Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
Release Date – June 7, 2010
Publisher Website – Little Brown Books For Young Readers
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 324 pages
My Rating- 3/5
**obtained from the library**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris--the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an axe and Scarlett's only friend--but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?
Fairytale retellings are very much all the rage right now. I knew when I came across this one I had to read it. While I enjoyed the twist on the Little Red Riding Hood story, this ended up being just an average read for me.

Scarlett is the more driven, revenge minded sister. I like that as in control as she is, she’s capable of falling apart. It’s easy to forget how young they are as you are reading, and her vulnerable side was a reminder of much they had lost at such a young age. Her jealously and passion both drive her. She almost doesn't know how to exist if she is not hunting. It was her way of coping with the loss.

Rosie has a lot of guilt. Guilt that her sister sacrificed so much for her, guilt that she isn’t has focused on hunting wolves as her sister. Her dreams to have something outside of the hunt made you want her to succeed. Her strength is different from his sister and it comes from being able to move on.

My main issue was that the sister’s voices sounded so similar. I used their descriptions of themselves and the slight differences in character to determine who was narrating. The tone, and style was identical. I was hoping for more of a clear “voice” for each of the sisters. This made it harder to connect to them and really immerse myself in their story. It kept me at a distance that prevented me from falling under this novels spell.

The werewolf lore in this story is fairly standard. I still enjoyed what elements Jackson Pearce did infuse. The use of the red cloak to entice and attract the werewolves was fantastic tip of the hat to the fairytale this is based on. The use of sexuality and flirtation, for me, was nicely complimented with the fact that these sisters could cause some serious damage. The weak, harmless woman routine gave way to strong, capable fighters. Any story that teases the ideal that you can be both feminine and not a push over is wonderful. On the flip side, I wished that maybe some of the werewolves could have been female. If there was some medical reason (the male chromosome or something) it would have made it less distracting for me.

The underlying storyline of the sisters growing up and apart added an element of realism to the plot. The strength of their bond, from having just each other to depend on, was intense. Each felt a duty to hunt, but for different reasons. Scarlett starts to realize that Rosie may not have the same desire or determination she does, and that ultimately they want different things. I could easily imagine similar feelings if two sisters who are close ended up going to different colleges after high school. Jackson Pearce made you feel the heartache, bitter sweetness, and unwavering bond that these sisters go through during the course of their journey.

The only other person the sister’s allow into their life is Silas, a handsome woodsman. He just a genuinely all around nice guy. His support for both sisters was admirable, and he tied into the growing apart storyline easily. Nothing about the romance made me feel strongly either way. Everything was just NICE. A little heat between he and Rosie was lacking for me, but I did enjoy their friendship first beginnings. There is a scene where he talks to Scarlett after she finds out about his relationship with Rosie that really touched me. It showed, in that brief scene, that he totally understood the bond between these two girls, and supported it. He also wanted them to each be who they are.

While it had a few issues for me, I found Sisters Red to be a decent story about growing up, falling in love and dealing with werewolves.

1 comment:

  1. A little sad this wasn't a WOW sort of read, since... well, werewolves! Fairytale retelling! But I am so glad it was enjoyable. I love that there are strong woman in this, I can't agree more with this sentence: "Any story that teases the ideal that you can be both feminine and not a push over is wonderful. "

    The bond between the sisters sounds really well explored and with great depth, although a shame that their voices are so similiar. I need a clear difference while reading split narrative aswell.

    I'm still excited to read this, though perhaps I'll lower my expectations just a touch when I get around to it. Fantastic review!


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