Monday, June 13, 2011

Review: Brother/Sister

This is the review of an uncorrected advance copy. Changes may be made in the final book.

Title: Brother/Sister
Sean Olin
Release Date: June 9, 2011
Cover Designer:
Age Audience:
Will and Asheley have a troubled past. Their father left them when they were little, and their mother has just been carted off to an alcohol treatment center. Now, they have the house to themselves, and an endless California summer stretching out before them. Through alternating perspectives, they tell the story of how and why their lives spun violently out of control—right up to the impossibly shocking conclusion you'll have to read for yourself to believe.

My Review:
For some reason, when an ARC of this book was handed to me by the people at the Penguin booth at TLA, the first word that came into my mind was “incest”. I mean, doesn’t the title “Brother/Sister” sound at least a little suggestive? And the tagline was “Just give them a chance to explain…” That sounds quite suggestive too. But I wouldn’t say this book was incest-themed.

No, it was not incest-themed, but Will and Asheley did have a very close relationship. Maybe a little too close. At first, Will just seemed misunderstood to me. He got angry easily and was very antisocial, not wanting to be around anyone except Asheley. Considering that he and Asheley had had pretty rough lives, I didn’t blame him. But then…he just goes insane. Seriously insane. All rational thinking gone, just “Oh, that person pissed me off. I’m going to kill them!”

The book is told in alternating points of view. From what it seemed, Will and Asheley were telling their story to the police. At first I had trouble distinguishing their voices, but they became unique to me later on. Will is full of paranoia while Asheley is more innocent and trusting. As the book progresses, they start explaining the same events differently, so you start to wonder which one of them is right.

The summary clearly states that the ending was shocking. At first, I thought “Wait, there was no ending!” because the book ended mid-sentence. But then I re-read the last page a times, and I understood. Even now I haven’t quite absorbed the conclusion, because it means that everything I was led to believe earlier in the book was wrong.

While I was very intrigued, I can’t say I liked this book. Brother/Sister was not my cup of tea, but I still would recommend it to those who can handle the rough stuff. Also, I think that this book would be excellent if adapted into a made-for-TV crime movie.


  1. Oh no, I was really intrigued by this one and I quite fancied it but now I think youve put me off a little... oh well, I may still get round to it!

  2. This wasn't necessarily a bad book. It just wasn't for me.


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