Rummanah Aasi
Description: 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.

Review: Che and his family have moved from Australia to the United States. Though he is far from happy with the move, Che has a few priorities on his mind on how he would like to start a fresh start. On his mind are two simple tasks: find a new boxing gym and keep the world safe from his sister Rosa. For almost as long as she's been alive, Che has known that something is not right with his sister. Rosa is different from other children. She is cold, callous, fascinated by pain, and has no and does not understand empathy. Rosa does however know how to play people, using her sweet demure visage and her innocence as a weapon. As we learn through some startling events, Rosa is a threat to all those around her, whether or not her parents see it. When their lives collide with old family friends, Che struggles to keep Rosa in line at the same time as he's experiencing his first love. 
  I had high hopes for My Sister Rosa, but was ultimately let down and felt underwhelmed by it. I would not categorize the book as a thriller but more of a psychological character sketch as we see Che record his conversations with Rosa in order to present it as evidence to his parents that Rosa needs professional help. We do get eerie moments with Rosa but the slow pace and Che's rumination of whether or not his sister is evil got boring and repetitive. I also found the twist at the end to be forced and undeveloped. Despite my issues, however, I did appreciate the wide variety of nuanced and complex diverse characters in the book which was done really well. The author also tried to touch above a variety of subjects such as religion and social status but it wasn't explored as much as I would have liked.

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There is some strong language, allusion to a masturbation scene, and a semi-explicit sex scene. Recommended for Grades 9 and up.

If you like this book try: Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn, Slice of Cherries by Dia Reeves
4 Responses
  1. Hmm... I was curious about this one, but I can't stand unbeliveable twists.

  2. I liked this book more than you did, though in the middle I wanted it to get moving to the point. I found Rosa so disturbing and the twist not so bad

  3. It's too bad that you didn't like this one more and found the big twist underdeveloped and forced. Had you enjoyed this more, I would have been interested in reading it as the summary made it sound like my type of book.

  4. Oh I was all hopeful for a psychological thriller and I can see how it could be disappointing. I don't mind a character sketch, but repetitive until boring is not good. I do think I'll pass. Hope your next one is good. Brilly review!

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