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The Good Sister

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  687 ratings  ·  154 reviews
The Kinsey sisters live in an unconventional world. Their parents are former flower-children who still don’t believe in rules. Their small, Northern California town is filled with free spirits and damaged souls seeking refuge from the real world. Without the anchor of authority, the three girls are adrift and have only each other to rely on.

Rachel is wild. Asha is lost. Sa
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 7th 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  687 ratings  ·  154 reviews

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Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book pulls you in from the first page - my favorite kind of novel! The characters are intriguing, infuriating, and yet lovable. I don't want to give too much away but the psychology of illness and the effect on the family is interesting to watch - the unraveling and the slow coming back together again. A great read!

Bonus: This is a young adult novel NOT about vampires or time-travel.
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful gut wrenching tale of 3 very different sisters who have to handle a horrible tragic disaster. A story of sisterly love, betrayal, friendships, first loves and overcoming grief.
Kayla (The Thousand Lives)
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I don't remember what it was that caused me to request The Good Sister; probably the beautiful cover, knowing myself. I actually didn't even know what it was about until I reread the synopsis before I started reading it - and I'm very glad I did so! It's always disconcerting when the first chapter is being narrated from the afterlife, but the synopsis cleared that up right away. From the title, I had imagined that the story would be something along the lines of the "good sister" helping her two ...more
Nov 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
FIRST THOUGHTS: It's always interesting to witness the many ways sisters are portrayed in fiction, and THE GOOD SISTER is a pretty decent piece. It speaks of three sisters - one who died and two who were left behind - and how everything comes to a head after the tragedy. While I didn't particularly feel for any of the sisters, and while the story didn't provoke anything but the most minimal emotional responses, I thought it was okay.
Kelly Gunderman
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Check out this and other reviews on my young adult book blog, Here's to Happy Endings!

This is one of those books that is written so beautifully and thoughtfully that by the time you finish it, you wonder how this could possibly be Jamie Kain’s debut novel. This book provides the reader with a powerful, thought-provoking experience that will leave you wondering until the very last chapter. The characters are so well-written and developed, and you can tell that a lot of care was put into crafting
This isn't a contemporary realistic YA book, unless characters who are dead and wandering something similar to purgatory and having a voice in the story are now that. This is a light fantasy novel in the same vein that IF I STAY or ELSEWHERE are.

Sarah, Asha, and Rachel are sisters. But their relationship isn't nor has it ever been particularly harmonious. When Sarah dies after going for a hike with Rachel, things get further strained between Asha and Rachel. Asha, because she and Sarah were clo
Ashley Farley
Nov 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Think . . . The Fault in Her Stars meets The Lovely Bones, only Sarah’s leukemia is in remission and she knows who is responsible for her death. The Good Sister is a fast-paced young adult novel, clean enough for teenagers with enough skin in the game for adults.

Sarah, the oldest of the Kinsey sisters, draws us into her purgatory world in the opening chapter. We understand from the start, there is more to her death than meets the eye. Did Sarah fall to her death on the rocky coast, or did someon
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This one I borrowed from daughter and really have to say she has great taste in books. Here is an example of what is said on the back of this book explaining what it is about and usually I don't write reviews like this but I loved what it says on the book though...

"Rachel is wild. Asus is lost. Sarah, the good sister, is the glue that holds them together. But the forces of a mysterious gate have taken Sarah's life in a sudden and puzzling accident, sending her already fractured family into a tai
Marcee Feddersen
Jun 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing

I come from a family of four sisters, so I know the love, jealousy, hate, loyalty and all encompassing relationship you can only have with a sister. This is one of the few books that I have ever read that completely nails that bond.

The book begins with Sarah's death, and her view is a huge part of the story. It felt reminiscent of The Lovely Bones, with her narrative woven throughout the story of her sisters trying to deal with the aftermath of losing her.
Pixie/PageTurners Blog(Amber) C.
It has been a while since a book has grabbed and held my attention from the first few lines. The Good Sister did just that - it hooked me with the murder mystery and the unraveling sisterhood kept me glued to the book.

Sarah is dead and it wasn't the way anyone thought she would go. Sarah is a 2x cancer survivor, so her family was "prepared" for her death, but no one expected she would fall off a cliff. From the first few lines, you are hooked; you know Sarah just didn't fall - but, you don't kno
Dec 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
I could not get into this book at all. It just didn't grab my attention and I had to force myself to try to keep reading which is not what you want in a book. Sarah's PoV was very weird and the other two sisters had no character depth in my opinion.

The plot was basically the two sisters rebelling and complaining about how their life sucks cause their sister died and the other sister sucks and their parents are the worst and blah blah blah. It just was really kind of boring to me so I didn't fin
There's a moment in this book where one of the characters mentions she's reading the Faulkner classic As I Lay Dying for school, and she mentions, too, the awful characters. A frankly hilarious moment, since that's exactly what this book suffers from: a glut of selfish, callous, ridiculous characters you would want nothing to do with in real life. They were all, at turns, careless and cruel to themselves, to each other, and to those around them. I didn't like any of them, and couldn't connect wi ...more
Sep 28, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a book about secrets and family. The oldest sister of three, Sarah, dies unexpectedly. The middle sister and the youngest sister (not to mention her estranged parents) have to pick up the pieces and move forward. Of course, secrets are revealed and relationships are strengthened, etc. It's a good read, but I was frustrated with the abundance angsty-teen narration. Lots of melodrama.
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
The first few chapters did pull me in...but halfway through, I started losing interest. The living sisters were just so screwed up that it was very difficult to empathize with them. There was no great storyline and even the mystery was very lackluster.
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Jamie Kain delivers a poignant, stirring story in her much-anticipated debut YA novel. Beautifully written, the storyline keeps the reader on the seat's edge throughout. Put this on your must-read list!
Nicole Gubler
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 26, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I was happily impressed with this book. And it goes to show that how others rate books plays into how i see them. I grabbed this book on a whim and when I added it to my reading category, i saw it wasn't rated as highly as many books I usually read. Which means i didn't have super-high hopes for it. But it was pleasantly thought-out, emotionally pretty well developed, and had a couple twists i didn't see coming. I have known sisters who function a lot like this set and I've known fami ...more
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grad-school
Wouldn't Recommend

This is a mixed review on account of this book is quite literally 50/50 over dramatized, shock writing and profound sentiment. The cause and effect of the plot itself is pretty... understandably escalated, but irrational to me, making it difficult to read. Really poor dialogue and characterization in my opinion, and I don't know if I would classify this as a young adult novel, (which I feel I can say, studying young adult fiction) not for the subject matter, but how it was wri
This book was pretty good. If you don't like sad books about someone dying or other people in tough relationships, this is not the book for you. But if you can handle some strong language, tough relationships, and someone dying then this is the book for you. I do have to say most of it is interesting and it did take me awhile to finish however most of the time I finish books pretty fast depending on how long the book is.

The summary is about three sisters: Rachel, Sarah, and Asha. Sarah battles
Gloria Marcano Cerisano
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have to say that I picked this book up because of the cover and title, and I was expecting something silly about sisters but I was wrong. I just finish the book and I couldn't stop reading it, I wanted to know more about Sarah, Asha and Rachel. Jamie did a great job writing about all three sisters. It was a story that you can imagine and see yourself there with them as you read. Love it the book and I will just read it again because it was great for me.
Lina Bean
Feb 13, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a really interesting way to talk about death, coping with it and in a roundabout way, suicide.

I liked that we got all three POVs are told as the story and secrets are told. Sometimes something tragic has to happen for positive changes to take hold in your life and unfortunately Sarah's death was exactly what everyone needed for this family to put being to fix what was broken and start heeling together.
Jun 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.25 stars

The Good Sister was one of my most pleasant surprises of 2014. Obviously I found the idea of the story interesting, otherwise I wouldn't have picked it up, but I never expected to as taken in by the story as I was and to count it among one of my favorite books of 2014. Before I picked up the book the whole hippie family and the dead-sister perspective gave me pause, but the way that Jamie Kain handled those two parts of the story, and the rest of the story, was so impressive, especiall
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
There was a lot of really good points about grief, and how people are remembered. Overall, I really enjoyed this. A subplot about gender identity and sexuality was definitely kind of mishandled, so be aware of that as well. Trigger warning for suicide, and suicide attempts.
Gabrielle N
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After closing this book, I sat still for 20 minutes straight thinking about the emotional journey this book put me through. I was happy. I was (mostly) infuriated. I was incredibly sad. At the end, I feel fortunate to have discovered this book.

It’s a great read.

Ida Wilcox
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Characters lives in this book was a total train wreck and I LOVED It.

All the drama and totally wasnt predictable. Most books and movies are predictable for me but I was pleasantly surprised.

Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. Wow these sisters were cruel to each other but look at who they had to look up to. Lena who is the worst mother ever!!!
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
Nov 28, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked this book and how it was about sister's coming together and slowly reforming their broken bonds.
Rachel Valentine
Nov 30, 2017 rated it liked it
It was okay, but I expected a lot more and I didn't find any of the three sisters all that likable. It was hard to relate to any of the characters in this.
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Jamie Kain grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and has since lived in too many places to count. She now calls Sacramento, California home, where she lives with her husband and three children.

The Good Sister is her debut young adult novel, and it was what you might call a labor of love, which is just a fancy way of saying it took a really long time to write and became something she was pretty obsessed

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