Published by St. Martin's Griffin on June 8th 2010
If there were a way to pick your family, fourteen-year old Franny might not pick her own. Her father is a hipster boutique owner, her mother is off in Kenya jumpstarting her career, and her sister Zooey is a precocious prima ballerina. Lately, Zooey’s so absorbed with her ballet career that she barely notices Franny. And since Zooey attends a top ballet conservatory, Franny’s on her own navigating the brutal hallways of her Manhattan prep school, a first-year trying to get noticed on the newspaper (and by its soulful, long-lashed editor-in-chief).
But everything changes when Zooey breaks her leg and her ballet dreams come to a grinding halt. Unable to practice, Zooey begins to hone in on Franny’s “normal” life and friends. Franny feels terrible for Zooey, but when Zooey’s encroachment starts to extend to her long-time crush, Franny begins to wonder if her sister might just be her worst competition.
My Ultimate Sister Disaster completely took me by surprise. With its funny situations and heartfelt family issues, I was 100% emotionally invested in this novel. Franny is the black sheep, so to speak, of her family. Her mother, father, and even older sister pretty much have a one track mind… the career comes first. So when Zooey hurts her leg, she begins to see life in a whole new way.
My Ultimate Sister Disaster is really as much about Zooey as it is about Franny. And while I adored each character, I strangely found myself gravitating more towards Zooey. After giving this some thought, I believe it was because in the beginning of the novel, I could not stand Zooey. I found her character to be annoying, self-centered, and at some points, I just wanted to her go away. However, this is a novel about how changes in our lives can make us into better people. And this is exactly what happens to Franny as well as Zooey.
It is not often that I find a contemporary fiction novel that has me hooked me, but this is exactly what My Ultimate Sister Disaster did. I breezed through this novel… laughing and even at times, crying. My Ultimate Sister Disaster gave me the warm, fuzzy feeling, and for that, it will have a special place in my heart.