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Review: Tara's Sister Trouble by Lil Chase

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tara's Sister Trouble
Lil Chase

Series: The Boys' School Girls #1
Genre: MG Contemporary
Paperback: 312 Pages
Publication: July 3, 2014
by Quercus


Hillcrest High Boys' School is admitting girls for the first time, and Tara couldn't be more excited. New friends? Check. Cute boys? Check. Mean sister gone? Wrong...

When she discovers Maxie is joining the school too, Tara is crushed. How can she be her own person when her cleverer, prettier sister seems determined to outshine her? And sibling trouble isn't Tara's only problem.

With only ten girls in the year, they're going to have to stick together to survive. Boys against girls? Bring. It. On.

◆ A copy was provided by Quercus for review ◆

Tara's Sister Trouble is not centered merely on the woes of sibling rivalry. There's a lot more to Tara's world. Soon after transferring to Hillcrest High Boys' School to follow her crush Reece, Tara finds herself caught up in a huge drama when a charity fundraiser turns into a competition that pits the ten girls of Year Eight against each other. That's what happens when you offer tickets to an amusement park to the ones that raise the most money.

Frankly, there's not much to Tara's character. She's bullheaded, easily jumps to conclusions, and has a fiercely competitive spirit. There doesn't seem to be much in her mind other than Reece and winning the fundraising competition. The other characters aren't fleshed out well enough to warrant much comment on them except that there are a lot of clichés going on. Nevertheless, the clichés do work for this book. Humor, drama, and lightheartedness is what you expect when you plop a group of girls into a traditionally all-boys school. And Tara's not a bad protagonist for this kind of story.

Just don't expect a lot of substance going into this book. The story skips forward in time a lot, and we hear about a lot of developments AFTER they happen, which was frustrating. First, I never really felt like I got a good handle on the story and what it was about. Second, it makes it hard to get to know the characters, as we don't get to follow them through the events that transpire. We only to get hear them talk about things that happen and what they plan to do in response.

One things I... I did forget that this was an MG novel. While we're told that Tara is twelve, her fellow members of Year Eight act similar to high schoolers. The girls are interested in boys, the boys are interested in girls, and they throw parties. There's also snobbery and bullying. Maybe I'm underestimating middle-school students, but I would have expected things to be a little more tame.

Overall, this book gave me an entertaining morning as I followed the drama of youth. As tweens enterting adolescent, the girls often focus on the competition they perceive as a threat and forget about the more important things in life, and it takes them a while to realize what truly matters. And it's beautiful to see them reflect over their behavior and make up in the end. I recommend this book for those looking for some fun, light summer reading. If you're looking for more substance and less clichés, however, I would pass on this one.

Additional Information

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2 comments on "Review: Tara's Sister Trouble by Lil Chase"
  1. This looks cute but it's a shame you really didn't get to know the characters.Great review Kris.

    1. Yeah, it had a lot of potential but didn't live up to it. Thanks, Kimba :)


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