THE PLOT: Sista Sister by Candice Brathwaite is a compilation of personal essays. Written for black girls, the book covers all the things Candice wishes someone had talked to her about when she was growing up in South London. The book is split into ten “lessons” which cover a myriad of topics, including money, social media, hair, grief, colourism, relationships and friendships. But most of all, it’s a raw and honest account of the Candice’s life – highs and lows – so others can learn from her experiences.
RATING: This is a slightly unusual review because I read this book as part of Tandem Collective’s #SistaSisterListenalong. That’s right, this is my first ever audiobook! And I can’t lie, it’s hard to decouple my review of this specific book from my review of audiobooks in general. At first it felt slow and stiff, and I’m not sure whether that was just my awkwardness at the new medium. However, I soon got into it and listened to hours and hours in one day. I think this is because Candice is very personable so, once I’d been eased in, it felt like listening to a friend.
GOOD BITS: Having grown up in the same area to Candice (she literally mentions my school in lesson 2), this book felt very relatable. Her struggles with her hair and dating white guys made me yell “preach Sista, preach!”. She articulates the issues so well that if anyone asks me about colourism and how that affects relationships for dark-skinned girls, I will simply refer them to this book from now on. However, it was the lesson on money that I found most useful because I think it’s an important topic that women don’t address enough and she gives practical advice on debt.
NOT SO GOOD BITS: Okay, I am a little woo-woo. I own rose quartz, tarot cards and have been to a psychic. But the lesson on manifestation didn’t work for me. She talks about putting things into the universe and positive thinking, which is something I loosely believe in but haven’t researched. So maybe I didn’t enjoy this chapter because I’m new to “the law of attraction” and needed an entry level explanation? Or maybe it felt jarring and contradictory to the earlier chapter about money? I don’t know, but I wasn’t feeling it.
OVERALL: If you’re a fan of personal essays, this is definitely worth picking up. My non-black listenalong buddies found it very informative, so it’s good for any race, but I love how she’s specifically written it for black girls. Candice’s life hasn’t been plain sailing but it’s also representative of thousands of women, which is why she is able to have great insight. I’d recommend it to fans of “Slay in Your Lane” or “How Do We Know We’re Doing it Right?”. And, as for audiobooks, I’ll definitely be purchasing some non-fiction and essay collections soon.
Thank you to the Tandem Collective and Quercus Books for my gifted audiobook as part of the #SistaSisterListenAlong.