This is the second Kuehn book I've read. When I first became interested in it, I didn't realize it was the same author who did "A Smaller Evil" and I really wasn't a fan of that book when I read it last year. In fact, if I had made the connection, I might have not picked up "When I Am Through With You." However, while I am starting to believe she has a "definite type" when it comes to plots and their characters, I did like this book considerably more.
The story is told from the MC Ben's POV and pretty early on the reader discovers Ben in sitting in jail and that some people have ended up dead. The tale then backtracks and we find out what exactly happened to Ben. Ben has not had the easiest childhood. His mother will not win any parent of the year awards and his father is absent. Ben ends up dating Rose, a fellow high school student and right away, it seems Rose is in charge of the relationship. In fact, they end up dating because Rose tells him he's going to be her boyfriend. Ben ends up joining a hiking club at school, despite the fact that he has numerous health problems, and one weekend, his teacher and a ragtag group of students leave their home county to hike up some California mountain. Trouble ensues and death soon follows.
I actually thought I would hate Ben throughout the entire book but actually ended up disliking Rose and her twin brother much more. There were times I really felt for Ben and wished like hell that he would stop putting himself in horrible situations. Even when Ben tries to take charge, he pretty much fails. This book was somewhat thrilling in that there are several twists and turns along the way and as a reader, I was constantly guessing about what was happening and I'm sure I had a "WTF" look on my face during the last 100 pages or so. I had the look a lot longer when reading "A Smaller Evil.:
I am glad I read this book and my opinion on Kuehn has changed somewhat. I know a lot of bloggers who love her work so I'm glad I'm no longer basing my not-so-glowing previous opinion on just one book. If you like YA, thrillers and unreliable characters, you will find it all in "When I Am Through With You."
I received this book from Penguin First to Read in exchange for an honest review.
This book will count as my "Diverse Voice" block for my Halloween Bingo due to the author's heritage as well as the ethnicity of several of the primary characters in the book.