Published by Soho Teen on November 15th, 2016
What if the most terrifying person you know is your ten-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.
I don’t think I’ve ever done a full DNF review and I’ve been a book blogger for over 3 years, but this time. I felt compelled to explain why I DNFed this book after reading over half of it. Normally I don’t read that much of a book unless I am going to finish it, but I made an exception for this one.
I would have put this book in the category of one of my most anticipated fall releases. I have a strange fascination with psychopath kids and from the synopsis, it looked like I was going to be reading a book about a guy with a psychopathic little sister. I couldn’t wait to dive in. The first 20% was really slow and I kept hoping that it would pick up. I kept hearing that I needed to give it a little more time and ordinarily I would have refused, but again, I was so excited for this book. I wanted to give it all the chances in the world to excite me and intrigue me.
I kept reading, hoping I’d get to see some of Rosa’s apparent psychopathy, but I still really didn’t see it. Was she a brat? Absolutely. But I didn’t get the psychopath vibe from her and honestly that disappointed me. I was expecting so much more from Rosa and her character development. I absolutely did not get the feeling that she was a psychopath from the 60% of the book that I read.
Che was quite possibly one of the most annoying characters I had ever read about. I know he’s a teenager and they are overall pretty selfish, but I honestly didn’t care about anything that he cared about. I didn’t care that he was lusting after this girl he barely knew. I didn’t care that he was longing to do more with sparring & fighting. I just did not care. I also found him to be quite whiny. He was almost always complaining about something and that bugged the hell out of me. I was pretty much treated to a daily journal of Che’s activities. BORING.
The parents were also very weird. Very hands off and given Rosa’s apparent issues, they didn’t seem all that concerned. They actually seemed kinda cold to me. Maybe they loved their kids, but I really didn’t get that feeling.
I was severely disappointed in this book. Too much of whiny Che and not enough of his apparently psychopathic sister. I finally stopped reading it at the 60% mark because it just wasn’t getting better. Things weren’t getting creepier. Rosa wasn’t becoming more sinister. It just was not what I expected at all. It was a giant snooze-fest.