The Perfect Sister


Fiction - New Adult
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 11/24/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

Novels and films about girl friendships that end up in backstabbing are a dime a dozen, and most of them are dumb and forgettable. Zachary Ryan changes that with his intriguing and smart novel, The Perfect Sister. Tinsley is the main protagonist, a girl who comes to Campbell in the hopes of moving on and leaving the sins of her past behind. She expected that the new school campus would be her chance to be normal. This, however, didn’t mean that her past would stop haunting her. Adding to that, she gets involved with Kappa Zeta, the top-tier sorority of Campbell. Kappa Zeta has many indiscretions to its name, including the death of a student pledge the previous year. A fresh start for Tinsley is not going to be easy.

The Perfect Sister contains wisdom, something that is better left for you to read. The music playlist that Zachary Ryan provides is right on cue as each song corresponds to a situation per chapter. The novel dissects college society in sharp detail, and Ryan’s narrative is well-informed. The title aptly suggests how this story is psychologically and sociologically rooted. The plot suggests that you should never reveal your secrets, even to those people that you trust or hold dear, because secrets always have a way of leaking like miasmic vapor - and it gets back at you. As for characterization, Tinsley may be the center, but the storyline pulses with the personalities of those who operate around Tinsley’s periphery on the campus, notably Lauren Bloody Mary. Will mature teenage readers enjoy the story? Yes, and you can throw in adult readers as well.

Stephanie Chapman

In The Perfect Sister, Zachary Ryan shows how rumors can be taken to the next level to destroy the social lives and integrity of young adults. Tinsley arrived in Cambridge to leave behind a painful past and found she was sharing a dorm with Codi. She immediately viewed Codi as a girl who would not be popular. When Kappa Zeta Sorority looks at possible candidates, Tinsley is carried away with being one of the popular girls. She dates Neil from Theta Alpha. During the homecoming party, everyone receives a message from the Perfect Sister, revealing she is going to pick players with the worst secrets for a game. Who is this person? When secrets are revealed, will people's popularity fall?

In The Perfect Sister, Zachary Ryan created a story full of intense drama and suspense. Lauren was cold and ruthless and wanted to spread her misery to anyone who could be a rival. Alexa was her underling, yet it was apparent she did not trust her. Tinsley disappointed me in the way she treated Codi, especially after she judged Codi by her outward appearance instead of seeing her as a genuine person. I wanted to slap Tinsley when she put Codi down. The messages from The Perfect Sister were terrifying. Neil’s choice of a profession shocked me. I could never imagine that dating someone and discovering their means of employment could be so dramatic. The transitioning character views were seamless and easy to follow and the story was unpredictable to the end. Rumors can spin wildly out of control, and many are factually based. I recommend this book to readers who like an intriguing plot that will keep you guessing to the end.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

The Perfect Sister by Zachary Ryan tells us why we should always keep our enemies closer than our friends. Tinsley hasn’t had the best past; she’s made a lot of mistakes but she thought heading to Campbell would give her the new start she wants. How wrong could she be? She makes one major mistake – she puts too much trust in her new “best” friends in her Kappa Zeta sorority. There’s already one secret that should have been kept hidden and many more waiting to be discovered - some of them Tinsley’s own secrets. The sorority president doesn’t make things any easier for Tinsley and now she has to watch her back – there’s always one person willing to stab you in the back to get what they want and Tinsley is on borrowed time. She should never have come to Campbell; now it may be too late to leave.

The Perfect Sister by Zachary Ryan is a well-written story of life, love, and fitting in but at a cost. The writer has an engaging style, with well-constructed dialog and the shift between scenes is seamless. It’s a descriptive story, allowing you to picture it clearly, and you almost feel yourself living it as the plot unfolds. The characters are defined properly, each having their own backstory and secrets that we learn throughout the book, some of which explain certain behaviors. It’s more than just a fictional story though; it teaches us that, while trust is important, too much can be your downfall. The plot is packed with action and drama, with the characters facing challenging times. A realistic story, it’s ideal for those who want something a little different to read, and is a thoroughly enjoyable book.