ARC Review: Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer

ARC Review: Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer
Thicker Than Water
by Brigid Kemmerer

Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Young Adult
Publication date: December 29th, 2015
by Kensington Books

Format: eARC


Amazon | Book Depository

On his own

Thomas Bellweather hasn’t been in town long. Just long enough for his newlywed mother to be murdered, and for his new stepdad’s cop colleagues to decide Thomas is the primary suspect.

Not that there’s any evidence. But before Thomas got to Garretts Mill there had just been one other murder in twenty years.

The only person who believes him is Charlotte Rooker, little sister to three cops and, with her soft hands and sweet curves, straight-up dangerous to Thomas. Her best friend was the other murder vic. And she’d like a couple answers.

Answers that could get them both killed, and reveal a truth Thomas would die to keep hidden…

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Brigid Kemmerer’s novels are some of the best brain candy out there. They are always so much fun to read, so engaging, and I am always drawn in from the very start. As much as I enjoyed Thicker than Water though, it wasn’t nearly as awesome as Kemmerer’s Elemental series.

Thomas was a great character to read about but the book kept trying to paint him as mysterious and I just couldn’t see it. Charlotte kept talking about how mysterious he was, and how people wouldn’t be so vicious if he weren’t a mystery but I was like whaaat? HE ISN’T mysterious. That was partially because I got to be inside his head but also, nothing about him, even from Charlotte’s POV screams mysterious. He is just a kid in a REALLY awful situation.

This brings me to said awful situation. I hated it. I hated that every single person blamed Thomas for his mother’s death and was so AWFUL to him. At one point, I wondered how the book could end in any other way besides Thomas bidding every single person in this book a fuck you and driving off into the sun with 1,000,000 dollars in hand as compensation for his troubles. Kemmerer always writes incredibly family dynamics but I couldn’t appreciate Charlotte’s family as much as I would have if they weren’t such butts when it came to Thomas.

With everyone being so awful to Thomas, I couldn’t understand why Charlotte believed him so easily. Why was she the only sane one? Because he was hot? Because it was logical to not accuse someone of being a murderer at their mother’s funeral? There was such a stark contrast in reactions that it threw me off. I think a more mellowed hate would have helped. This is also one of the reasons why I enjoyed Thomas’s POV more than I did Charlotte’s and also liked Thomas better.

My other problem was the twist. I definitely did NOT like it. Kemmerer does a fantastic job with foreshadowing just the right amount so that it isn’t quite obvious but isn’t random but I didn’t want the twist (does that make sense or do I sound like an annoying child who doesn’t like things?) The twist isn’t surprising but it also completely changes the novels in ways that didn’t work for me. It’s the kind of thing I would want introduced earlier on or not at all.

Having said all of that, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a shit ton of fun reading this book. The small town, the mystery, everything about this novel drew me in had me flying through the pages. I wanted to know who HAD murdered Thomas’s mother and I think Kemmerer did a fantastic job with that part of the reveal. She also blew my doubts about her ability to wrap everything up in a satisfying manner out of the water.

So, if you’re a fan of her Elemental series, definitely check Thicker Than Water out. If you haven’t read them, GET ON IT. If you’re curious about this book, GIVE IT A SHOT. That is all, folks. *drops the mic and leaves the stage*

Rating Report
Overall: 3.6
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Rashika is a mysterious creature who likes to hide in the shadows. It's impossible to get to know her but if you must know, she is a huge bookworm. She also happens to have a huge sweet tooth so you can always lure her over the dark side by offering her something sweet (or bribing her with books).


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    • Rashika says

      I was just going to ask you if there would be a book 2 but I saw the last part of your comment! I liked the way things wrapped up but I definitely want to see more in the future! Nick said she tweeted the author to ask and I hope she gets a reply soon *fingers crossed*

  1. says

    I usually have such a problem with YA thriller-mystery type books because they usually all have kids who are somehow smarter than the police and female protagonists hanging out with dangerous dudes. But yeah, I’ve read and enjoyed the first book in the author’s Elementals series, so I might give this one a go!
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  2. says

    I haven’t tried the Elemental series yet but…omg, I think I own the first two?! I won them like last year. LAST YEAR. WHAT IS MY EXCUSE. *glares at enormous TBR* So I didn’t even realise this was by the same author, but it does sound a bit dubious, character-wise. I guess I shall read Elementals and see. :P
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    • Rashika says

      I feel you about the enormous TBR. WHY WONT IT EVER END? #lifeishard You SHOULD read the Elemental series first! I hope you enjoy the books! :)

  3. says

    I loved her Elemental series, and I loved every single one except for the last, mostly because that ending was just too sparse for my taste. It’s great to hear that you liked the ending, and despite all the faults you listed, I’m still really interested in checking it out, because it’s Brigid Kemmerer.
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    • Rashika says

      I haven’t read the last one even though Michael is my favorite brother *hides* I SHOULD DO THAT. And yeah, IT IS Brigid Kemmerer and no matter what happens, there will be lots of excitement to be had.

      ALSO, I think I heard something about the Elemental series being continued so maybe that was why the ending was so sparse??

  4. says

    Ooooh, this honestly looks like my kind of read! While the whole “not mysterious” thing might be a bit of a turn off, the fact that there’s a twist that changed the entire plot would definitely work for me! I’m sorry that’s not your thing though, but I’m now GRASPING straws trying to get this book, because WOAH POVs and MURDERS and gore…and attraction? AND PLOT TWISTS! I love unexpected plot twists! As always, lovely review, Rashika!
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    • Rashika says

      EH. The twist wasn’t unexpected or random, I just wished it hadn’t happened because reasons. I won’t say more since spoilers…

      You should still check it out though! :)

  5. says

    I really enjoy this author’s work too, but it’s good to know that this isn’t quite up to the standard of her previous books. I hadn’t really even heard much about this one so I’m excited by this novel but also a little wary of its flaws. I think, though, that this is going to be ideal when I need a book just like this. Thanks for putting this on my radar and thanks for such an honest review, Rashika! :)
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  6. says

    I didn’t even realise that Kemmerer had a new book out and that it wasn’t part of the elemental series, I have loved Kemmerer’s writing in the past and I think this is the sort of mystery read that I would enjoy. You do have me super curious about the twist, like I want to know now what the heck goes on. But thank you for your lovely review and for putting this book on my radar! :)
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    • Rashika says

      DUDE, I bet you’ll totally call the twist because you’ve read the Elemental books. It’s not really surprising, just not what I expected from the book!

      I am glad I put it on your radar though <3 <3 ITS WHAT I AM HERE FOR TBH

    • Rashika says

      The twist was so annoying, wasn’t it? I just wanted this to be a murder mystery and that twist *shakes fist at it* BLEGH.

      I am sorry you didn’t love this book either :(

      Thanks hon :)

  7. says

    This sounds good, Rashika, but I am with you when it comes to other characters stating things about the main character, only to have me not agree at all. It is quite annoying. I’m glad you still enjoyed the story overall, though. And I may read this myself one day… after all the books fighting for my attention on my kindle get their due :)
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    • Rashika says

      “after all the books fighting for my attention on my kindle get their due :)” I am lolling at this because it’s trueeee. There are way too many books to read. ;) I hope that whenever you get the chance to read the book, you’ll enjoy it :D

  8. says

    I couldn’t agree more Rashika, it was the twist that really turned me off and I was loving it up until then. I didn’t want it either, so we can both be annoying children together. It really spoilt it and just seemed to be thrown in there as a way to explain what had happened and it didn’t sit well with me. She’s hoping it’ll become part of a series, I’m assuming that’s based on sales or how it’s received. I liked it, but that ending felt so incomplete and far too convenient. Fabulous review as always poppet <3
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