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We Are Family, Get Up Everybody and Sing

In Sean Olin's Brother/Sister, a pair of siblings (who'd have thunk!?) fend for themselves without their deadbeat parents.

We Are Family, Get Up Everybody and Sing

BOOK REPORT for Brother/Sister by Sean Olin

Cover Story: Ahh Scary Faces!
BFF Charm: Hell Naw
Swoonworthy Scale: -0
Talky Talk: Back N Forth
Bonus Factors: Don't Tell Mom, Thriller
Relationship Status: Great Blind Date

Cover Story: Ahh Scary Faces!

Well, I've made it clear that I'm not a card carrying member of the disembodied faces fan club but obviously most publisher's art departments have not gotten my mental memo. I'm not sure if the faces are meant to look scary or maybe dead, but they just look a little diseased, like maybe the two teens are suffering from some sort of early onset jaundice. But! The cover certainly lets you know you are getting into a dark, psychological book, so no surprises there.

The Deal:

Siblings Will and Asheley's life is no picnic. Their dad walked out on them when they were younger and now it's just them and their awful, alcoholic of a mother. When their mom has another extreme episode, her deadhead of a boyfriend carts her off to rehab. Now it's just Will and Asheley, the two of them alone for the rest of the summer. The summer starts of with the potential for the two siblings to reinvent themselves and finally feel normal for a change. But soon things begin to spiral out of control for both Will and Asheley as their secrets begin to catch up with them.

BFF Charm: Hell Naw

Will and Asheley have really had it rough and I feel for them. But only up to a certain point. And since the few people they interact with have a tendency to wind up dead, I don't think either of them are going to be receiving a BFF audition any time soon. Or ever. If I saw them in the halls at school, I would give them a slight smile and a nod, hope I don't offend them and then hurry on my way.

Swoonworthy Scale: -0

Most of the relationships in this book are a bit unsettling but don't let that scare you away. This book is supposed to be creepy so all the character's relationships are unhealthy. It's particularly interesting seeing Will and Asheley's co-dependence develop over the course of the book.

Talky Talk: Back N Forth

Each chapters moves forward chronologically, switching between Will and Asheley's perspective. They're both telling their side of a story and it's interesting to see the differences in their narratives. Plus, both Will and Asheley's personalities feel distinct without being forced. Olin does a great job at capturing what it feels like for these two to be outsiders. For instance:

I was nervous about seeing them - and I was jealous. They looked so relaxed, so summery. Perfect, really. Like they were summer - bright and warm and lazy and without a single worry in the world. All the things I'd never be able to be again, if I'd ever been able to be like that.

Bonus Factor: Don't Tell Mom

Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter Is Dead is one of the greatest movies, ever, the end. A common enough trope, the movie was built on the premise that there were no parents around. With their mom in rehab, Will and Asheley have that same type of freedom granted to them. However, instead of getting jobs at a fashion firm, they do less awesome things, like, maybe sorta - cough - get involved in a murder.

Bonus Factor: Thriller

You know those kind of movies where shit gets bad and then to make up for it, the characters keep doing bad shit and it's just turns into this sort of ridiculous downward spiral from there? (Wait, did I just describe the plot to every Coen Brothers movie, ever?) Well, this book has a lot of that going on.

Casting Call:

Will has a bit of a half freak/half hottie thing going on. Aaron Johnson is simultaneously attractive while kind of freaks me out for reasons I don't understand.

Aaron Johnson as Will

And Asheley is supposedly very innocent and naive.

Shailene Woodley as Asheley

Relationship Status: Great Blind Date

I didn't know anything about this book going in, so I was pleasantly surprised when I thoroughly enjoyed myself and my time with this book. Sure, this book can be a bit of a creepfest, but it's an intentional creepfest, which I appreciate. I plan on hitting up this author again next time I'm in the mood for a good dark and disturbing time.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my review copy from Penguin/Razorbill. I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). Brother/Sister will be released June 9th.

I am giving away my ARC of Brother/Sister to one lucky winner! If you'd like to be entered, say so in your comment (and make sure to put your email address into the email field!) and I will pick a winner at random. US entries only. The winner will be picked/notified in one week.

Megan Crane's photo About the Author: Megan is an unabashed fangirl who is often in a state of panic about her inability to watch, read and play all the things.