Rating: 2 stars
The Torres sisters dream of escape. Escape from their needy and despotic widowed father, and from their San Antonio neighborhood, full of old San Antonio families and all the traditions and expectations that go along with them. In the summer after her senior year of high school, Ana, the oldest sister, falls to her death from her bedroom window. A year later, her three younger sisters, Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa, are still consumed by grief and haunted by their sister’s memory. Their dream of leaving Southtown now seems out of reach. But then strange things start happening around the house: mysterious laughter, mysterious shadows, mysterious writing on the walls. The sisters begin to wonder if Ana really is haunting them, trying to send them a message—and what exactly she’s trying to say.
I feel like I’m missing something here because this book wasn’t as haunting and dark as I was expecting it to be. Especially since it seems like a lot of people online enjoyed reading this book. However, I wasn’t at all enchanted by the journey this book attempted to take me on in its pages. But before getting into the meat of why this book didn’t meet any of my expectations, let’s begin with talking about what I enjoyed about it.
Tigers, Not Daughters is definitely a woman’s tale. All the main characters whose perspective we read from are women. The subject matter covered in this book’s pages is issues women deal with, and the story starts off interesting enough to get your attention. When I first started reading this paranormal story, I found myself interested in what I was reading, wanting to find out what happened next to the Torres sisters. The sudden shift in the story between the three sisters Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa didn’t bother me at all. It was interesting to see the three-player tennis match we were in when it came to the storyline going back and forth between these three siblings.
But after a couple chapters, I quickly realized how much of this book truly was a drag to read. Especially when I found myself not caring to hear the story from Iridian’s perspective. She was a character that while I can relate to a lot, I found it annoying when it was her turn to tell me what she was seeing and experiencing. When she had her first paranormal experience, I understood her reaction but simultaneously found myself not feeling very empathetic towards her when it felt like she was traumatized from it.
I felt like this story belonged to Jessica and Rosa, and that Iridian was the Torres sister none of us really cared to hear from. Her chapters provided nothing of context to the story because all she did throughout most of the book was stay in the house and read her book or write in her notebook.
Another criticism of this book I have is the lack of an actual story within its pages. You find out this family lost a sister, and that a year after her death, she’s haunting the house. You’d think after finding this out, we’d get a lot of paranormal activity in the house from Ana. However, that’s not what happened at all in Tigers, Not Daughters. The only time Ana gets seen is whenever she touches the bathroom shower curtain whenever Jessica is in the shower, and when she writes all over the walls in her room.
I also expected there would be some sort of explanation as to why Ana was haunting the home. Instead, she haunts the house without no real explanation that I could see from reading this book. I was also bothered throughout most of this book by Jessica’s actions, which made it difficult for me to read. Her actions bothered me so much that they make me wonder if, during the story, she was being possessed by her dead sister. If she was, that would add an interesting layer to this work of fiction that I didn’t think about. It would also explain some of the choices she makes since Ana’s passing, such as choosing to date Ana’s boyfriend John.
While this paranormal read was interesting at times to read, Tigers Not Daughters was a disappointing story to me. I struggled with reading this book and wasn’t satisfied with how it all came together. So if you decide this is a book you’d like to pursue, read it with caution and be prepared to be disappointed by what you find.
But there’s no possible way I’m the only person who’s read this book that didn’t enjoy it. So if you’re reading my review and found you didn’t enjoy this book, what about it did you not like? Was it some of the same things I’ve mentioned here or something else? And if you haven’t read this book but have a book you’ve recently read that you didn’t enjoy, what book was it and what didn’t you enjoy about it? Please comment below if you’d like to share! Until then, happy reading, and I can’t wait to tell you about my next read!