A Tale of Two Sisters Learning to Listen | Review: She's the Worst by Lauren Spieller

7:29 PM

Insufferable parents and two sister's coming of age. She's the Worst is all about complex sisterly bonds. I'M. SOFT.


Sisters April and Jenn haven’t been close in years. Jenn’s too busy with school, the family antique shop, and her boyfriend, and April would rather play soccer and hang out with the boy next door.

But when April notices her older sister is sad about staying home for college, she decides to do something about it. The girls set off to revive a pact they made as kids: spend an epic day exploring the greatest hits of their childhood and all that Los Angeles has to offer.

Then April learns that Jenn has been keeping a secret that could rip their family—and their feuding parents—apart. With only one day to set things right, the sisters must decide if their relationship is worth saving, or if the truth will tear them apart for good.


She's the Worst by Lauren Spieller 
Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5) 

As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. 

Admittedly, I had a massive moment of weakness when it came to She's the Worst and its design. I loved the pose of the cover, the typography and the dazed pastel pink. So, fine, I totally judged a book by its cover, but it's fine. I'm the worst.

Which is oddly fitting. One of the more prominent themes featured within She's the Worst is that sometimes, we all have a knack for passing judgment on our loved ones. In the case of two very different, very human, sisters, the tension of doing so is almost unbearable and has certainly driven a wedge between what was once a close friendship. Now, as one prepares to depart for her first year of college, their misunderstandings and lack of compassion for what one another feels, things seem to truly be coming to a conclusion.

The first thing you should know is that She's the Worst portrays a very specific type of sisters and girlhood. Jenn and April are both complex and flawed individuals that are pretty much opposites in terms of personalities. The one thing that ties them together is not their shared blood, it is their lack of understanding and communication towards one another. This pigheadedness is very well suited and realistic--they are both so young and given their parents behavior (or lack thereof) it felt right that they were so... selfish and immature about one another.

What becomes clear to the reader, after switching between the minds of both Jenn and April, is that they are both products of how they were raised. And that their parent's are, in fact, the ones who are "the worst". She's the Worst is the perfect example of petty sibling relationships that are rooted in some sort of miscommunication; that could have been solved long ago, if not for sheer biased stubbornness.

I remember feeling that emotional snowball effect throughout the course of She's the Worst and found myself hoping that these two would work things out and see the error of their judgment and was so relieved at how Lauren Spieller not only portrayed teenagers, but how she allowed them to grow in a way that felt organic. While there were many moments where I wanted to shake both April and Jenn, there were even more moments where I wanted to just scoop them up and cheer them up.

And then there were the moments I wanted to yell at their parents and tell them to grow the heck up. While they weren't inherently abusive towards their children, they were verbally abusive toward each other and blatantly selfish, immature and insufferable. I am not going to lie--they were the worst part of the novel.

Still, it was in their ignorance and obliviousness that eventually lead us straight into the repairing of one sisterly bond. She's the Worst is a short timeline, both in terms of how long it takes to read it and how long the novel is set, but it has a superb amount of development that gave me the warm and fuzzies by its conclusion.

Ultimately, I loved the development that we got to see. This is a story about sisters who have lost their way from each other, but in the end are able to find--and understand--each other. I'm always, always fond of stories that have sisterly relationships at its center, and while She's the Worst has moments of romance (friends to dating) and friendship in it, it is undeniably about two sisters coming of age.

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