Tuesday, August 8, 2017

When I Am Through With You by Stephanie Kuehn-- This author NEVER goes easy on me


A camping trip goes horribly wrong and Ben is about to tell you all the details.  But first he's going to tell you about Rose-- and why their relationship went from convenient to necessary to dysfunctional.  He's going to tell you about his mother and why making her happy is his top priority.  He's going to tell you about Mr. Howe and the reasons he recruited Ben for the orienteering club-- which eventually led to a 4 day nightmare.

And he's going to tell you how and why he killed Rose.

I was very excited about this book the minute I heard about it.  I could tell from the description that it was going to give me all the things I love when it comes to Stephanie Kuehn books.  Mainly, messed up main characters that you aren't sure if they're the good guys, the bad guys, or both.

I can't tell you a lot about this book because almost everything feels spoilery to me, so I'll tell you this:  It's hiking and things go bad.  It's DARK, and disturbing at times, and it has characters that you can't really trust or like.

Right off the bat, I was hooked.  The beginning of this book delves into Ben's relationship with Rose. It started off as just something to do for Ben, but turned into "love" (I say that in quotes because I'm not sure if these characters really know what love is), eventually getting to a place where I wasn't sure what the heck was going on.  Was Rose playing head games with Ben because she was jealous of his relationship with his mother??  Was Rose restless in their small-town and wanted something more than Ben could offer?  Did Rose know something about Ben that we didn't?  Her motivations to me were a mystery that I wanted to know.

One of the more interesting parts of this book for me was that Ben suffers from debilitating migraines due to a traumatic head injury in his past.  Being that they were out on a dangerous hike to begin with, the threat of an oncoming headache made the tension that much higher.

I used to get migraines when I was young, and when important days came along (SAT day, graduation, first day of a new job), I used to worry that one would happen and I wouldn't be able to go.  I've always hated the way people throw around the word migraine because it makes it seem like it's just a headache to people who've never had one-- it's NOT just a headache.  It's not something you can just power through.

The best thing for me:  I love the fact that Ben was this character that we as readers didn't know for sure if he was someone we should be rooting for.  I wanted to root for him because he was telling the story, and he was someone who had giant shortcomings, but owned up to them.  I respected that about him-- but due to his violent past and that we KNOW that he's going to have a violent future, I had to keep reminding myself that he's not necessarily a protagonist in this story.

I really love the way Stephanie Kuehn does the hero/villain blur.  Everything gets confused and mixed together and by the end, I'm always left feeling a little icky.  This one was no exception.  The last line made me want to read this book all over again to look for clues that I missed.

OVERALL: Such a "me" book.  It's dark, and there are no true heroes or villains.  I love a YA book that plays with psychology and messes with my head.  This book is heavy on the character development, but also has the tension of being isolated in the woods.  I definitely recommend!

Date Published: 8/1/2017
How I got this book: Thanks to Penguin for sending me a copy to read and honestly review
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Add it to your To-Read List!!

My Rating:

Character: Ben Gibson
Book: Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage

  • I think Ben could understand better than me what exactly was going on with this town and all the messed up people in it-- especially Ben and Mira's relationship.  I bet he has insight into that mess.


  1. Sounds great! Totally gonna add this to my TBR :)
    I like dark suspenseful books!

  2. I'm pretty outdoorsy and for some reason I like reading books about bad things happening/things going wrong in the outdoors, so this sounds right up my alley! Ben definitely sounds like an interesting character! Great review!

  3. Ohhhh 5 stars?!?! I always get excited when I see 5 star rated books. I won this one in a giveaway but haven't gotten to start it yet. All of the positive reviews that I've been reading for it are making me more excited to pick it up tho! Great review!

  4. Wahoo! I've been looking forward to this one! So glad to hear it was a hit for you! :)

  5. I do love this author - I think I've read almost all of her books, and I must check this one out. I find the villain/hero line to be fascinating when authors blur it!


  6. Wow, this sounds SOO good! I've read Delicate Monsters by her, and it was VERY dark. I think I'll have to be in the right mindset to read another of her books.

  7. I've loved all her books, but this was a bit graphic for me - I'm still traumatized. But glad you loved it!
    Jen Ryland