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Monday, August 7, 2017

Blog Tour: When I Am Through With You by Stephanie Kuehn (Review & Giveaway)

When I Am Through With You by Stephanie Kuehn
Published: August 1, 2017 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
Source: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for review as part of the blog tour. All opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own.
Summary from Goodreads:
“This isn’t meant to be a confession. Not in any spiritual sense of the word. Yes, I’m in jail at the moment. I imagine I’ll be here for a long time, considering. But I’m not writing this down for absolution and I’m not seeking forgiveness, not even from myself. Because I’m not sorry for what I did to Rose. I’m just not. Not for any of it.”

Ben Gibson is many things, but he’s not sorry and he’s not a liar. He will tell you exactly about what happened on what started as a simple school camping trip in the mountains. About who lived and who died. About who killed and who had the best of intentions. But he’s going to tell you in his own time. Because after what happened on that mountain, time is the one thing he has plenty of.

I don't have much experience with thrillers or mysteries, but when I read the synopsis for WHEN I AM THROUGH WITH  YOU, I was immensely intrigued and knew I needed to read this novel! I'll admit, this is more of a survival story than a thriller, so it wasn't quite what I expected, but there were still so many wonderful things about this book! 

The characters in this book and their relationships with each other were phenomenally done. That was by far the most fascinating aspect of this story. Here we are with a group of teenagers, all broken and flawed and hoarding their secrets, but just trying to do their best. I was so invested in figuring out the intricacies of this group. Who is lying to whom? Who is sleeping with whom? Who hates whom? That was the most thrilling part for me, unraveling their truths. They were all kind of shitty, but that was most of the fun. 

From the very beginning, Ben, the narrator, tells us he is locked up, that he killed his girlfriend Rose and he doesn't feel bad about it. He tells us that he's not explaining everything because he's seeking to lighten his punishment. He just wants the truth to be out there. Interesting, no? Of course, the main appeal of the novel is to figure out why he killed Rose, but from the beginning, I had a hunch and my hunch was correct, so the ending wasn't as shocking as I would have liked. But, once again, it was amazing to see Ben transform with each page, to see how he reached that point, how he ended up in a cell. 

While this book had plenty of plot, it felt more character driven for me. I just found the plot to be...slow toward the second half. As far as thrillers go, I wasn't particularly thrilled. And I guess that's because this book is more of a survival story than a thriller. That's the only reason this book wasn't a five-star read for me. Because, while the writing was incredible and the characters were enticing, I found myself slogging through certain parts. Plus, it's a dense book, so even though it's only like 300 pages, it felt much longer than that. 

My rating: 

•3 copies of WHEN I AM THROUGH WITH YOU by Stephanie Kuehn will go to 3 winners 

•1 winner will receive a copy of WHEN I AM THROUGH WITH YOU & THE SMALLER EVIL by Stephanie Kuehn

•4 winners total

•US Only
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I grew up in Berkeley, California, which is a quirky sort of a place with many wonderful bookstores. When I was fifteen, my very first job was working in one of those bookstores. It’s where I would go after school, and I’d read everything that I could. Back then, some of the books that had the greatest impact on my life were young adult novels, and now, as an adult, I’ve found my own passion in writing for teens.

Other passions of mine include mental health advocacy, social justice, and sports of all kinds. When I’m not writing or reading (or studying for graduate school), I’m usually outside running or playing with my family. I currently live in Northern California with my husband, three kids, and our menagerie of pets. Life is loud, joyous, and filled with animal hair.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, my last name is pronounced keen. I know! I don’t get it either.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read what I have to say and give your opinion on it. It really means a lot to me. And of course, I will do my best to return the favor. However, as easily distracted and scatter-brained as I am, please don't be offended if I forget to comment on your blog.