Book Review: My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: November 20, 2018
Source: Borrowed

My Sister, the Serial Killer is a blackly comic novel about how blood is thicker – and more difficult to get out of the carpet – than water…

When Korede’s dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what’s expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach. This’ll be the third boyfriend Ayoola’s dispatched in, quote, self-defence and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away. She should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first. Until, that is, Ayoola starts dating the doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede’s long been in love with him, and isn’t prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back: but to save one would mean sacrificing the other…

About a year ago, it seemed like the entire internet was reading My Sister, the Serial Killer. I couldn’t get away from it. Everyone was going on about how good it was, and I wanted nothing to do with it. And really, I had no intention of ever reading this one. But then I was sitting at my desk trying to figure out which audiobook to listen to next when I decided to filter by “most popular (global)” and “available now.” This book was at the top of the list.

This was a one-sitting kind of audiobook because I was absorbed from the beginning.

I guess, from the title, I should have suspected that family dynamics would play a big role in this book. Ayoola and Korede have a very strong relationship. They might not like each other all the time (after all, it must get tiring to clean up after your little sister every time she decides to murder someone) but they’re always there for each other, and despite everything, Korede is always trying to give Ayoola the benefit of the doubt. Their relationship ended up being my favorite part of the book.

For a book about such a heavy topic, it ends up being surprisingly light. There’s just enough humor mixed in with the serious (and, you know, murdery) topics to keep the book from feeling too weighed down. Yes, you’re reading about this cute young woman murdering all of her boyfriends, but while I was reading, I never had that moment where I thought, “Wow, I need to put this away for a second.”

It’s not often that the setting of a book plays this big of a role, either. The setting was so vivid that I almost felt like I was in Nigeria with Ayoola and Korede! The Nigerian police and their actions, in particular, really set this book apart.

All of that said, there were a few things that didn’t sit quite right with me. The biggest one that I can think of is that we’ll get a flashback to a much younger Ayoola and Korede that ends up having little relevance to the plot. The book is already very short (only 226 pages), so these scenes felt kind of like filler. I also felt like it wrapped up a little quickly, but I actually really appreciated how everything turned out in the end.

All in all, I enjoyed this one much more than I’d expected and would definitely recommend it!

Have you read My Sister, the Serial Killer? What’s the last hyped book that you enjoyed?
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