Review: My Sister Rosa

My Sister Rosa
Published By: Allen & Unwin
Publication Date: January 27th, 2016
Page Count: 398
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Genre: YA/Psychological Thriller

There are books that you like, there are books that you love, and then there are books that absolutely blow you away. This is one of them.

Rosa is absolutely terrifying. She appears to be an ordinary 10 year old girl, she has golden curls and dimples when she smiles. Everyone thinks she's adorable. But her 17 year old brother, Che, knows better. She is a psychopath. He is the only one who sees Rosa's true face. The one to whom she reveals her true thoughts. He's also the one who feels the need to protect the world from Rosa.

What Che wants more than anything else is to be able to live a normal life, not to be constantly moving at the whim of his parents, or spending all his time worrying about what his sister will do next. He wants a girlfriend, he wants to spar in the boxing ring, rather than just train, he wants to go home to his friends. But what he needs, is to keep Rosa under control.

The story is told entirely from Che's viewpoint. We feel the responsibility he feels, his fear at what Rosa could do, and his frustration at the lack of support he gets from his parents. The suspense comes not so much from what will happen, but when, how and to whom. 

If I could have read this in one sitting I would have, but unfortunately I had to leave the last 100 pages until the next morning. I was entirely gripped throughout and just had to know how the story ended.  

There is a big push at the moment for books featuring more diverse characters, and My Sister Rosa delivers on this front in a seamless way. There is diversity in terms of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion and disability, but it doesn't feel forced or in any way over done, this is just who these characters are.

It's obvious that a lot of research has gone into Rosa's character and psychopathy in general, but again, this isn't forced, it's just there. Che wants to be a doctor, so he's looked into these things and by extension, we know them. 

This is a well written psychological thriller that will keep you guessing right up to the end. The last 50 pages are some of the most intense in the entire book.

I already know that this is going to feature in my top books of the year. It is so well done and everything you want it to be. Go and read it.

What if the most terrifying person you'd ever met was your ten-year old sister? A spine-chilling psychological thriller from one of Australia's finest YA authors. 

'I promise,' said Rosa. 'I won't kill and I won't make anyone else kill.'

I can't see the loophole. Since the guinea pig there's been nothing. Months now without Rosa killing as much as a mosquito.

As far as I know.

Che Taylor has four items on his list: 1. He wants to spar, not just train in the boxing gym. 2. He wants a girlfriend. 3. He wants to go home. 4. He wants to keep Rosa under control.

Che's little sister Rosa is smart, talented, pretty, and so good at deception that Che's convinced she must be a psychopath. She hasn't hurt anyone yet, but he's certain it's just a matter of time. And when their parents move them to New York City, Che longs to return to Sydney and his three best friends. But his first duty is to his sister Rosa, who is playing increasingly complex and disturbing games. Can he protect Rosa from the world - and the world from Rosa?

My Sister Rosa will have you on the edge of your seat from the very first page to the last.


  1. This sounds positively intense, disturbing & ultimately heart breaking; I cannot imagine what it would be like to be in Che's shoes ... :(

  2. Oh my gosh, this sounds amazing, thank you for sharing x

  3. This one sounds amazing and I've heard other people rave about it as well. I love YA thrillers and it seems there are so few (good ones at least). Thanks for the great review.


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