Book Reviews

My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier | Book Review

Title: My Sister Rosa

Author: Justine Larbalestier

Series: N/A

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery/Thrillers, Horror

Publisher: Soho Teen

Publication date: November 15th, 2016

Pages: 320

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Seventeen-year-old Aussie Che Taylor loves his younger sister, Rosa. But he’s also certain that she’s a psychopath—clinically, threateningly, dangerously. Recently Rosa has been making trouble, hurting things. Che is the only one who knows; he’s the only one his sister trusts. Rosa is smart, talented, pretty, and very good at hiding what she is and the manipulation she’s capable of.

Their parents, whose business takes the family from place to place, brush off the warning signs as Rosa’s “acting out.” Now that they have moved again—from Bangkok to New York City—their new hometown provides far too many opportunities for Rosa to play her increasingly complex and disturbing games. Che’s always been Rosa’s rock, protecting her from the world. Now, the world might need protection from her.
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“She looks up at me. It feels like she’s waiting for me to ask why she told. I’m not going to. 

I know why. Because she could. 

“If I wanted to get you into trouble,” Rosa says quietly as we cross to our block, “I could get you into worse trouble than this.”

It took me forever to pick it up, and honestly I don’t know why because I’ve been wanting to read it ever since I read the premise! But finally, guys, that time has come. And I have to say I did really enjoy it, even though at the beginning I was a bored. But it was a very interesting story, and honestly, a little bit terrifying as well.

Even though before picking this book up I was very excited to read it, I was a bit exceptical on how the whole concept of psychopathy would be portrayed in a 10-year-old girl, because well… let’s face it, that is not often written about (at least that I know of!), so I tried to contain myself and not go with very high expectations in case I ended up disappointed.

“It would be easier if parentals believed Rosa is a bomb. It would be even easier if she wasn’t a bomb. I would give anything for her to not be the way she is.”

Well, that didn’t happen. I found Rosa an incredible interesting child to read about (and don’t take that in a good way). She was very intelligent and manipulative, and you could see how that was played in the story and her interactions with other characters (and also in conversations with Che, her brother). There were parts that were a bit more horrifying, because hell, she was described as a cute and adorable child, and comparing how she behaved with others and what she was really thinking was quite perturbating.

However, she was, in my opinion, the most important character and the one who had the most to offer to the story, even though the story is told from Che’s point of view, so you didn’t really get to know her more deeply, just what she told him. I would have loved to read some chapters from her POV, or just something more that made me get to know her as a narrator (she would probably would have been a pretty interesting one).

Che was an alright guy. At first I wasn’t a super huge fan of him (I’m sorry blame my previous reading slump), but I have to say that he grew on me as the story progressed. I enjoyed his friendship with the other side characters, and overall his development trhoughout the story.

“They didn’t care about the moths or the ants. But they care when I kill moths or ants.”

“Because it makes you smile.” 

“So they don’t like me being happy?”

“Killing things shouldn’t make you happy, Rosa. That’s why they’re worried.”

I would say during the first half of the book I was a bit bored. I felt like nothing was really happening, and you were introduced to this cast of characters and mostly Che. They were quite descriptive and explanatory, since you were getting to know his back story and why they were in New York. BUT THE SECOND HALF? My my, that was freaking spectacular. That was one of the main reasons why I didn’t give this book less stars. I flew through it, and I was shoked, there were a lot of things I didn’t see coming (EXCEPT THE MAIN ONE, YES, you know the drill).

So overall I did really enjoy the story, despite having a few issues at the beginning of the story. It was a very interesting concept to read about, and I think the author did a pretty good job at portraying it.

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5 thoughts on “My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier | Book Review”

  1. I haven’t heard a lot about this book, but I’ve seen it around a lot. It sounds really interesting and twisty though!! It’s definitely going on my TBR. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree! The first half was alright but it was the second half that really made this book because it was just so creepy, you felt just as trapped as Che did and that ending as well. Love your review!

    Liked by 1 person

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