Title: My Sister Rosa
Author: Justine Larbalestier
Genres: Young Adult, Thriller, Psychological
Publisher: Allen & Urwin
Synopsis: What if the most terrifying person you’d ever met was your ten-year old sister? A spine-chilling psychological thriller from one of Australia’s finest YA authors.
‘I promise,’ said Rosa. ‘I won’t kill and I won’t make anyone else kill.’
I can’t see the loophole. Since the guinea pig there’s been nothing. Months now without Rosa killing as much as a mosquito.
As far as I know.
Che Taylor has four items on his list: 1. He wants to spar, not just train in the boxing gym. 2. He wants a girlfriend. 3. He wants to go home. 4. He wants to keep Rosa under control.
Che’s little sister Rosa is smart, talented, pretty, and so good at deception that Che’s convinced she must be a psychopath. She hasn’t hurt anyone yet, but he’s certain it’s just a matter of time. And when their parents move them to New York City, Che longs to return to Sydney and his three best friends. But his first duty is to his sister Rosa, who is playing increasingly complex and disturbing games. Can he protect Rosa from the world – and the world from Rosa?
Review: I had no idea what to expect going into this. I knew nearly nothing about it and I hadn’t seen anyone talking about it, but OH MY GOSH WAS IT GOOD. It was so much more than I was expecting and so much better!
What first drew me to this is that it’s psychological and I love psychological (though I don’t read enough of it). It’s also Australian so, um, yes. The premise sounded so interesting to me and unlike anything I’ve read before. I haven’t read a whole heap about siblings so that was interesting and I don’t think I’ve read many, if any, thrillers.
I loved the characters in this. They were so already well developed when the novel began and they just grew more and more. I didn’t love Che at the beginning, he really just bugged me. But as I read more and started to get into it he grew on me and I found myself invested in his well-being. Also, I really love how open Che was about his skin and acne. I don’t think I’ve read any YA contemporaries with a main character who is self-conscious about their skin but is also able to joke about it, I feel like that was really nice and also important element to chuck in.
I hated Rosa so much. From the very first line I didn’t like her and I honestly just wanted her gone. That being said, I’d never read a character like Rosa so it was really interesting hearing how her brain and feelings worked, especially since this is narrated by Che and he’s an aspiring neurologist.
I also hated their parents, Sally and David. It annoyed me so much how they pushed everything Rosa did under the rug and they were always able to explain her odd behaviour away. I wanted them to wake up and see that things were very very wrong in their household.
I think one of my favourite characters was Leilani. I’m not entirely sure why but I just loved her personality and the way she treated Che. It was interesting having a lesbian side character and her sexuality not being a big deal. I also really liked the twins, though I have to say Maya was my favourite. I have so much love for so many of the side characters in this novel.
I really enjoyed the writing style and pacing, it all flowed really well and it often felt like I was in NYC with Che and Sid. I was never, ever bored while I was reading this which is probably why I got through it in half a day.
This book was honestly so thrilling. It had me on the edge of my seat and I felt so many feelings. I was nervous and happy and sad which is how I know this is a really good book. There’s a part of hoping there will be a sequel, but mostly I’m really satisfied with how this ended.
I highly, highly, highly recommend this to all of you! It was honestly so good and I know I’m going to be thinking about it for a long time.