I must say there has been a fair amount of hype about My Sister's Reaper in the past few months. I'm not normally a fantasy/paranormal reader, but after reading the synopsis, my interest was piqued.
Sixteen-year-old Zadie's first mistake was telling the boy she liked she could bring her dead sister back to life. Her second mistake was actually doing it.
When Zadie accidentally messes with the Reaper's Rite that should have claimed her sister Mara, things go horribly wrong. Mara isn't the same anymore--Zadie isn't even sure she's completely human, and to top it off, a Reaper is determined to collect Mara's soul no matter what. Now Zadie must figure out how to defeat her sister's Reaper, or let Mara die...this time for good.
See what I mean? Interesting, right?
So what worked? First of all, I love the cover. Slam dunk on that front. Also, the book was very well paced. We dive right into the action without all the boring buildup. Mara's in a coma, and Zadie uses her powers to make her wake up. However, Mara doesn't act the way she used to, and Zadie doesn't really understand her own abilities. Add it all together and throw in some strange townspeople who may or may not have the answers Zadie's looking for and consider the spook factor met.
As for what didn't work, for me, the narrative voice didn't feel authentic. Zadie's your average teen. She's got good friends, a working father, and an older, more popular sister, but she didn't jump off the page in my opinion. There were some great moments of prose, but overall, the narrative voice fell flat; so, while I loved the premise, I was disappointed in its execution.