Book Review: “My Sister, the Serial Killer” by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Remember when I said I was shocked at how fast this book seemed to go by? I finished the whole thing in an hour. I seem to remember it looking way longer whenever I spotted it on bookshelves at the store, but the secrets were revealed to the Kindle percentage tracker.

If you’ve forgotten the introduction from my First Impression Friday post, My Sister, the Serial Killer is a story about Korende, who always has to clean up after her sister, Alooya, who always seems to have something happen to her boyfriends. It stems from her father’s abuse when they were kids, and it seems that while Korende finds solace in keeping everything bleach-clean, Alooya deals with her trauma by killing the men she gets close to.

I wanted to like this book, and once I sat for a minute and got over the unbridled rage I felt at Korende for continuously covering for Alooya, I think it was an entertaining book, but it’s never going to be something incredibly deep. I’ve used the term popcorn novel before: it’s something you can finish super quickly without really having to think about it, just like eating a bowl of popcorn.

It’s never said how much time the book follows, but it’s at least a few months – enough time for the cute doctor at Korende’s work to fall in love with and propose to ALooya, no matter how many times Korende tries to warn him about her sister. We’re shown flashbacks to the sisters’ childhood and how gruesome a figure their father was, and it’s implied he died of an aneurysm while beating them but now I’m not too sure. All I know is that the cycle Korende has established in this book is going to continue into perpetuity. And I’m not sure how I feel about it.

It does bring up the question of how much we owe to our family. I’ve got a younger sister – and I don’t know if I would be willing to cover for her if she suddenly started killing boyfriends at a rather alarming pace. Of course, it all depends on the circumstances and if something dreadful happened and I needed to save her skin, I would. But if she were an actual serial killer, killing for fun? Good luck, sis.

It’s a fun read – I’d probably enjoy it more if I spoke Nigerian – and it’s definitely different than anything I’ve read before, but I think this one is a 3.5/5 star read for me. It’s entertaining, but it’s quickly forgotten once you’ve turned the last page (or closed the app, as my case was). I like Braithwaite’s voice, and that’s the only thing that kept me from giving it a 3.

What do you think about this book? Would you cover for your sister the way Korende covers for Alooya? Let me know in the comments!

And as always, keep reading.

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