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The September Sisters

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  416 ratings  ·  92 reviews
Abigail Reed and her younger sister, Becky, are always at each other's throats. Their mother calls them the September Sisters, because their birthdays are only a day apart, and pretends that they're best friends. But really, they delight in making each other miserable. Then Becky disappears in the middle of the night, and a torn gold chain with a sapphire heart charm is th ...more
Hardcover, 361 pages
Published February 24th 2009 by HarperTeen (first published February 19th 2009)
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The September Sisters is a novel about the disappearance of ten-year-old Becky Reed and how it devastates the rest of her family. It’s told from the point of view of Abby, Becky’s sister, who is exactly two years and one day older. Becky vanished from her bedroom in the middle of the night, apparently abducted, and her family fell apart in the aftermath of the kidnapping. They had been a normal, middle-class suburban family. After Becky went missing, the mother sank into a suicidal depression. T ...more
Feb 16, 2009 Lauren rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: own

Abigail and her sister, Becky, have always been referred to as the "September Sisters." Since their birthdays are only two years and one day apart and they have always put up an allusion that they are best friends. Though, in reality they are far from it. They enjoy making each other miserable by calling each other a baby when one of them shows weakness or simply taking the pink tube in the pool before the other does.

Everything changes, though, when Becky suddenly disappears from the ho
Apr 01, 2009 Laurie added it
Shelves: wmslibrary
Abby and Becky are bickering sisters, two years apart in age, until the morning shortly before Abby's thirteenth birthday when she wakes to find that Becky has disappeared. As the police ineffectually search for the missing girl, Abby sees her family splinter apart. While her old friends back away from her, a new boy next door becomes Abby's steady support and ally. This poignant story--Abby painfully wonders whether, in her place, perky Becky could have kept their family together--may appeal to ...more
Sara Grochowski
From inside cover: "Abigail Reed and her younger sister, Becky, are always at each other's throats. Their mother calls them the September Sisters, because their birthdays are only a day apart, and pretends they're best friends. But really, they delight in making each other miserable. Then Becky disappears in the middle of the night, and a torn gold chain with a sapphire heart charm is the only clue to the mystery of her kidnapping. Abby struggles to cope with her own feelings of guilt and loss a ...more
Oct 02, 2011 Megan rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Megan by: Pollard Middle School Summer Reading List
This book was on the middle-school summer reading list. One of my kids had checked it out of the library; it was sitting in the car when I was waiting and I had nothing to read. It's kind of a horror story (not purposefully) for teenagers. I think I would change the title of the book to, "How many ways can a teenager's life unravel?" Let me list a few of them:

1) Abigail's younger sister, Becky is kidnapped out of her bed in the middle of the night by a stranger and goes missing for over 2 years.
Readers join 14-year-old Abigail Reed as she tells of the experiences of her family that started the summer she was 12. That was when she woke up one morning to find that her younger sister Becky had disappeared. It is the start of a trying journey that will change the way everyone in her family is living.

As you can imagine, the investigation starts with Abby's parents and neighbors being the primary suspects, but with no clues or leads, it is difficult for anyone to really know what happened. H
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by May A. for

Abigail and Becky are exactly two years and a day apart, and are often referred as the September Sisters by their mother. However, despite their close proximity of age, they constantly squabble with one another and compete for their parents' attention.

But after the sudden disappearance of Becky, Abby's whole life changes. Her mom grows more and more distant and her dad becomes overbearing and obsessed with the investigation. Abby is officially no longer an
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
E. Anderson
Abigail Reed and her younger sister Becky have never gotten along. Their birthdays are very close together - just 24 hours apart - and their mother swears that one day they'll be best friends and love sharing a special day. Abby doesn't think this is possible - she can't stand Becky. But when Becky goes missing, taken from her bedroom in the middle of the night, the Reeds' world is turned upside down, Abby can't help but feel a sinking sense of guilt. While she struggles with this loss, the poli ...more
Wow... this is probably one of the saddest books that I have ever read. This story was just so sad and so heartbreaking. I don't have any siblings, me being an only child, so I just imagined how it would be if I had a younger sister and how my life would of been turned upside down. Just like Abby's was.

Jillian Cantor wrote this novel beautifully. But I will say I had a Sarah Dessen flash back while I was reading it. There isn't anything that I dislike about this book at all. I'm so happy the sch
The September Sisters is Jillian Cantor’s debut novel, and it was beautifully written. It’s unforgettable, great character development, a masterful plot and painstakingly real. Abby was such a well-written character. I just feel raw and exposed reading her story. It was a very powerful thing. To portray that kind of emotion isn’t an easy task and Cantor does it with remarkable ease. She also impressively depicts Abby’s first love, despite the overall saddened tone of the novel.

The September Sist
This book was amazing, but it was really sad. I recommend it to people, because it was a great book.
It starts out with Abby, the main character, at age 12, but it keeps flashing back before That Night happens, the night when her little sister, her September Sister, dissapears. Abby has to learn to deal with her little sister, the sister that she would always fight with, and not always neccessarily loved, being gone, and going back into her old world a completely new person.
She learns about frien
This book was not really what I expected - not that much happens and it's spread over the span of two years, so it's a lot of time slipping slowly by. It's a nice book, but not a gripping one.

The last page totally made me want to cry, and I really did empathize with Abby. A solid three star book.
It was heart wrenching on so many levels. It kept moving and made you feel the family's sadness without feeling too terrible. Good recommendation!
I powered through this book because I needed to know what happened next! Kudos to Jill on her debut novel!
The September Sisters was a wonderfully and beautifully written novel.

I loved everything about The September Sisters - the writing style, the plot, the honest look at families and their values, the characters, I can go on and on.

I loved Jillian's writing style. It flowed and weaved throughout the plot and the vivid descriptions that she provided was a nice touch because it allowed the readers to picture exactly what was going on. She also wrote in a matter-of-fact manner so it didn't take pages
After interviewing author Jillian Cantor, I was very excited to read her book. I was not disappointed at all. Immediately, I could see her Bucks County influences. Abby’s school is basically Council Rock. This in itself was enjoyable because I could definitely relate to the characters’ school and geographical situation, but that in itself didn’t make The September Sisters a memorable book.

No, what made me really enjoy The September Sisters was the characters. I understood Abby’s jealousy of her
Morgan Renae
The September Sisters took me by surprise. It was a really unique story. I loved the concept- it kept me interested and it stuck true to real life.

The main character, Abby, was strong and funny, despite the chaos and terribleness that was happening in her life. And her and Tommy's relationship was a sweet, first-kiss kind of love, and I liked how it grew stronger throughout the book. I couldn't quite connect with the parents, mostly because I cannot begin to imagine how terrible losing a child w
Patricia (Patricia's Particularity)
I picked up this book mainly because the author was coming to our library to host a little seminar on how to become a writer, and I obviously wanted to be able to connect with her. I unfortunately was not thoroughly surprised by this book. At first I was able to connect to the book as I too have a sister with same name and growing up we did more than our fair share of sisterly bickering and fighting. While I loved the character development of the main character, Abigail, and I felt for her and h ...more
Abigail and Becky are two typical young sisters around junior high age. They fight, they bicker, but deep down they do care for each other. But one morning, Abigail wakes up to discover Becky has disappeared during the night. Police and search crews and called but no trace of Becky can be found. Days turn into weeks that turn into months that turn into years without anyone finding Becky. Abigail sees her mother fall into a deeper depression and finally move away. She sees her father becoming mor ...more
Tessa L
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
*Review originally posted February 2009.*

The Simplified Version:

Plot: 19/20
Characters: 20/20
Writing: 20/20
Originality: 20/20
Entertainment: 9/10
Recommendation: 10/10
Total: 98/100
Rating: A, or five hearts.


The September Sisters is a wonderful first book by Jillian Cantor. The feelings in it are raw and you'll feel them. If you don't, you're just really cold-hearted and have no feeling. They just scream right off the page. That's the one amazing thing about this book -- the feelings.

The other
The good first: The book is well written. Very good for a first novel. And I was interested in the psychological aspect of the book coming from the growing up view of the 12-14 year old narrating sister. I also couldn't help feeling drawn into the family's life and wondering what was going to happen. Though some parts of the story were sad for me to see going in those directions, and sad to read what Abby's thoughts and conclusions were, it still was an honest book. It was something about that h ...more
"I hate you."
"So what? I hate you, too."

This is the last conversation 12 year old Abby Reed has with her younger sister, Becky. The following morning Becky has disappeared, seemingly into thin air. September Sisters chronicles the aftermath of that disappearance. Abby's mother falls into a suicidal depression at the same time she is considered the prime suspect. Her father tries desperately to keep the family together by endlessly searching for Becky while at the same time restricting Abby's lif
This book reminded me a lot of The Lovely Bones, only re-told from the perspective of the sister who was left behind. Abby is almost thirteen when her sister disappears in the middle of the night, and although the police are investigating, they can't seem to find any leads. Abby's family falls apart a little more each day, and at a time when she should be coming of age in a normal family setting, she's forced to grow up in a world where everyone knows her as "Becky's sister" and her parents can' ...more
Wow. I really liked this one! It's a fantastic mix of mystery, drama, and coming-of-age in one. Abby is a character you watch grow over the course of two years. I really cared about her and what happened to her in ways I haven't with many characters lately. Cantor developed a fantastic character and interesting story line. I'm a sucker for a good story that is told through a solid flashback that can develop the character and story line; there was no part of this book I thought dragged, and in fa ...more
Amanda Simoes
Jan 24, 2012 Amanda Simoes rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teens and young adults
The September Sisters is a great novel of mystery and suspense. Jillian Cantor, the author, does a great job of capturing every emotional moment in the book. This novel is about two young sisters named Abigail and Becky Reed. These girls are always constantly fighting until one day when Becky goes missing. Becky is the younger sister and gets taking from her bed in the middle of the night. This story is told from the point of view of Abigail the older sister whose life is turned upside down when ...more
September Sisters will make you cry, and smile. This book definitely made me sad, but it also made me happy. Abby never really gave up hope. She never really got depressed. She did break down at some points in the story, but she always pulled herself back together. She was more held together than both of her parents. Tommy saved her, in a way. He understood her. He comforted her when she was feeling down. He knew what it was like to have a family torn apart. I loved Tommy, I really did. He was j ...more
this book was awesome! at first when i had started to read it i just thought that it was about how much the sisters were close or whatever. but it turned out to be about all the feelings that the main character faces. sorry read this a long time ago i forgot the name of the older sister. and well also the lost dead sister. any way i just wanted to say that this book was not what i had expected to be.i was better. i loved all the internal and external conflict. i would have never guessed the endi ...more
Briii Wright
This is about two sisters, Abby and Becky, who don't necessarily get along. That is until Abby wakes up and her sister is nowhere to be found. Their birthdays are only a day and two years apart, hence the reason their mother calls them the "September Sisters." Once Becky disappears, Abby feels bad, because the night before they were fight over who got which inter tube. Abby does not know if she ran away, or if someone took her, which is why she is very adamant on finding her sister. Her father e ...more
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Jillian Cantor has a BA in English from Penn State University and an MFA from The University of Arizona. She is the author of award-winning novels for teens and adults including, most recently, the critically acclaimed MARGOT, which was a Library Reads pick for September 2013 and also featured in O the Oprah Magazine, People, Ladies Home Journal, and Her next book for teens, SEARCHING FO ...more
More about Jillian Cantor...
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