Thursday, 22 February 2018

Review: Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

I have to confess, I'm writing this review with a heavy heart. Sisters is the last of Raina Telgemeier's published graphic novels for me to review and as soon as this review goes live well, it's all over. Of course, I've had news that she is working on a new novel, and that list she put on Instagram recently of recommended YA and Middle Grade graphic novels helped me to feel a little better, but ... I guess it was one of those things. These books were such an unexpected, and welcome, surprise for me, that it's kind of hard to let them go.

Anyway, much like Smile, Sisters is autobiographical. It tells the story of a road trip across the United States that Raina took with her mother, younger brother Will and, most important of all, her younger sister, Amara. The sisters don't always get along. There is a five year age gap between them, and through many of the flashbacks that make up an important portion of the novel, we learn that both sisters are artists. Each have a different approach to their artwork, as indeed each sister has a different approach to life. This causes a lot of rivalry between the pair, which leads to anger and a number of misunderstandings. The pair come to a bit of an understanding though, though a misadventure on the way home, involving a broken down van and an escaped pet.

This one was a beautiful slice of life that I think can be read an appreciated by readers from a wide variety of backgrounds. I smiled a bit when Raina spoke about her enjoyment of the For Better or For Worse comic strip, as I had noticed that there were similarities between that strip and her work, though not in an overt or obvious way.

Anyway, this one is a lot of fun. Highly recommended.