Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Review: Thicker Than Water by Kelly Fiore

Thicker Than WaterTitle: Thicker Than Water 
Author:  Kelly Fiore
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publishing Date: January 5th 2016
Pages:  320
Genre: YA Psychological Drama
Series: Stand Alone
Source: E-ARC

Cecelia Price killed her brother. At least, that’s what the police and the district attorney are saying. And although Cecelia is now locked up and forced into treatment, she knows the real story is much more complicated.

Cyrus wasn’t always the drug-addled monster he’d become. He was a successful athlete, but when an injury forced him off the soccer field and onto pain medication, his life became a blur of anger, addiction, and violence. All CeCe could do was stand by and watch, until she realized one effective way to take away her brother’s drugs while earning the money she needed for college: selling the pills.

Soon, CeCe becomes part drug dealer, part honor student. But even when all she wants is to make things right, she learns that sometimes the best intentions lead to the worst possible outcome.

Thicker than Water is an unforgettable dark, harrowing look into the disturbing truth of drug addiction and the desperate love of a sister watching her brother deteriorate before her eyes. 

This was one of those books I knew nothing about until I saw it on Netgalley and thought hmmm looks interesting. I love me some good drama. SO I grabbed it and I read it and I loved it. It was good real good. It was an old story of drugs and family issues, and getting involved with the wrong people, but what made it good was the way it was told. I was grabbed quickly and then I was invested and just couldn't put the book down. 

Cecelia is sitting in a recovery house for teens... teens with issues from anorexia to drugs, to mental breakdowns of any kind. She has been charged for her brothers death. She knows she is responsible but her lawyer things otherwise. In the time she spends in this recovery house- her story comes out in bits and pieces and her current life.... gets a little bit better... but she needs to get her past before she can move forward. 

There was just something heart stomping about the way this story was told. It was haunting, it was tragic, it was memorable. I have read this story... or the story of family problems, drug addictions, and some messed up teens before, but this story was riveting. It grabbed me from the inside out and took me a bit to recover. I want to say the way the story unfolded, the authors writing and tone really set the book for me. 

The story unfolded in pieces. From the very beginning Cecelia says that her brothers death is her fault. How, its not told. We know she is going to trial, We know she has a lawyer. We know she is fully committed to pay for her brothers death. What we don't know are the details, the truth, and the ugliness of the entire mess of things. 

So we are told in memories. Slowly it comes out. In between we see Cecelia deal and start to heal just a tiny bit at a time. With the help of other. Others in the house with her, Her lawyer. Her Therapist. In the end can't say I was happy with the person Cecelia was or is at the moment, but I could see there were possibilities. 

This book held a lot of ugly and a lot of honesty. I have know addicts, dealers, and I have seen the ugly and the truth. It's a horrible life to be in or to watch someone else battle. It never starts off as a problem but always ends as a problem. I really liked how the author tackled all those responsible for Cecelia's brother. There wasn't just one person involved that led him into the struggle of his life. There were many. Some directly and some by just pretending it was all okay instead of getting him help. It was heart wrenching. 

I didn't care for Cecelia much. At first. I mean she did take responsibility for her actions or at least she wanted to but I was pissed at her. Mad she was stupid enough to do what she did in the first place. Angry she trusted the wrong people. Furious that she didn't think more of herself or that she could have made different choices. She was a smart girl. But she threw it all way. I didn't like her much. However when the truth came out. I didn't blame her for her brother's death. It was just a messed up line of bad choices that led to something horrible. She was dumb yes... but that was forgivable. 

When I started liking her was when I found she was healing by taking responsibility for her actions. Not guilt or blame but truly coming to terms with it and healing. She never shrugged it off or try to reason it out. She tool responsibility and she figured out how to move on. Mostly. That redeemed her for her stupidness for me. 

Really it was a great book. There were a few times I was frustrated with the flipping back and forth between past and present... because I was so into what was going on and I had to wait at least two more chapters to continue... but really that was my only gripe. 

Very Good Read. Emotional, Gripping, Heart Breaking. But Satisfying. 

Kelly (Edgeington) Fiore has a BA in English from Salisbury University and an MFA in Poetry from West Virginia University. She received an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council in 2005 and 2009. Kelly’s poetry has appeared in Small Spiral Notebook, Samzidada, Mid Atlantic Review, Connotation Press, and the Grolier Annual Review. Her first young adult novel, Taste Test, was released in August 2013 from Bloomsbury USA, and her second, Just Like the Movies, again from Bloomsbury, was releasted in 2014. Forthcoming novels include Thicker Than Water from HarperTeen in 2015.

Kelly taught high school English for ten years and college composition for five. Now, she writes full time and lives in Virginia with three children, two dogs, one hedgehog, and a very patient and loving boyfriend. You can connect with Kelly at her website(, on Twitter (@kellyannfiore), on Tumblr (, or on Facebook (


  1. Yay!! I'm glad you liked this book. It seems to be getting some pretty good reviews, so I'm really excited to read it in a couple weeks. Thanks for the awesome review. Really looking forward to this one now.

  2. This sounds really good! I will be adding this one to my TBR. Thanks for the review!


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