I’m so pleased and honored to share this great review of THICKER THAN WATER with all of you! This time, a lovely one from VOYA!
Fiore, Kelly. Thicker Than Water. HarperTeen, 2016. 320p. $17.99. 978-0-06-232473-
The bonds between family members are some of the strongest possible. But what happens when the person you admire most turns into someone you barely recognize? Cyrus and CeCe are a close-knit brother and sister team when they first lose their mother to cancer. Their father remarries and tries to start a new life on a farm, but the family is soon in debt. Cyrus, who was a promising soccer star, hurts his knee and falls prey to a twisted local doctor who prescribes him OxyContin, which becomes the beginning of the end for the rest of the Price family. Cyrus’s drug addiction grows worse and worse, while CeCe is trying to hold her family together and make enough money to keep them afloat and fund her college dreams. The book is told from CeCe’s perspective in alternating chapters from the past, before Cyrus’s death and after his death, while CeCe is facing jail time for killing her brother. As the novel progresses, the reader finds out why CeCe considers herself Cyrus’s murderer and what led to such a tragic ending for her brother.
The book is dark, but it is not without redemption and insight into the struggles of drug addicts and their families. The author’s own brother was a drug addict, as she explains at the end of the book, and that authenticity is felt throughout the book. Fiore also includes resources for people trying to help drug addicts around them. This book is mature and is best for older teen readers, but it is very well written and has a broad appeal.—Kate Neff.