Lauren Spieller’s She’s The Worst does an amazing job portraying sibling relationships and family life. April’s older sister, Jenn, isn’t going to Stanford like her original dream so to help her mood she decides that they need complete the bucket list that they came up with when they were younger.
She’s The Worst by Lauren Spieller
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
3 September 2019
This book was lovely to read. The characters were real and their voices were excellently crafted. April is just about to begin her senior year and is worried about her older sister. She was ridiculously childish which masked a need for parental attention that she wasn’t receiving. April is on the soccer team and is an expert at shirking her duties much to the annoyance and disappointment of her older sister Jenn. Jenn is the perfect daughter, she’s dedicated, perhaps too much, and puts others over herself but she’s keeping a big secret that could affect her family.
The story is set in LA and is described as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off meets 10 Things I Hate About You, Speiller’s descriptions really take you to LA: the pink flamingo gondola accident, attempting to climb a mountain to get the view of LA, the icecream shop. I’ve never been which is why I greatly appreciate vivid descriptions.
What I loved about this book was how perfectly it captured sisterhood. It’s messy and heartfelt and real. There’s clear friction between the two sisters but they’re both trying so hard to make this day memorable, to make their relationship what it used to be. They both have their reasons, April to change Jenn’s mind and Jenn for a memorable goodbye.
The discord between the two sisters is on miscommunication but not the annoying miscommunication that can easily be solved usually seen in books but genuine miscommunication when things are difficult and you can’t talk, the gradual disintegration of relationships to the point where real conversations are replaced with assumptions and conclusions.
Their parents are constantly arguing and ignoring their children, not listening to their voices until there isn’t any real conversation happening. Strained marriages are difficult, they’re parents constant fighting was so annoying and borderline childish. Like, stop focusing on your hatred for your spouse you might see that your kids need you. I understand it was difficult to leave because of the store but damn people.
What I Loved – the sibling relationship, the depiction of a less than perfect home situation and the bucket list.
What I Didn’t Love – their parents’ borderline childish arguing, April’s reaction towards her sister’s secret, the bow tie ending that wasn’t very believable and their parents.
Recommended for anyone looking for a depiction of sibling relationships and sisterhood in YA contemporary fiction.