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Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2012

    The girl has her fingers crossed

    On the cover
    The middle girl is
    The only girl with
    Her fingers crossed!
    Hmmmmm...

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    from missprint DOT wordpress DOT com

    The Sullivan family's Christmas began in the traditional way that year. The six Sullivan siblings opened their gifts. Daddy-o made pancakes for breakfast and Ginger contributed her signature dish to the feast (sliced grapefruit halves sprinkled with Splenda).

    Christmas would take an unexpected turn at the Sullivan's annual holiday dinner with the family matriarch--unaffectionately known by family, friends, enemies, and most of Baltimore as "Almighty Lou."

    One of the Sullivans has deeply offended Almighty.

    Subsequently the entire family has been cut out of her will unless the offending person comes forward with a full confession by New Year's Day. If not, their share of the fortune will be donated to Puppy Ponchos--a charity providing rain ponchos for dogs in need of raincoats.

    No one knows for sure what drove Almighty to this extreme.

    Could it have been seventeen-year-old Norrie and her completely unsuitable romance? Did sixteen-year-old Jane's airing the family's dirty laundry on [...] seal the family's fate? Or does it have something to do with fifteen-year-old Sassy maybe, possibly, sort of having something to do with the death of Almighty's fifth husband Wallace?

    The girls dutifully write their confessions hoping to appease their grandmother. If they can appease her their lives can go on as before. But once the confessions are written and the secrets revealed, nothing will be the same in Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters (2010) by Natalie Standiford.

    Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters is an interesting blend of romance, humor, elements of the magical and a classic coming-of-age story all rolled into one. Broken into three parts, each sister has a chance to tell her own part of the story. Except all of their stories occur over the same period of time. This fact creates an interesting narrative with overlapping events, blended narrations, and multiple viewpoints used to flesh out certain aspects of the story.

    Standiford also provides a surprising amount of suspense for a story that is decidedly not an adventure. Will the Sullivans be disinherited? Is Norrie's romance going to end horribly? Is Jane's family really evil? What is going on with Sassy? There are so many juicy questions to be answered that Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters quickly becomes equal parts page turner and Bildungsroman.

    Some aspects of the story are bizarre and almost out of place--the whole novel is actually very reminiscent of the blend of everyday and surreal elements commonly found in magical realism--but by the end of the story it all kind of works. Standiford has once again taken a unique premise and made it something really special with winsome characters and clever prose.

    Possible Pairings: Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron, King of the Screwups, Girl Overboard by K. L. Going, by Justina Chen Headley, Confessions of a Not It Girl by Melissa Kantor, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2011

    Fun Family Drama!

    This is a story about three sisters who have led a pretty charmed life because of Almighty's, a/k/a Grandma's, money, but then so have their parents and brothers. All seems to be going pretty good, the girls are figuring out who they are, by falling in love, rebelling against authority, and feeling like they are invincible. But girl has done something to upset Almighty, and now they must confess their sins - in writting - or all the money and the only life they have ever known is over, not just for them but for the rest of their family as well.

    The book starts out with Norrie, the oldest, explaining her actions - about how she fell in love and how that led to the decisions she has been making recently. Next we get to hear from Jane and how she's been rebelling against authority and causing trouble in the family by telling the true history of her family to the world on her blog. Last we get to hear from Sassy, and how she thinks that she's invincible and can not be hurt - until she realizes otherwise and what the outcome of her actions are.

    This was a fun book, I really enjoyed how the sisters had overlapping stories of themselves together and the conversations they had.. and the differences in how they each remembered that instance. I know that by the end of the book, I wanted more. It was a whole lot of fun to read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2010

    wonderful

    amazing story that takes you on a journey! A book that you cant put down

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

    The Sullivans are in for quite a shock. Their normally joyous Christmas holiday is tarnished when the family matriarch, known to everyone as Almighty, announces she is dying and threatens to write the whole family out of her will unless the family member who committed some unimaginable sin confesses. She wants their confessions in writing by New Year's Day. The three Sullivan girls immediately assume they have committed whatever crime has offended their dear, controlling grandmother. Each sister begins writing her confession. Norrie, the eldest, is certain that she offended Almighty at her debutante ball. Almighty had such specific plans and wishes for Norrie's special day, and Norrie knows her behavior was not at all up to her grandmother's rigid standards. Middle sister, Jane, has never really conformed to Almighty's ideal of a perfect granddaughter, so it is not a huge leap for her to imagine she is the guilty party. It is also fairly easy to guess that her offense is the creation of a blog called myevilfamily dot com. Oh, the things Jane has revealed about everyone in her prestigious Baltimore family. Sassy, the youngest, has been riddled with guilt long before Almighty threatened to write them all out of inheriting her millions. Sassy is convinced that she is guilty of murdering someone near and dear to her grandmother's heart. Her confession will hopefully restore the family honor, but will most likely result in her own imprisonment. Author Natalie Standiford takes readers on a wild ride as each sister recounts recent scandalous events in an effort to soothe their grandmother's ruffled feathers. The novel is filled with pleas for forgiveness, some motivated by honest feelings and regret, and others not. The results of everyone's soul searching turn out to reveal some surprising information about everyone in the family. Fans of Standiford's HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT will want to check this one out.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    A good read - you won't be able to put this book down until you have finished it

    A good read. I found myself trying to figure out who had deeply offended the imperious (and very condescending) grandmother. I cannot help but think that the grandmother took great delight in getting the family to reveal secrets (through their confessions) that ordinarily they would have preferred to keep. The confessions, at times, were very funny and I couldn't wait to read the next one.
    The revelation of the identity of the guilty party was much anticipated and was not an anti-climax to the book. It was a nice surprise.

    I think I enjoyed the book even more because it is set in the Baltimore area of Maryland and some of the places mentioned are familiar to me. I almost wish Standiford would write a sequel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Redeemed by end!

    Review based on ARC.The book has been criticized as being unrelatable because the characters are "poor little rich girls" living lives that normal teens do not share. I actually do not agree (though at first I did). And I say this as someone did not grow up around wealth.The book is broken into 4 sections. One appears at the beginning and end, and is the essential narration establishing the reason behind the other three sections, which are confessions written by/from the perspective of the three eldest girls in a family of 6 children, all grandchildren to the Almighty Lou. Almighty has threatened to disinherit the family because a member of the family has deeply "offended her." The family (the 6 kids & their 2 parents) determine that the three eldest girls are the most likely culprits, and they set out to write their confessions.The first confession is by Norrie, the eldest girl. This is the part that I can see most people criticizing as "poor little rich girl." This is the weakest part of the book, but a lot of necessary background information comes out in this section, setting up the rest of the book for the more interesting narrations. Norrie is the well-behaved daughter until she meets a boy in graduate school in an evening speed-reading class and falls for him, throwing all caution to the wind, including her family's reputation. This is the part of the book that, while I was going through my own difficulties in life, which were significantly more overwhelming than meeting some guy and not knowing what to do about it, made me annoyed and frustrated that I had to read a book with a vapid protagonist. However, the writing was good enough that the reading was quick and easy and I got through Norrie's tale in due time.And Jane's story, the second eldest daughter, is much more interesting than Norrie's. If other readers are annoyed by Norrie's story, I recommend at least giving Jane a chance. This is where the story begins to have some interest. Not only is Jane more relatable, but she is interesting and is a dynamic character. Where Norrie's story had the tone of a defensive teenager who just wanted to convince her Almighty Grandmother that her path was the right path, Jane explains her reasoning, but the reader actually sees movement in her character and personality. Much more enjoyable. Even if Jane is not relatable, she is at least interesting!The worst part of the remainder of the book is that, by the end of Jane's story, I already knew what Sassy's confession would be. So I assumed the remainder of the book would be completely predictable. However, while I was write about her essential confession, I was pleased with the story and the development of her character and others in the book. I was particularly impressed with Standiford's representation of Cassandra (Sassy's tuttee) & their relationship.And the end, which encompassed the final few pages of Almighty receiving the confessions and her reaction to them, were satisfying and even moving.My opinion of the book completely changed by the end. When I receive books directed at a high school audience through the early reviewer program, I read the book w/ an awareness of the intended audience. That being said, I would highly recommend the book to junior high & high school girls. I would also recommend the book to older women who are looking for a little escape and perhaps a little reminiscence of their own high school days.

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  • Posted March 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Redeemed by end!

    Review based on ARC.

    The book has been criticized as being unrelatable because the characters are "poor little rich girls" living lives that normal teens do not share. I actually do not agree (although I initially did). And I say this as someone who did not grow up around wealth.

    The book is broken into 4 sections. One appears at the beginning and end, and is the essential narration establishing the reason behind the other three sections, which are confessions written by/from the perspective of the three eldest girls in a family of 6 children, all grandchildren to the Almighty Lou. Almighty has threatened to disinherit the family because a member of the family has deeply "offended her." The family (the 6 kids & their 2 parents) determine that the three eldest girls are the most likely culprits, and they set out to write their confessions.

    The first confession is by Norrie, the eldest girl. This is the part that I can see most people criticizing as "poor little rich girl." This is the weakest part of the book, but a lot of necessary background information comes out in this section, setting up the rest of the book for the more interesting narrations. Norrie is the well-behaved daughter until she meets a boy in graduate school in an evening speed-reading class and falls for him, throwing all caution to the wind, including her family's reputation. This is the part of the book that, while I was going through my own difficulties in life, which were significantly more overwhelming than meeting some guy and not knowing what to do about it, made me annoyed and frustrated that I had to read a book with a vapid protagonist. However, the writing was good enough that the reading was quick and easy and I got through Norrie's tale in due time.

    And Jane's story, the second eldest daughter, is much more interesting than Norrie's. If other readers are annoyed by Norrie's story, I recommend at least giving Jane a chance. This is where the story begins to have some interest. Not only is Jane more relatable, but she is interesting and is a dynamic character. Where Norrie's story had the tone of a defensive teenager who just wanted to convince her Almighty Grandmother that her path was the right path, Jane explains her reasoning, but the reader actually sees movement in her character and personality. Much more enjoyable. Even if Jane is not relatable, she is at least interesting!

    The worst part of the remainder of the book is that, by the end of Jane's story, I already knew what Sassy's confession would be. So I assumed the remainder of the book would be completely predictable. However, while I was write about her essential confession, I was pleased with the story and the development of her character and others in the book. I was particularly impressed with Standiford's representation of Cassandra (Sassy's tuttee) & their relationship.

    And the end, which encompassed the final few pages of Almighty receiving the confessions and her reaction to them, were satisfying and even moving.

    Highly recommend for its intended audience - junior high & high school girls.

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  • Posted January 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Really Interesting

    This was a very unusual read, but one that I really liked. Its a different take on a family novel with three different views on what happened one year at Christmas. Norrie, Jane and Saskia have to come up with confessions for any sins they might have done to keep the family from being tossed to the winds if the Almighty takes them out of the inheritance. So the book is written in three parts, with each girl taking a section and you get a glimpse of what sins they are admitting and a look at their life. I like Norri's tale the best of the three. She takes this course at the local college in speed reading to help her study for her tests and so she can get out of the city and away from her family. But when she is there she meets a really cute guy and they start doing more and more together. But along the way she has to deal with an ex that still is bitter, and the feelings of her friends from her Catholic school spilling over into her "grown up" relationship. In the end, she does the unthinkable, she ditches her Cotillion party right after she is presented and runs out, literally, and heads to New York to be with her man. She returns a few days later, but the risk that she took showed me that she was more than ready to face things and let everyone know she was ready for this relationship.
    The other girls all have quirky stories to tell, and in the end you learn that each might have good intentions, or misguided ideals, but they are all sisters and no matter what, they are family and that will never change.
    What I like is that its a totally self contained novel, not a set up for a series or a tie in to some other larger body of work. It was nice to have a book like that, even though I later was trying to think of what might happen to the girls later on. At least in Natalie's book, you know the girls made it through the holidays with each other and with their trust funds safe.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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