ARC Review – Thicker Than Water by Kelly Fiore

18711172Title:  Thicker Than Water

Author: Kelly Fiore

Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis: 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.

Huge thank you to the publisher for sending me an advanced copy for review!

River’s Review:

Wowwwww this book is heavy. If you have issues with drugs and addiction, please be careful when you approach this book then because it could be very triggering.

This is the story of a family who’s dealing with addiction and denial. Cece’s family started to fall apart when her mother died of cancer. Cece has a really difficult time with her, but her family moves forward and on. Her father remarries and buys a farm where he tries to start his own business. Her brother, Cyrus, is a star soccer player, but then he hurts his knee and can’t play anymore. Cyrus feels like his life is ruined and he quickly comes to abuse his pain medication and becomes an addict. His addiction spirals out of control and he’s soon stealing from his father, acting violent towards Cece, and creating a wedge between all of the family members.

Money is a big problem for Cece’s family because her father’s farm dream isn’t turning out so well. And with Cyrus stealing what little money they do have they’re facing a lot of financial problems. Cece can’t even pay her school lab fees. She wanted to get a job, but was told to focus on school so she could make something of herself in the future… but that’s hard to do when she can’t afford her lab fees, let alone collage.

Cece can see what’s happening around her, but nobody seems to really are. They live in denial, and she finally gets fed up with it and says fuck it and starts to sell her brother’s pills to make some cash to put towards college. She’s quickly manipulated by a few boys from her school who get her to start stealing more of the pills and eventually they get her to even get her own prescription.

This story is told in alternating past and present sections. In the past we see how things happened, how the present came to be. The present takes place in a behavior therapy center inside of a juvenile detention center. Cece believes that she killed her brother, that her hand played the role of his death, and she all but turns herself in to the police. She’s put on trial and in the present sections of the book we see her working through therapy and preparing for her trial with her public defender. Cece is a very unwilling participant in her recovery and doesn’t see herself as anything but guilty.

The writing in this book was really good, and I flew through it in one sitting. I loved the dialogue and often found myself skipping ahead to read what people were saying and then having to drag myself back to read what was happening. There’s A LOT of tension in this book and you can really feel it.

I guess the only thing that I couldn’t come to grips with was why Cyrus had been recommended to the doctor that was giving him the drugs in the first place. It’s so obvious that he’s not a very good doctor (he is a real doctor, but he basically worked around the law as much as possible to earn money off people’s addictions; a “legal dealer”.) I just felt like any responsible parent (especially one that was always strapped for cash) would have been a bit more upset about having to shell out $215 a doctor visit for someone who was obviously not helping make their child better. But I guess with the father dealing with his own issues he’s blind to it. I just wanted to know why the COACH thought it was the right place to send him in the first place…

Overall this is a very raw, emotional book and if you like stuff like that, you’ll want to pick it up.

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