My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite, 4 Stars

Sometimes you need to read something that’s a little dark. Or should I say sometimes I need to read something that’s a little dark? Because really, there is a lot in life that isn’t sunshine and roses.

I guess I could see how someone might choose to just read romance or chick-lit to escape it all. For me, I think what fascinates me about a new book is the opportunity for a situation or a setting to expand my knowledge of something. Or the portrayal of a character to understand how different all of our motivations and traits are. We are all shaped by our experiences and our everyday lives.

And yes, I rarely read non-fiction. But most fiction writers create characters based on relationships or encounters they’ve had with real live people. And of course, there are others that completely fabricate a character, but many of those are so richly drawn I enjoy their stories as well.

Apologies if I’m getting all philosophical. But when you think about it, writing and books are kind of everything. I don’t know what I’d do without them.

Books like My Sister, the Serial Killer are so amazing to me. It’s a little gem of a book that takes place in Nigeria–a place I have never been, nor will likely ever go. But despite all the differences, the main character, Korede is not that different from you or me. Although her sister is a little different.

From the Publisher:

Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead. Korede’s practicality is the sisters’ saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood, the trunk of her car is big enough for a body, and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures of her dinner to Instagram when she should be mourning her “missing” boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit.

A kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where Korede works, is the bright spot in her life. She dreams of the day when he will realize they’re perfect for each other. But one day Ayoola shows up to the hospital uninvited and he takes notice. When he asks Korede for Ayoola’s phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and what she will do about it.
Sharp as nails and full of deadpan wit, Oyinkan Braithwaite has written a deliciously deadly debut that’s as fun as it is frightening.

My Review:

My Sister the Serial Killer is a super-fun and quick read. We are quickly ushered into the dynamics of Korede and her little sister, Ayoola, at the beginning of the book. Korede is ready to enjoy a nice meal she has prepared for herself and have a quiet evening, when she gets a panicked call from Ayoola, needing help. We quickly learn, it’s not the first time.

Korede has killed not one, not two, but three boyfriends. And Korede is there to pick up the pieces and clean up the mess every single time. She knows it’s wrong, but the alternative, turn her sister in? Doesn’t seem like the right thing to do after all they have been through together.

Then beautiful enchanting Ayoola, attracts the attention of the man Korede is in love with–and completely ignored by in that way. It now becomes a question of which is thicker–blood or water?

My Sister the Serial Killer is  a dynamic and incredibly written debut. It’s a little book, but the type is also a bit small so it probably comes out to be a slightly less than average in length. Either way I consumed it in about two hours. Everyone has been talking about this one, now I know why!

Read the book and loved it? For further reading, Braithwaite wrote an interesting piece in Vulture about why and how she wrote a female serial killer.

This IndieNext December selection is out now and is perfectly sized to be a stocking stuffer for the reader on your list!


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