The Deadly Sister by Eliot Schrefer
Source: ARC from Scholastic
Grade: 4 stars out of 5
My oh my oh my. Give me a second while I pick my jaw from the floor.
Abby Goodwin is deemed the responsible older sister who constantly takes care of Maya even when the late night escapades started become more dangerous. But this sisterhood could only last so long and eventually the distance between them grew and at age 15 Maya has more piercings than Abby would care to know.
On a morning run, Abby accidently finds a dead body near the creek. The body turns out to be Jefferson Andrews (who I still think should have his name reversed)—valedictorian and the boy who is always invited to the parties first, but also the drug-dealer and user. When Abby finds Maya’s cellphone near the crime scene, she starts to get really worried. She knows that something was going on between the two during their tutoring sessions. After connecting one of Maya’s friends to figure out where she is as Maya runs away more frequently than Abby likes, Abby convinces Maya that she needs to hide, to run, and to stay hidden because she is the main suspect.
While Abby tries to pick up the pieces and protect Maya like an older sister the odds are stacked against her. And when she meets Brian, Jefferson’s younger brother, she finds a scapegoat. But nothing is going right; Abby is starting to lose the battle. Or is she?
In this deadly cat chasing mouse trap Eliot Schrefer draws the reader and makes them forget that it’s 8 in the morning and they’re still in their pajamas and reading a murder novel. Schefer knows how to write and does it well in this fast-paced novel. He pulled rabbits from hats that I had no clue existed; he managed to make me feel empathic to a character that I did not like; he provided clues and enough mind-twisting abilities to make me think that I thought that his book was predictable. (I’ll get you next time Schefer).
However, the characters are less than dynamic and there have been instances where I felt the hints of foreshadowing did not fit well in scenes and only serve to make the sentence awkward and unbelievable. I also wonder why fingerprints were never brought up and the scenario of hitting the same place 9 times makes me wonder if that is possible. But the shock value makes up for this and despite the negative aspects of the novel this I enjoyed myself. A lot.
The School for Dangerous Girls was good, but The Deadly Sister topped that; kudos to Schefer for not caving under pressure and growing as a writer.
P.S. I’m still picking my jaw from the floor.
P.P.S. Yes I am going back to my grades. Trying to write my own summary still though—trying.