October 18, 2017

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My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier | SLJ Review

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redstarLarbalestier, Justine. My Sister Rosa. 320p. ebook available. Soho Teen. Nov. 2016. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781616956745. YA-HS-Larbalestier-My Sister Rosa

Gr 9 Up –When Che is forced to move from Australia to the United States, he has two things on his mind: find a new boxing gym and keep the world safe from his sister Rosa. For almost as long as she’s been alive, Che has known that something is not right with her. Callous, indifferent, fascinated by pain, she is a threat to all those around her, whether or not her parents see it. When their lives collide with old family friends, Che struggles to keep Rosa in line at the same time as he’s experiencing his first love. A tense, thrilling rumination on the psychology of evil, this work manages to keep a suspenseful tone while also showcasing a burgeoning romantic relationship. There are also a wide variety of nuanced and complex diverse characters in Che’s New York City neighborhood. Rosa is a truly chilling figure, seemingly unpredictable in her violence yet methodical in her manipulations of those around her. VERDICT While the sexual content and sadistic main character make it a better choice for older readers, the book is a worthwhile selection for YA collections.–Erinn Black Salge, Saint Peter’s Prep, Jersey City, NJ

This review was published in the School Library Journal August 2016 issue.

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