The Children’s Book Review | September 3, 2019
Written by Lauren Spieller
Age Range: 14 and up
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Reader
What to expect: Contemporary YA, Sisters, Friendship
From the author of 2018’s YOUR DESTINATION IS ON THE LEFT, SHE’S THE WORST is the clever sister-drama you’ve been waiting for.
Think you know your sister? Think again.
April and Jenn know that they have each other figured out down to the last sip of their favorite coffee drinks. April is completely over older sister Jenn who’s too in to her looks, her boyfriend, her job at their parent’s antique shop, and overall, herself. And Jenn’s pretty sure little sister April is a slacker jock who doesn’t care at all about their family or her responsibilities. So when April sees that Jenn is sad about staying home for college, it’s a surprise to everyone (including herself) when she asks Jenn to take a romp through their childhood and visit all their old favorite places to cheer her up. It’s a big bet – Jenn and April can’t seem to be around one another for more than a few minutes without arguing.
While exploring Los Angeles, everything seems to be going better than expected. Maybe each sister isn’t as bad as the other realized! Well, until Jenn lets something slip that could tear their already arguing and unhappy parents apart. Can April ever understand what’s really going on with her sister? Will Jenn finally let April in on the biggest heartache of her life? Or will the day – and their family – end in catastrophe?
Told in alternating points of view, this fun romp through Los Angeles peels away the mystery one sunny moment at a time. Jenn and April play off of each other cleverly, and author Lauren Spieller matches their different predicaments for strength of feeling. In each girl’s eyes, they are the wounded one (and we as readers believe each of them). It’s difficult to see someone else’s life and not assume it’s easier or better, and this book takes that concept and splits it wide open. Not everything is as it seems. Each sister is fighting her own battle with their clueless parents (Can we rename this book, YOUR PARENTS ARE THE WORST?) and doesn’t realize what the other is going through. This one will hit close to home for many teens, and without any hint of preachiness or judgement. And it doesn’t hurt that the cover is pretty great, too.
With pitch-perfect dialog, a beautiful and fleshed-out Los Angeles background and completely likable protagonists, this is a surefire hit. Highly recommended.
Buy the Book
You may also enjoy: Your Destination Is on the Left
About the Author
Lauren Spieller is an author and literary agent who lives in New York City with her husband. When she isn’t writing, she can be found drinking lattes, pining for every dog she sees, or visiting her native California. She is the author of Your Destination Is on the Left and She’s the Worst.
Read our exclusive interview: Lauren Spieller Discusses She’s the Worst
She’s the Worst, written by Lauren Spieller, was reviewed by Denise Mealy. Discover more books like She’s the Worst by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Books With Secrets, Los Angeles, Siblings, Sisters, and Young Adult Fiction.