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The Deadly Sister

1 rating: 2.0
A book by Eliot Schrefer

Gr 8 Up–Abby has always protected her delinquent younger sister, Maya, always been there to shelter her misdeeds (drug use, running away, etc.) from their parents. But now, when Abby finds Maya's boyfriend dead in the river with Maya's cell phone … see full wiki

Tags: Book
Author: Eliot Schrefer
Publisher: Scholastic Press
1 review about The Deadly Sister

Intriguing, but predictable

  • May 26, 2010
When eighteen-year-old Abby Goodwin finds Jefferson Andrews, the town's golden boy with some darker secrets underneath his perfect facade, dead in a ravine while on her morning run, and her sister Maya's phone not far from his body, she knows that the situation looks grim, but she also knows Maya wouldn't have killed anyone. Used to protecting Maya her entire life, Abby knows she must get Maya out of town and throw the attention away from her. But protecting Maya from a possible murder charge isn't the same as protecting her from nasty gossip or making excuses for her consistenty bad behavior to their parents. Keeping the police off of Maya's tail (and her own) will prove harder than Abby originally thought, and then of course the most important question still lingers: who really killed Jefferson Andrews?

The Deadly Sister is a fascinating examination of sisterhood, loyalty, and how far one person will go to cover up a vicious crime. Abby is a hard character to make out though: it's obvious to the reader that she is fiercely loyal to her sister in all that she does to protect her, but the reader doesn't get into her feelings and motivations toward Maya until the end of the book, and by then many readers may have already dropped The Deadly Sister in confusion. Similarly, the true feelings of Abby and Maya's parents may befuddle readers. They're lawyers and seem to be truly invested in doing the right thing, but oftentimes say or do things that go against their characters that only confuse the reader and aren't really explained in the end.

However, Schrefer's novel is certainly intriguing and convoluted as Abby peels back the layers of Jefferson's life and discovers secrets pertaining to him all around her. There is no shortage of leads, clues, and suspects, and with each new chapter, readers will have a new theory. However, the more astute reader will easily pick up on the clues pointing to the real killer, and many will guess who the killer is long before the reveal, which lessens the drama, and leaves only one question left: will the killer get away with it? Though interesting and multi-faceted, The Deadly Sister just doesn't pack as much punch as other YA thrillers out there, such as Anna Jarzab's All Unquiet Things.

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