Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

Ever since that family reunion 10 years ago when she and her cousin, Lindsay, were inseparable, Raina has wanted a sister. Someone to have fun with, someone to share adventures and secrets with, someone who would be a built-in best friend. So naturally she is thrilled when her parents finally, finally bring home baby Amara.

But having a sister isn't at all like Raina imagined. From the start, Amara is grouchy, argumentative, and prone to tantrums when she doesn't get her way. And she doesn't share any of Raina's interests. Except art. And, worse, Amara is the better artist. Naturally, none of this sits well with Raina. Or Amara, for that matter. And when a brother is introduced into the equation, things at the Telgemeier household go from bad to worse. And the years don't improve the situation any.

Sisters, by Raina Telgemeier, is an autobiographical graphic novel that illustrates Raina's summer before high school when she, her mother, Amara, and brother Will road trip it from California to Colorado for a family reunion. As the story (told partly in present day and partly in flashbacks) unfolds, the reader gets a better picture of Raina and Amara's stormy relationship and also of the drama that's going on within their family. Sure, the sisters fight and annoy each other. All. The. Time. But when life throws an unexpected curve ball their way, they're also are willing to be there for each other. Not that that'll admit to that, though. 

Over the years, I've become a big fan of Telgemeier's books. Smile, where we first meet Raina and her family, was (and still is) my favorite of the author's. And Drama was a cute and fun departure from the autobiographical books. Sisters is being promoted as a sequel/companion book to Smile, but you don't have to read one to fully enjoy the other.

Highly recommended! --AJB

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