The Year My Sister Got Lucky by Aimee Friedman
Came out: January 1, 2008
Source: Barnes & Noble
Age Group: Young Adult
When Katie and Michaela Wilder are uprooted from NYC and planted in rural Fir Lake, Katie is horrified by their new surroundings: the too-friendly neighbors, the local uniform of sandals paired with socks, the very idea of milking a cow. But while Katie suffers through shopping withdrawal, Michaela transforms into a small-town social firefly, flirting with the hot quarterback and soaking up nature with her new hick-town friends. As in, people who think camping is *fun*. Does Katie even know her sister anymore? And after Michaela hides a jaw-dropping secret from her, does Katie even want to?
I really liked the characters. Katie was slightly naive and could be whiny, but you really grew to love her. Michaela was really interesting: first, her dream is to dance. Then she falls in love and finds her place in a small town. Who would have guessed?I loved the emphasis of dance. I am a dancer, so I absolutely adored the description of it. I completely identify with both Katie and Michaela and loved their relationship as sisters. Katie feels slightly betrayed that Michaela is branching out and Michaela starts to miss what they used to have. I liked their "tradition" of watching the stars together. It was very sweet.Plus, I love how Katie starts to discover herself. First, she thinks that she belongs in the city as a ballerina at a prestigious dance school and dreads the thought of moving out to the country. She is also upset that her parents kept this fact from her and she barely found out from Michaela. Katie was innocent and sweet. She found herself falling in love, making friends, and finding her place in Fir Lake.I really enjoyed the description of her friendship with Autumn and how she originally described her as a hick, but now realizes that appearances aren't everything. I loved watching her go through her first year in high school, love, friendship and family. I also enjoyed "Katya"s relationship with her Russian mother and her father. While not a lot of detail was put into those scenes, they were very well-written and connects you to the character.I liked how Katie turned to yoga and tried to help Emmaline with the problems that she thought she had. Katie was very caring, but could be slightly selfish. Although, this is realistic because I have to admit that if I were told I had to uproot my life to move to a really random place, I'd probably be upset too. I liked how nature played a big role in this. I also liked the memories that Katie recalls about her and Michaela when they were younger and how they were weaved throughout the book.The ending was absolutely adorable. It was cute, satisfying, and nicely wrapped up the story. This book is great if you want a book about love, family, friends, or life in general.Recommended for anybody who loves: The Year I Turned Sixteen; The Dairy Queen; The Cupcake Queen; small-town books; ballerinas; The Splendor Falls; sister books, etc,.Possible book club questions:Michaela and Katie both wish that they could look like the other one. How is this typical of sisters and friends?Katie is reluctant to put down roots in Fir Lake. Do you think that she believes she may go back to New York?Why do you think that Autumn is so enraptured by the thought of ballet? How is this not adding up to her appearance?In a small town, people know anything. How do you think that Michaela's secret didn't come out.Michaela says that she wanted to be known as something else and start over in a new town. How do you think that she changed her personality while staying true to herself?If you were Heather, what would you think of Katie?Do you think that it was okay for Michaela to make a decision so important when she had just come to the town for about a year?Think back to Michaela's confession at the theater in New York. Why might she feel that way?