Monday, September 6, 2010

Review: Sisters Red

Sisters Red
Author: Jackson Pearce
Little, Brown
Series: Sisters Red #1
Pages: 324 [hardcover]
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: June 7, 2010
How Received: Library
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 a 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 that 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 Scarlett’s only friend, Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax. But does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they’ve worked for?

My thoughts:
I was impressed by this novel. I was lured in by the cover only – the summary on the inside jacket flap nor the good reviews on Goodreads didn’t sway my perception of this book. I just wasn’t interested. It even took me about a fourth of the way into the book to get really interested. I’m not saying this book was bad, because it really wasn’t. It was good; I liked it. But that was it.

Let me start off by saying... I loved Scarlett. I’ve never been more impressed with a character so well-developed, and completely flawed (inside and out). I empathized with her for the loss of her eye and her scarred body that deflected people away from her as if she had three heads. She was rational (most of the time), quick-witted, and just plain bad-ass. The fact that she wasn’t completely perfect at her hunting skills really caused me to admire her – admitting you’re not the best at something you’ve been doing for years takes a lot. Honestly, how many girls do you know would take action and get revenge for her grandmother and the loss of her eye? I know I wouldn’t have – I would have gotten depressed and tried avoiding the Fenris for the rest of my life.

I felt pretty much the same way Scarlett did when she found out Rosie started branching out on her own, dreaming about other things. Scarlett risked her life for Rosie – her scars were the embodiment of how far she would go to protect her sister and other unaware girls. How unfair is it that Scarlett gets the short end of the stick, even if she got it willingly by placing herself in front of Rosie all the time? She’s jealous (even if she won’t admit it), bitter, resentful, and has a one-track mind that is always centered on killing Fenris. I can’t even express how much Scarlett spoke to me, and how much I love her, without at least writing 2 pages in Word, so I’ll stop there.

Rosie, on the other hand, pissed me off. I think it’s because I empathized with Scarlett far before I even took notice of Rosie as a strong character. She was weak for 3/4th’s of the novel. She was always being protected, always “failing”, always being driven into guilt because of her need for something more. Rosie is the “damsel-in-distress” type of character, a half-“Dragonfly”, as Scarlett would put it. The only time I had respect for Rosie was in the tunnel, and that was only because she cast herself into Scarlett’s perspective (which just reinforces my saying Scarlett’s so bad-ass :]).

I loved the intensity of the two sisters’ relationship, though, and how Pearce described their relationship as of being one heart. For someone who hasn’t had a sibling tie that strong before, it sure got me envious of the both of them.

The plot was very predictable. I, like many other reviewers before me, was able to guess at what would happen long before it was even hinted at. Nevertheless, that knowledge didn’t stop me from getting goose-bumps when the characters found out. There were times when the plot was very slow-paced, lulling in between action packed fights. The romance was just... there. It was inevitable, and I knew it would happen, but I, for once, didn’t feel anything for it. I was too wrapped up on Scarlett and her purpose to even like the romance between Rosie and Silas. I’ve never not felt anything for a romance in a book, but the romance in Sisters Red was just... meh.

Cover Musings: How can you NOT love this cover?! This is just... just... amazing. It’s what made me read the book in the first place. I saw it on the top shelf among other tasty titles, but the contrast of red and black, and the eyes of the Fenris, drew me like no other. Ugh, all I can even begin to say is LOOOOVE.

Memorable Quotes:
“The only thing worse than making Rosie angry is knowing I have to make up for making Rosie angry. Otherwise, something is wrong. It’s hard to explain, but when she’s angry, it feels as though someone has put me together incorrectly, like a bookshelf with a row of upside-down books.” (pg. 35)

“‘We can’t change the station, by the way,’ he says.
‘Because you really like pop music?’ I ask, wrinkly my nose as a bubbly song blares at us.
‘Not hardly,’ Silas says. ‘I hate it. But last time I changed it, the car stopped. Oh, and lean away from your door—sometimes it opens randomly.’” (pg. 95)

“It’s sort of hard to justify taking dance classes when your older sister is trying to save the world.” (pg. 98)

“‘Silas,’ I greet him without looking. He slows.
‘You know, for a girl who can’t see on her right side, you’re hard to sneak up on. What is that, some sort of pirate superpower?’ he teases.” (pg. 109)

“The same heart, torn apart so that I could stay safe in our mother longer while she put her body in front of mine. Her body in front of mine so that I could stay safe longer instead of face the mouth of a monster. Always her body in front of mine, always her to be wounded, to be cut into pieces and hacked away at while I see with both eyes and can think of a life beyond hunting.” (pg. 197)

“Silas leans in. My chest tightens and I beg for him to stop, but no one hears me—I’m not even sure if my pleas are spoken aloud. Rosie tilts her head back. His arms draw her closer, encasing her slight frame. Stop, both of you—we’re hunters; we’re in this together, remember? We promised one another; we promised one another ages ago. We’re in this together. Their lips meet.
            And I’m more alone than ever before.” (pg. 232)

“It is not a sickness, it’s a passion, I now realize, a passion to hunt the same way a painter must paint or a singer must sing. It’s her blood and her heart.” (pg. 320)

Overall Thoughts/Final Comments: This was a very lovely read; not the best, not the worse, but just right. The characters were all relatable to in some way or other, and both of the March sisters had redeemable qualities about them alongside their flaws. The story is somewhat unique – two girls hunting a slew of werewolves – and the action was enjoyable because it wasn’t perfect. Someone always got hurt. I didn’t like the ending too much, and I’m very curious how this will turn into a series.

Rating: 4/5



Felicity Grace Terry said...

Scarlett sounds quite feisty on the face of it and yet at the same time also sounds sort of sad. Thanks for the recommendation.

Kristina Barnes♥ said...

I'm glad I got that across -- I wasn't sure if I had described Scarlett's personality quite right. This really was only an average read, but the characters made it above-average. :) Let me know what you think of it if you read it! :)

Post a Comment

Hello, readers! ♥ Thank you for taking the time to comment! I try to return the favor as much as I can. :)

Remember that if you're entering for a giveaway or for whatever other reason, leave your e-mail in the following format: helloxthere[at]gmail[dot]com.

Thanks for stopping by! ♥