Skip To Content

    16 Page-Turners That You Should Read With Your Sister

    The most complicated best friend you'll ever have.

    Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

    1. Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones

    @sydnibechler / Via

    The sisters of Silver Sparrow are bound by unusual circumstances — their father is a bigamist, straddling the line between his public family and his secret one. When the two girls meet and become friends, only one of them knows their true bond, and the tension that follows is breathtaking.

    2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

    @amys_smile / Via

    Fangirl is about sisters growing apart, and how one girl specifically carves out her own space in a world she used to share with her twin. Cath and Wren grew up obsessed with the Simon Snow series — diving into forums, writing fan fiction, dressing up in costumes for the midnight premieres — but now that they're starting college, Wren has moved away from the fandom and from Cath. How will Cath figure freshman year out without her partner at her side?

    3. Atlas of Unknowns by Tania James

    Simon and Schuster

    Linno and Anju, the sisters of Atlas of Unknowns, spend their lives reaching out for each other — over the wound of their mother's mysterious death, which left them in the care of their ailing father and superstitious grandmother; across the miles that separate them when Anju travels to the U.S. on a prestigious scholarship; even (and especially) when Anju drops out and runs away to Queens, leaving Linno on the other side of the world trying to find her. Theirs is a story about the independence of striking out on your own, the comfort in settling into a home, and the struggle of being pulled in both directions.

    4. Reunion by Hannah Pittard

    @adrianadesala / Via

    It's a trio at the core of Hannah Pittard's Reunion, two sisters and one brother called back home to Atlanta for a weekend in the wake of tragedy — their father's unexpected death. As the siblings clean out his house and pick at the scabs of the distant and recent past, Kate (the youngest) both leans on her siblings and clashes with them, coming to terms with her own similarities to this imperfect man.

    5. I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

    @booked_out / Via

    I'll Give You The Sun alternates between the perspective of Noah at 13 years old — when he and his twin sister Jude are incredibly close — and Jude at 16, when the two are barely even speaking. Each story is just half of the complete picture, and while one leads to the dramatic event that tears them apart, the other chronicles the aftermath, as they try to find each other again.

    6. Klickitat by Peter Rock

    @misswendyd / Via

    Vivian feels lost and abandoned when her big sister Audra leaves home, so when Audra returns with a mysterious older man, asking Vivian to join them in a life of hiding and surviving in the wilderness, Vivian walks away without question. What follows is a story, told in haunting and evocative prose, of what happens when you realize the person you love the most isn't perfect — and how coming to this realization doesn't mean you love them any less.

    7. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

    @tiffanierdevos / Via

    There are three stories at play in Margaret Atwood's dreamy novel — the elderly Iris Chase's recollection of her life growing up around World War II, the novel her sister wrote before killing herself, and the science fiction tale the characters within that novel tell each other. But at its core, The Blind Assassin is about two sisters: one who worked through her demons by writing until she reached a point when she couldn't go on any longer, and the other trying to understand how she got there.

    8. Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld

    @katherinehyland / Via

    Kate and Violet are identical twins with the ability to sense the futures and secrets of the people around them. As adults, Kate has suppressed her psychic gift, while Violet has monetized it — and when Violet predicts a devastating earthquake on local television, Kate begins to question her belief in, and relationship with, her sister.

    9. Mambo in Chinatown by Jean Kwok


    Mambo in Chinatown is a sweet story that will ring true to anyone who's felt the complicated pull of familial obligations. Twenty-two-year-old Charlie Wong lives in a crowded Chinatown apartment with her overprotective and overworked father and anxious little sister, but is drawn to a life she can barely let herself imagine — that of a dancer. When her job as a studio receptionist leads to secret lessons, she's away from home more and more, and as her sister's health gets worse, Charlie struggles with the guilt that comes with following her dreams.

    10. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

    @msstreeturchinvintage / Via

    After losing their mother, sisters Ruth and Lucille live through a cycle of caregivers — first their grandmother, then a couple of ill-equipped great-aunts, and finally, their eccentric aunt Silvie. Together they live in the family house on a remote, glacial lake, a place steeped in the tragedy of their family's past, and it's there that the girls make sense of all they've lost and help each other grow into adults.

    11. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez

    @carolingkats / Via

    The four Garcia sisters navigate a new world at the same time when they have to leave their home in the Dominican Republic for New York City. In interconnected stories, Julia Alvarez shows all they've lost — upper class luxury, a direct line to their traditions and heritage, their extended family — and explores the strengthened relationships, newfound independence, and nuanced identities they've gained.

    12. Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

    @ellenagogo / Via

    The sisters of Shanghai Girls — 21-year-old Pearl and the younger May — see their complicated relationship tested when their father, drowning in debt, sells them off as wives to Los Angeles suitors. From 1937-1957, we see their struggles to make new homes for themselves in a strangle and often hostile country — and though they rely on each other for survival, they can't keep old secrets, resentments, and rivalry at bay.

    13. After Her by Joyce Maynard

    William Morrow

    For the girl who likes something on the darker side, After Her is about two inseparable sisters in northern California during the particular hot, dry summer of 1979. When a series of young women are found killed on the mountain behind their house, their detective father is tasked with finding the murderer — and when one of the daughters sees how the investigation is tearing her father apart, she decides to set herself up as bait and lead the killer to them, instead.

    14. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

    @vixenomous_reads / Via

    The heroes of Code Name Verity aren't sisters, but their bond is as strong, selfless, and loyal as any could be — unsurprisingly, since they meet as pilot and spy fighting for Great Britain in World War II. When their plane crashes, and the spy (code name: Verity) is captured and detained by Nazi authorities, she's forced to detail her confessions — which she does in the form of a novel — while, elsewhere, Kittyhawk plots her rescue.

    15. Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

    @nehareads / Via

    You'll find Kira-Kira — named after the Japanese phrase Katie Takeshima's big sister teaches her, meaning "glittering" — in the young readers' section, but anyone with a heart will enjoy this deeply moving story about a Japanese-American family who moves to Georgia in the 1960s, and the ways in which Katie is cared for, and disappointed by, her sister.

    16. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

    @house_eightytwo / Via

    The March sisters are classic for a reason — their heartwarming story about surviving without their father and with little money during the Civil War is one of courage, perseverance, selflessness, and the impenetrable bonds among family.

    Want great book recommendations in your inbox every week? Sign up for the BuzzFeed Books newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form