Thursday, May 29, 2014

Review: Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn

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I received this book for free from St. Martin's Griffin in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Complicit by Stephanie KuehnComplicit by Stephanie Kuehn
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on June 24th 2014
Genres: Mystery, YA
Source: St. Martin's Griffin
Buy on Amazon

Two years ago, sixteen-year-old Jamie Henry breathed a sigh of relief when a judge sentenced his older sister to juvenile detention for burning down their neighbor’s fancy horse barn. The whole town did. Because Crazy Cate Henry used to be a nice girl. Until she did a lot of bad things. Like drinking. And stealing. And lying. Like playing weird mind games in the woods with other children. Like making sure she always got her way. Or else.

But today Cate got out. And now she’s coming back for Jamie.

Because more than anything, Cate Henry needs her little brother to know the truth about their past. A truth she’s kept hidden for years. A truth she’s not supposed to tell.

Trust nothing and no one as you race toward the explosive conclusion of this gripping psychological thriller from the William C. Morris Award-winning author of Charm & Strange.

Complicit is exactly the kind of book I like to read, but have so much trouble finding. At the same time it is exactly the kind of book that I hate reviewing. Full of twists, turns and unreliable characters, this novel keeps you guessing until the very end and leaves you with a conclusion that will have your jaw on the floor.

Jamie Henry is 16 years old and he doesn’t know much about his past. He knows that he was adopted at a young age and that he was very lucky to have gotten to stay with his sister, Cate through all of that. He knows that his mother was shot and killed right in front of him and he knows that his sister is not stable nor is she to be trusted. What’s so great about this story is uncovering everything about Jamie’s past right as he does so himself. I have to say that it was rather easy to predict the BIG reveal of the novel but I’m happy to report that it didn’t hinder my enjoyment of it at all. Clocking in at just over 250 pages, Complicit has a pace that just never lets up. There are seeds planted all along that build the mystery surrounding everything happening to Jamie expertly and seeing everything come to fruition once it’s all revealed was a real thrill ride.

One thing that I can, and will, talk about when it comes to this story is the relationships. Jamie had so much darkness in his life when it came to Cate. Once she gets out of prison she toys with him, plays mind games and as the reader you aren’t very sure what her end game is. What you are sure of though is how much it frustrates Jamie and how it effects him emotionally and even physically. The stress and anxiety that he goes through in the novel was so well conveyed that it was really palpable to me as the reader. I felt frustration when Jamie felt frustration and I felt his happiness when his emotions swung that way as well. Bringing this light into his life is Jenny. The contrast of the scenes from when he is alone dealing with his thoughts about Cate were perfect balanced with the joy Jenny brought to him. I can’t say that it’s my favourite romance that I’ve ever read but I do think that it was perfect for the story while still allowing Jamie to remain who he is.

There is so much more I want to say about this book but I know deep down that I shouldn’t. The most important thing about going into a novel like Kuehn’s latest is to go into it blind. I even think that the blurb gives to much away for this one and I am happy that I refrained from reading it fully until I had finished reading the novel. Complicit is a novel that deals with mental illness in a really interesting way and it’s a story that really reels the reader in and keeps them hooked until the turn of the final page.


4.5 Hot Espressos

13 Responses to “Review: Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn”

  1. Melliane

    Well at last I know that I need to forget about the synopsis if I want to get into the book. I didn’t know this one but it sounds interesting and the main character seems to have a lot to share. thank you!

  2. czai

    I love books that keeps me guessing 😀 I’m pretty interested in reading books that deals with mental-illness. Thanks for the review! I’m certainly picking this up when it comes out 😀

  3. ShootingStarsMag

    That’s great you really loved this one, as I did too. I need to post my review still…but you’re right, the less said, the better. It’s just fascinating to go on the ride with Jamie.

  4. Alexia @ Adventures in Reading

    I absolutely loved this book. So happy to see that you enjoyed it as well. I definitely found it very hard to review because so much happened, but a lot was linked to massive spoilers, so I had to avoid talking about those things.

  5. Sarah (saz101)

    Oh, wow. This sounds GOOOOD. I know what you mean about this sounding like the kind of book you love, but have so much trouble finding. I’m dying to know what goes on here, just from your review! Brilliant! <3

  6. Megan @ Adrift on Vulcan

    I love the cover for this one — so many elements yet it doesn’t seem messy or distracting at all. And damn, COMPLICIT sounds amazing. I’ve heard a lot of great stuff for Stephanie Kuehn’s other book, CHARM & STRANGE, so she’s definitely an author I’ll be keeping an eye out for.

    Whoa, this book sounds really emotional. I like it when an author is able to make you not only sense, but feel, the things the protagonist is going through — especially the uncomfortable bits. And it sounds like Jamie’s going through a lot of shit here, which is what makes Cate sound all the more intriguing. I’m glad that the novel put so much emphasis on relationships, but not too much, otherwise it’d just turn the whole thing sappy.

    The most important thing about going into a novel like Kuehn’s latest is to go into it blind.” — This seems to be the case for a lot of upcoming YA books, too. (DON’T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME by Kate Karyus Quinn, WE ARE THE GOLDENS by Dana Reinhardt, and now this one. But I’m liking this new kind of style, it helps make everything more interesting and suspenseful. Glad to hear that you enjoyed this, Jenni, and fabulous review!

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  8. Lilliputian Rose

    I’ve been desperately looks for some new books to read as I’m finally getting back into loving reading again and seeing as I now have the entire summer to get up to date I’ll probably be referring to your blog a lot to find some good books to check out, this sounds like the perfect first point of call!!

  9. Faye D'Social Potato (@kawaiileena)

    I loooved this book so much. I gave it 5 stars, but have yet to review it… and honestly, I really don’t know if I actually CAN review it given how much it screwed my mind ten times over. I totally agree with everything you said in this review – it was dark, and complex, and everything. I seriously think Kuehn outdid herself with this one. Charm and Strange screwed me over, too, but this one turned my brains inside and out and the ending gave me the shock of the year. UGHHH ><