Today’s book review features one of the very popular Surrey Teens Read books, and is reviewed by Torre Chometsky.
The book “Complicit”, written by Stephanie Kuehn, and one of the newer Teen Reads, is about the main protagonist, Jamie, trying to find out the truth behind his mother’s death. Along the way, he must deal with the cryptic hints of his crazed sister, and his harsh mental instabilities. He must remember his past, in order to remember himself, and to find the truth.
Personally, this book is pieced together very weirdly. Each chapter alternates between the current setting and Jamie’s past, which can become very confusing. On top of that, later in the story it is revealed that Jamie has been under the effects of hypnosis, which further confuses me and everyone else on what he really did and did not do. There is also lots of language that feels misplaced, or forced into the book entirely, like some scenes of erotica, and the flashbacks. It felt distasteful, and to me, the book was very hard to finish, as it was lackluster and uninteresting until the climax.
After the climax, when Jamie returns to his old home to find any evidence about his mother, and finds out he was hypnotized, I felt more compelled to finish the book in its entirety. The ending felt very stereotypical, with the protagonist climbing a mountain for a type of “final showdown” type of deal with his sister, and to top it off, he completely forgot the reason he went up the mountain due to his “conversion disorder”.
In conclusion: The book had a good plot, and a good ending to it, but executed poorly. The protagonist is scared of everything, so it gets hard to understand what’s exactly going on, and the entire premise of the story is a little cliché. I liked it, but there are still a lot better out there.