Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading ... Thicker Than Water

Monday, November 30, 2015

Just Finished Reading ... Thicker Than Water

Thicker Than Water
by Brigid Kemmerer

To be published on December 29, 2015
by Kensington Teen

Source: e-ARC for review from the publisher

Synopsis from Goodreads: Thomas Bellweather hasn’t been in town long. Just long enough for his newlywed mother to be murdered, and for his new stepdad’s cop colleagues to decide Thomas is the primary suspect. Not that there’s any evidence. But before Thomas got to Garretts Mill there had just been one other murder in twenty years. The only person who believes him is Charlotte Rooker, little sister to three cops and, with her soft hands and sweet curves, straight-up dangerous to Thomas. Her best friend was the other murder vic. And she’d like a couple answers. Answers that could get them both killed, and reveal a truth Thomas would die to keep hidden…
My take: I've read and enjoyed some of Brigid Kemmerer's Elementals books, and at first seemed like she was trying something entirely new with Thicker Than Water. Until about the halfway point, this book read like a contemporary YA murder mystery and everything seemed to have a bit of a cool Veronica Mars flair (there was a teenage murder victim named Lilly who was a friend of the main character).

But then pretty far into the story, things took a rather unexpected turn -- or perhaps a more expected turn? -- and this became very much like an Elementals book -- namely, there was suddenly a paranormal twist. (To be fair, maybe I should have seen this coming because Thicker Than Water has all the Elementals trademarks, like a family of brothers, a scrappy female love interest in the midst of all the testosterone, a misunderstood male protagonist, and a romance between the latter two.)

Pros: if you like the Elementals formula, as described above, you should definitely like this. Kemmerer is really good at writing guy characters and brothers. At first, I was really into the mystery, but mysteries that suddenly turn paranormal always seem like a bit of a cheat to me -- sorry!

Cons: Of all this author's heroines, Charlotte was not my favorite. She was quite the damsel in distress at first and had to be rescued (and carried through the woods!) not once but twice by the love interest. I expected her to drop a handkerchief or pull out her smelling salts to get his attention as her next move. Finally, toward the end, she came into her own. But I guess my greatest issue with this book was that I thought the paranormal aspect was introduced too late, which didn't leave enough time for it to be developed enough for my liking. The ending seemed rushed and left a few things unresolved - not sure if there are more books to follow.

If you're a fan of the Elementals books, you will definitely enjoy Thicker Than Water . If you're new to this author, you will have to see if you like the set-up and if you prefer the first two thirds of the book or the last third.

19 comments:

  1. I liked Elementals so excited to read this one.

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  2. I got this book for review as well, so I'll be reading it soon. It's nice to see your take on it. I've never read her other work, so I guess I'll find out if her writing is for me. I love books told from a good male POV, so hopefully I'll enjoy this. Great review!

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    1. Look forward to seeing what you think. It's a dual POV, but I just think she writes guy characters really well.

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  3. I haven't read any books by her, but I love how this one sounds. I have to check it out!
    Great review, Jen!

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    1. Look forward to hearing what you think!

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  4. I liked her first series well enough, but I wasn't too crazy about it. I'm curious to see how I'll react to this one. The damsel in distress part worries me. I am not a fan of helpless heroines. Great review, Jen!

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    1. Well, Charlotte is overprotected by her brothers. She finally does learn to stand up for herself but all the carrying her around was a bit much!

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  5. I as kind of on the fence about reading this and I'm still not sure.....

    Kate @ Ex Libris

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  6. I haven't read the Elementals. Not sure How I would feel about this one and the paranormal part being brought in so late. Also not a huge fan of damsels in distress. Love that cover though :)

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    1. The problem I had was this was sort of neither/nor. It wasn't fully a paranormal and wasn't fully a mystery. I think it would have been better as one or the other.

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  7. never read the other series, but I know a lot of my friends are reading this one, your review makes me really wary though ;/

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  8. Oh gosh. I never did get into the Elementals bandwagon, so I don't know about this one.

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  9. When a book is very decidedly contemporary then takes a turn....that's a turn off for me. Mostly because I hate change.

    Wasn't this cover used for something else??

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  10. I'm really excited to read this one myself. I'm a little worried about certain aspects of it, but overall I hope to enjoy it. Great review! :)

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  11. I actually like paranormal mysteries but I thought the twist was, in some ways an easy way out. I wasn't surprised by it necessarily because I felt like Brigid did a good job with foreshadowing (but wasn't too obvious) but at the same time, I wish this had just remained a small town mystery and hadn't turned into a paranormal situation.

    Great review, Jen! :)

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    1. EXACTLY. It didn't need the twist and the twist just made everything weird imo. I thought the book was great without the twist and I didn't like it nearly as much much after that point.

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  12. I totally agree! The 'twist' felt like a cop out to me more than anything. Ugh. Well, this was my first of her books so I had NO CLUE that paranormal was even an option!

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