Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Expected Release: March 1st
See it at Goodreads
People in Merit, Wisconsin, always said Jimmy was . . . you know. But people said all sorts of stupid stuff. Nobody really knew anything. Nobody really knew Jimmy.
I guess you could say I knew Jimmy as well as anyone (which was not very well). I knew what scared him. And I knew he had dreams—even if I didn't understand them. Even if he nearly ruined my life to pursue them.
Jimmy's dead now, and I definitely know that better than anyone. I know about blood and bone and how bodies decompose. I know about shadows and stones and hatchets. I know what a last cry for help sounds like. I know what blood looks like on my own hands.
What I don't know is if I can trust my own eyes. I don't know who threw the stone. Who swung the hatchet? Who are the shadows? What do the living owe the dead?
Ilsa J. Bick is just one of those special authors for me. It’s like everything I pick up with her name attached, I know I’m going to enjoy. Whether it’s zombies and action in the Ashes trilogy, or emotional turmoil and character impact in her contemporary, Drowning Instinct--there is no doubt in my mind that Bick has risen to the top as one of my favorite authors ever in the last two years. I adore her writing.
Naturally, when The Sin-Eater’s Confession was announced, I was excited for this one as well. I’d already read her contemporary-style work before, so I didn’t really have any worries as to how different it would be after reading Ashes and Shadows (which, of course, I’m a huge fan of). The additional idea of it being a bit of murder mystery fueled my curiosity even more.
Let me say now, if you’re familiar with the author’s style at all, then you know at times details are very…detailed. Sometimes it might be best to not have a light stomach when reading certain types of scenes because they are described quite well.
The Sin-Eater’s Confession is thought provoking. There are underlying messages and it’s rather sad throughout when I think back about it. The overall subject is important. I read through it quickly, intrigued from the first page. But unfortunately, I can’t say I fully enjoyed reading the book. It wasn’t a favorite of mine coming from Bick anyway, and at times I felt like it was rather lacking in characterization from Ben--who I felt no connection with at all no matter how hard I tried. The narration often felt a bit choppy--and was in first person POV. It being in first person POV could have been the downfall for me maybe, because sometimes I just personally can’t stand reading in that view. That’s my own personal pet peeve through. While this is going to sound like a contradiction, I did really like that it appeared like a series of letters to someone the reader doesn’t know. The small town, sadly, came across quite realistic. And though I wish it hadn’t been that realistic, it’s really something that many of us know is still a large problem, and this is where it leaves you thinking a lot at the end.
The mystery is also left open, leaving the reader to wonder really what exactly happened. There’s questions left unanswered when the book ends, and while endings like this can sometimes be an annoyance, I found this one satisfying.
Maybe not a favorite Bick work, but worth the read. I still pick up anything that has her name on the cover anyway. Enough said. :)