Gwen & Kate's Library

Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.

Gwen & Kate’s Review of Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

I loved Raina Telgemeier’s other two graphic novels, Smile and Drama! Sisters was written in a similar style, but felt much shorter and less complex and detailed. 


Series: Smile, Book 2

Genres: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Realistic Fiction, Memoir

Rating: 4 stars

Format: Paperback

Description: The companion to Raina Telgemeier’s #1 New York Times bestselling and Eisner Award-winning graphic memoir, Smile.

Raina can’t wait to be a big sister. But once Amara is born, things aren’t quite how she expected them to be. Amara is cute, but she’s also a cranky, grouchy baby, and mostly prefers to play by herself. Their relationship doesn’t improve much over the years, but when a baby brother enters the picture and later, something doesn’t seem right between their parents, they realize they must figure out how to get along. They are sisters, after all.

Raina uses her signature humor and charm in both present-day narrative and perfectly placed flashbacks to tell the story of her relationship with her sister, which unfolds during the course of a road trip from their home in San Francisco to a family reunion in Colorado.

Gwen’s Review:

I loved Raina Telgemeier’s other two graphic novels, Smile and Drama! Sisters was written in a similar style, but felt much shorter and less complex and detailed.

I was very excited to see Sisters at the bookstore, having a loving sister of my own, and fantastic experiences with Raina Telgemeier’s other two books. I picked it up, intending to read a chapter or two to decide whether to buy it or wait for the library to get it. However, my decision was made for me, when I found myself finishing it about half an hour later, left slightly disappointed by the length. Later researched showed that Sisters is only about 3o pages shorter than Smile or Drama, but for some reason the plot of the story made it seem simpler and more basic.

The humor was not diminished in the least — I had to stifle my giggles while reading in the bookstore! I also love how all of Raina Telgemeier’s books are in full color, which really suits the style of the story and illustrations. Color makes graphic novels more middle grade in genre and easier to read and admire.

Luckily, my experience of sisterhood has been very different from that of Raina and Amara. Kate and I love each other very much, and promise never to let a snake get between our close sisterly connection!

I just recently discovered the book trailer for Sisters, which is a fantastically created summary and preview of the book:

Kate’s Comments:

I would also give Sisters 4 stars. I enjoyed the book a lot, but thought that it wasn’t really as much about her relationship with her sister as you would expect from the title, and more general relationships (like with her cousins and her younger brother) and a story of her life.

I also found the frequent flashbacks confusing, although the page color changed to show the difference between past and present. They didn’t seem to match the “current” story.

What I really wanted Sisters to include was references to Smile. Clearly, since Raina has braces in some of Sisters, the story plots are happening at the same time. They are both based off her real life, so the two stories shouldn’t be so separated. Since they are in the same series, they should have some connection to one and other, and at least mention her trauma in the last book, which could be as simple as seeing her go to the dentist at some point!

We are both looking forward to more fantastic graphic novels from the talented author and artist Raina Telgemeier! Have you read her latest book?

(This review is a part of the So Behind! Review-A-Thon Challenge.)


One comment on “Gwen & Kate’s Review of Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

  1. Pingback: Gwen’s Reviews of Recently Read Graphic Novels | Gwen & Kate's Library

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This entry was posted on October 10, 2014 by in Author: Gwen, Author: Kate, Middle Grade, Review and tagged , , , , .
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