Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Ultimate Sister Disaster by Jane Mendle

Franny, 14, thinks her older sister got the better deal. Zooey is a beautiful, statuesque ballerina with a cool name. Franny is not quite five feet tall, has no talent for anything, hair that never cooperates, and, let's face it, a horrible name (the girls' parents discussed J. D. Salinger's work on their first date). Though they were close as children, the sisters now spend little time together and argue when they're in the same room. With their anthropologist mother in Kenya and their father spending long hours working in his clothing store, Franny feels more alone than ever. When Zooey breaks her leg during rehearsals for a career-making role and is homebound for weeks, the sisters get to know one another all over again. It turns out that Zooey's life isn't so perfect. There are many elements to this novel, but ultimately the story is about sisters and misconceptions. Franny is immediately likable and sympathetic, and Zooey's diva-tude is conveyed perfectly, as is her gradual regression to typical teen when she's sidelined from dancing. Fans of Sarah Dessen and Deb Caletti will enjoy this lighter tale of teen drama.

This was another ARC request. I enjoyed the ease and flow of the chapters. It made the book very easy to read. This novel brought to mind my own recollections of sibling rivalry and various pointless arguments with my own parents, among other aspects of my own teenage years.

My Ultimate Sister Disaster is the type of book that tweens and teens alike would select from their school book orders or even book fairs. The story did jump around at certain points from one topic to another. However the age group it is geared for, I think, will be oblivious to this and will not affect their opinion on the novel itself. Overall I enjoyed this quick and relaxing read.

Favorite quote:
"Life sort of gets out of hand when everything and everyone in it has to be special."


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