Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Giving an Author a Second Chance (When I Am Through With You Review)

TITLE: When I Am Through With You
AUTHOR: Stephanie Kuehn
PUBLISHER: Dutton
PUBLISHING DATE: August 1, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: “This isn’t meant to be a confession. Not in any spiritual sense of the word. Yes, I’m in jail at the moment. I imagine I’ll be here for a long time, considering. But I’m not writing this down for absolution and I’m not seeking forgiveness, not even from myself. Because I’m not sorry for what I did to Rose. I’m just not. Not for any of it.”

Ben Gibson is many things, but he’s not sorry and he’s not a liar. He will tell you exactly about what happened on what started as a simple school camping trip in the mountains. About who lived and who died. About who killed and who had the best of intentions. But he’s going to tell you in his own time. Because after what happened on that mountain, time is the one thing he has plenty of.

When I Am Through With You is a gripping story of survival and the razor’s-edge difference between perfect cruelty and perfect love.


MY THOUGHTS:  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 the Penguin First to Read program in exchange for an honest review.


RATING: 4 PAWS
 

23 comments:

  1. You are making me feel guilty for not giving some authors a second chance, hee. I do like the sound of this one! Heh, I'm now VERY curious about the wtf look for the last 100 pages. It must be good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was totally accidental but I did enjoy this one much more.

      Delete
  2. Sometimes I have to give an author another try and I figure if I hate the second one then that is it I don't like their style...lol. I am glad you tried this one as it sound interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honestly, it's probably not fair to judge based on one book alone although we've all probably done it before.

      Delete
  3. I've read two of her books, and I love her for her wtf factor. Her books always surprise me and it's hard to be surprised these days! Glad you gave her a second chance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are one of the bloggers I remember who really liked her so I had you in mind when I wrote this post. I really did like this one.

      Delete
  4. I love survival stories and thrillers, so I definitely have this one on my TBR. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I recently won a copy of this book! I can't wait to give it a read :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm not big on second chances either because there are always so many other books competing for some space in my head. I'm glad this worked out for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, we all have too many books we want to read!

      Delete
  7. I am glad you enjoyed this one, Barb! This was the first book by Kuehn that I read so I went in without any expectations. I was surprised by how quickly I was drawn into the story and the wtf factor at the end was great. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The only thing that drove me batty was the First to Read formatting. I really struggled to get through the book because it wasn't cooperating very well.

      Delete
  8. Guess it's a good think you didn't realize who the author was. Glad you enjoyed this one more. Ya never know what an author will come up with as they became a more seasoned writer.
    sherry @ fundinmental

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It did work out well after all. She does write really messed up characters really well.

      Delete
  9. My co-blogger found The Smaller Evil odd, so I didn't read it, but this sounds like it could work for me. I have given authors second chances, especially if there is a genre shift.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm glad you gave her a second chance. I've been under a rock - I had never heard of her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think a lot of people like her books but I don't know that I will ever pick up a book just because she is the author.

      Delete
  11. Funny this morning I was drafting a post about how blogger's opinion change mine :) Glad to hear you decided to give it another try and enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete