August 26, 2014

Review: Sisters

Sisters Companion to Smile
By Raina Telgemeier
Color by Braden Lamb
Available now from Scholastic Graphix
Review copy

Raina Telgemeier's SMILE is hugely successful, critically acclaimed, and basically everyone was excited when news of a companion graphic memoir broke.  SISTERS is about (surprise surprise) Raina's relationship with her sister Amara.  Raina wished for a sister, but the reality wasn't quite what she hoped.

SISTERS moves smoothly back and forth in time, the borders of the panels helping mark flashbacks.  The bulk of the action takes place on a family road trip to Colorado.  Raina, Amara, their mother, and brother are all in a car (kind of old and broken down), while their father is flying.  Between each "present" section is a flashback to the family growing - sister, brother, pets, and all that comes with.

Some of the darker developments might surprise younger readers, but the astute ones will catch on to some of the underlying family tensions.  At the same time, SISTERS is just as charming and cheerful as expected.  Raina and Amara's combative relationship will be familiar to anyone with a sibling -  as will their moment(s) of detente.
From SMILE by Raina Telgemeier
As always, Telgemeier's art is expressive, albeit deceptively simple.  It's very easy to follow and well laid out, perfect for readers new to or familiar with graphic novels.  There have been no radical changes in style; why change what works?

SISTERS is a slightly looser work than SMILE in addition to being slightly more mature.  It is an excellent companion.  I enjoy Telgemeier's fiction too, but she does a terrific job of mining her own life for story.  The events of sisters are mundane, but the telling is funny and affecting.  SISTERS is sure to please Telgemeier's many fans.


  1. I haven't read Telgemeier before, but I've been told (many times!) that I'd love her, and especially this title. My book club especially thought I'd love SISTERS. And on to the TBR mountain it goes...

    1. Telgemeier's books are super cute and easy to read in a single afternoon. I quite like them.

  2. SMILE is still on my TBR list, and now it sounds as if I need to add SISTERS to that. Oh, how well I remember road trips, crammed in between my two big sisters in the backseat.

    1. You do indeed! It brings back road trips with my sister too.

  3. I've wanted to read Smile for awhile now; I'm glad this one was enjoyable too.


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