December 18, 2015

(Netgalley) ARC Review: Thicker than Water by Brigid Kemmerer

Thicker than Water by Brigid Kemmerer
Rating: /5

*I received digital ARC of this book from Kensington Books through Netgalley*

Genre : YA (Paranormal)
Pub. Date: December 29th, 2015

Get a copy here!

Thomas Bellweather never once imagined that his life would turn into a total havoc at the age of seventeen. Not that he had a perfect life whatsoever before. Thomas grew up in an incomplete family of two yet it was alright; he was happy, he loved his mom and he got a plan after the graduation. Then his mom decided to drag him all the way to Garrett’s Mill and got him a new father figure―Stan the cop. And who is he to command? Thomas loved his mom so he went along with her plan as long as it made her happy. It obviously didn’t.
Marie Bellweather died―murdered―ten days after her wedding. And as if it wasn’t tragic enough, everyone in town set their eyes on Thomas, silently asking question he didn’t have the answer. Could it get any worse? Being a stranger in a small town was suck, but being a stranger who was suspected as his own mother’s murderer? It was the new reality that Thomas had to shoulder now. Good thing he wasn’t the only one who could not believe his ‘luck’. Stan still hadn’t kicked him out of the house and Charlotte Rooker, sixteen years old of trouble-magnet, somehow believed he was innocent. Contrary to her three cop-brothers who were all eager to capture Thomas on the first command, Charlotte saw something beneath Thomas’ troubled face: anger, frustration, grief, grief so deep it could make an ornament of a relief. Thomas was attracted to Charlotte’s braveness (or really, recklessness) and the way she saw him with curiosity rather than suspicion. Charlotte was drawn to Thomas’ chivalry and the way his eyes clouded with distress. Unspoken attraction was thick in the air between them but no one bothered to romanticize their situation like those in romance movies: suspected murderer and innocent faithful girl, they could make one sweetly tragic couple. Went around everyone’s back was the only way for them to meet as they tried to find any missing clues. What they found, though, was more than that. Could it get any worse? Yes, it could. Because after his mom, it could be his life now in danger. Or worse, it could be the life of the one girl who unconditionally cared for him, Charlotte’s.

Now if all my thoughts could fit in one sentence, I would so steal Jennifer’s testimony about this book from the cover...
"Kemmerer will melt your heart and blow your mind."
-#1 New York Times Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout
That’s exactly how I felt about Thicker than Water!

Perfect Delivery of the Story
I dove into this book with a promise of romantic YA with a background of murder mystery. It only took me five chapters before I was completely hooked. Brigid presented a very well-built and unpredictable storyline. The way she slipped little details here and there leaving the readers to bask in their own misguided imagination, immersing them to tag along Thomas’ mishap and Charlotte’s adventure to help him. I kept guessing how the story would play out and ended up all wrong every single time. All characters had various personalities, adding one more factor to the richness of the elements of the story. There were characters that would tug your heartstrings, those who’d make you shake your head in both amusement and slightly awe, those who’d frustrate you and those who’d make you shiver in disbelief. The tensions were perfectly captured and Brigid also succeeded in delivering the emotions of both main characters through their narrations.

Lovely Characters and Sweet Romance
Told in alternating perspectives, which is my favorite, this book offered two different viewpoints of a suspect-murderer and a person who believed him as innocent while they’re also tangled in growing chemistry among complexities. Thomas’ voice was more to poignant side. From his narration, it’s clear how frustrated he was with the circumstance he was in. I ached for him a lot. His character quickly captured my heart. Add chivalry, slightly flirtatious personality, and a bit of bad boy quality, now we have one swoon-worthy hero to fall in love with. Meanwhile, Charlotte’s character was the one to whom you could be in love-hate relationship with, though I personally liked her alright. Her trouble-inducing trait was both frustrating and hilarious. Being in her head was quite an amusing experience. She could be so silly, embarrassing, pretty brave, and sometimes even sharp. The connection these two characters made was somewhere between sweet and dangerous. And who doesn’t like some little dangers in their romance? It happened pretty quick since it had an ‘attraction-on-the-first-sight’ start at first. But I loved that their feelings started to get a hold of its pace and develop steadily along with the plot. Charlotte’s shyness and Thomas’ flirty side made a cute romance which later shifted to the sexier side as the roles reversed at some point.

Surprising Twist (in so many level)
My non existence expectation slowly built up the more pages I read. I couldn’t wait to see how the author would solve the mystery. So imagine my surprise when Brigid decided to drop the p-bomb out of nowhere…
I really enjoyed this book from the start and at some point I was sure that I’d give this one a solid five stars. The paranormal twist―a complex one even, I may add―felt out of place among the whole plot. It didn’t necessarily kill my excitement but it didn’t exactly answer my curiosity either. Readers who’s familiar with Brigid’s previous books might not be as surprised as those who read Thicker than Water as their first book from her. I belong to the latter so this turn of events left me with indescribable feeling I couldn’t comprehend. What I didn’t like was how this ‘too-late’ twist changed a bit of my perspective toward certain character which I tried so hard not to do. Yet the good thing, it made me wants to read Brigid other paranormal books…

Final Thought(s)
The climax in the end I did enjoy but the ending gave an impression of upcoming twist later beyond. With an exception of the ‘surprising twist’, Thicker than Water is written very well. The writing style, the characters, the plot, the romance, the feeling I got from reading this book, I loved them all. Thus, it’s kind of hard for me to give it a low rating despite my issues above. I would let you judge this issue on your own but I personally think that despite everything, Thicker than Water is one interesting read that makes you want to chase the thrill to the end and not put it down before you find the answer you’re looking for.

Love, read, and review,
Cynthia D.


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