Newest Review: ... start from around a penny! So without giving too much of the plot away, the book is basically about sibling rivalry (if you hadn't already... more
which one is the ugly sister?
The Ugly Sister - Jane Fallon
Member Name: cirsty
The Ugly Sister - Jane Fallon
Advantages: great characters, prominent themes.
Disadvantages: frustrating story line and characters!
I'm a massive bookworm, I would rather sit with my nose in a book than watch a movie. I'm always on a look out for one of those books that has you hooked and I tend to go for the 'real' books, I'm not a great fan of fantasy! I love drama and romance and after reading Getting Rid of Matthew by Jane Fallon I knew that she was the type of author that creates those story lines that would keep me addicted from start to finish. Jane Fallon is a talented author with great attention to detail and her characterisation skills are impressive, I've read all of the books she's written so far and I've fallen inlove with the characters and felt their aches and pains during the twisting and unexpected dramas, so considering this I didn't think twice about purchasing The Ugly Sister.
Price: I bought this book a few months back in ASDA for £8.99 but at this moment in time it is available on the kindle for £4.99 and if you don't have a kindle prices start from around a penny!
So without giving too much of the plot away, the book is basically about sibling rivalry (if you hadn't already guessed from the book title). Caroline otherwise known as 'Cleo' was scouted as a model when she was a teenager, with her stunning looks and lean body she was a knock out compared to Abi who is much smaller and earthier than her older sister. Caroline is transformed into her modelling alter ego Cleo and is whisked into the oh-so-glamorous world of modelling where everyone is fabulous and everyone tells you you're fabulous too. The relationship between the 2 sisters is strained and has been since Caroline became Cleo, Abi is struck by Cleo's selfishness and ignorance towards her family and former life yet is very surprised when Cleo invites Abi to stay for a few weeks for some sisterly bonding times and the alarm bells start ringing for Abi and the reader.
As the reader, the relationship between the sisters is beyond petty, but Jane Fallon's writing style is effective and draws you into the shoes of each character giving the reader a holistic view of what's really going on. Fallon has a real talent for making her characters relatable and applies the unpretentious down to earth vibe that really warms the reader towards the main characters, despite the circumstances of what's going on. The reader also gets a feel of the frustration conveyed through the characters, I nearly threw the book across the room in more than one occasion at the sheer arrogance of Cleo and like Abi, I dreaded her coming home and entering the scene just because she was so self obsessed and vile! Having said that, Fallon done a great job of pushing and pulling the reader because quite often I would start to think of Cleo as a tortured soul and wanted to read on to see if she could explain her horrible behaviour and grew so frustrated at her antics!
The most obvious theme of the book is that beauty is only skin deep and comes from within, and Fallon has very cleverly related this to all the characters. Abi, who is borderline boring and hasn't ever really felt attractive, begins to appreciate the beauty of her own life and the cherished relationship with her daughter, Cleo's daughters learn to accept themselves how they are and behave just like children should behave and Jonty, who is becoming disheartened by the flash lifestyle and is searching for something a little less superficial.
I was disappointed by the ending, but I did feel the relief that all the rumpus was over with. With all of Fallon's books, I always finish them feeling like that calm after a storm because even though the ending isn't perfect the characters (and the reader!) are at peace and have worked their way through whatever drama there was. I really enjoyed The Ugly Sister and found that their many themes were very relatable as it wasn't always about the fame, money and celebrity status but the real things that matter in life when all that stuff fades out. It's not a particularly intense read but it's definitely a book that'll make your train journey feel like 5 minutes.
Summary: Jane Fallon has gone and stolen my heart again with another fantastically written book.