Book Review: My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Book Review: My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

• This is Nigerian author Oyinkan Braithwaite’s debut novel.

My sister the serial killer is based in Lagos, Nigeria, and the story is told from the point of view of Korede, the (eventual) head-nurse at St. Peter’s.

• She has this sister, Ayoola, who’s already killed three men, making her a serial killer. Ayoola also starts dating Tade, the guy who Korede secretly cherishes a burning passion for. Actually, scratch that: she loves the guy. Love love. The book opens with Ayoola calling Korede in panic. Ayoola has just murdered her boyfriend of one month, Femi, who used to write poetry. She doesn’t remember Femi’s last name, but she remembers his poetry. This bit hit me so hard. The two sisters then go ahead and clean up the mess and dispose of the body, with Korede doing most of the work – from the cleaning to the driving to the tossing of the body wrapped in three bedsheets they take from Femi’s studio apartment.

• I found parts of the book super interesting, the writing is mostly lucid as well, but to me it felt slightly bland as the book came to a close. The book (hardcover) is a little over two hundred pages long, and won’t take you a lot of time to finish reading.

• The ending’s been left vague. There’s man that comes to visit the sisters and you can totally speculate, but you can’t tell for sure, as to who he could be. Is it a new man, a new target that Ayoola is about to murder with their dead dad’s famous nine inch long ornate knife? Or is it the newly-back-from-a-coma patient, who in his comatose state had become the only confidante to Korede, who wants her for her, now that he’s divorced his wife? It’s up to you to decide.

• The humor is very Sophie Kinsella and the storyline is vaguely similar to the cookie cutter murder books we’ve all read at some point. Also, I love the contrast between the two sisters. While Korede is plain Jane, who shocks people when she randomly wears makeup one day after looking at a YouTube tutorial, Ayoola is a total knockout and a fashion designer who uses social media and men, for her own purposes. And for her designer wardrobe. She’s also messy, and Korede is so clean and organized, she probably has OCD.

My sister the serial killer is a mix of chick lit, deadpan comedy, dark fiction with hints of romance (the way Tade woos Ayoola with red and white roses), jealousy (the way Korede shreds the roses in the dead of the night) and Daddy issues (the father isn’t mentioned by name, but he had been the law in the house and never a father figure). If I had to rate it, it would get a 3.5/5 for good premise, and I would dock points for the rushed and vague ending.

Have you read this book? What did you think? Any recommendations I need to be looking out for?

Book Review: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child

Book Review: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child

When Ms Rowling doesn’t write a Harry Potter book, and lets other people do it – well, it’s a disaster waiting to happen . Oh Potter, you rotter…

First off, writing Harry Potter in PLAY FORM? That’s just wrong. On so many levels. 

The book (shall we call it that or just, more appropriately, call it trash) starts where the seventh book left off basically. King’s Cross. Harry’s youngest boy, Albus Severus gets put in Slytherin, becomes best friends with DRACO MALFOY’S son, Scorpius – who has a crush on Rose Granger-Weasley. Does any of that surprise you? 

Oh, and Hermione is Minister for Magic. That’s my favorite bit. 

Who’s the cursed child, you ask? I’d assumed it would be Albus. Or Scorpius, even. But no. It’s this whole new character called Delphi ‘Diggory’. Remember that part in Deathly Hallows when Rowling says this about Bellatrix: 

…mere words could not demonstrate her longing for closeness.

Well apparently, Bella darling did get some that night. Some post dinner Voldy/Bella action totally happened and then… Delphi. You do realize I’m shaking my head at this point, don’t you? Harry Potter isn’t a children’s book anymore if it’s talking about adultery. Bella may have found the Dark Lord broody and hot as hell, but did she really have to cheat on poor old Rudolphus? At least this guy had a nose. I mean, come on, Bella. 

Gross. 

Also, the book has quite a few typos. 

I also don’t like the fact that Time-Turners were used to alter the whole story line. The whole lot was smashed in Order of the Phoenix and should have stayed that way. You don’t fix anything Harry Potter. You just don’t. 

In other words, I positively loathe this book. Thank Goodness the book is really pretty looking. Black and gold leather(ish), hardcover. I’m nearly done with John’s reading challenge – The Cursed Child fulfils the “book published in 2016” category.

This piece of – I’m truly, utterly, sorry – crap deserves a zero rating. 

Rant over. 

Book Review: Carry On

Book Review: Carry On

Rainbow Rowell is probably my favorite YA author. I’ve read Eleanor and Park 300 times. The only book of hers that I didn’t particularly like was Landline. I read Carry On earlier this year, and I re-read it yesterday, and well, it’s a good book. 

It talks about a powerful wizard (magician?) called Simon Snow and his relationship with Baz, his roommate. And also, it uncovers many mysteries. Set in 2015, it talks about the world of Mages, where laptops work. And cell phones. Compared to Harry Potter, this is new. No Muggle gadget would work within Hogwarts. But at Watford, where Simon goes to school, Normal (non magic people) gadgets do work. 

Rowell took a lot of inspiration from Harry Potter, obviously. But she put her own twist to it. 

This is also a love story, of Baz the vampire and Simon the chosen one. Does this remind you of the obvious love story gone sour between Dumbledore and Grindelwald? That JK Rowling never mentioned in the books, but told us later? Yes. 

Rowell’s Penelope is obviously a version of Rowling’s Hermione. The brains. The finely honed spell work. It’s brilliant and unsettling because the spells in Carry on are like regular everyday phrases like “Clean as a whistle”. What?! A tad bit unsettling. 

The romance is the nicest part. Kissing moles like they were a target? Oooooooh. 

Have you read this book? Thoughts?

Touched.

Touched.

I never read non-fiction.

So when S handed me this book called Beautiful by Katie Piper, I thought, “Meeeeeeh.” I didn’t want to read it. She insisted.

Boy, am I glad she did!

Have you ever read a book that left your skin feeling raw and pimpled with goosebumps? This one did that to me. Katie Piper used to be a model and TV presenter and then she met this guy – Danny Lynch – on Facebook and well, that was the end of it.

Now, I’ve seen acid-attack victims at work, but never as serious. I’ve never understood what they actually went through. I’d feel sad and that was it. And then I read this book yesterday, and it was nothing short of harrowing.

I was hooked. Read for four hours at a stretch, and at the end of it, I was actually crying. I can’t remember last book that made me cry as much. Maybe this was exactly why I never read non-fiction before.

There are strong women and then there’s Katie Piper.

Raped. Held captive. Vicious acid attack that would lead her to spend years in therapy, her face and her organs damaged – so badly, she needed feeding tubes and never ending stream of surgeries – and she refused to let depression claim her. And here I am, depressed over crappy stuff like an abusive Mum. My problems are trivial, and I let them get to me. Well, not anymore.

Beautiful is such an inspiration. One woman’s struggle changed the way I’ll look at things, forever.

And it restored my faith in the world of medicine – people like Dr. Jawad, an Asian surgeon specializing in the reconstructive surgeries on burn victims, are truly angels in disguise. And thank God, there are actual doctors who are not all about minting money. Whew. Just when I’d lost faith!

Also, word of advice – do not get into relationships with people on Facebook, no matter how many mutual friends you’ve got, unless you actually KNOW THE PERSON.

And now, go read that book. You’ll know what I mean. I’ve never been as touched before.