Friday, December 10, 2010

Sisters Red

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

I'm really torn on what I think about this book, which is often the hallmark of a good book: it makes you ponder what and how you feel about the characters and plot. The reason I give it 3 stars is because of several weaknesses in the characterization of Scarlett, but many of them could be easily overlooked by someone who really enjoys the story.The sisters' bond actually creeps me out. I read several reviews where it was mentioned that the relationship between the sisters was great and beautiful. I saw it more as an unhealthy possessive and controlling one. Scarlett saved Rosie's life when they were young. Because of that, both of them have come to the conclusion that Rosie should and must devote her life to Scarlett's obsessive need to kill wolves. Throughout, Rosie feels like she's betraying her sister when she even considers having her own life and falling in love.

I actually liked Rosie overall, and Silas was a good guy, so they made an excellent match. That was actually the most enjoyable part of the narrative for me. I loved how two childhood friends went from that to romance, especially with the awkwardness of realizing it and moving from just friends to boyfriend/girlfriend. The author did an excellent job conveying those emotions. I'd actually say that it was the biggest strength of the story and something that the author should explore. The paranormal action wasn't as convincing. I'd love to see Jackson explore writing contemporary YA romance because I suspect she'd be much better at that.

The problem I had through the whole book was with Scarlett. She was so single-minded and driven that she came off as almost one-dimensional, but not completely, if that makes any sense. I didn't enjoy being inside her head and would have much preferred that the story be told exclusively from Rosie's perspective instead of flipping back and forth between the two. Scarlett isn't a very likable character, but watching her and her passions from another person's viewpoint would have softened that tremendously.

I predicted the ending at about 1/3 of the way into the book, even before clues started to be dropped, which is highly disappointing. Other reviews mentioned the twist at the end, but I see it as more of a cop-out. The story would have been more satisfying and realistic had the author taken the hard path. The fact that it all ties up so neatly is something many readers of paranormal romances will love, but it's just not reality.

All of that said, it's definitely an interesting read and one that I would recommend to others. The writing is clean and not wanting for change, but the repetitive nature of several scenes made me wish for they had been trimmed from the manuscript. I did skim the last third of the book because I'd already figured out the big secret and just wanted to see how the book ended.

So long review summed up: a good read but nothing extraordinary.

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