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My Sister Rosa

Review

My Sister Rosa

Ever since Che's sister Rosa was born when he was seven years old, his life has been anything but constant. His family moves around the globe every few years, his parents helping to start businesses that are beneficial to the planet. This time they're moving to New York, which is quite a bit different than their original home of Australia. The McBrunights, their wealthy family friends, are paying all of the expenses for their stay in return for the launch of a business for them. Che finds solace in boxing at his new gym, and soon becomes pretty content with life in New York. Everything might be alright if it weren't for one, tiny problem: 10-year-old Rosa is a psychopath.

"A dark tale of fear and human nature, MY SISTER ROSA will quietly haunt you throughout the pages until it climaxes in nightmares-come-true at the finale's turn of events."

An aspiring neurologist, Che is the only who recognizes the severity of his sister's lack of empathy and harmful behavior. He's witnessed some of the things she's done, and those are only the ones she didn't get away with. Whenever he tries to bring it up to his parents, they shut him down immediately, telling him there's no reason to be calling slightly abnormal 10 year old behavior psychopathy. Rosa's true self that she confesses to Che will threaten strangers and loved ones alike, and it's up to Che to keep her under control.

The tension throughout MY SISTER ROSA is high and the situation is terrifyingly realistic. As the novel points out, psychopaths aren't always the ones who have racked up kills and find it impossible to fit into society; they can be as deceiving as a sweet innocent girl who knows how to fake and charm her way through life. No one is who they really seem, and the pressure becomes unbearable for one teenager to handle. Che embarks on a risky mission to protect those he loves from his very own sister. Rosa's cryptic and chilling comments aren't just due to her inability to socialize like a normal child; Che's convinced her problems are rooted all the way in the wiring of her brain. A dark tale of fear and human nature, MY SISTER ROSA will quietly haunt you throughout the pages until it climaxes in nightmares-come-true at the finale's turn of events.

Reviewed by Maggie L., Teen Board Member on December 1, 2016

My Sister Rosa
by Justine Larbalestier