My Ultimate Sister Disaster: A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

What happens when your sister becomes your biggest rival?

If there were a way to pick your family, fourteen-year old Franny might not pick her own. Her father is a hipster boutique owner who's constantly "friending" her on Facebook, her mother is off in Kenya jumpstarting her stalled anthropology career, and her sister Zooey, eleven months older and eight inches taller, is a precocious, prima ballerina. Lately, Zooey's so absorbed with her burgeoning ballet ...

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My Ultimate Sister Disaster: A Novel

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Overview

What happens when your sister becomes your biggest rival?

If there were a way to pick your family, fourteen-year old Franny might not pick her own. Her father is a hipster boutique owner who's constantly "friending" her on Facebook, her mother is off in Kenya jumpstarting her stalled anthropology career, and her sister Zooey, eleven months older and eight inches taller, is a precocious, prima ballerina. Lately, Zooey's so absorbed with her burgeoning ballet career that she barely seems to notice Franny. And since Zooey attends a top ballet conservatory, Franny's on her own navigating the brutal halls of her Manhattan prep school, a first-year trying to get noticed on the school paper (and by its soulful, long-lashed editor-in-chief).

But everything changes when Zooey breaks her leg and her dancing comes to grinding halt. Her ballet dreams shattered, Zooey begins to hone in on Franny's "normal" life and friends. Franny feels terrible for Zooey, but when her encroachment starts to extend to Franny’s long-time crush, Franny begins to wonder if her sister might just be her worst competition...


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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 8–11—Franny, 14, thinks her older sister got the better deal. Zooey is a beautiful, statuesque ballerina with a cool name. Franny is not quite five feet tall, has no talent for anything, hair that never cooperates, and, let's face it, a horrible name (the girls' parents discussed J. D. Salinger's work on their first date). Though they were close as children, the sisters now spend little time together and argue when they're in the same room. With their anthropologist mother in Kenya and their father spending long hours working in his clothing store, Franny feels more alone than ever. When Zooey breaks her leg during rehearsals for a career-making role and is homebound for weeks, the sisters get to know one another all over again. It turns out that Zooey's life isn't so perfect. There are many elements to this novel, but ultimately the story is about sisters and misconceptions. Franny is immediately likable and sympathetic, and Zooey's diva-tude is conveyed perfectly, as is her gradual regression to typical teen when she's sidelined from dancing. Fans of Sarah Dessen and Deb Caletti will enjoy this lighter tale of teen drama.—Heather Miller Cover, Homewood Public Library, AL
Kirkus Reviews
For 14 years narrator Franny has stood in her sister Zooey's shadow as she has danced her way to prima-ballerina status at Lincoln Center. Zooey's stardom has left Franny completely off her parent's radar, breeding contempt between the sisters. However, when Zooey suffers a major dance injury, her unusual life-and its costs-becomes painfully apparent as Franny realizes that she has taken everyday events like attending school for granted. Slowly the girls form a genuine friendship that doesn't go without a few bumps and bruises, but at the heart of their friendship is a mutual need for support. This has been sorely lacking from their parents, who have essentially both been emotionally absent, especially their mother, who is in Kenya studying, ironically enough, girls' transition to womanhood. Allusions to Salinger's Franny and Zooey are woven throughout, but those unfamiliar with that text won't miss this book's universal message about the lifelong bond of sisters and the resiliency of family. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429948913
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 6/8/2010
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Age range: 12 - 18 Years
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author



Jane Mendle is the author of two previous novels, including Better Off Famous?, which was an American Library Association pick for Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults.  She lives in Eugene, Oregon.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • 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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    Posted February 15, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2011

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