Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The September Sisters by Jillian Cantor

Title: The September Sisters
Author: Jillian Cantor
Publisher: Laura Geringer Books / HarperCollins
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: February 24, 2009
Pages: 361
Amazon Page

Rating: A
Plot - 19/20
Characters - 20/20
Writing - 20/20
Originality - 18/20
Entertainment - 10/10
Recommendation - 10/10
Total: 97/100

Abigail Reed and her younger sister, Becky, are always at each other's throats. Their mother calls them the September Sisters, because their birthdays are only a day apart, and pretends that they're best friends. But really, they delight in making each other miserable. Then Becky disappears in the middle of the night, and a torn gold chain with a sapphire heart charm is the only clue to the mystery of her kidnapping. Abby struggles to cope with her own feelings of guilt and loss as she tries to keep her family together. When her world is at its bleakest, Abby meets a new neighbor, Tommy, who is dealing with his own loss, and the two of them discover that love can bloom, even when it's surrounded by thorns.

This exquisitely written first novel illustrates life as it truly is—filled with fear and danger, hope and love, comfort and uncertainty.

Okay, I really don't know how to express myself with this one. But if you want the gist of it, I'll give you one word. Phenomenal. The September Sisters by Jillian Cantor was phenomenal. Phenomenal.

A head's up. I can't do this book justice. I am just not mentally capable of it.

But before I go on, just go buy this right now. Stop reading my review and go to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or even better, get get your car keys, ask your parents for a ride, or demand if you have to and get to Borders, Barnes and Noble, even go to K-Mart, as long as they have it. But BUY IT! Trust me.

The moment I read the book, the first page. I was hooked. The way the book started out caught me off guard, but was an excellent idea. We got to get a hint of what happened to Becky, not knowing everything, and then it jumped to the night before it happened. We got a hint of what Becky was like, what Abigail was like, and then we were able to see the growth of Abby, her parents even, through the two and a half years this book takes place. It was magical, horrifying the way it happened, but it was thrilling.

Jillian Cantor's first novel was truly memorable. Exhilarating. I couldn't get away from Cantor's awe-inspiring, gripping words. It caught me and wouldn't let me up. Nor did I want it to. The realism and the unpredictability of it was infectious. It had the perfect combination of realness, plot, and fantastic character advancement.

Abby was a character that I truly admired. I didn't know how she just didn't break down from everything. Her mom having a meltdown, her dad in denial, both of them practically oblivious of her. No friends. I think I would've just about died from the isolation she received. Until Tommy came along. Oh, did I love Tommy. I don't think this novel wouldn't of been as good as it really was if Abigail didn't have Tommy. Abby was such a strong, beautiful character. Her character was striking and she is what made this novel. She and Cantor's inconceivable, impressive, and scintillating writing will make this novel a hit.

This novel is so much more then a sister disappearing, it may not be in the headlines, but it's there. The coming-of-age story of a girl learning to cope with what she has after a tragedy tears her family apart.

The only bad thing I have to say about this novel isn't actually bad. I kind of wished the sapphire heart charm necklace played a more important part in the novel then it did. Yes, it showed huge symbolism, but I just wished it played into what had happened to Becky more is all.

I really just can't say how much this novel is phenomenal. All I can is say my thoughts and hope, hope, that you trust me on it and go buy it now.

The September Sisters is out today in booksellers across America.

Thanks Jillian for sending me your book! I hope you have a fantastic release day! You really deserve it! Also, check back in March for an OTO post with Jillian and a little something special!


Good? Bad? Ugly? I don't care as long as you tell me!

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