G. Bianco, 2019
After receiving critical acclaim for her novel, All the Wind in the World, Samantha Mabry is back with a new young adult novel about sisterhood and remaining strong during tough times. Set to be released March 24th, 2020, Mabry's new novel, Tigers, Not Daughters, shows how it takes a lot to break the bonds of sisterhood.
The Torres sisters dream of escape. Escape from their needy and despotic widowed father, and from their San Antonio neighborhood, full of old San Antonio families and all the traditions and expectations that go along with them. In the summer after her senior year of high school, Ana, the oldest sister, falls to her death from her bedroom window. A year later, her three younger sisters, Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa, are still consumed by grief and haunted by their sister’s memory. Their dream of leaving Southtown now seems out of reach. But then strange things start happening around the house: mysterious laughter, mysterious shadows, mysterious writing on the walls. The sisters begin to wonder if Ana really is haunting them, trying to send them a message—and what exactly she’s trying to say.
This story about sisterhood is moving and haunting. Each of the Torres Sisters is broken and grief-stricken in their own way a year after their eldest sister’s death.
I found the message about strength in sisterhood to be very relatable, seeing as I have two sisters myself. The way they reignite their love and protectiveness over one enough is beautiful to see. Building off the fact that I have two sisters, I know how each of us has our own distinct personality and Mabry does a great job of showcasing these girls’ differences. Seen especially in the way they cope with Ana’s death, each sister assumes a certain role and it isn’t until the event of the novel that things start to change a bit. Despite the vast differences between Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa, each sister has a lot more in common with the other than it first appears.
The narration style is a bit choppy and makes it a bit confusing to follow everything and I found a few things to be inconclusive at the end; however, it was still an enjoyable read. I also wish we could’ve gotten a bit more background on Ana and gotten a definitive reason for her ghostly return, but I guess one can never truly know why a ghost has come to haunt its old house!
While this novel starts off a bit slow and mixed up, the pace picks up towards the end and the way the story is written gets a bit easier to understand. The way each sister tries to move on from Ana’s tragic death and learn to live in the world of grief is moving and bittersweet. Dealing with other issues like abandonment, religion, and abusive relationships, Mabry really delves deep into the tough issues of the world. Overall, this tragic novel is beautifully written and is sure to take the YA world by storm.
*I received an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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