Sister Mischief @lauragoode - Review

Sister Mischief by Laura Goode
Publication date: 12 July 2011 by Candlewick Press
ISBN 10/13: 0763646407 | 9780763646400

Category: Young Adult Realistic Fiction
Format: Hardcover (Also available on Kindle)
Keywords: Hip hop, GLBT, suburbia

Alethea's review:

I can't do a better blurb than the one that's already on the jacket, so here it is, from

A gay suburban hip-hopper freaks out her Christian high school - and falls in love - in this righteously funny and totally tender YA debut, for real.
Listen up: You’re about to get rocked by the fiercest, baddest all-girl hip-hop crew in the Twin Cities - or at least in the wealthy, white, Bible-thumping suburb of Holyhill, Minnesota. Our heroine, Esme Rockett (aka MC Ferocious) is a Jewish lesbian lyricist. In her crew, Esme’s got her BFFs Marcy (aka DJ SheStorm, the butchest straight girl in town) and Tess (aka The ConTessa, the pretty, popular powerhouse of a vocalist). But Esme’s feelings for her co-MC, Rowie (MC Rohini), a beautiful, brilliant, beguiling desi chick, are bound to get complicated. And before they know it, the queer hip-hop revolution Esme and her girls have exploded in Holyhill is on the line. Exciting new talent Laura Goode lays down a snappy, provocative, and heartfelt novel about discovering the rhythm of your own truth.
I cried about 6 times in 360 pages, and I laughed about 30 times or more. Esme's voice is so vivid that I felt every twinge of hurt and every sweet burst of joy she experienced. I loved that she's a booklover, and a biker, and a writer. I loved the way she thinks! Though I have to admit, at times some of the lyrics sounded weak to me (this, from a brain mostly hardwired more for showtunes than hip-hop--I'm no expert, is what I'm saying) they got progressively stronger throughout the book. And anything I might have found lacking in the lyrics, the prose made up for in spades.

This novel struck me as vastly educational: I loved how Goode worked in not just poetry and music theory (and the history of hip hop, of course) but also religion, law, ethics, gender/race issues--even chemistry. The author clearly loves language, as do the mischievous sisters. They speak and sing in praise of intelligence, creativity, courage, freedom, and love. Think Sister Act 2, set in the suburbs but easy on the cheese and with a little more Lauryn Hill.

One of the other things I like about this book is how there's no outright villain (ok, Mary Ashley is pretty much a more evil version of Amanda Bynes's character in Easy A, but I digress) and that even as the sisters rebel they also respect authority. The book police might object to coarse language, sex and weed :o (no graphic sex is depicted, but there is pretty much a primer on how to take a toke) so I'd recommend this to mature teens, kids who've grown up a little too fast, and those sheltered ones who might need a little intro to the real world.

I finished the book wanting to go back, read it again, and take notes. This novel is a hot hot mess & I love it no shit. If you love love, words, and women--sister, this is the book for you!

Visit the author online at and follow @lauragoode on Twitter.

This novel was provided for advance review by the publisher through