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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.