Book #36: NemeSIS by Susan Marshall

Dad has moved out and Mom has checked out, leaving the door wide open for the beautiful, erratic Rachel to torment her “loser, loner” younger sister, Nadine. With her family in full meltdown mode, Nadine is alone, trying to cope with Rachel’s increasingly unpredictable moods. Friendless, but determined to turn her life around, Nadine meets Anne, who introduces her to field hockey and to her hot twin brothers, Matt and Cameron.

As Nadine’s star begins to rise, however, Rachel plots to bring her back down, and the tension ratchets up when Rachel starts dating Matt just as Nadine is getting to know Cameron better. When Matt’s interest starts to fade, Rachel goes into overdrive. Is Nadine ready to risk it all in a final showdown with her sister?

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review. There has been no compensation and everything that follows is my own opinion.

Alright, the first thing that grabbed me was the cover. Look at that! Yes, the title is a bit corny, but I’m big on corny jokes. I can handle a bit of corn, because you know why? Corn makes popcorn and what’s good with popcorn? A horror movie. What does the cover remind you of? A 70’s or 80’s horror flick.

Boom. I went there.

So . . . that and the blurb made me think that this book was going to be a messed up trip down family lane. Sure, the blurb doesn’t hint at all that, but the subtlety of “what’s going to happen” and the cover made me think something dark was going to happen. Maybe ending on a bittersweet note. Or a happy note where one sister is in a nice padded room and hugging it out.

Nope.

This book is one of those DJC (Don’t Judge by the Cover) cases. This is a book about bullying. It’s about stepping away from being alone and stepping back to living. It’s about living, not surviving.

NemeSIS is a book I would have wanted to read back in 9th grade. During that time, I was going through a lot of bullying and self hate. I wasn’t unpopular, but there was a dark part of me that just wanted it all to end. That I was worthless.

I still feel that way sometimes.

Nadine is a 10th grader who decides to make a change in her life. She develops steps towards a better life that ends in a quasi-uplifting manner. Her sister is messed up and does probably have a mental illness, but that isn’t the point of the story. The point of the story is how Nadine works out all of her stress into something productive.

I personally would have wanted more about her sister’s mental health problems. More of the darker stuff to show off the brighter stuff. It would have helped me understand why this was the lowest point for Nadine.

As such, it felt like a girl starving for friendship more than a girl starving to change her life.

The writing was well done. It was easy to get started and end the book, but I felt it is a book geared more to 8th or 9th graders. Anyone older would probably be wanting what I was hoping for.

All in all, I didn’t dislike the book. I liked it. It had good points, such as Nadine’s steps, but I wasn’t completely immersed.

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