October 21st, 2013
Soul Sisters by Janiera Eldridge
I'd heard about this book through the author from a blog we mutually follow. I was nervous and excited to know the main characters were two Black/AA twins, as growing up, being a black twin, the only thing "creative" thing people would call my sister and I were "Tia and Tamera" or "Sister, Sister" growing up. And obviously being using "creative", Im being sarcastic. There is a lot of room to ruin the twin name, and while this book had strong and weak points, if anything it was true to "my" relationship with my sister.
I definitely think the pacing and consistency/reliability could use work. Certain details that I'll explain later made the story harder to follow than it needed to be. The world-building aspect could also use work, but i'll award the point because it definitely is a different take on vampires and the lore behind them. Humans offer a part of their souls for immortality. In return, that part of their soul becomes a living life size vampire version of themselves. I saw reviews that argued that doesn't really make them "twins", but considering they're "soul sisters"(soul brothers for men)they're related by soul if anything. So if you cant use your imagination, you're probably more than likely to prefer reading the same way of telling a story over and over. I'll award predictability but only because at times it's inconsistencies made it difficult to predict.
Im a twin, so I could relate to Dana the human main character. Ani the vampire reminded me of my sister Libertad, because she is naturally more aggressive, so while this may not relate to all twins, growing up Black and a twin, I could definitely relate. Their behavior around each other was very twin like. It actually wouldn't surprise me if the writer was a twin, or related closely to a pair in some way. I did like one more than the other, but I wont say which. It always hurt me growing up when I was the toss away twin XD so I'll leave that unknown.
I do however feel as though the backstory could have been stronger. At times, the timeline was off, so it made it a bit inconsistent for me as a reader. The conflict is definitely there. Most of the time because they themselves caused it XD I'll also award the story for the unique take on vampire origins.
The language was ok. It came off as a bit campy at times. There are two European characters, one English, and the other a Spaniard. They often spoke in colloquials most suited to North Americans. The English one I would give a pass to, but I have a Spanish friend. I met him recently, and since English isn't his first language, he speaks very structured. I realize that he is only one guy, but their slang seemed more suited to Americans or Canadians. The Point of view had a few issues. Nothing that cant be easily fixed, but it didn't appear organized to me. But there is a balance between dialogue and beats, so all is not lost. However, I still think it could use a harder edit.
There is a bunch of diversity. The girls themselves are Black(Dana I felt was more African American than her soul sister Ani. Ani seemed as though she spent a lot more time in Europe before joining back up with her). They encountered many men in and outside their race, including Ani's Spanish boyfriend Diego. Im not sure how much of this is research or imagination though. Since Im not sure, Im not sure it's fair to judge it on lack or presence of research involved. The efforts to empower the girls didn't seem forced, as they were attractive and spoke highly of themselves, and hardly spoke ill will of other women, even if they had ugly personalities.
The title is cute. It's suits the story. The cover is just ok. It's not bad, I just find it to be just ok. The character names were plain, but I felt as though they suited the characters. Most of them were way past 100+ years, so names like theirs were much more common to use in those times, than to name a girl "Apple" or "Blue Ivy." I didn't however find that the descriptions of the girls were clear. When Ani is introduced in the first chapter, she's described as "cocoa" color. But later in the book, it claims them to be a caramel color. Hmmm... Cocoa is a lot darker than caramel, so I wasn't sure if they were more biracial looking or not. Dana claimed Ani green eyes and that was the only difference between the two of them, but on several occasions, it mentioned Dana's eyes being green as well. So that was a bit confusing for me.
The book itself is ok. It had it's strong and weak points, and even books that have both can be enjoyable. I would buy the sequel just to see where the story goes.
My dream casting was pretty easy. I pictured The Mowry Twins =)
They still look pretty good after all these years =)