Customer Reviews for

My Ultimate Sister Disaster: A Novel

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted October 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Kira M for TeensReadToo

    Fourteen-year-old Franny feels like an outsider in her family. Her hair never cooperates, she's no good at anything, and she has a horrible name. Those things wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that her family is very talented. Her mother is off in Kenya starting a successful career as an anthropologist. Her father is the owner of a clothing store. Her sister, Zooey, has become a ballet star and has the diva attitude to go with it. With everyone so wrapped up in their careers and lives, Franny becomes lonely and embittered towards her sister, the only one who is ever around. When her sister breaks her leg during a career-making role and is homebound for weeks, Franny is forced to make a choice: avoid her or live with her. As Zooey starts to encroach on her sister's life and longtime crush, Franny begins to feel threatened. As tempers heat up and the truth comes out, will Franny be able to bury the hatchet and make peace with her sister, or will a guy drive the final wedge in their relationship? Franny's character is well-developed and likeable. Her sister's diva attitude is well-constructed. The story is well-crafted and does a good job of holding the reader's interest. Although the references to J.D. Salinger's FRANNY AND ZOOEY won't be caught by those who haven't read his work, this book is wonderful and can still be enjoyed without being familiar with the classic story. Those who like Sarah Dessen's books or realistic fiction will enjoy reading MY ULTIMATE SISTER DISASTER.

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  • Posted May 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    enjoyable bond of sisters

    A year older than her sister Franny, Zooey has become a prima-ballerina performing at Lincoln Center. Franny envies her sibling as her parents ignore her focusing somewhat on the talented offspring; though in fairness mom is doing it from Africa and dad from his boutique. Not that Franny is a failure as she is tall, pretty, and obtaining high grades in her first year at prep school.

    As Franny's grades fall, the dynamics at least between the sisters change when Zooey suffers a broken leg that jeopardizes her career. They begin to come together as Franny realizes how much her sister sacrifices for her love of dance. Her desire reminds Franny of her own goal to become a journalist. However, their burgeoning friendship has one major divider; both want a certain awesome school editor.

    With a nod to the late J.D. Salinger (worth reading Franny and Zooey), young adult readers will enjoy the bond of sisters are strongest when necessity arises. Franny and Zooey are fully developed characters as their need to be there for one another during a difficult period in which their parents are not truly there for them overwhelms their rivalry. Fans will relish Jane Mendle's insightful look at the disasters and triumphs of two sisters navigating Manhattan together.

    Harriet Klausner

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