Genre: Young adult, Mystery, Psychological, Thriller
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Publishing House: St. Martin’s Griffin
Number of pages: 256
Source: ARC from Netgalley
Check out on GOODREADS
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 elseBut 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.
…was pretty much what I felt upon finishing this book.
What the fuck? What the flying fuck? Seriously, what the fuck? fuck, fuck, fuck, what?!?!?!?!
…was pretty much what I said upon finishing this book.
I first encountered Stephanie Kuehn’s work last year with her Charm & Strange, a mystery/psychological heart-rending book that somehow turned my world upside down while reading it. It was a story that was full of pain and anger and sadness, a story that moved me beyond tears. Aside from that, it was also a WTF book. It made me scream internally, my mind going crazy with questions and speculations. How can an author do something like that – make you understand and feel for a character so much while also make you stand on your toes, pace back and forth, wondering what other madness will happen? It was after that book when I felt the author’s promise as a brilliant storyteller.
And that was why I anticipated Complicit so much – the knowledge that Stephanie Kuehn already wrote a phenomenal book, and the anticipation whether or not she’ll do it again.
Well, news flash – she fricking did. Goodness, if Charm & Strange blew my mind, Complicit exploded it to smithereens.
And I’m not sure I’ll be able to repair the pieces back to normal.
Jamie Henry is a normal 16 year old guy. Or so he thinks. What’s special about him, however, is that he doesn’t remember much about his past. And that he has a sister, Cate Henry, who has been imprisoned for various crimes. And that she’s unstable. And that she’s coming for him. Now. And he’s so afraid and paranoid, and also quite desperate to know about his past, and what she wants to tell him. Only that it may not be the truth he wants to hear.
Let’s talk about our main character, Jamie. First thing you’ll notice about him is that he has a such a raw and genuine voice. You feel the darkness, the pain, the paranoia, and the anger dripping from the pages, and all of those emotions make this book quite hard to read — not because it’s bad, but because you empathize with him so much to the point your heart tears for him and all you want to do is pat him on the back and whisper it’s going to be okay. You can really see how much his sister’s presence is haunting him, how the truth keeps chasing him and how he keeps evading it while also wanting to know more.
It’s like watching a cha-cha dance. The back and forth, over and over again. But add a lot of sweat, a lot of intensity, and a lot at stake.
And then there’s Cate. Cate is like a force to reckon with. She manipulates our hero, taunts him, makes him nervous. And every time, Jamie reacts in an anxious manner, and we see his paranoia increase by the second. The suspense, the air of mystery, the atmosphere, are so well-written; the clues all so well-placed; the truth so near and so far that it will actually kill you and make you afraid. Does that make sense? It’s like we know there’s going to be a big reveal in the coming pages, a reveal that will ultimately shaken our main character, and knowing what is to come will actually make you afraid. The hero is afraid of the truth, and I become afraid with him (while at the same time super curious already).
Some people will say that the big reveal is quite predictable. And I agree – if you read enough psychological thrillers you’ll already have an idea what it could be, but that honestly didn’t deter me from enjoying the novel at all. The execution of the climax is so powerful that it sweeps you off your feet. As for me, when I got to that part, I could barely even remember I existed – I was so glued to the book and to the characters that it felt like I was in the story itself.
AND THAT ENDING.
THAT. FREAKING. ENDING.
The ending made the book for me. It was so cruel yet so utterly brilliant at the same time. I couldn’t think of anything but that ending for days after I finished the book. It felt like a giant tsunami wall charged at me and swallowed me up – so big and unexpected and you’re left powerless against it.
This book is coming out next week. Trust me when I say you need to read this one. IT WON’T DISAPPOINT.
Also, Stephanie Kuehn: I love you. Please, never stop writing.
Latest posts by Faye (see all)
- I AM BACK, MINIONS!!!! (plus giveaway) - October 10, 2016
- [Blog tour] + [PH Giveaway] TELL ME THREE THINGS by Julie Buxbaum – My first 5 star book in 2016! LEGIT HERE, YO! - January 23, 2016
- YA Contemporary Books: Where Were You While I Was Growing Up? - January 5, 2016