Sisters in Mischief
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Jul 12, Pages Young Adult Buy. Aug 06, Pages Young Adult. Jul 12, Pages Young Adult. A gay suburban hip-hopper freaks out her Christian high school — and falls in love — in this righteously funny and totally tender YA debut, for real. Age 14 and up Listen up: And before they know it, the queer hip-hop revolution Esme and her girls have exploded in Holyhill is on the line. Exciting new talent Laura Goode lays down a snappy, provocative, and heartfelt novel about discovering the rhythm of your own truth.
Thus, continuing my desperate, life-long mission to sit at the popular table, I am too. School pranks, gossip, college selection, first love, and bullying are interwoven into this unique novel. If ever a book needed a soundtrack—or a beatbox—this is it. Sister Mischief can teach you how to cast some of those spells. Three of the girls are white, and one is Indian. Within the book, the girls even discuss how messed up it is: But what do the other characters say in response? Now, I'm not the one to say whether or not white people belong in hip-hop in the real world.
But I know for damn sure that if you are making up a whole set of characters, regular teenagers who could be anybody, there is no reason for them to be so white, unless you genuinely believe that "regular suburbian teenagers" automatically means "white. For example, the book explicitly states that only white people and first-generation Asians live in the suburbs. The black kids that go to the school are all bused in from poor areas because black people can't be middle class, apparently.
The Asian characters are all either refugees from war-torn countries or first-generation immigrants, because Asian-Americans haven't lived in the suburbs of the United States for generations in this universe. At one point the protagonist remarks that a boy adopted from Guatemala is so cute and loving you barely even notice he's missing an arm oh those plucky brown orphans! I always keep an eye out for gay-positive YA, because I work at a public library and I know we need more books that are queer, especially ones that aren't all about coming out.
But I can't in good conscience recommend this one. View all 5 comments. Apr 17, Katya rated it it was amazing Shelves: Cross-posted with my tumblr Sister Mischief is one of those books that only comes once in a while - a book about identity that, instead of making universal statements, focuses on individuality.
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Have I mentioned that I love character-driven novels? And as far as characterization goes, this book doesn't fail to deliver - our protagonist, Esme, and her friends Rowie, Tessa and Marcy are a group of hip-hop loving, open-minded seventeen-year old girls, who strive to express themselves in a Cross-posted with my tumblr Sister Mischief is one of those books that only comes once in a while - a book about identity that, instead of making universal statements, focuses on individuality. And as far as characterization goes, this book doesn't fail to deliver - our protagonist, Esme, and her friends Rowie, Tessa and Marcy are a group of hip-hop loving, open-minded seventeen-year old girls, who strive to express themselves in a mostly Christian school, in a very Christian community.
Is my audience crying 'Easy A' somewhere in the background? While I haven't seen the actual movie, TGWTG has already convinced me of what it is about, and I can tell you here and now that Sister Mischief is nothing like that movie, not least because Laura Goode actually puts effort in her characters and storylines. This isn't a book that satirizes the Christian Right, although we do have our antagonist who takes Jesus' words a little too literally. But this is a book about identity, and finding your place without necessarily having to be an outcast.
The portrayal of teenagers is superb - throughout the book, I could feel Esme's loneliness, Tessa's confusion, Rowie's insecurity Marcy is badass, though.
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She steamrolls through the obstacles and isn't afraid to say her mind. I could see their confusion, and how they turn to their own different mediums to sort through their problems. The novel explores the different ways in which religion, peer pressure, culture and even nurture can be crucial to a person's growth without, you know, getting in your face about it. Yes, the Queen Bee of the school is a vicious bitch who uses the Bible to her advantage, but Tessa is Christian as well. She beleives in her religion, and follows its rules, but isn't judgemental of people who don't.
Moreover, she interprets being Christian as loving people and accepting them without censure or ill will. It's a very positive message, and it is delivered with a delicacy which is not usually found in most popular YA. Esme and Rowie's relationship was beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. I found their characterization realistic and tangible, and while I wish their storyline had been more developed, it doesn't lessen the merits of it.
It was strange seeing how different their sexual awakening was to them, and how it affected their relationship, both as lovers and as friends, but, again, I found it to be realistic and relatable. All in all, this is a fabulous book, and while there are definitely some flaws to it, it is still one that I'd recommend to everyone who loves hip-hop and real, lovable characters. So, closing in a truly white-trash fashion: I read this book, and now I cannot sleep, My brain is fried and I'm way in too deep, So get in line, don't waste time, Request the galley, this book is so fine.
This galley has been provided by the publishers via NetGalley for reviewing purposes. View all 4 comments. Jul 23, Sophie rated it it was ok. I was really excited when I picked up this book. And there were a few moments of awesomeness in it. Overall, however, I was disappointed. Since this is my first negative reviews I'll try to go into a bit more detail than my "I loved it! Two members of an all-female hip-hop group from suburban Minnesota fall in love while fighting unjust authority at school? How awesome is that? Minor characters getting their due: I really loved some of the supp I was really excited when I picked up this book.
I found Marcy, Tess, Jane and Yusuf to all be very charming and interesting I was sorry we didn't get to see more of Marcy and Yusuf's interactions. I think one of the main points of this book is that adolescence is basically one big identity crisis for everyone and I think the portrayal of these four characters came out swinging strong for that point of view. The description of Marcy, the stone butch straight girl, as "anti-pretty but luminous" was one of the loveliest, most emotionally honest parts of the text.
Esme and Rowie just fell flat for me. I didn't care too much about them or their romance, which was kind of the point of the book. Oddly, they weren't developed in as interesting or colorful a fashion as the minor characters. There were a lot of superficial details about them; they shopped together for second hand clothes and Esme had an Obama button on her backpack.
And to be honest, whenever I learned something non-superficial about Esme, it did not really make me like or sympathize with her. She spends almost the entire book heaping disdain on everyone who does not belong to her small circle of friends. At one point she even lashes out at Tess, who is never anything other than lovely and sweet. And complaining about how hard it is to be smart which irritates me almost as much as if she had been complaining about how hard it is to be pretty. Quite often, she comes off as just as judgemental and closeminded as all the people who are making her life miserable for being gay.
The writing in this book ricocheted between lovely and cringeworthy, but the writing between the quotation marks almost always left something to be desired. Character development in list form: This didn't really work. The soapbox portion of the book: I often felt like Goode was repeatedly smacking me upside the head with her political beliefs rather than telling me a story. If I had a penny for every book or movie set in high school where the villain is the evil blonde popular girl who tortures the outcast main characters, I would have at least a dollar by now.
Peace and acceptance for everyone, regardless of identity! Unless you attend our school's unconstitutional bible study group in which case you are an uneducated bigot. Incidentally, you know how Esme constantly refers to bible study group as unconstitutional? Or you play magic cards or watch Battlestar Galactica, in which case you are not worth the shit on my shoes and you will probably die alone.
The constant mocking of Prakash because he played Magic really ground my gears. I am also a perfectly nice and well-adjusted human being. I shower regularly and everything! Sep 30, Yael Hanadari-Levy rated it it was ok. Jun 16, Serenity rated it did not like it Recommends it for: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.
To view it, click here. I liked that the author acknowledged the potential for cultural appropriation with suburban, mostly white or white-passing teens expressing themselves through hip-hop, although I felt that she didn't engage with it as much as she should have. This is especially important given how often Black art is taken and recycled by white artists, without credit or attribution, and these white artists go on to far more success and fame than most Black artists can dream of. I liked the organic, exploratory feel of the relationship between Esme and Rowie.
I wasn't so keen on Esme trying out het sex in the opening pages - do het people need to try out gay sex to figure out that they're not into it? Let's just leave that trope behind in general, but especially so if we're going to be marketing this to queer teens. I deeply regret buying this and getting so invested in the love story only to have it ending so awfully. The message queer teen girls need isn't "you should stay in the closet and be unhappy"; they need validation and a model for how to live honestly.
Aug 31, Kuzu rated it it was ok Shelves: Another gay girls book that ends with a breakup. I think I could have enjoyed it, but the petty things that irritated me about it piled up enough that by the end I wasn't interested anymore. Don't go into this book hoping for Jewish representation--the protagonist's Jewish mother abandoned her when she was small, the protagonist has pretty much only resentment toward her and knows nothing about Judaism, and the mother herself is portrayed referring to the Hebrew Bible as "the Old Testament" whil Another gay girls book that ends with a breakup.
Don't go into this book hoping for Jewish representation--the protagonist's Jewish mother abandoned her when she was small, the protagonist has pretty much only resentment toward her and knows nothing about Judaism, and the mother herself is portrayed referring to the Hebrew Bible as "the Old Testament" while incorrectly identifying the significance of Biblical characters.
Either poorly researched or just really weird; very disappointing. Sep 23, C. G rated it really liked it Shelves: I'm surprised this got published, and I don't mean that in a this was utter crap way, I mean it in a this tells a story about such a goddamn specific niche way: Setting is r I'm surprised this got published, and I don't mean that in a this was utter crap way, I mean it in a this tells a story about such a goddamn specific niche way: Setting is ripe for gross appropriation. But within the first 30 pages or so the characters are already talking about whether or not white people have a space in the rap scene, and if so, how to do so in a way that recognizes the more marginalized creators of the genre.
I liked that the girls disagreed in nuanced ways and that the appropriation discussion came up several times over the course of the book. I did feel like the book was trying a little too hard a little too often, though. The book could be grating.
It name drops, it postures, and it can be didactic. Sometimes I felt downright embarrassed for the book. Maybe that comes from being someone who name drops, who postures, and who can be a bit didactic. But still, it charmed in that same way that insecure teenagers can be charming.
The romance part of the book was pretty solid - I empathized hard with Rowie, who wanted Esme to keep their relationship a secret because she feared being outed to her Indian family. Her parents actually seemed pretty cool, so it's easy to get frustrated with Rowie for just using that as a confused excuse for her internalized homophobia bullshit. But also - I understand the appeal of closets.
Sometimes we don't have the best reasons for being closeted but also it just feels safe, OK? And I liked the development of her character, but I think I would have rewritten the way things ended up between her and Esme view spoiler [ I really have trouble believing they could get over their drama so fast to rap together in the end. In my version, the heartbreak would be more intense hide spoiler ]. Other things I liked: I think this is the first time I've read about Somali characters, even though they were fairly secondary. I like the way texts were integrated as footnotes.
That structure actually aligns with the way texts feel in my life. Minneapolis and other suburban references! I need to start reading more set in the Twin Cities. It's such a quiet but powerful thrill to recognize your own geography in a book. Jul 18, Isamlq rated it really liked it. Theirs are individual, highly original and strong voices. Throw in a couple of surprising moment of sweet…and this is me, hours later, contemplating a re-read.
They put into words the questions I had. Then throw in some politics, religion, a jo Theirs are individual, highly original and strong voices. Then throw in some politics, religion, a joint or two, and… well, this is not a simple book! The humor had me busting my gut.
So, the great thing is they are regular girls, but not teen YA cardboard cutouts. I dare not say that I loved them, because to do so would be too simplistic. And this book, and these young women are anything but. But it was Rowi, with her confusion and choices and actions that stands out right now; particularly her choices with regard to Esme Aug 02, Kricket rated it really liked it Shelves: Mar 26, Rabiah rated it it was amazing.
I don't usually listen to or consider myself a fan of rap, but this book totally rocked! Laura Go Originally Posted at: Laura Goode has created an amazing novel which looks at community, finding yourself and true love Our MC, Esme is a totally rock-my-socks-off chick. Her sarcasm, her difficulty in finding who she is, and her amazing lyrics are upbeat and keep the rhythm throughout the entire novel. I liked her most of the time, except when she kinda expects too much of other people.
Sisters in Mischief by S'who | Kirkus Reviews
That's all I'm gonna say! She totally is the sassy best friend, who doesn't take no or crap for an answer. I liked Tess, as she was the popular girl who went and hung out with the bunch of misfits. She stands up for them, has connections her dad's a state senator I think and seems to always seem so sugary-sweet mixed in with a little bit o' evil. I'm from Bangalore too!
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Okay, other than that, she really wasn't a very strong character, definitely had her faults, but totally didn't blame her for what happened between Esme and her not gonna give out the deets. But then she just kinda made me mad after that. Nothing more to say other than that. I really loved the little footnotes at the end of the page sometimes. It was really cool to see texts, tweets, notes etc. That was pretty different for a novel.
I think the only other one which isn't a classic which I've seen footnotes in would be Stay by Deb Caletti. Okay, now here's a little warning for the some of you: Just warning younger readers! Overall, Sister Mischief was about being defiant and standing up for you and others, for your beliefs and interests.
Laura Goode has created an amazing LGBT novel about true love, friendship and the sickest raps around. A geat debut, and can't wait to read more from her in the future! Aug 14, Liralen rated it really liked it Shelves: I loved this book, and I wish it -- or books like it -- had been around when I was in high school. The characters are wonderfully complex, not to mention flawed, and the situations they find themselves in are realistic enough to be believable but unlikely enough to keep me reading.
Esme in particular is relatable, and oy, I know I have a tendency to rail against unnecessary sequels, but I hope Laura Goode keeps writing. Well, maybe not a sequel. But more awesome lgbtq books, yeah? The one thing th I loved this book, and I wish it -- or books like it -- had been around when I was in high school. The one thing that bugged me was that the conversations sometimes got a little preachy -- like, 'oh, hey, let me tell you about the great empowering parts of hip-hop.
Laura Goode, please write more books. Jul 25, Christine Kenney added it. How former classmates portray MN hometown in YA lit, the fascination continues. Seemed oddly reminiscent of Clerks-- quirky characters, witty dialog, claustrophobic plot tied to just a few locations and relationships Jun 14, Abigail rated it it was amazing Shelves: Ok, so this book has problems. Jul 07, Andrea rated it liked it. The Little Bookworm Plot: I could see this as movie. It would be a great Disney type movie except for the cursing and lesbians.
And, while you might be able to lose the cursing, the lesbian part is a big part of why this book works in a different way from the standard YA love story. Music is hard to read on paper and rarely comes through so while I could picture the girls rapping and singing I couldn't really "hear" it. But the message comes across pretty well despite the discrepancies of medium.
There is a lot of slang, but it was fairly easy to follow. My main obstacle was the grocery list of musical artist and songs that occur with some frequency in the story. I wanted to say "YAY! I'm glad that you know your artists and musical genre, but moving on. That is my main gripe. Other than that the prose flowed nicely and it had a bit of a poetic flavor to it. I just want to hug her and maybe mother her a little bit because she really needs a mother.
Her father does his best and he is a very open and emotional father and I loved that about him. His willingness to give her freedom and not hold her back was so awesome in a parental figure. But her yearning for her wayward mother is deeply apparent.
Esme is such a tough talking chick, but she is so vulnerable and willing to love. She and her friends are so amazing together and their dynamic alone made the book worth reading. They were each so distinct but all bought something to the table. They like to discuss deep and meaningful things like religion and sexual language and misogamy in rap music.
They are a awesome group of heavy thinking, heaving rhyming girls and I thought they were great. Esme, who knows for sure that she is a lesbian, starts a little something with Rowie, who is unsure of her sexual orientation. This leads down an interesting road that is probably pretty obvious. I think that it is a huge growing part for Esme, even though I want nothing but everlasting love for her.
If you love hip-hop, then this is the story for you. If you love LGBT stories, then this is the story for you. If you like high school empowerment , then this is the story for you. If you don't like any of the above, well, then I don't know what to tell you. May 21, Sara rated it liked it.
I enjoyed the book. It was well written and the story line was easy to follow. I liked how it focused on individuality which made the book better in my eyes. It was an awesome portrait of high school life and female friendships, it was definitely upbeat. I think people should read this, I doubt you'd be disappointed. Jul 07, The Lonely book club rated it liked it Shelves: The lonely book-club The book is very light and easy to read, you get the hang of the story quite easily.
Sep 24, Lynette rated it really liked it. I liked this a lot more than I expected to when I started it, when I wasn't sure if the conversations about the ethics of white suburban girls doing hip-hop or being a Christian who isn't an asshole were being slotted in just to get them out of the way. But they definitely weren't. This is an Issue Book, but it's about a hell of a lot of issues - queerness, faith, family, friends, the First Amendment, hip-hop, immigration, and that isn't even half of the issues the book touched on. Maybe it's a I liked this a lot more than I expected to when I started it, when I wasn't sure if the conversations about the ethics of white suburban girls doing hip-hop or being a Christian who isn't an asshole were being slotted in just to get them out of the way.
Maybe it's a lot more like real life than any book that isn't an "issue book" could ever be. Hip-hop isn't really my thing though after this book, I'm thinking maybe it should be , but smart girls who're trying to figure themselves out and don't feel like they quite fit in definitely are. Jul 05, Sherrie rated it really liked it Shelves: Sister Mischief is the story of four fierce. Although they live in the conservative Minneapolis suburb Holyhills they are about that life.
The girls embrace the hip hop music and culture and fight for their rights when the school administration seeks to put a ban on all things hip hop. This book was amazing I loved how the main characters had each others back and stood up for their beliefs.