Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1514
Powerful premise grounded in realism
Overall rating
Writing Style
Cecelia “CeCe” Price used to blend in at her school. Then, she became a drug dealer after watching her brother get hooked on pain medication. When CeCe’s brother dies, and the district attorney is convinced she is his murderer. Now, Cece is in a juvenile treatment facility awaiting the court case that will determine the rest of her life as she struggles to accept her roles, both active and inactive, in the events earlier.

THICKER THAN WATER hooks the reader immediately with a death, an upcoming potential sentence, and a young woman who doesn’t want to talk about what happened. CeCe’s voice is brilliantly authentic, a mixture of grief, guilt, snark, and occasionally hope. Her story is nuanced and full of gray areas that readers will love, even as their hearts are broken.

The exploration of important themes shine in this novel. Family relationships and personal acceptance of events and actions are at the bleeding heart of the story. CeCe’s brother, Cyrus, is painfully realistic, and CeCe often feels as if she is the one who must help him, since her father turns a blind eye. But, at the same time, she knows she can’t do much to stop him, and she struggles with her own problems: getting enough money to pay for college.

CeCe’s psychological treatment after her brother’s death shows her mixed feelings about her current situation, and the treatment facility highlights the importance of therapy when needed and the importance of self-care. As CeCe begins the slow and painful process of healing, readers shouldn’t be surprised to find a strong connection with a character whose journey, regardless of life or death circumstance, is as real as it gets.

With beautiful writing and a strong premise, THICKER THAN WATER is a must read for fans of Ellen Hopkins, Jenny Hubbard, and Amy Efaw.
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