"Pulpy, peppery and sinister, served up in a comic deadpan...This scorpion-tailed little thriller leaves a response, and a sting, you will remember."NEW YORK TIMES
"The wittiest and most fun murder party you've ever been invited to."MARIE CLAIRE
A short, darkly funny, hand grenade of a novel about a Nigerian woman whose younger sister has a very inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends
"Femi makes three, you know. Three and they label you a serial killer."
Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola's third boyfriend in a row is dead.
Korede's practicality is the sisters' saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood, the trunk of her car is big enough for a body, and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures of her dinner to Instagram when she should be mourning her "missing" boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit.
Korede has long been in love with a kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where she works. She dreams of the day when he will realize that she's exactly what he needs. But when he asks Korede for Ayoola's phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and how far she's willing to go to protect her.
Sharp as nails and full of deadpan wit, Oyinkan Braithwaite's deliciously deadly debut is as fun as it is frightening.
Oyinkan Braithwaite is a graduate of Creative Writing and Law from Kingston University. Following her degree, she worked as an assistant editor at Kachifo, a Nigerian publishing house, and as a production manager at Ajapaworld, a children's educational and entertainment company. She now works as a freelance writer and editor. In 2014, she was shortlisted as a top-ten spoken-word artist in the Eko Poetry Slam, and in 2016 she was a finalist for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. She lives in Lagos, Nigeria.
Wow. That was quite a ride. I really enjoyed this book, but at the same time, I really wanted to punch Ayoola in the face (she's the serial killer), and smack some sense into Korede (the enabling sister). Korede was likeable, and the embodiment of "blood is thicker than water." I felt bad for her- I mean, she did get herself into it by helping her sister clean up her "problems," but at the same time, she's stuck with doing it, or she'll go down too. Ayoola is a psychopath, is selfish, conceited, and I can't think of one redeeming thing about her, but she's Korede's little sister, and Korede feels she must protect Ayoola no matter what. Throughout the book, we get flashbacks to the sisters' abusive childhood, and that kind of explains what happens. Doesn't excuse it, but you can see what sparked it. The writing is tight and concise, the humor is deadpan and dark, and the food descriptions made me really hungry- I've never had Nigerian food, but google is my friend, and I'm sure as hell gonna try making some!
16 days ago
I wasn't quite sure what to expect with "My Sister, the Serial Killer" by Oyinkan Braithwaite but once I'd started to flick through it and read a couple of pages I was hooked and before I knew it, I was a third of the way through!
Thoroughly modern and set in Lagos, Nigeria, this is a quick, enjoyable read that is dark, humorous and shows the bond between two sisters that stays strong no matter what....including murder.
Every man falls in love with young and gorgeous Ayoola, the minute they set eyes on her. Fatally for them though, when she has grown bored of them she kills them and then calls her sister Korede to help clean up the mess. Crazy right? But with her sister a neat freak and a hospital nurse who better to call on to keep her secrets?
This mad but exciting and thoroughly enjoyable read is addictive and has characters you can't help but endear to, both sisters have unusual qualities and the story was a pleasure to read.
A completely original and unique premise that offers the reader a touch of humour to an otherwise dark and twisted tale, you can't help smiling at many of the quirky chapters and is guaranteed to have you turning the pages quicker than you can read them.
If you're into intelligent, complicated and descriptive literary novels this won't be for you - this story is easy to follow with a simple storyline that's fast, enjoyable and leaves you feeling so glad that you've found such a fun read.
4.5 rounded up to 5 stars
20 days ago
This is quite a startling book in many ways, it is less about the actual act of murder but how your relationships, career and life change when you allow a murderer in to your life. In Korede's case she does not allow a murderer in to her life, Ayoolah is thrust in to her life by nature and nurture makes her in to a harsher copy of their father. The familial bond is strong and when Ayoolah first commits murder Korede protects her and helps destroy the evidence, perhaps this is because she believes the self defence explanation her sister gives, maybe it goes deeper than that.
I loved the juxtaposition between Korede's career as a nurse in a large hospital - a career where she is sworn to protect and help people and then her home life of second to her beautiful sister and protector of her as well as her inferior. There is also a wonderful glimpse in to the culture of traditional Lagos - where appearances always seem set to deceive as everyone puts their bast face forward to the world. This is perhaps best demonstrated by the memorial for their dead father, neither the sisters or their mother really want to be there but they don their matching family dress and go through with it all, for respectability's sake.
From the early chapters you could be forgiven for thinking this was going to be a police procedural with the sister's facing the full might of the law. This is definitely not what you get, what you get is actually a touching story of family. A very disfunctional father whose patriarch has skewed the world so far that it has irrevocably altered his daughter's mores. Narrated by Korede we only ever really see her view of the circumstances surrounding each event but it is a full and unflinching vision.
A great first novel that is pretty compulsive reading.
THIS IS AN HONEST AND UNBIASED REVIEW OF A FREE COPY OF THE BOOK RECEIVED VIA THE PIGEONHOLE.
Some readers will be attracted to My Sister the Serial Killer due to its captivating cover, others will automatically be drawn in by the compelling words “serial killer” in the title. Still others will be curious about a book written by a new author who has received many positive reviews. Regardless, all those who pick up Oyinkan Braithwaite’s short novel will be richly rewarded for the experience. Set in Lagos, Nigeria this book is less of a true thriller and more of a literary gem with an edge. The author tells a tale about women’s roles and the familial responsibilities assigned to them by cultural expectations and external assessments of worth. Two sides of one coin, Korede and Ayoola are sisters that complement each other as archetypes. Korede, a nurse, is the older sister-plain and serious. She is the prototypical protector and responsible one of the two. Ayoola is the carefree beauty who has come to expect all the attention and privilege that her looks have always engendered. The book’s short chapters flash back and forth in time, exploring the women’s troubled upbringing and the genesis of their predictably symbiotic relationship. A bit more unusual is the development that Ayoola has recently been killing off her suitors, and Korede has been helping to clean and cover up the mess. Their loyalty is tested, however, when Korede’s secret object of affection becomes ensnared by her sister’s charms. My Sister the Serial Killer depicts women as strong and resourceful despite being confined by a patriarchal society that idolizes, abuses or ignores them. Braithwaite explores these complex themes in a novel that is refreshingly unique, deeply funny and insightful. Hopefully, she will continue to surprise readers with future works to enjoy and contemplate.
5 months ago
“Ayoola summons me with these words - Korede, I killed him.
I had hoped I would never hear those words again.”
I mean, really. How can you not love this book?? That quote and the title pretty much let you know what this one is about, however, I still did not expect anything of what I just read. This was simply brilliant, and I did not want it to end.
As the oldest child, I sympathized with Korede in that the younger siblings can oftentimes do no wrong in the parents’ eyes, BUT this was a bit extreme and obviously created some bad behaviors in both sisters to say the least - both in the killing and the cleaning up of messes. Yikes.
The plot was certainly unique - I loved the short chapters and writing style, and it was a legit page turner. The ending was phenomenal too, a book like this just should not have a bow put on the end, and this did not disappoint.
5 stars, no question, this was stunning. You must read this one, hands down.
Thanks to NetGalley for an electronic ARC of this book. All opinions above are my own.
5 months ago
5 months ago
4 Killer Stars
Review by Lisa
Late Night Reviewer
Up All Night w/ Books Blog
Well, that was one hell of a story. Murder/murders, sister drama, work drama, family drama with a side of deadpan puns, this is the book for you. My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is one that I keep thinking...wow I just read that. My only hang up is the ending, I felt it left me hanging and wanting to ask "that's it? I want to know more".
Korede has taken on the role of protector for her little sister, Ayoola. Ayoola is the one that has it "all", the looks, the lightness about her and men dropping at her feet....literally. Ayoola is also on the "insane" spectrum with having a problem of killing her boyfriends. Korede who is also a nurse in a hospital has no life, working and cleaning up her sister's messes. When Ayoola shows up at Korede job things go from just okay to worse. Can Korede keep Ayoola from killing someone she cares about?
I like how the author laid this story out. Jumping right into a murder scene and then the going back and forth from the past to present. The story flowed effortlessly and moved right along. A thriller, murder story at its best.
5 months ago
In My Sister, the Serial Killer, Korede is a good sister, who cleans up her younger sister Ayoola’s messes, literally. With bleach.
Ayoola, though beautiful, has man problems—she keeps killing them. As the book begins, Ayoola has just killed her third boyfriend. After googling the definition of serial killer, Korede realizes it fits her sister.
When Korede catches Ayoola trying to hit on Dr. Tade at Korede’s work, Korede tries to stop her involvement. None of Ayoola’s relationships end well for the man and Korede has her eye on Tade for herself. When Ayoola takes Korede’s words as a challenge, the fun begins.
If you like black humor set in exotic Lagos Nigeria, you will love My Sister, the Serial Killer as much as I do. It is hard not to sympathize with poor plain Korede’s plight. Her sister is obviously just using her and all her boyfriends. It is a fun read from a completely new perspective. 4 stars!
Thanks to Doubleday Books and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
5 months ago
My Sister, the Serial Killer, is about exactly what the title implies. Korede is a hard-working and meticulous hospital nurse who happens to get the occasional phone call from her younger sister, Ayoola, begging for help cleaning up the body of a man she had been dating, up until Ayoola killed him.
Told in straightforward prose and short chapters, this novel is a fast and fun read (despite the stakes), but don't let that fool you. The character development is excellent; as an older sister myself, I wholly related to Korede, but I felt as though I knew each character. There are several unforgettable moments as Korede tries desperately to keep her private and professional life separate, particularly to protect the handsome doctor that will be no match for her beautiful, yet deadly, little sister. I also appreciated Braithwaite's exploration of the sisters' history, which attempts to explain why Ayoola is a murderer.
The author explores themes of family, particularly sisterhood, and how far a person will go to protect their family, even at the cost of other's lives. She also presents an interesting criticism in the nature of men, particularly what they look for in terms of a partner. My only criticism is that the end felt a little flat; the events of the book and Korede's internal dialogue seem to be heading in a different direction than the author took. Overall, a solid 4 star read.
Thank you Netgalley and Doubleday for my free review copy. All opinions are my own.
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