“It is as though love is only for the beautiful” A Review of My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite


Madison Tovey, Writer, Editor-in-Chief

“We take him to where we took the last one—over the bridge and into the water. At least he won’t be lonely.” 

My Sister the Serial Killer is a story about how far you are willing to go for love, but not in the sense that you expect. You think a story about a woman killing her boyfriends would be a story about a man vying for his life. But no. The main source of contention is Korede’s love for Ayoola and how far she is willing to go for it.

“It is as though love is only for the beautiful.”

Our narrator, Korede, is a woman who has been cleaning up the messes up of her sister, Ayoola, for years. Despite this, she has never been the favorite child. (The amount of frustration you feel for Korede is almost more frustrating than the actual murdering of an innocent man.) The wild child is favored by not only their parents, but men—to their misfortune. Ayoola has always been seen as the more conventionally attractive, the more put together. Alluring men was never something that didn’t come naturally.

“These days you look at me like I’m a monster.” 

The story starts after Ayoola has just killed a man for the third time, and Korede helps Ayoola yet again. While I love this book, I don’t think that you understand for one second why Korede continues to help Ayoola, she is nothing but unkind to her sister, and she murders people. Up until Femi, the third man, there was never something that Ayoola could do that Korede would not forgive. Until Tade. Tade is a handsome, kind doctor who Korede has been in love with for ages.  And one day Ayoola visits her sister at work, and Tade inevitably asks for her number. To be honest, I don’t understand how Korede was ever interested in him. He was boring, not to mention more interested in someone awful (and a murderer) just for the sake of her beauty.

“Every time I close my eyes, I see a dead man. I wonder what it would be like to see nothing again.”

Korede knows what Ayoola is going to do, so she is caught between the love of her sister and a guy that she has never actually had a real conversation with that she is totally in love with and totally doesn’t just think is hot. I can’t imagine what I would do if my sibling murdered a man, but I think I can make a pretty good guess at what I would if they murdered three. And then if they started dating someone I liked. And then was going to kill them.

“Why should her hands be clean, while mine become more and more stained?”

I make fun of the relationship dynamics in this book, but there is no denying how beautiful the writing is. Nigerian author Oyinkan Braithwaite knows how to make you want to scream at a woman for helping a psycho, while also feeling bad for a woman is caught helping someone she loves. So heartbreaking, so beautiful.