Monday, January 18, 2016

Review: Thicker Than Water by Kelly Fiore

Thicker Than Water Cecelia Price killed her brother. At least, that’s what the police and the district attorney are saying. And although Cecelia is now locked up and forced into treatment, she knows the real story is much more complicated.

Cyrus wasn’t always the drug-addled monster he’d become. He was a successful athlete, but when an injury forced him off the soccer field and onto pain medication, his life became a blur of anger, addiction, and violence. All CeCe could do was stand by and watch, until she realized one effective way to take away her brother’s drugs while earning the money she needed for college: selling the pills.

Soon, CeCe becomes part drug dealer, part honor student. But even when all she wants is to make things right, she learns that sometimes the best intentions lead to the worst possible outcome.

Thicker than Water is an unforgettable dark, harrowing look into the disturbing truth of drug addiction and the desperate love of a sister watching her brother deteriorate before her eyes.

My Review: 5 Stars

This was a book that was dark and had morally complex characters.  It was a book that made it easy to root for a character even when she did things that were wrong and even illegal.  It dealt with tough issues of addiction to and use of prescription drugs.  There were complex relationships between family members.  Nothing in this book was just easy and simple.  I also liked how this book alternated past and present timelines so that the full story unraveled throughout the book.

CeCe is in behavioral therapy at a juvenile center awaiting a hearing to see if she will be convicted or acquitted for being responsible for her brother's death.  She blames herself for his death, but is she really fully responsible?  If one gave someone the weapon that killed them, is that person responsible for the death that follows?  The book deals with these tough questions.  Because they really are tough questions.  I'm not fully sure what my opinion is on the answers to these questions.  But I do feel that CeCe was not fully responsible for her brother's death.  She is not blame-free though.  She made bad choices.  Illegal choices, in fact.  She got wrapped up in something that wasn't good for her because she thought it would help her make some money.  It was hard to watch her make choices that I knew would come back and hurt her later.

Cyrus, CeCe's brother, was a drug addict.  It was hard to see his downward spiral, and to watch CeCe try to tell her dad while he lived in denial.  It showed how tough it would be to have a family member succumbing to drug addiction and feel almost helpless to do anything about it.  When Cy got clean, it was sad, because as the reader, I already knew he was going to end up dead, so that wasn't going to last.  

There is a small romance, but it is not a big part of the story.  It is sweet, though, and the boy is good for CeCe, since he really cares about her and wants her to be better.  He's in the same juvenile facility, so he has things in his past too, but he really seems to be a genuinely good guy.

If you like dark YA contemporary, read this book.


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