Friday, August 19, 2011

Sisters Red

Sisters Red

Written by: Jackson Pearce
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Language: English
June 2010, $16.99
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Young Adult

“Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris—the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She’s determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts fiercely alongside her. Now Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves and finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax—but loving him means betraying her sister and has the potential to destroy all they’ve worked for.


Sometimes the best heroines in a story are the ones you don’t like so much. For some reason I am drawn to the bruised and the broken, the beautifully damaged, and the tragic fighters who will fight, fight, fight until they just can’t anymore. They are the fighters, sometimes aloof, distant and cold. Yet other times they are quiet or maybe even just a teensy bit too happy. They refuse to give up. They wear their scars like merit badges, each cut both inner and outer making up their armor, their shields and their masks.

Why do I like them? Because they’re very similar to the male anti-hero in their own way. Or maybe because I have been there myself. I can relate and find kinship in them as much as I want to scream at them or hug them. I suppose there is a reason I adore Kara ‘Starbuck’ Thrace from BSG. She’s flawed, but she is beautiful in so many other ways no matter how many times she gets her ass handed to her, she gets right back up. She will fight every damn day until she cannot fight anymore. Well that and Katee Sackhoff is one of my girly crushes and BSG of course rocks.

Somehow Finn knew that I was going to like Sisters Red. It wasn’t because of the werewolf, Red Riding Hood re-imagining that she pushed for this to be the next YA book for our book club. I think she knew how much I would like Scarlett. I pity Scarlett. I want to fight beside her and there is a little piece of me that just gets her. I understand her. I am proud of her and I grieve for her. Scarlett March has always fought. She fought when the Fenris came to tear through her life, when they took her eyes and forced her and Rosie to always be wary of the dark.

Sisters Red focuses on Scarlett and Rosie March. Seven years ago, a werewolf attacked the sisters and their grandmother. It left Scarlett scarred and left both sisters never again trusting what lay in the dark. Ever since that day the two sisters have fought, fought to protect each other and everyone else who has no idea that the Fenris exist. But something is changing and nothing will ever be the same.

Things I loved: When you are young and have that other piece of your soul whether it is a sister, a brother or a best friend you cannot imagine anything breaking that bond. In grade school you make friendship bracelets and pinkie swears that you will always be together. You’ll always live next door to one another, boys will never come between you and the dynamic will never change. But children grow up. Lives and interests grow apart. The friendship bracelets fray or no longer hold the same meaning as they once did. This doesn’t mean that your friendship ends. The people who enter our lives do so for a reason and won’t leave us no matter what happens. People leave marks, invisible tattoos that stain our skins, our souls and our lives. However, things do change. You grow as people, as individuals and not necessarily in the same ways or in the same directions.

For Scarlett and Rosie it has always been the ‘me and you and you and me’ shtick. Even with Silas making it three, it was still always about the March sisters. But then it wasn’t anymore. Something changed and everything was different. Scarlett’s heart broke, but so did Rosie’s. In many ways Sisters Red is about growing up and growing apart and into the individuals we were always meant to be as much as it is a re-telling of Red Riding Hood. It’s about friendship, of love and loss and two very different young women.

The writing is so great in this book. I loved it. Rosie describes her sister perfectly when she says, “My sister thrives on goals. The martial arts belt system was perfect for her. She set her sights on the yellow belt, the green, brown, black. When she’d learned all she could there, she trained the same way. Ran two miles, then three, four. And now with the Fenris…” You don’t always like Lett and I think that is why I loved her all the more. She is selfish and she can be cruel, but she is only doing what she knows. Lett cannot stop fighting. If she stops, that is it. Game Over. The moment she knew that the monsters existed she could never go back to that blissful childhood innocence.

It’s a great character story. Rosie has always fought like her big sister, but she wants to know a normal life as well. She wants to know if there is something more than just the wolves. She wants to know what she is fighting for and why she is fighting for it. She wants to be surrounded by life instead of all of the death they face every day. Oma March told the girls a story of children living in a cave and crawling out of the shadows. The moment Rosie stops being Lett’s shadow is when everything changes. They are not twins or reflections. They will always be sisters, but it doesn’t mean they are the same person.

Things I didn't love so much: yeah, I got nothing. Sorry. Pretty much just loved it to bits.

Buy or Borrow: Buy. Seriously loved it. Though I can see why some may not. It is dark and yeah, Scarlett is like Mary from the Forest of Hands and Teeth, but I loved that one too.

Part of: Stand alone I believe for now. Though I could be wrong.

Also Recommended: I would recommend The Hunger Games for some great young adult fiction, The above mentioned Battlestar Galactica for awesome heroine action and Sweetly also by Pearce which is the Hansel and Gretel story, but well...different.

4 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks

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