23 January, 2014

#BookReview :: Then I Met My Sister by Christine Hurley Deriso

Shannon has been the backdrop of my life since the moment I was born.

Summer Stetson lives inside a shrine to her dead sister. Eclipsed by Shannon's greatness, Summer feels like she's a constant disappointment to her controlling, Type A momzilla and her all-too-quiet dad. Her best friend Gibson believes Summer's C average has more to do with rebelliousness than smarts, but she knows she can never measure up;academically or otherwise.
On her birthday, Summer receives a secret gift from her aunt; Shannon's diary. Suddenly, the one-dimensional vision of her sister becomes all too solid. Is this love-struck, mom-bashing badass the same Shannon everyone raves about? Determined to understand her troubled sister, Summer dives headfirst down a dark rabbit hole and unearths painful family secrets. Each revelation brings Summer closer to the mysterious and liberating truth about her family,and herself.

Summer was born after her elder sister Shannon died in the beginning of her senior year. As a result, she has always lived in the shadows of an elder sister who means nothing to her other than a framed photo or a name on a plaque. She has never really tried to live up to her smart, popular, beautiful sister, one she had never met and one she is constantly compared to. Then things changes for her when on her sixteenth birthday her aunt gifts her Shannon’s journal. It is while reading the words penned down by Shannon that Summer, for the first time, feels like she is getting to know the real person behind that name and photo. Things change for her as she realizes that very few people actually knew the true Shannon.

What I liked the most about this book was its plot. Getting into the mind of a 16 year old girl isn’t probably the most brilliant idea. To top that, to get into the mind of a 16 year old girl who is just ‘getting to know’ her elder sister for the first time isn’t really the best place to be. But at the same time it is oddly touching and intriguing. I wondered if Shannon would be worth all the hype and how would summer react to finally having an insight to her mind. I loved reading Shannon’s journal along with Summer. Then there was the family dynamics that felt pretty odd at the beginning but soon made me realize that they were not perfect in any way, yet would Summer be able to bring a balance in the end is what I wanted to know. The other thing that I particularly enjoyed was the ‘love’ factor in the story…. It wasn’t the ‘I barely know you-but I can’t keep my hands off you- so it is not lust but love sort of love story.’ Gibson is a sweet guy and their friendship slowly grows into love – the kind that makes us girls go ‘awww’.

Overall, this book made for an interesting read. It is a fast read and can be squeezed in an afternoon. This story could probably make a great chic-flick too.

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