Thursday, 6 December 2018

Review: My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

The Blurb
Satire meets slasher in this 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.

A kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where Korede works, is the bright spot in her life. She dreams of the day when he will realize they're perfect for each other. But one day Ayoola shows up to the hospital uninvited and he takes notice. When he asks Korede for Ayoola's phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and what she will do about it.

Sharp as nails and full of deadpan wit, Oyinkan Braithwaite has written a deliciously deadly debut that's as fun as it is frightening. 

My review
This is not the type of book I normally read, but I really liked it. The story was well written, jumping from scene to scene, but not in a way that left me frustrated at not being able to read a straight story. Instead the shifts in scenes intrigued me. The book was a page turner and I read it very quickly. 
I appreciated Korede’s resolve to stand by her sister, yet at the same time I didn’t like that she’d done it until another character brought up a striking point that had me looking at the situation from a different perspective. 

I, unlike everyone else in the book, did not like Ayoode (the serial killer). The fact that she had killed didn’t completely contribute to my dislike. When I opened the book I knew that Korede’s sister was psychologically unstable (hence the killings) and this was brought out insidiously throughout the book. Explained to the reader through vividly described scenes. Brilliant. I still didn’t like her. She possessed a selfishness that I detested and didn’t treat the one person she should’ve cared for most well at all.

The fact that the story took place in Nigeria was dispersed throughout the book through use of language clothes, food and gestures. It was great.

I give this book four out of five knife shaped chocolate bars.

I purchased my copy from the Ghana Must Read Book Club.

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