Smile #2. GRAPHIX (Aug. 2014) Own
The companion to Raina Telgemeier's #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling and Eisner Award-winning graphic memoir, SMILE.
Raina can't wait to be a big sister. But once Amara is born, things aren't quite how she expected them to be. Amara is cute, but she's also a cranky, grouchy baby, and mostly prefers to play by herself. Their relationship doesn't improve much over the years, but when a baby brother enters the picture and later, something doesn't seem right between their parents, they realize they must figure out how to get along. They are sisters, after all.
Raina uses her signature humor and charm in both present-day narrative and perfectly placed flashbacks to tell the story of her relationship with her sister, which unfolds during the course of a road trip from their home in San Francisco to a family reunion in Colorado.
It's no secret I loved Smile because I could completely relate to what Raina was going through. Every dentist appointment Raina went to I would wince because I could remember those wire tightenings that were torture. With Sisters we get to see Raina growing up with her sister. There are flashbacks from Raina growing up with her sister to the present time in the book where she is going on a road trip with her family.
Raina as a young girl wanted a sister really badly. She would walk around everywhere just chanting the word sister until the day arrived where Amara was born. Raina and Amara have a rough start. All Amara does is cry all the time. Even when Raina tries to be nice to her Amara is doing her own thing. Now of course this tension is bound to happen because they are a few years apart. I always like a sister dynamic in books whether they get along right away or not. Family bonds in general are always interesting to support because I can always relate to them. I don't have a sister - I have brothers but I still can see the fights and camaraderie in Sisters with my life. I'm more like Amara when it comes down to everything especially being the youngest (They have a younger brother named Will). I can be a real pain when my brothers are involved although there is always that love there. The overall message really shows that love still wins out with everything between siblings as long as you care about one another.
The book takes place at a time where Raina's family is going on a road trip to a family reunion. The funny thing is that her mom and her mom's siblings don't get along and end up squabbling the whole time they are there which the kids call her out on. Meanwhile Raina's father is traveling by plane for work reasons but there is a little more to that story that I think kids could relate to if they are dealing with the same things.
While on the road trip and during the reunion Amara and Raina bicker. They think the other one is more annoying than the other. Raina has her music and love of comics while Amara likes drawing like her sister and also has a love of annoying her as well. I know I've been writing that a lot in this review but it's true. Amara likes to bug her older sister. She even got a snake when Raina clearly is afraid of them. She's also surprisingly wise because she mentions how Raina cares what people think of her and she doesn't. A lot of girls end up comparing themselves with other girls or what you are "supposed" to look like or find interesting. Good for her for having some self-confidence although nothing against Raina because who doesn't want to fit in? Sisters was a great sequel to Smile. I really liked the sibling story and the little messages throughout the story. This is really worth reading if you enjoyed Smile or if you just like comics.