What if the most terrifying person you know is your 10-year-old sister?
Seventeen-year-old Aussie Che Taylor loves his younger sister Rosa. But he's also certain that she's a diagnosable psychopath - clinically, threateningly, dangerously. Recently Rosa has been making trouble, hurting things. Che is the only one who knows; he's the only one his sister trusts. Rosa is smart, talented, pretty, and very good at hiding what she is and the violence she's capable of. Their parents, whose business takes the family from place to place, brush off the warning signs as Rosa's "acting out". Now that they have moved again - from Bangkok to New York City - their new hometown provides far too many opportunities for Rosa to play her increasingly complex and disturbing games. Alone, Che must balance his desire to protect Rosa from the world with the desperate need to protect the world from her.
©2016 Justine Larbalestier (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
I'm an adult about to take a YA fiction writing class so I bought this for research. This was just as good as any adult thriller out there. I listened every chance I could. Rosa is super creepy and I loved all the supporting characters as well. Good narration too.
Say something about yourself!
This was an excellent story ad very well written. The story is told from the point of view of Chet a seventeen-year-old young man. He is in New York for the first time with his parents and 10-year-old sister Rosa. This brother and sister relationship is more like priest and a confessor. Che tells you from the beginning of the book that his sisters has serious personality issues. She only tells Che about her “true” self. Che her loving brother, secretly documents their conversations.
Their parents are version of a hippie who belief “let my kids grow and discover the world for themselves”. Consequently, the child’s selfish personal desire is the moral compass instead of what is right or wrong. The busy creative parents find it easier to assign the responsibility to Che to take care of Rosa.
For 75% of the book we follow Che with his teenage problems. He is in a new country, no friends, missing his home and tired of trying to keep others safe from Rosa. When you meet Rosa you know instantly that something is not quite right with her. As Che is telling you about her past transgressions you are waiting for the shoe to drop, will she push someone down the stairs or kill a cat. You get little glimpses of her manipulations and the panic it invokes in Che. That is what keeps you reading, what is Rosa going to do? Then you are given a little picture, which can be explained away as just childish wrongdoings.
Che and Rosa plays the exhausting word play of, you told me not to do it, not to don’t have someone else do it. Just when Che feels that he has found a play for him. Things fall apart. His parents can no longer make excuses for Rosa and they must try to save Che.
The apple does not fall to far from the tree. Even though you do not see Rosa in action until the later part of the book, you will get pulled into the story. Justine Larbalestier does an excellent job keeping you involved in the story that does not have any real action. The suspense comes from waiting for Rosa to really do something which cannot be explained as a young girl’s indiscretion.
Justine loses a couple of points when he has to tweak the story to produce the desired results. It is not much because you do it a surprise ending.
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