Let me just start out by saying, I love free books. I used to be a library wraith, skulking through the aisles of nearby libraries looking for cool, free, clean books to read. It was the clean part that did me in on library books. I found some rather questionable things inside the pages of a few books and that pretty much put me off of libraries forever. Now I use e-readers (I have both a Nook and a Kindle) and love them. I can have a bazillion books with me wherever I go, AND there are actually a lot of free books available in e-reader format.
“How to Survive Your Sisters” by Ellie Campbell was a free book I got off of Amazon. The cover shows a kind of pissed off looking blonde in a wedding dress and between that and the title (in big pink letters) I fully expected a humorous chick-lit romp. What I got was a bunch of whiny, annoying characters who did nothing to make me care one iota for them. Okay, I may have cared a bit for Milly – the middle sister with four kids and a spreading midsection – but pretty much everyone else is just plain irritating. The girl on the cover is, I suspect, supposed to be Natalie who is planning a wedding for a good chunk of the book. She makes bridezillas seem like purring kittens. Which could, in the right hands, be funny. I’ve read books about annoying characters but what makes the books palatable, if not always enjoyable, is the sprinkling (and sometimes dousing) with humor. “How to Survive Your Sisters” was simply not funny. I don’t know if it TRIED to be funny but I didn’t get it’s British humor, or if it was simply just a non-funny book. Whatever the case, I found it tedious and far too long at 379 pages (which isn’t a big book, at all – just in this book it felt like an eternity).
In the end, I can safely say that Ellie Campbell is not the next Sophie Kinsella or Emily Giffin. I will likely be passing up any more of her books, free or not.
I give “How to Survive Your Sisters” 1.5 stars.