Half a Sister
Author: Kelly McKain
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
Publication Date: 27th August 2010
Hannah is thrilled at the idea of her newly-discovered half-sister coming to live with her family. Shes always imagined a lovely sisterly world of the girly chats, swapping make-up and sharing secrets and clothes. Beautiful, glamorous Ellie seems to live up to all Hannahs expectations. But gradually she begins to realise that Ellie has a darker side one that threatens to tear Hannah s world apart.
As a child, I absolutely adored McKain's Totally Lucy series, so when a I opened the door to find a surprise, signed copy of this, I was mega excited! Thank you to Kelly McKain and her fab publishers Usborne!
When Hannah notices the odd whispering and heavy discussions between her parents, she decides that the only possible reason is that her dad is having an affair and her parents are getting a divorce. She is so sure of it, that she's jumping to conclusions and convinced herself that she's going to be like the other's single-parent kids at school! But what's really going on is a huge shock, and when Hannah's dad goes to the elegant city of Paris again, he has something with him that is MUCH bigger than the typical souvenir.
It turns out that her father, Sam, has another daughter he never knew about. 15 year-old Ellie is coming to live with them as her mother has has been in a very serious accident. It's the only thing that Sam can do to help at this time, but Hannah's mother, Charlotte, is worried about the situation. What about Hannah? How is she going to react to this?
Hannah is more than thrilled! Ellie is fun and seems like the perfect sister, she thinks, which is what happens at first. With her beautiful dresses (which are really tops), and funky bangles, Ellie is everything Hannah wants to be!
Also, Hannah's got more on her plate than all the drama at home - there's a girl trying to come between Hannah and best friend Maya at school, and she doesn't know what to do. It seems as though the two of them are always doing something together and leaving her out, but it's not Hannah's fault she is not allowed to go to town with them every Saturday!
Ellie being there is helping, the girls' are all impressed by her gorgeous looks and how nice she is to them, and she's helping Hannah get Maya back in the process, so not everything is bad!
But Ellie really that sweet and innocent?? Why has she suddenly changed her attitude? What are Hannah's parents not telling her now? How will Hannah cope when she finally figures out what is right in front of her and that Ellie is much shadier than she appears to be?
McKain's writing style never fails to please me and this is no exception. I loved all the characters. I loved how powerful their emotions felt, especially in Ellie. I liked how creative and inspiring she was! She has downsides too, of course, I think she was still struggling to get over her mum's illness inside, but hid it from everyone. Most of her behaviour reflected off how she was feeling, and it was horrible when she got all scary-sister on Hannah (who I felt quite sorry for then!).
I think Half a Sister is for a younger audience (than me), which makes it even better considering what it's about. Young girls need to read this somewhat grim story, because they can learn a lot, and I know they will enjoy it, because hey, I did! And I'm way past that stuff!
Half a Sister is not only the cute, girly book I assumed it would be. No, there's a whole other side I never predicted. It is a touching and thought-provoking novel that I'm definitely recommending!