Hardcover: 324 pages
Published June 7, 2010 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Blurb from Goodreads: Scarlet March lives to hunt the Fenris--the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.
Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend--but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?
How I got it: I received SISTERS RED as a Christmas gift from my brother, which is awesome. Especially since we aren't really that close and it was a book that I really wanted. (He may have had help from my mother on that one.) Anyway, I've been paying attention to Jackson Pearce for a while now, and she's not only ridiculously funny, but she seems genuinely nice as well. Needless to say, I couldn't wait to start reading.
Cover: SISTERS RED has one of the most interesting and unique covers I've seen. It's absolutely gorgeous in real life, where the black part is glossy and the red matte. The cover art is fantastic. Since the book is about sisters Scarlett and Rosie, the two faces on the front, so alike with their hair flowing into the other's, but also separated in their lives by the events that unfold. And, the first time that I looked at this cover, I was so enamored with the two girls, I almost missed the wolf, which is obviously the Fenris the sisters hunt. It really is an amazing cover; probably one of the reasons that it was up for an award for the cover art. (I wish I could remember where, because I would link it here. If anyone knows, please leave a comment and I'll edit this post.)
Story: This is not your typical fairy tale. These girls are kick-butt and the wolves that Pearce imagined are true monsters. She has taken the typical tale and twisted it into a darker version that could be an undiscovered side of our own world. I loved the unfolding of the story. At first, there wasn't exactly a set goal - it was kind of a general goal of hunting. Soon, however, the goal came out and the search was on. It's an original twist on a fairly basic story.
Writing: I loved the light way Pearce uses language. I never felt bogged down by the word choice, or felt like she was using words that her characters wouldn't. The story is written in first person, switching between the two sisters. Both use similar language - as I'm sure most people that close when growing up would - but their voices are distinct enough that I could probably tell who was talking without being told. Pearce uses a good mix of description versus dialog, and her action scenes were amazing. Generally I get lost and have trouble picturing exactly what's going on when I read fight scenes, but Pearce's command of describing left me with a clear idea of what was happening.
Characters: I love the characters that Pearce created. Each is different from the other in very good ways. Scarlett (and I absolutely love the double entendre of her name) is driven and scarred and you can't help but sympathize with her. Rosie is the adorable little sister who wants to be treated like her own person, but can't help falling in behind her whip-cracking older sister. Silas was my favorite character because of his little quarks. For instance, even in the throngs of despair, he makes a joke. You can't help but fall for someone like that, and it's easy to see how Rosie and Silas develop their relationship.
Themes: I loved the dynamic of the sisters. Each looked at the same problem in their relationship in a different way, and you could see how both thought they were right, and how both could be wrong at the same time. I don't have a sister, and my brother and I aren't that close, so it was such an amazing thing to watch and be a part of. One thing that bothered me while I was reading is how obsessive Rosie is about Silas before the two come together, but afterward I think back to crushes and think it rings true. So I'm not sure how to read into that.
Overall: I'm giving SISTERS RED four stars. There is a lot going on that is fantastic with this book - I'm sure most everyone can find something to enjoy about the story. There were only a couple of small things keeping this review from being a five. Has anyone else read it?