Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford
This is the second book from Standiford, who debuted with How to Say Goodbye in Robot. It will be released this month.
When their grandmother, Almighty Lou, tells the family that she has been offended and will cut them out of the will unless a confession and apology is made, everyone knows that it must be one of the girls who offended her. So the three teen Sullivan sisters write their confessions. One girl confesses to being in love and not following expectations. Another sister confesses to revealing family secrets online. And the youngest sister admits to believing she was immortal with horrifying results. The only question is whether it is the sisters who offended Almighty Lou and if so, which one was it?
Part of the pleasure of this book is discovering the secrets of the girls for yourself, which is why I made my summary so vague. Each girl reveals inner thoughts, complicated emotions, and the struggles of not only adolescence but life. Standiford has a smart, funny tone that imbues all of these girls and their thoughts. It is a pleasure to read a fairly light novel that has depth and intelligence. Even better, the girls are all bright and deep too. Yet they act like teens, think like teens, and are teens completely.
The characterization in the novel is nicely done for the three sisters in particular. They speak with different voices, react to things in their own unique ways and are distinct and intriguing voices. The parents are fascinating characters if a bit one-dimensional. I kept hoping for a view of them beyond what we were seeing. But that is a minor quibble.
A pleasure of a read, this book will do well with teens who enjoy general fiction. The cover will draw in readers of books like the Gossip Girl series, who will discover a book with gorgeous girls AND depth. Appropriate for ages 15-17.
Reviewed from ARC received from Scholastic.
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