she allow her love for her family and friends to buoy her and lead her on the path to recovery? Or will she remain lost in a painful spiral of longing and regret?

Untwine is a spellbinding tale, lyrical and filled with love, mystery, humor, and heartbreak. Award-winning author Edwidge Danticat brings her extraordinary talent to this graceful and unflinching examination of the bonds of friendship, romance, and family; the horrors of loss; and the strength we must discover in ourselves when all seems hopeless.

I first heard of Edwidge Danticat when I did a summer library internship at Benson High School. Much of the job was taken up with checking in and out the books the summer scholars were using in their English classes. Danticat’s Krik? Krak! was  a title a couple of teachers used. I’d never heard of it, so I gave it a read. There was some down time.

Untwine possesses some of the same characteristics I remember from Krik? Krak!: poetic language, poignancy, Haitian culture.

It reminded me a little of Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go  by Laura Rose Wagner.


Goodreads Summary: Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go follows the vivid story of two teenage cousins, raised as sisters, who survive the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti. After losing the woman who raised them in the tragedy, Magdalie and Nadine must fend for themselves in the aftermath of the quake. The girls are inseparable, making the best of their new circumstances in a refugee camp with an affectionate, lively camaraderie, until Nadine, whose father lives in Miami, sends for her but not Magdalie. As she leaves, Nadine makes a promise she cannot keep: to bring Magdalie to Miami, too. Resourceful Magdalie focuses her efforts on a reunion with Nadine until she realizes her life is in Haiti, and that she must embrace its possibilities for love, friendship, and a future.

A sequel

29 Sep

Very often, I am disappointed by sequels. At best, I find a sequel equal to the first book. I was pleasantly surprised to find Sisters by Raina Telgemeier BETTER than Smile, which was excellent.



Perhaps that’s because it brought back memories of car trips as a child, sharing the backseat with my twin sister, and the love-hate relationships only sisters can have.

The story is centered around a family summer car trip to Colorado, without Dad. embedded into the stories are flashbacks of Raina’s desire for a baby sister and the reality of what having one actually means.Their relationship is rocky and doesn’t improve when a baby brother arrives. It is only once in Colorado that they begin to realize what it means to be a sister and start working on building a better relationship.

A fun, quick read in Telgemeier’s trademark style.


3 Sep

As I work my way through the Jacky Faber  audiobooks (I’m on #6 now and still loving the series) I can’t help but remark on how Jacky always refers to other girls as “sister”.  Sisterhood is a funny thing. This little ditty sums it up quite nicely.

I recently read  I Love, I Hate, I Miss My Sister  by Amélie Sarn, which was originally published in France, but has recently been translated into English and published in the US.


This not as amusing a story as the Hanes’ sisters song. Based on real events in France, it tells the story of two girls of Algerian descent, Djelila and Sohane, born & raised in France. it skips back and forth in time to gently peel away the layers of the tragedy. Djelila wants to be French, playing basketball, staying out late, distancing herself from her family and their traditional views. Sohane is more traditional, but wants to be part of both worlds. She wants to go to college and get away from their tough predominantly Muslim neighborhood, but reads the Koran and goes to the mosque and thinks her younger sister should be more respectful. They love each other, but have such different world views and Sohane keeps a watch over her sister, trying to keep her safe from rough characters who bully her sister for her non-conformity. When Sohane decides to start wearing a head scarf, in spite of the recent passage of a law banning such things at public schools, Djelila supports her right to do so, but thinks she is misguided.

What I really liked about the book is that it doesn’t present each girls decision as right or wrong. The arguments for each side are laid out in a natural way and the reader can really see each side’s point of view. We often look at these issues in such a black and white way. This book shows us the grey and the hard choices people have to make when cultures collide.

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