27 March 2012
Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
Book: Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
Narrators: Erin Moon, Michal Friedman, Suzanne Toren
Summary: As a kid, Scarlett risked her life to protect her sister, Rosie, from a Fenris (werewolf). She came out the fight alive, but scarred and missing an eye. Now, at 16 and 18, the girls are so close they think they are two halves of the same heart and, with their woodsman friend, Silas, they relentlessly track down and kill the Fenris. But Rosie doesn't love the hunt the way Scarlett does and when Rosie starts to fall in love with Silas, it feels like she is betraying her sister. Meanwhile, Scarlett's obsession for killing the Fenris is growing even stronger.
Characters: There were three main characters and I'm not sure how I feel about any of them. Scarlett is the one I related to most. She is strong, damaged, obsessive. She feels like she only has two people in the whole world and she can't handle their changing relationship. I liked her, she was easy to root for, but I felt like her obsession with the hunt was too much. Not that it was unrealistic for her character, but no matter how many times she rationalized that what she does is right, I couldn't shake the feeling that, emotionally, she is very unhealthy.
This comes out in her relationship with Rosie. I loved the sisters's bond, that they would give their lives for one another and constantly referred to the other as the other half of their own heart. It was beautiful and deep and I never doubted their love. BUT... Scarlett is selfish and because she sacrificed her face to save her sister, Rosie feels she owes her life to her sister. She enables her sister to become obsessive about hunting and control the relationship. The amount of guilt Rosie feels over taking a 30 minute oragami class is ridiculous.
Then there is Silas. I had the most problems with him as a character. He's a lot older than Rosie and I couldn't see what he saw in her. I could see Rosie's crush develop, but I never really felt their bond or their love. Honestly, I thought Silas was better suited for Scarlett. My biggest problem with Silas was the scene between him and Scarlett after Scarlett finds out that Rosie and Silas are in love.
Scarlett admits that she can never find love because she is scarred and wears an eyepatch. He tells her he was in love with her first, for their entire lives, but that he realized she was in love with the hunt. He kisses her to prove his point and it is the moment she realizes that she didn't feel anything, becuase Silas is right... the hunt is the only thing that matters to her.
On one level, I liked this scene, but mostly... I felt like Silas was settling for Rosie because Scarlett was unavailable. Rosie deserves better. Then, there is the whole issue that he kissed his girlfriend's sister. I think it would have hurt Rosie, no matter his reasons. Finally, even though Rosie says at the end that Scarlett's love for the hunt is a passion, not a disease... I don't buy it. Scarlett needs help and Silas, like Rosie, is just letting her be consumed by her rage and hatred.
Plot/Pacing/Structure: This is a character driven story, which surprised me. The plot was there, but the focus was absolutely on the characters. Because Sisters Red was focused more on character, the narrators (alternated between Rosie and Scarlet) would talk ad naseum about the plot points. This was especially frustrating during the big reveal at the end, because I had guessed it at the beginning of the book. In addition, the narrators both spoke very slowly, which drove me crazy.
Things at the end were set up well in the beginning, but the begging was soooo slooooow. I stopped listening to it for weeks at a time and had a hard time getting back into it every time. About a third of the way through things started to pick up and by the time I was two thirds of the way through, I wanted to keep listening. I even skipped my LMFAO pandora station in favor of Sisters Red while I was working out one day. It was a really emotional part of the book and I kept getting choked up, so I'm pretty sure that the person on the elliptical next to me thought I was going to have a heart attack.
Moments I Loved: The moment Scarlet realized that she didn't want Rosie to become damaged and hunt-obsessed. I had been waiting the entire book for this to happen. Also, when Rosie came into her own, although it was tainted by her focus on becoming Scarlet.
WTF Moments: Unfortunately, my wtf moments are moments that pissed me off and took me out of the story instead of moments that creeped me out in a good way. The kiss... the one I mentioned in Characters. Seriously... wtf. Also, the epilogue. I hated it. It made me sad and didn't seem to resolve anything further. I would have been much more satisfied had it not been included at all, which is weird, because I usually love epilogues.
Overall: I just don't know what to think about this book. I got sucked in at the end, but it went slower than I would have preferred. The characters were all very real and very flawed, but I had trouble really liking any of them. The story was good and I was on the verge of tears at many points throughout the story, but the relationships between the characters left me feeling uneasy.
Again, I just don't know how I feel about this book. But I do want to read more by Jackson Pearce. These were some of the most deeply rendered characters I have ever read and I appreciate that. The cover for the second book in this series, Sweetly, is AMAZING and retells Hansel and Gretel. But the third book's cover copy just blew me away (Fathomless... go read it!). Not only is it about Silas's younger sister, but it is about mermaids. Yeah.
Reading Challenges: This book doesn't count toward any challenges, but you can still track all my progress on my 2012 Challenges page.