Title: Our Sister Again
Author: Sophie Cameron
Publisher: Little Tiger
Genre: Older children/middle grade, Science fiction
Book format: Paperback
Sweet Strawberries: Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description:  On a small island off the Scottish coast, Isla and her family are grieving the loss of her older sister Flora, who died three years ago. Then they’re offered the chance to be part of a top-secret trial, which revives loved ones as fully lifelike AI robots using their digital footprint.
Isla has her doubts about Second Chances, but they evaporate the moment the ‘new’ Flora arrives. This girl is not some uncanny close likeness; she is Flora – a perfect replica. But not everyone on their island feels the same. And as the threats to Flora mount, she grows distant and more secretive. Will Isla be able to protect the new Flora and bring the community back together?

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  This is such an amazing and emotional story.  Isla’s sister Flora died a year and a half ago and while the family is still grieving, Isla’s mum just can’t seem to move on, so Isla decides to sign her mum up to a support group but a year and a half after her mum gets in contact with the group, the family is not incomplete anymore as a new Flora is welcomed back.

Our Sister Again book page image one
©The Strawberry Post – A look at the chapter headers in this book

A new Flora, a robot version, created by a company that seeks to bring back the deceased to families who have lost their loved ones, brings back an AI robot Flora who seems every bit the same Flora she always was, albeit a Flora from two years ago, still fifteen-years-old, and who remembers things the way they were before she got sick.  With Flora’s return to the island her family’s lives can return to normal, or so they hope, except things are different, Flora isn’t quite the same, and not everybody on the island is happy to see her return.  This story is so interesting and such an emotional read.  The book is told from Isla’s perspective as she and her family react differently to Flora coming back into their lives after her death nearly two years earlier.  I loved the series Humans when it aired several years ago on tv so this book was instantly one I wanted to read, the idea of a human robot and how real they could be being something that made me want to pick this up.

Flora’s existence is part of a project by the company who made her, a secret project which if failed could see Flora taken away from her family.  They live on a small Scottish island so the community know about Flora coming back too, but although at first it seems everyone is pleased to welcome Flora back, some bad things start happening, which suggests someone isn’t happy about her return.  I like how we get to see what happens from Isla’s point of view and how emotional this story is from the start.  Although Flora is welcomed at first, it soon becomes clear that something is wrong and on top of it, although Flora seems to be the same teenage girl she always was, it’s soon clear that there are some differences and as the story moves on Flora starts to become more and more distant from Isla and the rest of her family.

I like what happens and how things go despite some of the darker things happening on the island too.  Isla’s budding relationship with Holly is one I really enjoyed reading and gives some light relief to the heavier stuff Isla’s having to deal with at home.  As the story moves on there are some interesting twists and I like what happens and what is discovered.  There’s a big twist near the end and a reveal about what has been happening and I like how this story became not only a story about Flora and her family but also about the idea of bringing back humans as robots and whether it’s really possible and whether should be done.

The story’s ending is good but it’s a difficult one to read too as it’s both happy and sad.  It’s a bit of a sad heart-breaking ending in one way with what happens, but at the same time it’s also a good ending and happy in ways too.  It certainly feels like the right ending and I do like how one character does act differently near the end towards Flora.  Overall this book really pulled at me emotionally, not only for Isla’s story, dealing with what’s happening with Flora and her own grief at the original Flora’s death, as well as dealing with other things happening in her life, but it’s a good book for thinking about what it means to be human and the ethics or bringing someone back (if we could).  There are so many things to think about after reading this and it’s such a wonderful and emotional read.  It’s definitely a book that will stay with me a long time and I’d recommend it to everyone to read!

What do you think of this book?  Would you want to bring a eceased loved one back from death as a robot?  Let me know what you think in the comments below. 🙂