Thursday, August 31, 2017

Review: The Good Sister - Jess Ryder

The Good Sister
by Jess Ryder
Published: August 16, 2017
Genre: Thriller

Two sisters. One secret... A lie that could destroy them both.

When her father dies, Josie is devastated to uncover he led a secret life: another house, another family and a half-sister called Valentina.

Both with red hair and icy blue eyes, Josie and Valentina could be mistaken for twins. But the similarities end there…

Josie – Sweet, reserved, jealous, thief.
Valentina – Care-free, confident, dangerous, liar.

Two sisters. One survivor.

A nail-bitingly tense and unputdownable read that will keep you turning pages into the night. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and Sister Sister.
4 Stars

Twisted and suspenseful are the very first words that come to mind when I think of how to describe The Good Sister. At times difficult to follow and even more difficult to comprehend, The Good Sister is Jess Ryder's latest novel about two sisters who have no idea the other exists. The loss of their father causes their chance meeting and begins the downward spiral of their very new relationship. It's a stunning novel, a thriller in every sense of the word that will leave you questioning everything. With unreliable narrators, The Good Sister is the kind of read that leaves you uneasy, you never know what to expect with each turn of the page.

"We are black and white, yin and yang, form and shadow. She is the girl I want to be, yet am afraid of becoming."

Valentina and Josie are sisters; they look alike, they share a father, but everything after that is different. They dress different, they have different personalities, and their sense of self are completely opposite. Valentina sees herself as a product of upbringing, a crass woman with few morals and little hope for life gratification outside of the bottle. Josie is a good girl, her father's easy child, with a study career, a long-term relationship, and a fairly normal family life. Building a relationship between them is impossible, especially with a father like theirs. A believer in all things Viking, he's managed to keep their lives a secret from one another with his cleverness. He's taught them everything they need to know about the warriors, about themselves, leaving them to figure out what to do with that information. I was astounded at the things their father did, but even more so with how the girls each dealt with the information. Their father's lies opened up holes inside each girl, their anger boiling over, their actions no longer thought through. I couldn't put the book down, each tiny reveal sucking me in.

"If I concentrate really hard, I can do it. I've got the props and costume; all I have to do now is be the character."

I loved that The Good Sister wasn't just based on the father's secret though, but more so on each sister and how they are as individuals. The changing POV's, but unidentified chapters, made reading interesting as I tried to sort out which girl's head I was in. As time goes on both begin to read as eerily similar, their lives intersecting too much. For every twist I saw coming, there was another I didn't expect. Jess Ryder feeds you tiny truths in every chapter, leaving the final explosion amidst a sea of tiny bombs. I speculated what the real truth could possibly be from the moment I sensed things were not right. Who really is the good sister? Is either really all that good? Who else knows something? Do they even know the truth? Everything I discovered left me surprised, but satisfied. The Good Sister is so good, because Jess Ryder gives you proof and answers for everything. There are no lose ends, the ending is firm in its conclusion, and the impact the book has on the reader is significant.

If you're look for a good psychological thriller, Jess Ryder has delivered with The Good Sister. Dramatic and unique, it's the kind of book you start and don't put down.

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