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My Sister, the Serial Killer

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  8,985 ratings  ·  1,740 reviews
Satire meets slasher in this short, darkly funny hand grenade of a novel about a Nigerian woman whose younger sister has a very inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends.

"Femi makes three, you know. Three and they label you a serial killer."

Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopa
Hardcover, 226 pages
Published November 20th 2018 by Doubleday Books
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Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Clever novel about two sisters, one of whom is a serial killer, the other the resentful, yearning enabler. The satirical bent works really well here because it walks that fine line of being, given the contretemps, entirely plausible. Interesting observations about social media, men and what they want, and women who see right through them. Well worth a read.
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is a 2018 Doubleday Books publication.


That provocative title and amazing cover art certainly piques one's curiosity. Noticing all the positive reactions the book received, I just had to see for myself if it was worth all the kudos.

Well, I have to say, this is my kind of book!! Seriously, I really, really, really love satire and dark humor. I do understand it is often an acquired taste, but it takes a special kind of creativity and bal
Christina - Traveling Sister
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
4, the sisterhood of the traveling...serial killer stars!!!

Full review featured on my blog Recipe & a Read!

I finished this quite a bit ago, so I’m going to do my best to remember everything I thought about this book. This is at it’s heart a story about two sisters, Korede and Ayoola. Korede is pragmatic, level headed and sensible. Her sister Ayoola, is none of these things. Ayoola is rash, beautiful, vibrant, the favored child and deeply irresponsible. Oh, also – did I mention she’s a sociop
Navidad Thélamour
Femi makes three, you know. Three, and they label you a serial killer.

In case you haven't noticed, Oyinkan Braithwaite’s My Sister, the Serial Killer has been taking the social media scene by storm the past few weeks. And I get it; the cover art is (pardon my pun) killer and the title exudes a certain titillation that will make a reader quickly reach for the book on the shelf. For me, My Sister, the Serial Killer, was an easy, brisk read that I mostly read in one sitting. And I was additionally
Larry H
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
"I can't pinpoint the exact moment I realized that Ayoola was beautiful and I was...not. But what I do know is that I was aware of my own inadequacies long before."

Korede is a nurse in Nigeria, dedicated to her patients and well-respected by her superiors. But no matter what her achievements are, she knows she'll always play second fiddle to her younger sister, Ayoola. Ayoola is the pretty one, the favorite—and she's a psychotic murderer.

One night Ayoola summons Korede to her boyfriend's house.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you appreciate dark humor with a side of social commentary this is the book for you!

The novel is set in the author’s birthplace of Nigeria, and follows two sisters, Ayoola and Korede. Ayoola is beautiful, irresponsible, and has a habit of killing off her boyfriends. Korede is the older, less attractive sister who literally cleans up the messes her sister makes and protects her at all costs.

Ayoola lacks self-awareness and goes about her life being adored and indulged due to her great beauty.
j e w e l s [Books Bejeweled]

“Femi makes three, you know. Three and they label you a serial killer.”

Ok, truth here--this is not a suspenseful thriller, despite the enticing title. It IS a novel about family dynamics, love between sisters and loyalty to the ones that matter in your life.

The minute I started this short, richly dark and funny book, I was HOOKED! It is elegant and lovely, all gorgeous words on a page.

Set in Nigeria, very up-to-the-minute contemporary, and oh so addictive! The story cen
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-read
**3.5-stars rounded up**

My Sister, the Serial Killer is a unique novella following the perspective of a young woman, Korede, living in Lagos, Nigeria. Korede is a nurse and seems to lead a fairly normal life; she is on the straight and narrow, if you will. 'Normal' until you discover that Korede's younger sister, Ayoola, kills all of her boyfriends and then calls on Korede to help clean up the mess!

"You're a big sister now, Korede. And big sisters look after little sisters." Apparently, this is
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book reads like a bowl of popcorn. Fresh, light, hot and salty. Each very short chapter going down with a crunch, my hand already reaching greedily into the bowl for the next.

It's so very easy to read - but it contains complexity that satisfies. All at once it is mysterious, funny, disturbing. The current of feminism-gone-awry runs through it. Family ties that strangle.

Korede is the responsible sister. Ayoola is the serial killer. She's the perfect black widow, beautiful and charming. She
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
This book is a complete gem and I enjoyed every moment I spent with Korede and Ayoola!

Firstly, I have never read a book that took place in Africa...Lagos Nigeria to be precise and it made this book much more interesting for me.

Korede and Ayoola are sisters. Korede is the sensible one that makes her living as a nurse and also cleaning up after her sister Ayoola. Ayoola is flighty, addicted to social media, but mostly Ayoola is beautiful. No man can seem to resist her charm. Or, better yet, her
Holly  B
Campy, weird, and off-beat

I've struggled with how to review this oddly addictive book. I listened to the Audible version and the narrator was really enjoyable.  Her Nigerian accent added to the allure of the sister bond that was built into the plot and I loved how she pronounced their names, Korede and Ayoola.

It isn't so much about Ayoola's little problem of killing her boyfriends, but more about the relationship of the two sisters and how she dealt with her in many wild situations. Korede is
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
How could you not be interested in this one? The title, the cover, the subject matter. I was sold immediately. I got the audio, rather quickly too from my library, and jumped right in.

Two sisters. One a nurse, one a psychopathic serial killer. Korede works hard as a nurse. She is very frustrated, to say the least, with her sister. Her sister, Ayoola, is beautiful, she stops men in their tracks. Though, she is quite aloof. Men practically throw themselves at her. But....she's crazy and kills them
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-of-2018
Nifty debut novel for Braithwaite - and love that crazy book cover!

Korede and Ayoola are sisters in Lagos, Nigeria. Korede is the older sister; sensible, practical, plain. Ayoola is the younger sister; flighty, charming, spectacularly beautiful. Ayoola has an unfortunate habit of murdering her admirers and depends on Korede to help her conceal her crimes. Only Ayoola doesn’t think of them as crimes, because Ayoola is a narcissistic sociopath. When Ayoola sets her sights on Korede’s secret crush,
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

Honestly, this book immediately drew me in, and has been rolling around in my head since its completion. Yes, it deals with two sisters, and yes, one of them is a serial killer. However, there is something alluring, something so sinister, and something that draws you through this short book to a conclusion that was totally bizarre, perhaps not understandable, and yet seemed to utterly fit.

Ayoola, the younger sister has a penchant for killing her boyfriends, while big sister Koreed, has
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was tremendous fun from start to finish. Sure, certain elements could have withstood a bit more depth and detail, and it's destined to disappoint anyone expecting a proper thriller, but for a quick and pacy character study it was extremely satisfying. Braithwaite toes the line between satire and realism so deftly that you manage to get properly invested in these sisters even as their actions shock and horrify.
Jan 11, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
1 star !

I found this mostly repulsive. In what kind of world is serial killing and psychopathy funny ?

A feminist arse !

The one star is for the very interesting cultural and social setting.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"On their one month anniversary, she stabbed him in the bathroom of his apartment. She didn't mean to, of course."

Braithwaite has written an exquisite dark tale about murder that bind two sisters together. I loved Braithwaite's sense of humor and sass in this mix of murder!

Korede has always come to her younger sister Ayoola's side when she needs her even when it involves dead bodies upon dead bodies. The story starts out with a bang.... as we see already a murder that is being covered up by Ay
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, poc-author
4.5 stars This was so much better than I expected.

See me talk about it briefly in my May wrap up:
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“Three, and they label you a serial killer.”

Korede has always felt it was her responsibility to look after her younger sister Ayoola. Not only is Korede older, but she’s also the sensible one, the one with the good job. And while she may not be the “pretty” one – at least she doesn’t have a habit of murdering her boyfriends.

Thus is the plot behind this compact little slice of fun. If you enjoy the stabby stabby over the bump and gri
Miriam Smith
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: readers-first
I wasn't quite sure what to expect with "My Sister, the Serial Killer" by Oyinkan Braithwaite but once I'd started to flick through it and read a couple of pages I was hooked and before I knew it, I was a third of the way through!
Thoroughly modern and set in Lagos, Nigeria, this is a quick, enjoyable read that is dark, humorous and shows the bond between two sisters that stays strong no matter what....including murder.
Every man falls in love with young and gorgeous Ayoola, the minute they set ey
Lark Benobi
Update: Powells Books has listed this novel in their "Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Graphic Novels of 2018". So Powell's evidently thinks this novel is "Horror." Not farce. Not feminist satire. I agree with Powell's. The lightness of the novel, physically and semantically, makes it easy to forget that it is fundamentally a horror story, and the tension between the lighthearted writing style and the horrific story is what made this such an unsettling read for me.

original review:

Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ayoola summons me with these words - Korede, I killed him.
I had hoped I would never hear those words again.

The most important word in the above sentences is again. Three times now Ayoola has "killed him." And, three times now, Korede has helped clean up the mess.

Korede and Ayoola are about as different as two sisters can be. As Korede puts it, . . . Ayoola looks like a Bratz doll and I resemble a voodoo figurine. Everything about Korede smacks of the utilitarian: her angular shape, and her take
Barry Pierce
Ayoola summons me with these words — Korede, I killed him. I had hoped I would never hear those words again.

Thus begins Oyinkan Braithwaite’s debut novel My Sister, The Serial Killer. The book has had an interesting history. It first appeared as an ebook in 2017 under the title Thicker Than Water. Publishing rights were then quickly snapped up by Atlantic and it was published, physically, with its new eye-catching title, at the end of 2018. And what a title it is. I must admit that it's what f
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
My thanks to Doubleday Books, and Netgalley for this arc.
I really thought I'd love this book. It had some fantastic reviews on Goodreads. Turns out I hated it. I'm one of those people who have to have somebody to like and root for. I couldn't abide the sister's in this book. One bemoans her fate, and the other is a selfish, spoiled serial killer. One cleans up her sister's messes...ach! To hell with it. The book sucked. The writing was well done, and I'd read something else by this author. But,
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Ayoola summons me with these words – Korede, I killed him.”

Korede is a nurse, who is obsessed with cleanliness. That is quite useful where her beautiful, younger sister, Ayoola is concerned, as she has now killed her third boyfriend. Indeed, Korede has become adept at cleaning up after such crimes, and disposing of bodies.

So begins this enticing, deliciously dark, novel. As the story progresses, we learn more about the characters, and why, perhaps, Ayoola – so enticing to men – just cannot see
'Let's not just assume that a woman isn't capable of doing certain things, because perhaps she is, and perhaps we should watch out for her.'

THAT'S IT, THAT'S THE BOOK. (Also that whole article by the author is all kinds of amazing and you should read it. Preferably after you've read the book.)


My Sister, the Serial Killer is a bit of a mindfuck of a book with the only person who's really having any fund at all (while,
Valerity (Val)
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Sister, the Serial Killer

I thought I might try a change of pace and something new for me with this FICTIONAL  thriller titled, My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite. Set in Lagos, Nigeria... Ayoola keeps knocking off boyfriends and calling her sister Korede in the night for help. It’s totally getting out of hand and becoming a real problem. Korede is a great problem solver in this instance, because of her job working in a hospital cleaning, she knows how to clean up blood great.
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The lengths one woman will go through to protect her sister. I call it enabling but in this story, it is so well put together that I understand it fully. I understand Korede’s need to make sure everything around her is clean because in reality, her life is a mess. The lengths she goes to protect her sister takes away from all she wanted in life.

“Victim? Is it mere coincidence that Ayoola has never had a mark on her, from any of these incidents with these men; not even a bruise? What does she wa
Jessica Woodbury
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
A slim, slow-burn of a suspense novel. It took me a little while to get into it, but once I did it moves quickly and you can read it in a day without much trouble.

This is one of those crime novels that starts with the clean up, but the big question isn't whether the sisters will get caught. It's not even whether beautiful, careless Ayoola will kill again. The question is why Korede cleans up after her. Of course, the book considers these other questions and most of the plot is built around them
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

Korede and Ayoola are sisters yet they could not be any more different. Korede is a dedicated nurse who puts others needs before her own. "Ayoola lives in a world where things must go her way. It's a law as certain as the law of gravity." Her selfishness is only eclipsed by her beauty. But Ayoola has a problem. Despite her charming ways with men her last three boyfriends have died by her hand. She has only gotten away with it because Korede always cleans up her messes. Literally. She ge
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OYINKAN BRAITHWAITE is a graduate of Creative Writing and Law from Kingston University. Following her degree, she worked as an assistant editor at Kachifo, a Nigerian publishing house, and has been freelancing as a writer and editor since. In 2014, she was shortlisted as a top-ten spoken-word artist in the Eko Poetry Slam, and in 2016 she was a finalist for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. She ...more
“The most loving parents and relatives commit murder with smiles on their faces. They force us to destroy the person we really are: a subtle kind of murder.” 3 likes
“Ayoola and I don’t really have friends in the traditional sense of the word. I think you have to accept someone into your confidence, and vice versa, to be able to call them a friend.” 3 likes
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