Saturday, February 14, 2015

Teen review: Realistic fiction

by Stephanie Kuehn
256 pages
Realistic/contemporary fiction
For grades 9 and up

Reviewed by Patrick Castro, grade 11

Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn was one of those books that totally mess with your brain and your emotions. Simple and straightforward, Complicit was a likeable book that was definitely also bizarre and rare, with a couple of surprises.

Complicit is about Jamie Henry, a 16-year-old boy who had an unfortunate life. Two years ago, he was happy that his older sister, Cate, was sent to juvenile hall because of all the bad things she did. But now she's back, and she's back for Jamie. The whole plot and concept of the book was really interesting. I was intrigued the whole time reading it, and it was easy to get into Jamie's story, you could definitely feel what he went through. Jamie was a great character and it was interesting seeing him deal with his sister, his girlfriend, and his mom. 

The book did suffer from a lack of characterization at times. Jamie felt a little one-note and stale, and so did the plot. Since Complicit was a character-driven book, when the characters were not up to standards, the book felt flat.

One thing Complicit had that set it apart from one of those "mysterious YA books" was the pacing and the ending. The moment I found out how everything was connected, I was like:

It was SO EXPLOSIVE! I did not expect it at all! Kuehn definitely had the element of surprise on her side.

Definitely pick up Complicit if you're looking for a book that will surprise you! It may not be for everyone, but definitely give it a try!

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