8th January, 2018

Review: My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite - Atlantic Books

"Ayoola summons me with these words — Korede, I killed him."

This is the very beginning of My Sister, the Serial Killer and I must admit that it does capture your attention. Big time.
This book has been a social media hype and everybody seems to love it. So - spoiler alert - this review will be a bit of an unpopular opinion.

The story is that of the two sisters Ayoola and Korede, the first of whom has the annoying habit of murdering her boyfriends while the latter always stands ready to clean up the mess afterwards. It‘s a tale of sisterhood and belonging, of being second to someone and of coming to terms with that.

Written in pill-sized chapters this is a very quick read and more of a novella than a full novel. And it‘s exactly with that shortness and clipped tone that I found I had problems. While the plot was innovative and beautifully weird, the book still fell short for me because it didn‘t gain much (or simply enough?) depth. Every time I thought we‘d get a bit more meaningfulness, the respective chapter ended and another episode started. And yes, this is exactly how I would describe the individual chapters: as episodes in the characters‘ lives that were quirky and funny and sometimes bordering on moving, but were always killed off by their shortness. And yes, that was an intentional, albeit lame pun. ;-)

But don’t get me wrong. This book is an entertaining quick read that you can easily finish in one sitting and it‘s definitely not a disappointing debut. You do notice though that it is a first novel and that the author still needs to grow a little bit more in her art. I‘m looking forward to following the Braithwaite‘s future path and am curious where this young writer is going next.

Rating: 3/5 stars

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