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Complicit
2014
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Summary
Two years ago, fifteen-year-old Jamie Henry breathed a sigh of relief when a judge sentenced his older sister to juvenile detention for burning down their neighbor's fancy horse barn. The whole town did. Because Crazy Cate Henry used to be a nice girl. Until she did a lot of bad things. Like drinking. And stealing. And lying. Like playing weird mind games in the woods with other children. Like making sure she always got her way. Or else.But today Cate got out. And now she's coming back for Jamie.Because more than anything, Cate Henry needs her little brother to know the truth about their past. A truth she's kept hidden for years. A truth she's not supposed to tell.Trust nothing and no one as you race toward the explosive conclusion of the gripping psychological thriller Complicit  from Stephanie Kuehn, the William C. Morris Award - winning author of Charm & Strange.  
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School Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-Fifteen-year-old Jamie Henry is haunted by muddled memories of his childhood and by a tragic fire at a neighborhood horse barn. Everyone in their upscale suburban town, including Jamie, believes that the fire was started by his damaged and wild older sister, Cate, who has a reputation for drinking and stealing. But at the opening of Kuehn's intense novel, Cate returns from a juvenile detention center, and it becomes clear that the truth is far more complicated. From the first day of his sister's dramatic arrival, Jamie's life begins to spiral out of control. An excellent student and "good" boy, the teen has always considered Cate to be the troubled one. She causes heartache and worry for their well-meaning adoptive parents, and she is known for manipulating her friends. Cate is unreliable, but Jamie needs her. He needs to know what really happened the night of the fire. And he wants to learn about their young mother who died under mysterious circumstances. Following clues to an increasingly complex puzzle, the protagonist slowly begins to piece his past together. He has the support of several other characters, especially his therapist and his new girlfriend, both of whom give readers a more nuanced and sympathetic view of his struggle. Alternating between past and present, Kuehn sustains the tension through first-person narration and revealing flashbacks. Complicit ensnares readers from the first page with its surprising twists and revelations. Recommend it to fans of psychological thrillers.-Shelley Sommer, Inly School, Scituate, MA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Cate is out of juvie. For her little brother, 17-year-old Jamie, that's bad. It's been two years since Cate horribly injured a rival by setting a barn on fire. This was the last in a long series of tempestuous, violent acts Cate committed since she and Jamie were adopted following the murder of their mother. With Cate locked up, Jamie is almost a whole being: his periodic bouts of memory loss, yanking of his own hair, and idiopathic cataplexy (the total numbness of his hands) have receded, and he's got those hands full, literally, with a lusty new girlfriend. But Cate's return brings everything flooding back, not only the physical ailments but the memories, some of which have been buried buried deep, and for good reason. Kuehn writes with the fleetness of a trained thriller author, blending past and present (not to mention psychology and action) with the same fluidity as in her Morris Award-winning debut, Charm & Strange (2013). Her confidence is what's so invigorating: every page shows a firm, surprising choice, whether you like it or not. Cate, naturally, is the main event, the alternatingly irrational, gentle, explosive, and enigmatic center of this fast, black whirlpool of a novel.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2014 Booklist
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