Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn: Frodo’s Review
Summary From Goodreads:
Two years ago, fifteen-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 else.
But today Cate got out. And now she’s coming back for Jamie.
Because more than anything, Cate Henry needs her little brother to know this one simple truth: she’s not the crazy one and never has been. He is.
It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews! Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!
Complicit, to me, can only be described one way: it’s a mind-fuck book. The story is told from the point of view of Jamie who has a variety of mental health issues, many of which are present from the beginning of the story. This makes his character’s “voice” a bit muddled, as confused and unsure as he is at times, and often appear untrustworthy. However, what it does more than all of that is come off as genuine, it felt real. The detail Kuehn went into in terms of Jamie’s issues was excellent and made his various conditions come to life for me in a way that few books have.
The sheer amount of twists and turns in Complicit will make your head spin. Any hunches that I had during the first half of the book were proven completely incorrect. The way Kuehn shapes and molds the story around Jamie’s neuroses definitely kept me from being able to guess what would happen next at any point, but it didn’t make things so confusing that the story was too difficult to follow. That balance is so hard to do with mental illness main characters and I was really impressed.
It is hard to describe the other characters because they are seen through the untrustworthy eyes of Jamie, so how they actually are often proves much different then his reality. His sister is seen as wild, crazy, and deranged even, but there are motives behind her actions.
The ending is worth the read by itself. It blew my mind in the best way and really made the book come together perfectly. Overall the book is fast paced, has a wonderful if slightly scary way of portraying mental illness, and will keep you guessing. I definitely recommend it to all lovers of mind-fuck books. Thanks for reading! ^.^