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?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Tag: Sunshine Blogger Award (Take 14)

I was nominated by Trisha, Dini, and Shyla for the Sunshine Blogger Award! Thank you all so much! ❤

If you’re interested, you can see the previous takes of this award here:
1 • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • 7 • 8 • 910111213


Rules of the award:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate (at least) 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

11 questions from Trisha:

A book you pretend you’ve read?

I don’t think I’ve ever pretended to read anything! I will openly admit that I haven’t read a lot of classics or really popular books.

Recommend me a new book boyfriend. What makes him swoon worthy?

That’s a hard one! I haven’t found a good book boyfriend in a long time. I’ll have to go with one of my old standbys — Joshua Templeman from The Hating Game. Some things that make him swoon-worthy:

  • witty banter
  • works in publishing
  • will take care of you when you’re sick
  • seems mean but is just shy

I’m really selling him, I know. I promise he’s better than I’m making him sound.

A criminally underrated book or series?

The Story That Cannot Be Told deserves so much more attention than it’s getting!

How do you organize your bookshelves?

Well, they’re organized in a sort of rainbow, but then books come off the shelf and go back on and I just have so many books with black and white spines that it’s really just a mess.

Do you mostly buy new or used books?

Mostly used! If I can buy it used, I will.

What was the name of your first pet?

A goldfish named Jack. He lived three days.

Do you prefer first or third person?

It depends on what I’m reading, but usually first person. The vibe has to be right for me to prefer third person.

What is the last book you read out of your comfort zone?

Do I even have a comfort zone anymore? I kind of read whatever I feel like these days. I guess maybe The Kitchen by Ollie Masters. Mafia and murder aren’t really my cup of tea, but it was for a reading challenge.

What did you rate your last read and why?

I’m writing this a little bit in advance, so I’m sure I’ll have finished more books by the time this posts, but I finished Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen today and I rated it three stars. Honestly, I felt like it was a little longer than it needed to be and the characters’ lack of discussion of their relationship combined with all of the assumptions they made about each other frustrated me. That said, it was definitely one of the better erotic novels I’ve read, it actually had a plot outside of the sex, and the ending wasn’t ridiculous.

What’s most important, plot or characters?

This is the hardest question for me, because I find it really difficult to care about the plot if I don’t care about the characters, but it’s also really hard to care about the characters when they’re all sitting around doing nothing. But if I was forced to choose, I’d probably go with characters.

Do you read one book at a time or multiple at once?

These days, sometimes I’m juggling three or four books at a time.

11 questions from Dini:

If you could get an ARC of any one of your most anticipated releases, which would it be?

I would break my self-imposed ARC ban for Chasing Lucky.

What is your least favorite book you have read this year?

There have been some real doozies this year, but Little Birds, a collection of “erotic” short stories featuring racism, pedophilia, and bestiality, might take the cake.

What is a book or series that you feel is overrated?

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. A rant review is coming.

What is a book that you always recommend to everyone?

Probably The Hating Game. Just, like, constantly.

What is a hyped book you have no interest in reading?

It’s heresy, but I have literally zero interest in reading Ninth House. I was excited about it, but then I read a few lists of content warnings, and nope. Not for me. I prefer my books a little lighter than this.

What is a movie/TV show location that you want to visit IRL?

I’d love to have Bob make me a burger.

It’s a dark and stormy winter’s night. What book would you curl up beside the fire to reread?

I don’t really do rereads, but I’d love to curl up with either a fluffy romance or a fun graphic novel.

Would you only check out books from libraries or buy all your books new for the rest of your life?

Check them out from the library. My wallet can’t handle the amount of books I read.

What’s your favorite time of the day to to read?

Honestly, all day. I listen to audiobooks from about 8 am to 5 pm during the week, and then I do at least a little physical reading when I get home.

Best bookstore you’ve visited?

A Room of One’s Own is near my old college campus in Madison, WI and I didn’t think much of it when I was a student. I think mostly I was just annoyed with a professor for refusing to let the university bookstore stock the required textbooks and instead making me find this independent bookstore off campus. Well, I went back over the summer and it was great! I’d be there all the time if I still lived in Madison.

If you could have dinner with three authors who would they be and why?

  • Jenn Bennett, because she seems super nice, I love her books, and I’m jealous of her bread-baking skills.
  • Sally Thorne, because she also seems super nice and I’d love to talk to her about The Hating Game and Josh and Lucy.
  • R.S. Grey, because if she’s half as funny in real life as she is in her books, we’ll have a great time.

11 questions from Shyla:

Name one thing that you’re obsessing over / geeking out about these days!

Decorating my apartment! We just got the signed records up, and I have a ton of stuff — my favorite Saga issues, some set lists, some signed Playbills — framed and ready for hanging whenever I get the time. I also finally got my birthday present (a handwritten note from Jenn Bennett) framed and hung.

What’s a more appealing reading experience to you, series or standalone?

Definitely standalone! I’m terrible at finishing series and I hate cliffhangers.

Show off your latest book haul (purchase, gift, what have you)!

I actually haven’t had a book haul in a long time! The last gift I got was Jealous Revenge, but that’s an ebook so I can’t really show it off!

You’ve had a rough day, how are you going to spend your evening?

Great question. My preferred end to a rough day goes as follows:

  • come home, pet my cat a lot
  • take a nice hot shower
  • eat a nice home-cooked dinner with my boyfriend
  • watch a funny show, probably The Office
  • eat some ice cream or whatever kind of baked good we’ve recently made

Morning person or night owl?

I’m just a sleepy person. But I guess probably night owl. I have a lot of trouble falling asleep, so if I can sleep past 6 am, that makes life a little easier.

Are you pickier about food or books?

Definitely books! I’ll eat almost anything.

Name one bucket list item!

I’d love to be able to sit down with one of my favorite authors and actually have a conversation with them. I’ve met a few authors I really admire and I’m usually a jumble of nerves and barely able to get any words out.

If you could invent one thing, anything at all, what would it be?

Speaking of never sleeping, I’d love to invent a machine that would put me to sleep without any of the negative side effects of actual sleeping pills.

If you were starting University/College tomorrow, what would you major in?

Hmm, if I could do it all over again… I might do an English degree to make a job in publishing a smidgen more likely.

If you could travel to one book world, which would you choose?

Henrietta, Virginia. 🙂

Who would you cast as the lead in a screen adaptation of your favourite book (whether or not it already exists)?

I am very sorry, but I am terrible at fancasting. I have no idea where to even start.


If you want to answer these questions, please feel free! I’d love to see your responses. ❤ What’s your go-to book recommendation? Do you like to stick to one book or read multiple at the same time? Let’s talk in the comments!

Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’

Weekly Update

In case you missed it, here are this week’s blog posts:

I’ve been reading:

Recently acquired:

  • nothing other than library books!

1 thing this week:

  • It’s been a long time coming, but I finally updated my about me and my all reviews pages! Next up is the favorites page and my 2020 reading challenges!

Blog hopping:

  • I loved Amy’s list of anticipated LGBTQ+ 2020 books! We Used to Be Friends sounds amazing, and I didn’t even know that David Levithan had a new book coming out! Two new books to add to my TBR. 🙂
  • Jess’s list of things that make bookworms roll their eyes was spot-on. I think my favorite is the age-old, “Oh I don’t have time to read, I’m so busy.” We’re all busy, we just have different priorities.
  • Mandy’s Can’t Wait Wednesday post informed me that Shaun David Hutchinson has another book coming out, and I am super excited to read it!

Song of the week:

I was listening to my old Fall Out Boy CDs while driving this week and I just feel like I’m fifteen years old again.


How was your week? What’s the best thing you read or listened to? Anything interesting happening in your life? Let’s talk in the comments!

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ARC Review: Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi

Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Links: AmazonTBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
Source: ARC from BookCon

After a year of college, Pablo is working at his local twenty-four-hour deli, selling overpriced snacks to brownstone yuppies. He’s dodging calls from the student loan office and he has no idea what his next move is.

Leanna Smart’s life so far has been nothing but success. Age eight: Disney Mouseketeer; Age fifteen: first #1 single on the US pop chart; Age seventeen, *tenth* #1 single; and now, at Age nineteen…life is a queasy blur of private planes, weird hotel rooms, and strangers asking for selfies on the street.

When Leanna and Pab randomly meet at 4:00 a.m. in the middle of a snowstorm in Brooklyn, they both know they can’t be together forever. So, they keep things on the down-low and off Instagram for as long as they can. But it takes about three seconds before the world finds out… 

In case you weren’t already aware, Mary H.K. Choi’s Emergency Contact is one of my favorite books. From the characters to the message to the excellent texting, I loved everything about it. Permanent Record was at the top of my most anticipated list for 2019, and I was lucky enough to get an ARC while at BookCon.

This book was not Emergency Contact, Part Two. Part of the blame is on me for thinking it would be. But instead of loving this book, I was really, really disappointed in it. So disappointed that I’m really just sad thinking about it. I won’t get into any spoilers in this review, but here are some bullet point reasons why I didn’t like this book:

  • The slang. In Emergency Contact, Penny and Sam talked like actual teenagers. In Permanent Record, the amount of slang Pab and Lee use is almost embarrassing. Nobody talks like that. Nobody.
  • The lack of responsibility. I get that it’s one of the main conflicts of the book, but I could not get over how literally every single one of Pablo’s problems could be solved if he’d just take some responsibility for his actions. You can’t ignore your problems until they go away, Pablo!! Life doesn’t work like that!!
  • I didn’t really see a point to it? I slogged through all 417 pages of this book only to get a non-ending. That’s not even mentioning how bored I was the entire time I was reading this book.

Am I mad that I took the time to read this book? I guess not. Did I enjoy it even a little bit? No. I’m just disappointed, but since I loved Emergency Contact so much, I’m still planning to read whatever Mary H.K. Choi publishes next.


Have you read Permanent Record? Is it on your TBR?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book Review: Lumberjanes, Vol. 3 by Noelle Stevenson

Lumberjanes, Vol. 3 by Noelle Stevenson
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Source: Borrowed

IF YOU GOT IT, HAUNT IT!

Trying to take advantage of the first quiet day at camp in a while, Mal and Molly’s date takes a bizarre turn with the appearance of the Bear Woman! Back at camp, Jo, April, and Ripley must stay on their toes as they try and earn every badge possible, which ends up being a lot harder than any of them ever planned.

This New York Times bestselling series continues with Lumberjanes #9, “If You Got It, Haunt It Badge;” #10, “Abscence Make the Heart Grow Fondant Badge;” #11, “Go Ball-istic Badge;” and #12, “Oldie but Goodie Badge.”

Collects Lumberjanes No. 9-12.

I’m a little sad to say that the third volume of Lumberjanes turned out to be my least favorite of the series. It’s still good and fun, hence the three stars, but it wasn’t nearly as good or as fun as the first two volumes.

The major issue I had with this volume was the abrupt change in art style. While I really enjoyed the art in the first two volumes, this one has a different illustrator and it shows. The characters look very different and it almost felt like I was reading fanfiction of Lumberjanes rather than a real Lumberjanes collection.

Still, I enjoy the feminist message, I enjoy the wacky hijinks that these hardcore lady types get themselves into, and the little romance that’s developing made me smile. I will eventually pick up the next volume in this series, but I’m not rushing to find it.


Have you read Lumberjanes? Is it on your TBR?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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