Book: My Sister, the Serial Killer
Author: Oyinkan Braithwaite
Last month, the women of the IQG joined a virtual book club founded and hosted by Zina Williams and we have decided to give short, honest reviews on each book we read as a part of the club. Our first book was My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.
About the Book – Simply put, the book centers around two Nigerian sisters, one, Ayoola, is a manipulative and irresponsible serial killer with men as her victims and the other, Korede, resentfully protects her serial killer sister. The author does not hide who the serial killer is; there is absolutely no guessing game in this book. It explores a few themes, including sibling rivalry, loyalty, domestic abuse, childhood trauma, inner beauty vs. outer beauty, self-love (or lack thereof), and familial obligation.
Likes – Things we liked about the book include:
1. The book has short, easy to read chapters. There was very little fluff in the plot. It was almost poetic in some ways, which would make sense, as Oyinkan Braithwaite is also a poet. The short chapters kept us engaged.
2. Though it built frustration in some readers, the book made us think. The author was able to pack some heavy themes in the storyline that made us feel different emotions, including disgust, frustration, pity, and confusion. I know you are probably thinking, “How can a book that incites negative emotions be a good book?” Though the storyline seemed negative, it was oddly satisfying. In this way, it was a page-turner for some readers. I personally think that this is what the author wanted.
3. The book was funny; it illustrated elements of sibling love and rivalry that are relatable to many and it presented dark humour (if you are into that kind of thing).
Dislikes – Things we disliked about the book include:
1. The book does not provide complex characterization; so to an extent, it felt a bit shallow as we read the chapters. The characters were very one-dimensional and we had so many questions about their relationships and their circumstances.
2. The book was riddled with Korede’s low self-esteem, which made it a bit difficult to read because there was so much pity and disappointment for one character. Honestly, she needed counselling and decent friends. It was frustrating to read about the way she saw herself.
Overall thoughts – The book was not great, but it was interesting. Once you read the book, you will realize that the title is technically accurate, but also a bit deceptive. The members of the book club unanimously agreed that the book was not what was expected from a book about a serial killer (not necessarily a bad thing). It was not much of a thriller, but it kept us on the edge of our seats for an anti-climactic and exasperating ending.
Side note: If you are a hopeless romantic, this book is not for you. It will send you into a sad, hopeless place.
Overall rating - 3/5
Look out for October’s review of Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi and be sure to follow Zina Williams on Instagram @kissmyelite and check out her website www.ayetozee.com to follow the book club readings.