It took me over a year (due to publication dates, not because they were boring or anything), but I finally finished the Sisters, Ink series of books by Rebeca Seitz. There were only four books in the series: Sisters, Ink; Coming Unglued; Scrapping Plans; and Perfect Piece. Each book focuses on one of the Sinclair sisters, a very diverse group of young women who were all adopted by Jack Sinclair and his late wife. Throughout all of their shared troubles, including starting a new business together and learning to deal with a new step-mother, Zelda, who could not be more different than their beloved mother, the sisters get together to share their favorite hobby, scrapbooking, and solve all their problems (and consume a lot of chocolate along the way!).
The individual books each deal with their own theme, in addition to the above-mentioned themes that are present in all the books. The first two focus on the only two unmarried sisters as they deal with relationships and ponder marriage. I thought these two books were excellent–Sisters, Ink, about the red-haired lawyer sister Tandy, really drew me in, and made me want to get to know the sisters, learn about their pasts, and anticipate what might happen in their futures. Coming Unglued, about artistic Kendra, was an excellent sequel, answering some questions raised in the first book, as well as creating some new ones to be explored in future books.
I wish I could say I enjoyed the last two books as much as the first two. I thought that Scrapping Plans was the worst of the four, partly because of some previously mentioned Lutheran bashing, and also because I felt that the main story, about Martha-Stewart -in-training Joy’s dealings with infertility and adoption, was unrealistic, and too easily resolved. Perfect Piece was a better book than Scrapping Plans, but it was lacking the same spirit of the first two books. In this book, the oldest sister, and mother of three, Meg, dealt with a brain tumor, and then her husband’s emotional infidelity as well. I felt the author had a completely unrealistic opinion of how quickly someone who just had brain surgery should recover, and, like the previous book, felt that the tension wrapped up a little too neatly.
My only other criticism of the series is that it seemed to plagiarize the television show Gilmore Girls quite a bit. From the main setting being a small town called Stars Hill (complete with over-the-top annual festivals), to Clay’s Diner, and Tanner, the over-zealous town champion who loves holding town meetings for the betterment Stars Hill, a lot of things in the books seemed familiar, in a “I’ve watched this show for way too long” kind of way. I’m assuming it was unintentional, but for anyone familiar with Gilmore Girls, it is impossible to miss.
It was a good series of books, but the third one really left a bad taste in my mouth, and in some ways, ruined the whole series for me. I do know that I wish I had the sisters’ scrapping studio for my use, as well as their disposable income to purchase all the supplies I want!