Here’s another novel I read because of the hype surrounding it. It was buzzed about so much last year that when I was considering what mystery novel to get my cousin for Christmas (to break her away from James Patterson’s books), I immediately decided to get her this. At the time, all I knew was that the protagonist’s sister is probably a serial killer and that the book is GOOD because that’s what everyone said in their reviews.
They weren’t wrong.
A short, darkly funny, hand grenade of a novel about a Nigerian woman whose younger sister has a very inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends
“Femi makes three, you know. Three and they label you a serial killer.”
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.
Korede has long been in love with a kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where she works. She dreams of the day when he will realize that she’s exactly what he needs. But when he asks Korede for Ayoola’s phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and how far she’s willing to go to protect her.
Sharp as nails and full of deadpan wit, Oyinkan Braithwaite’s deliciously deadly debut is as fun as it is frightening. (Goodreads)
On the night before Christmas Eve, I sat and read My Sister, the Serial Killer in one sitting. I was so engrossed, I couldn’t leave my chair until I completed the novel. Good thing I was sitting in a cozy La-Z-Boy and could put my feet up.
Mystery is not my favorite genre because I’m much too impatient to wait for the mystery to be solved at the end. It drives me a little nuts that wait and the tension, so I often flip to the end of the book to find out what happens before I get there. Although there is much tension and some suspense in this, I wasn’t driven to the brink as usually happens when I read mysteries. The title of the story makes the reader wary of the Korede’s sister, Ayoola, and from the beginning of the story we suspect and quickly become convinced that Ayoola might be a murderer.
This kept me reading because I kept wondering if Ayoola would ever be caught and if Korede would become more assertive at home and go off on her own. I was also interested to see what would become of Ayoola’s relationship with the doctor. The drama and dramatics sometimes made some of the characters’ antics seem silly, but the story was such an entertaining read that I fully enjoyed every minute I spent reading it (although sitting that long to read made my butt start to go numb). I couldn’t put the book down, and even when I was done, I wanted more. So yea, I’ll read whatever Braithwaite writes next.
Some spoilers below
There were some things that annoyed me, though, and the main one is Korede. I didn’t like her (not that any of the characters are likeable), but I felt tricked by her at the end. Because the story is told from Korede’s POV and it seems obvious that she is unsatisfied with her life and blames the dissatisfaction on her younger, alluring sister, I was rooting for Korede throughout the story to stand up for herself, escape her sister’s clutches, and leave or something. I became frustrated when she doesn’t do this by the end and felt tricked when it became obvious that she has no intention of doing such a thing and will always enable her sister. Similar to how Ayoola tricks her suitors, Korede tricked me into sympathizing with her.
Long after completing the book I kept wondering if Korede wants to escape but thinks she’s unable to do so because she feels obligated to always protect her little sister, or if she gets some perverse pleasure from serving as her sister’s protector and being able to clean up her messes. I don’t know, but it was entertaining to read although it left me feeling very frustrated.
My aunt read the book too and liked it and immediately wanted more after completing the book. But like me, my cousin was frustrated by the end. We both debated if we actually liked the book. It took a while for me to realize that I did despite my annoyance with Korede. My cousin, however, was too frustrated with the character to like it.
I give it a high rating because it was very entertaining and so good that I read it all in one sitting and wanted more when done.
Buy | Borrow | Bypass
Only because I don’t see myself reading this one again considering how annoyed the characters made me.
18 thoughts on ““My Sister, the Serial Killer” by Oyinkan Braithwaite”
Thanks for this review. I really enjoyed this one – it was super unique – but I can see the frustration too.
Yea, it certainly was an interesting one, but man, the end really frustrated me.
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Glad you enjoyed this one and that it lived up to the buzz for the most part! I do like books that keep me guessing at the mystery.
Oh man! Those ones annoy me the most, lol! I’m too impatient and get way on edge anticipating who it might be and how it will end.
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Haha, I just love being surprised so anything that can keep me guessing is good for me. 🙂
Great review, Zeezee. 🙂 I have heard lots about the book and your review has made it more urgent that I get myself a copy. Thanks. 🙂
Yes! Hope your reading experience with it goes well. It’s certainly worth reading.
It’s nice to hear how captivating a mystery is, especially with someone who knows they aren’t too into the genre! Thanks for sharing this review, Z. 😀
No prob 🙂
Lol it’s the captivating ones that annoy me the most because they make me on edge, wanting to find out what’s going on and/or whodunit. The more annoyed I get, the more I know it’s probably a good mystery.
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I’m glad you mostly liked it! I also don’t love mysteries, but I want to read this one because of the hype. Everybody seems to love it.
It’s totally worth it, I think.
I really liked this one. A quick psychological thriller.
Thanks! That’s exactly what it is. 🙂
This one’s on my TBR, but thanks for the warning about the unlikeability of the narrator/protagonist – it’s always a sore point with me, so I’ll adjust my expectations accordingly 🙂
Yea, that was the only downside for me with the book. Otherwise, it had me hooked all the way.
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