ARC Review – Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn

18404113Title:  Complicit

Author: Stephanie Kuehn

Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis: Two years ago, fifteen-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 this one simple truth: she’s not the crazy one and never has been.

He is.

Huge thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Griffin for this ARC!

River’s Review 

Mannnnnnn, this book was good, but there were a few things that really stuck out that I didn’t like. For one… I REALLY wish the blurb didn’t spoil it for us. Like, because I knew that Jamie was crazy, I was just watching for it. Partially that was fun, but it really took the gut-punch out of the gut-punch.

So Jamie is this really smart, affluent kid who gets amazing grades, is a piano wiz, and speaks like a 35 year old lawyer. Not kidding. This was the first thing that really bothered me. Jamie just sounded WAAAAAAAAY older than a 15 year old. I know that he’s smart and has money, but he came from a BAD background. We learn that his mother was shot in front of him, that he used to speak with a lisp, pulled out his hair and eyebrows, couldn’t communicate with others… he basically was super traumatized and couldn’t function. Then he does this HUGE turn around and in turn his amazingly normal, functional, fun, beautiful sister starts to spiral and becomes ‘crazy’. She does a bunch of bad things and goes off to juvie where everywhere breathes a HUGE sigh of relief because she’s gone.

Enter his sister back into the picture. Jamie beings to slowly sink into old, bad habits. Gets phone calls from his sister, starts to lose time, starts to do things that he doesn’t realize he’s doing. He also swoons a girl who’s very sweet but, the romance didn’t really work that well for me. It was there, but I didn’t really feel it. And he just sounded SO OLD while talking about the girl. Like, part of me thought the twist was going to be that he really had multiple personalities and that the guy telling the story WAS one of his alters who was 35.

Anyways, the story moves along, the sister gives a huge reveal and then… well you’ll have to read the end for yourself!

So why 4 stars? Because despite the weird voice/spoiler/lame romance this story PULLED ME IN AND DIDN’T LET GO. I read it in one sitting (my husband was doing some computer thing that took HOURS and I had nothing else to do while I waited for him) and was glued to the page. The writing was wonderful, and I just liked it! I love creepy things like this.


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