My book club met to discuss The Sister yesterday and there was lots of discussion on this title. Read on to find out if The sister was a hit or miss for the book club.
Release Date: July 7, 2016
Format: Kindle, Audio MP3
Pages: 307 | Audio Length: 9 hours
Narrator: Natalie Blass
Source: Kindle, Audible
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Review Date: February 20, 2017
Rating: 3 bookmarks
Synopsis: Grace hasn't been the same since the death of her best friend Charlie. She is haunted by Charlie's words, the last time she saw her, and in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie's. It soon becomes clear there was a lot she didn't know about her best friend.
When Grace starts a campaign to find Charlie's father, Anna, a girl claiming to be Charlie's sister steps forward. For Grace, finding Anna is like finding a new family, and soon Anna has made herself very comfortable in Grace and boyfriend Dan's home.
But something isn't right. Things disappear, Dan's acting strangely and Grace is sure that someone is following her. Is it all in Grace's mind? Or as she gets closer to discovering the truth about both Charlie and Anna, is Grace in terrible danger?
There was nothing she could have done to save Charlie ...or was there?
About the villain...I'm not going to spoil things for you, but in my opinion the writing was on the wall pretty early. Anna, Charlie's sister is a hot mess, Charlie's mother is a hot mess. Grace's husband Dan is a host mess. Grace is a hot mess. Do you see a trend? This is what totally made this book seem like a Lifetime movie. You know all of those stalker/friend movies that they show on Sunday afternoon? Well, this is one of them. I know that doesn't seem like a good thing, but the ridiculousness of the drama really lead for some heated conversation at book club. The level of discussion that this book generated bumped the rating up from a 2 to a 3 for me. Getting others points of view and seeing the emotion that a book can evoke in others always makes me see the book in a better light, which is a good thing. That's what makes this a perfect read for groups. You'll laugh over Grace's actions, you'll roll your eyes as Dan's actions, and you'll "OMG" over Anna's actions. It's all in good fun. Overall the book club was really split as far as rating the book, but I'd say at least half of the group fell in the middle like I did.
With that said, you can indeed tell this is Jensen's first title. I didn't much care for the "now" and "then" spelled out on the front of each chapter. It shows the level of writing abilities. The plot was simple yet it was able to surprise me with at least one of the three twists that were intended for the reader. When it was all said and done, I liked the book. I really did.
I was happy that I decided to also listen to the audiobook. This helped me push through the beginning of the book and kept me listening until the end. I hadn't listened to anything narrated by Natalie Blass previously, but I enjoyed her take on the characters. Her accent was well done and it paired well with a story taking place in the UK. Her accent was light enough that I had zero issues listening. I also enjoyed her pacing while reading. Blass was able to read for both women and men seamlessly and make it believable. There weren't any sound effects or music, which weren't needed in this case, so if that type of audiobook bothers you, then worry not. The sound quality and production of the audiobook were excellent and added value to the story. If I see Natalie Blass pop up on another audiobook that I want to read, I won't hesitate to listen.
Have you read The Sister? What did you think of it? If you've read anything else by Louise Jensen that you'd recommend. Let me know in the comments.