Before I get into this review, as I went to the Amazon page for the link, I scrolled down and saw the “Frequently Bought With” and it’s … Educated and Becoming. I am absolutely fascinated that this is the most common combination with this book. Who are you people? Do I want to know you or avoid you?
My Sister, the Serial Killer is an absolutely incredible debut novel, massive props to Oyinkan Braithwaite. There’s a mild suspension of disbelief for this book (she makes her sister out to basically be Helen of Troy, you’ll see what I mean) but honestly I couldn’t put it down. I get ahead of myself.
Korede has a problem and that problem is her younger sister, Alooya. Alooya is the favorite, she is breathtakingly, staggeringly beautiful, and she’s starting to leave a trail of bodies. Each of her last three boyfriends has wound up pretty brutally dead but it was self-defense, Korede, and the police are so corrupt, what if they don’t believe me? Help me.
And each time, Korede does. By this point she’s an expert at shuffling bodies unseen from apartments and dumping them off a bridge, at mopping up blood and getting out stains, at making sure Alooya remembers to be shocked and grieving. It’s really a perfect partnership, but Korede isn’t sure how far she can let this go.
Braithwaite has a very frank writing style that really works for her subject. Because of how starkly it’s depicted, the brutality becomes almost funny. Alooya becomes something of an unintentional comedian – not haha funny but wait no shit for real funny. My Sister becomes a fascinating study in the ramifications of family histories, in the insidiousness of mental illness, and in playing weakness to hide strength.
Can I say I had a good time reading a novel about a serial killer? Because I did.