Review of Sisters (Smile #2) by Raina Telgemeier

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication date: August 26th, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic
Genres & Themes: MG, Graphic novels, Family, Real life matters, Humor, Contemporary.


Raina can’t wait to be a big sister. But once Amara is born, things aren’t quite how she expected them to be. Amara is cute, but she’s also a cranky, grouchy baby, and mostly prefers to play by herself. Their relationship doesn’t improve much over the years, but when a baby brother enters the picture and later, something doesn’t seem right between their parents, they realize they must figure out how to get along. They are sisters, after all.

Raina uses her signature humor and charm in both present-day narrative and perfectly placed flashbacks to tell the story of her relationship with her sister, which unfolds during the course of a road trip from their home in San Francisco to a family reunion in Colorado.


Raina and Amara’s relationship:


It’s been quite long since I’ve read a graphic novel. Manga? Yesterday. Graphic novel? Six months ago.

This is a companion novel to Smile which I really liked and absolutely recommend. What is great about these works is that they’re based on true events that the author herself lived when she was a teenager.

It’s mainly about her (Raina) and her sister’s (Amara) relationship and how they overcome their differences because they both have different personalities and center of interests.

The graphics are very cute and I had a lovely reading experience. There are many details drawn but I have to admit that sometimes the backgrounds were very empty and I found them annoying. I keep thinking that it’s very cheap from the authors/illustrators when they often let empty backgrounds in their works. Fortunately, it wasn’t that bad.

The plot isn’t very exploited and quite basic instead but then again it’s a graphic novel and it’s meant to be light, in my opinion. I found the story absolutely engaging still and hope there will be another companion novel/sequel.

Raina is a character you will easily love and her sister one you will easily despise. At least at first. She was a monster when she was younger but still kind of funny, in a way. Of course, there is character development and only for the best. I turned the last page with a smile on my face and quite happy at how the story turned out.

When I was a kid, I kept wanting a sister to play with, exactly like Raina. I wanted to share the kind of relationship we see sisters share on TV, for example in the Charmed TV show (which is one of my favourites.) Unfortunately, I didn’t get a sister but a brother instead. STILL, regardless of many fights we do have, I wouldn’t switch my brother for a sister. Ever.

In general, I was very satisfied with this story. It was light, VERY FAST, short and relaxing. I read it in one sitting because VERY FAST and only wanted more. What is also great about it is seeing how realistic the matters in this graphic novel are.

EXCEPT, I’m not so sure about the snake that lived that long without (I think) having anything to eat, but then again I don’t know much about snakes so maybe it can indeed happen.

I think this graphic novel will appeal to a lot of readers, especially young teens and people who want to read a cute family themed story. Very recommended.

View all my reviews on Goodreads.


41 thoughts on “Review of Sisters (Smile #2) by Raina Telgemeier

  1. Thanks for the review! 🙂 I read the first book, Smile, a few years ago and it was pretty enjoyable. The artwork was really cute, and the story was completely realistic. I’ll be sure to pick this up if I’m ever in a mourning period after some heavy fantasy/dystopia and need a light, fun read~


  2. Ohhh, it’s a graphic novel? I genuinely would never have guessed that from the cover!

    Sorry the plot was a bit basic and lacked the emotional depth you were hoping for. Still though, sounds like a nice, quirky and quick read 😀


  3. WHOA! I actually missed this one. Maybe it’s because I checked the blogs first, but wonderful review lovely 😀 And this one doesn’t sound too bad. I always have a soft spot for sister relationships.


  4. I have a sister, so I can definitely relate to Raina and Amara’s rocky relationship. The plot sounds kinda meh, but like you said, that’s to be expected from a graphic novel. I’m always in the mood for quick cute reads, so thanks for the recommendation. Happy Friday, Lola!


  5. I got stuck with a brother instead of a sister too Lola, and when I was younger that was the worst possible thing that could have happened to me 😉 I wanted that sisterly relationship like I saw on TV too! Like you though, I wouldn’t change anything, I adore my big brother. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!


    • My brother was actually pretty cool when we where younger and in middle school then in high school he changed. REALLY. But afterwards in cégep (thansitor from high school to university in Québec) he became more okay. Thank you Jenny, I’m glad you’re in good relation with your brother as well. It seems that we have much in common. 🙂


  6. I have never heard of this series. It sounds like fun even with the issues you had. My five year daughter tells me every once in awhile she wants to take her three year old brother to the store and change him into a girl. Snakes can go a couple of months without eating.. weird right?


  7. I’ve never tried a graphic novel and am not sure whether it would exactly be my cup of tea or not! It does sound fun though. I really want a sister (and is it weird that the fact that I actually have a sister came to me as a second thought? o.o). But really, I feel like having a sister who is near my age group would be extremely nice. Anyhow, I love the cover of this book and your post as well. ^_^


  8. Oh the cover looks absolutely adorable and I love how it’s about sisters! I have an older sister but she’s 10 years older than me so it was always difficult to relate, although we are quite close now. Sounds like this book could be a lot of fun for younger readers. Great review Lola!


    • I think so too! Raina’s covers are often simple but so adorable. ^^ I’m glad to hear that about you and your sister although I understand very well. My brother is older so it’s hard as well to, I don’t know, bond really. He has other ocupations. Thanks Jeann. 🙂


  9. I’ve never heard of this before. Granted I don’t know all that much about graphic novels besides the ones that are extensively popular. This does sound interesting though. I love sisters stories considering I have a sister!


  10. Manga or graphic novels are not something I really read, but I know people are a big fan and that they have a big readership. This one definitely sounds like an interesting read, and possibly something I should try out. I like the sound of Raina as a character. Great review! 🙂


  11. I’ve been wondering about this book after seeing the review in Time. I don’t read graphic novels, but this intrigued me! Telgemeier sounds like a good introduction to the genre. Thanks to your review, I think I’ll check out Smile first.


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