Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Ultimate Sister Disaster: By Jane Mendle



What happens when your sister becomes your biggest rival?

If there were a way to pick your family, fourteen-year old Franny might not pick her own. Her father is a hipster boutique owner who's constantly "friending" her on Facebook, her mother is off in Kenya jumpstarting her stalled anthropology career, and her sister Zooey, eleven months older and eight inches taller, is a precocious, prima ballerina. Lately, Zooey's so absorbed with her burgeoning ballet career that she barely seems to notice Franny. And since Zooey attends a top ballet conservatory, Franny's on her own navigating the brutal halls of her Manhattan prep school, a first-year trying to get noticed on the school paper (and by its soulful, long-lashed editor-in-chief).

But everything changes when Zooey breaks her leg and her dancing comes to grinding halt. Her ballet dreams shattered, Zooey begins to hone in on Franny's "normal" life and friends. Franny feels terrible for Zooey, but when her encroachment starts to extend to Franny’s long-time crush, Franny begins to wonder if her sister might just be her worst competition...


When sports fans consider the toughest sports on the body for athletes they often leave out one of the most demanding, brutal sports out there, ballet. Ballet is incredibly difficult to master and often requires constant dedication for years on end, it usually permanently disfigures its athlete’s feet, and it is not uncommon to find bloody, torn, or broken muscles and bones in the athletes bodies. Not only that, but ballet is one of the most cut throat sports out there, there are very few spots in each company, and with diminishing arts budgets for cities across the country, it is not uncommon for ballerinas to find their greatest rival just so happens to be their (soon to be ex) best friend.

In My Ultimate Sister Disaster, Franny is jealous of her prima ballerina sister, Zooey. Zooey seems to have it all, talent, her parents attention, a killer body, and a height above five feet.

But everything changes when the once high and mighty Zooey breaks her leg while dancing. Now, stuck at home and forced to stop dancing Zooey begins to edge into Franny’s school life as well. With her mom off on some study continents away, her grades plummeting, and boy problems galore Franny has no idea how to deal with it all. Then when her sister steals the boy she’s been idealizing for years, all hell truly breaks loose.

My Ultimate Sister Disaster is a great book. It’s perfect for pre-teen and teen girls, and was interesting enough and so well written that even a guy would like it.

Mendle is a talented author who is able to get to the heart of a teenage girls emotional turmoil. Because this turmoil is present in almost all girls (and quite a few guys), her plot lines and characters are a perfect fit for their desired audience.

That said I didn’t love the mother character. I felt like she was overly selfish and was forgiven to fast to have caused the damage she did in the book.

All in all this was a great summer read and girls of all ages should pick up a copy.


8 out of 10


Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Published: June 8, 2010

Price: $8.99

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