Sunday, May 8, 2011

Little Sister by Aimee Said

Al Miller wishes she was an only child.
Al Miller is counting down the days until her over-achieving older sister Larrie finishes Year Twelve and leaves Whitlam High School for ever. Then, Al is certain, people will finally see her as more than just “Larrie’s little sister”. But when a rumour about Larrie spreads around school, Al finds herself in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Who’s behind the rumour? And will it kill Al’s chances with school hunk, Josh Turner?
  • A new title from the author of Finding Freia Lockhart
  • Teenagers will relate to the themes of acceptance, bullying and friendship
  • A sharply observed and unmissable novel about standing up for what’s right (from publisher's site)

I was pretty thrilled to get my hands on Aimee Said's sophomore novel LITTLE SISTER after reading such a lovely review for her debut FINDING FREIA LOCKHART over at My Girl Friday last year.

LITTLE SISTER is an Aussie YA novel that will appeal to mature MG students and high school teenagers.

It's one of those books that just feels like teen life: high school, homework, after school job, teachers, crushes, friendship, parents, social media and at the heart of the story: sibling issues. (Oh! and did I mention cute boys playing soccer?)

It blends a fun and vibrant tone with plenty of teen angst and real issues -- for a taste of that,  here's the opening lines:

Monday morning: Whitlam High School assembly hall. Welcome to another week of mind-numbing boredom higher education.

The prose was easily accessible and the cultural references and social media stuff felt spot-on (there were these cute little status updates at the end of each chapter which were funky and clever). I think the whole social media was handles with finesse ~ not try-hard of likely to date the book.

As for the characters... while the secondary characters all had their own distinct personalities, some of them didn't feel quite fully fleshed out (although that was fine ~ the plot bounced along nicely with them being there). But Al ~ oh my gosh ~ being inside her head took me riiiiiight back to those teen years. The angst and emotion in the book is like climbing inside a girls mind and living it with her. Sometimes the little things are the big things when you're a teen. It made me simultaneously nostalgic and also relieved that you do come out the other side, you know?

And then, when the Big Things happened ~ they were just handled with such heart and honesty.

I always loved reading home-grown YA when I was a teen, which feels so much closer to home than imported stuff and this book just screams Aussie. It's firmly written for teens (I don't think the cross-over appeal is strong). LITTLE SISTER is easily relate-able, fun and ultimately empowering. And it made me want to fly down south to see my sister and give her a hug :)

Little Sister @ goodreads
Little Sister @ Walker Books

my gorgeous little sister & I :)

For all you fab Melbournians ~ you can celebrate the release of Little Sister @ The Sun Theatre:

Oh ~ and one last thought. While I was reading Little Sister is for some reason reminded me of J C Burke's FAKING SWEET. I'm not sure why that was because stylistically they are quite different in voice and subject matter. I think maybe my mind pairs them because they are both absorbing books for teen girls set in high school dealing with real things ~ both capturing the essence of teen girls in that chapter of life... or, maybe it's just me, heheheh.

Thanks to the lovely Aimee Said and Walker Books for sending a copy my way :)


  1. Great review Nomes (and definitely agree that the social media aspect was well-handled and I feel that Little Sister won't be hugely dated in the near future).

    Also, awww and you and your sister!

    Steph xo

  2. Ooh I love sister books ! Reading your review makes me want to be a teen again - I miss all that teen angst haha :D

  3. Sounds great! I think I'm going to try to get it for my Aussie challenge:D Thanks for the awesome review.

  4. I loved this book as well. I really like the way Al makes big mistakes, and has to fix them up - she isn't a perfect character.

  5. This sounds like fun being a little sister myself I can really relate, especially since my big sister was always the pretty petite blond blue-eyed diva to my mousy brown big boned boring self. I also like the idea about the social media which will certainly capture YA audiences. Great review!

  6. ooh ooh another Aussie author I haven't tried and it sounds like a fun read. Thanks for the great review :)

  7. Great review - this one really did feel like stepping back into a teen mind at times. Something I'm glad I don't need to do outside of books ;)

    PS: New follower - Aussie book bloggers need to stick together! Or something :D


Thanks for the commenty love :)