Announcing our Top 20 Books of 2022 and Award Winners

My Sister Rosa: Book summary and reviews of My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier

My Sister Rosa

by Justine Larbalestier

My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier X
My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier
Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

What if the most terrifying person you know is your ten-year-old sister?

Seventeen-year-old Aussie Che Taylor loves his younger sister, Rosa. But he's also certain that she's a psychopath - clinically, threateningly, dangerously. Recently Rosa has been making trouble, hurting things. Che is the only one who knows; he's the only one his sister trusts. Rosa is smart, talented, pretty, and very good at hiding what she is and the manipulation she's capable of.

Their parents, whose business takes the family from place to place, brush off the warning signs as Rosa's "acting out." Now that they have moved again - from Bangkok to New York City - their new hometown provides far too many opportunities for Rosa to play her increasingly complex and disturbing games. Che's always been Rosa's rock, protecting her from the world. Now, the world might need protection from her.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. This dark thriller is the 1956 film The Bad Seed meets 2016; readers will be simultaneously terrified when Rosa's present and afraid to let her out of their sight." - Kirkus

"Starred Review. Larbalestier (Razorhurst) offers a chilling contemplation on human morality - Che's physical sparring in the ring has nothing on his go-arounds with Rosa, as they debate what it means to be truthful or "good" - while incorporating sharp commentary on privilege, faith, gender identity, and race. Ages 14–up." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. A tense, thrilling rumination on the psychology of evil, this work manages to keep a suspenseful tone while also showcasing a burgeoning romantic relationship ... Rosa is a truly chilling figure, seemingly unpredictable in her violence yet methodical in her manipulations of those around her." - School Library Journal

"A captivating exploration of family, fate, and the fight to outrun them." - Booklist

"Larbalestier's novel is a slow boil, moody and tense, with just the right amount of creep factor and a casually diverse cast of characters ... Che's journey toward self-awareness is at times enlightening, at times devastating, and the threat of violence from Rosa is suspenseful and truly terrifying." - The Horn Book Magazine

"The sense of impending doom overshadowed all. It will take some time to truly absorb My Sister Rosa and more time to recover ... An excellent psychological thriller featuring diverse characters; it's a page-turner that happens to fall into the YA category." - DarkMatterZine.com

"My Sister Rosa is a gripping, terrifying, wonderful story that I could not put down." - Laurie Halse Anderson

"An utterly compelling and wonderfully creepy exploration of the many faces of psychopathy. Rosa will stay with you long after you turn the last page." - Jay Kristoff New York Times bestselling coauthor of Illuminae

"My Sister Rosa is terrifying, brilliant, and heart-wrenching. A must read." - Cindy Pon, author of Serpentine

"The evil in the room across the hall, the evil in the flowery party dress, the evil who just wants a bedtime story - Rosa is more frightening and more adorable than any villain you have yet met. Larbalestier is at her tricky, terrifying best in this novel." - E. Lockhart, New York Times bestselling author of We Were Liars

"Larbalestier masterfully crafts a unique tale about a boy and his kid sister who bring old problems to a new city. It's darkly funny, disconcerting, and absolutely brilliant!" - Jason Reynolds, author of The Boy in the Black Suit and coauthor of All American Boys

This information about My Sister Rosa was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Justine Larbalestier

Justine Larbalestier is the Australian-American author of many novels, including the award-winning Razorhurst and Liar, which both received four starred reviews. Justine lives in Sydney, Australia, and New York City, though not at the same time.

More Author Information

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more YA thrillers...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join and Save 20%!

Become a member and
discover exceptional books.

Find out more


Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: Horse
    Horse
    by Geraldine Brooks
    Voted 2022 Best Fiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers. Geraldine Brooks creates a ...
  • Book Jacket: In Love
    In Love
    by Amy Bloom
    Voted 2022 Best Nonfiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers. In 2019, author Amy Bloom and her...
  • Book Jacket: Remarkably Bright Creatures
    Remarkably Bright Creatures
    by Shelby Van Pelt
    Voted 2022 Best Debut Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers. Shelby Van Pelt's debut novel, ...

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Scatterlings
    by Resoketswe Martha Manenzhe

    The debut novel of a gifted storyteller who has become a sensation in her native South Africa.

Wordplay

The Big Holiday Wordplay

Enter Now

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Ways We Hide
by Kristina McMorris
From the bestselling author of Sold On A Monday, a sweeping tale of an illusionist recruited by British intelligence in World War II.
Who Said...

Idealism increases in direct proportion to one's distance from the problem.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.