Half a Sister by Kelly McKain

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Half a Sister by Kelly McKain

Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A girly read but much better than chick-lit for chicklets. It's a though-provoking look at families and friendship. Definitely recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 272 Date: August 2010
Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd
ISBN: 978-074609124

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When Hannah's parents begin to have whispered, but obviously heated discussions about something her immediate thought is that they're splitting up. There's quite a bit of that at school and Hannah would hate it to happen to her. But when it all comes out the reality is rather different. Sam has just discovered that he has a fifteen year old daughter living in Paris and that her mother has been in a serious car accident. Sam sees no alternative but to bring Ellie to live with them, but Charlotte is worried about how this will affect their daughter. When it's put to Hannah she has visions of long girly chats and swopping clothes and makeup and agrees without further thought. To begin with it's everything she hoped it would be but then a darker side of Ellie emerges and life turns into a nightmare for Hannah.

The publishers tell me that this is a 'gorgeous girly read' and, yes, it is, but then it's so much more too. Hannah's already finding life a bit difficult at school as another girl is coming between her and her best friend. She keeps trying to fit in, to accommodate, but whatever she does it never seems to be enough. She frightened to bring matters to a head as she hasn't the confidence to believe that she would be anything other than the loser. Similarly, when Ellie starts to take advantage of her situation Ellie doesn't feel that anyone is on her side.

It's a thought-provoking story about the relationships within families and gently brings in the idea that sometimes adults are not quite certain about what is happening and are having to cope one day at a time. There are lovely illustrations of the difficulties which a step-parent feels about discipline. It's touching, warm and in places, very, very funny. It might be a girly read, but it's miles better than chick-lit for chicklets.

I couldn't put the book down! Kelly McKain has produced a wonderful heroine in Hannah. I loved her and I wanted to hug her and tell her that everything would come right. She makes mistakes – and sometimes she makes just too many allowances for other people, but her heart is completely and utterly in the right place. McKain knows how to ramp up the tension too – there were times when I had to remind myself to keep breathing – and the ending was just brilliant. If you're looking for a thought-provoking read which will keep you turning the pages then this could be the answer.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

We've recently enjoyed Withering Tights by Louise Rennison and if Half a Sister appeals to you then you might enjoy that book too.

Buy Half a Sister by Kelly McKain at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Half a Sister by Kelly McKain at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Half a Sister by Kelly McKain at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Half a Sister by Kelly McKain at Amazon.com.


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