Monday, January 18, 2016

Review: Thicker Than Water by Kelly Fiore

Title: Thicker Than Water
Author: Kelly Fiore
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

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.
Review by Nara

Thicker Than Water was a tragedy of a story; a book which shows how destructive addiction can be, and the horrible impact it can have on an entire family. Before the start of the book, main character CeCe’s brother, Cyrus, suffers a knee injury that ends his career as an athlete. He turns to drugs (specifically oxycodone- a prescribed medication) to deal with his situation. CeCe watches her crumbling brother, and decides to sell some of his medications both to stop him from taking them and to go towards her college funds.

To be honest, I did actually have trouble empathising with CeCe as she was quite selfish in many ways, and her foolishness led to a horrible situation where her brother was killed. I guess overall, she wasn't necessarily supposed to be a character you could relate to, but a character whose situation could horrify you, with certain elements that might resemble certain aspects of your life- a kind of "what could happen to your life if something went horribly wrong" of sorts.

The flashback/memory style revealing of the story was a good decision by Fiore, with small bits of the story slowly laid out before you, and I think most people would be able to see where the story is going from the trail that the author leaves you. You realise who is "to blame" for Cyrus' death, and can see the various points in the story where things could have changed. There's a small amount of romance included in the novel too, which I didn't think was 100% necessary, but didn't dislike either, as it didn't derail the main plot in any way.

Thicker Than Water is certainly quite a hard read, and it's not one you should read if one of your triggers is drug addiction. It tackles the issue with courage and honesty and respect- just as you'd expect from an author who writes from personal experience.

Really liked it
Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 3.5/5
Cover: 3/5