Saturday, 23 October 2010

Half A Sister by Kelly McKain

August 2010, Usborne
288 pages, Paperback
Review copy 

Children's, 9+ 

Oodles of humour, some deception, all about friendship and family relations, growing up story 

Summary from Usborne
Hannah is thrilled at the idea of her newly-discovered half-sister coming to live with her family. She’s always imagined a lovely sisterly world of the girly chats, swapping make-up and sharing secrets and clothes. Beautiful, glamorous Ellie seems to live up to all Hannah’s expectations. But gradually she begins to realise that Ellie has a darker side – one that threatens to tear Hannah’s world apart.

Nayuleska's thoughts
Hannah's voice, through her diary, is really funny. It had me giggling away for some of the story. The rest of it - well I sobered up because some of the events are really serious. It isn't easy having problems with people who used to be your friends. It's even harder when you have things going on at home, things which you can't tell anyone about. And when you do tell them, no one believes you. What really struck a chord with me, was how realistic Hannah's life is. I was reading her story, and aside from having a half-sister, I was Hannah. So many of her thoughts and feelings I had myself. I don't even remember reading books with girls like Hannah in them when I was that age. Every book I read was more idealistic (that I can remember). To find such a book had me reaching for a tissue, because it evoked quite strong feelings from my childhood. I could see all the mistakes that Hannah made. I wanted to yell at her 'don't do be so silly', but she had to make those mistakes to learn from them, as I, and every other reader did. I hadn't expected the plot to take such serious twists, so that was a fun surprise too. 

I was a little bit disappointed with the ending. I just felt that there weren't any consequences for Ellie's behaviour. I mean, for all that she had done, she didn't get punished? Admittedly what was wrong with her mother was punishment enough, and yes, I felt really sorry for her. However, I didn't like it that she got away scott free. Aside from that, I loved this book. 

Final conclusion
Realistic tale of the difficulties of growing up with peer pressure, and normal childhood misunderstandings.

Liked this? Try Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt

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