WRITING STYLE: 3/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3/5
Walking down the lanes of Sapna Book Mall in Hubli, I chanced upon the rather scandalous looking cover of Then I Met My Sister by Christine Hurley Deriso. As I flipped through the pages and read the blurb, I found myself yearning for this promising book and immediately decided to add it to my shopping basket. Well, it was months later that I finally sat down to read it and I must say that I was surprised but not disappointed.
Summer is a smart young girl who, though brilliant in her own ways, is always compared to her long-dead sister Shannon; Shannon who was everybody’s apple of eyes, Shannon who always excelled in her academics and extra-curricular, and Shannon who was counted among the beauty queens of her class. Such was Shannon’s achievements and her charms that even after 17 years of her death, comparison with her dead sister was commonplace for Summer. This summer, Summer is turning 17, the same age as her sister when she died. On the eve of her birthday, she receives a rather strange gift from her aunt. The gift is her dead sister’s journal which she had written in her last year. But what is so special about this journal? The journal was found by her aunt after cleaning up dead Shannon’s room and was hidden away by her before her sister, and Shannon’s mother could know about its existence. The reason she did this was that, while flipping through its pages, she discovered it was full of secrets which were best to be kept hidden.
Why was the journal kept hidden for so many years? What was so secretive about it? What will Summer discover in Shannon’s journal? Will she be able to cope up with it? Will Summer reveal its presence to her parents especially her mother?
Well, for the answers to all these questions, you have to go read Then I Met My Sister, and you definitely should because I assure you it has got lots to keep you hooked till the end. Christine has done a brilliant job with the plot and her characters. I simply loved the characters of Summer, her mother and her best friend Gibs. All three, with their bizarre ways and high emotional quotient, make a recipe for a great drama. Further, the drama is spiced up by mystery around Shannon’s death. Together with all this, the book is made as interesting as a legal thriller or a murder mystery and has lots of scandalous elements to serve the reader’s expectations. It does slow down towards the end, and that is the only part I am a little disappointed about. If not for this, I would have surely rated it a four or more. So, do give it a try for it’s a story worth telling and Then I Met My Sister worth reading.