Book Review: My Sister the Serial Killer

Oyinkan Braithwaite tells the tale of two sisters. The crazy beautiful one, Ayoola, and the sensible (not as beautiful) one, Korede. Guess which one is the serial killer?

This story puts a spotlight on sibling rivalry, from the point of view of the not so beautiful sister. I love it. The love-hate relationship Korede has with her sister Ayoola is tangible. And the mother’s contribution to their rivalry. Relateable and unfortunate.

The book opens when Ayoola has killed her third boyfriend, and Korede, the “cleaner” is getting tired of it. But as expected of a sociopathic sister, Ayoola moves on and starts dating again. Nothing good can come of this, right?

This book was good. And it did not end in the way I expected.

Oyinkan Braithwaite’s story is influenced by her Nigerian heritage. American sensibilities need not apply. We get used to the way stories are told. As Americans, we have expectations of happy endings. We expect everything to be tied in a nice little bow: They all lived happily ever after forever and ever. Or justice was served. Or the guy finally got the girl. Or achieved his goal. We expect American values.

This is not that story. I’m not telling which way it went—and until I can figure out how to hide my spoilers, there will be none of that here.

Side note: Reading Black books, reading contemporary African literature, makes being Black feel “normal.” Like the default. Not “othered” like I do in everyday life. I haven’t read a ton of African lit, but the whole time I was listening to the audiobook I literally had to force myself to mentally stop overriding character descriptions, and stop thinking of everyone as white. #readblackbooks

Get this book. Read it or listen to it. I finished it in a couple days. Enjoy.

4/5 Stars

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