Friday, July 4, 2014

The Good Sister, by Wendy Corsi Staub

Wendy Corsi Staub. The Good Sister. New York: Harper, 2013. 418 pages. ISBN 9780062222374.

In The Good Sister author Wendy Corsi Staub tells the story of Carley, a young girl who has been enduring significant bullying since she moved to a new school. To make matters worse, her best friend Nicki has dumped her, and a few months later Nicki kills herself. Reeling from her own difficulties at school and her friend's death, Carley is struggling to understand how this all came to be. She turns to a new-found friend, Angel, whom she met on an anti-bullying website. But is Angel the person she thinks she is?

Carley's mother Jen is also attempting to deal with Nicki's death. Carley has been good friends with Nicki's mother Debbie since elementary school and was close to Nicki as well. When Jen attends Nicki's wake, she comes face-to-face with her high school boyfriend, Mike, and begins to suspect that there's something between Mike and Debbie.

In the meantime, someone has come back to town to settle his mother's estate. He finds a journal kept by his older sister, Ruthie, who died in a car accident a long time ago. Reading the journal, he begins to understand that she was not only abused by their father but also bullied by her school mates. He's determined to exact revenge for her.

Ms. Staub pulls all of these disparate strands together in a fast-paced suspense novel that serves as a warning to everyone about the danger of relying too heavily on social media and electronic devices for our communication. Sometimes it's much better to just have a face-to-face conversation!

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