Monday, 18 July 2011

Brother/Sister by Sean Olin

Title: Brother/Sister
Author: Sean Olin
Publisher: Razor Bill/Penguin
Published: August 2011
ISBN: 9780141338453

Sean Olin's Facebook Page

Rating 4.5/5

The cover on this is very heavily related to the book, with the brother and sister both being on the cover, and the words "Just give us a chance to explain" between the title.

As a teen, I read all of the original books from Virginia Andrews (Flowers in the Attic etc)...and this was just as compelling and gut wrenching.  If you like books that take you on an emotional journey then this comes highly recommended by me.  Will and Asheley have had a hard life so far - with an alcoholic mum who is just about to be carted off to a heavily Christian based rehab centre, and a father who abandoned them all, they don't have great role models.  The relationship between the siblings is a protective one and to begin with, fairly mutual as they tell their story.

I really enjoyed hearing both sides of the story from the siblings own perspective, it put it into context far better than an outright A-B story, and I could relate to them a lot more.  Both of them feel like social outcasts, although they feel they have kept their mums secret hidden.  Keith, their mum's boyfriend comes across as a total loser.  Will is ever the devoted brother, but there's a hint of what is to come from their mother as she gets taken into the rehab centre, so the basis of their escalating relationship is already a possibility by then in her eyes, which immediately jumped out at me. 

The book is around 240 pages long which whizzed past as I was engrossed in the storyline.   By the end of it I was convinced I knew what had happened....there's a sting in the tale of this which has left me wondering just how much siblings would go to protect or incriminate each other.  

Book synopsis:
Will and Asheley have a troubled past. Their father left them when they were little, and their mother has just been carted off to an alcohol treatment center. Now, they have the house to themselves, and an endless California summer stretching out before them. Through alternating perspectives, they tell the story of how and why their lives spun violently out of control - right up to the impossibly shocking conclusion you'll have to read for yourself to believe.

Source - Many thanks to Penguin, an ARC was received in return for an honest review. 

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