“Sisters (Smile #2)” by Raina Telgemeier
Genre: Middle Grade/Children’s Fiction, Graphic Novel
Summary from Goodreads:
Raina can’t wait to be a big sister. But once Amara is born, things aren’t quite how she expected them to be. Amara is cute, but she’s also a cranky, grouchy baby, and mostly prefers to play by herself. Their relationship doesn’t improve much over the years, but when a baby brother enters the picture and later, something doesn’t seem right between their parents, they realize they must figure out how to get along. They are sisters, after all.
Raina uses her signature humor and charm in both present-day narrative and perfectly placed flashbacks to tell the story of her relationship with her sister, which unfolds during the course of a road trip from their home in San Francisco to a family reunion in Colorado.
This story was very easy to fall into. I think anyone with siblings, particularly sisters, could relate to the story. In some ways, sisters are something to long for. They can be good friends and confidantes. Unfortunately the path to that happiness can be a bit bumpy. Telemeier managed to capture that rockiness. Siblings know all about you whether you want them to or not. As a result, they know all the right buttons to push.
Raina and Amara were completely realistic. Yes, I know they are based on real people but their portrayal was genuine. Sometimes Raina was being a brat and got what was coming. Sometimes it was Amara who was acting bratty. I liked that it showed they were both at fault at times. It’s an ever changing dynamic and Telemeier illustrated it beautifully.
I liked the time jumping in the story. We get a more recent story where the family is going to Colorado. You can feel the tension and annoyance with the sisters. Then we jump back in time to various points in the family’s history. Those flashbacks were a nice insight to how the girls’ relationship evolved over time.
The bottom line? Quite enjoyable!