When I am Through With You by Stephanie Kuehn
Published: August 1st 2017 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
“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 how what started as a simple school camping trip in the mountains ended the way it did. About who lived and who died. About who killed and who had the best of intentions. And he’ll tell you about Rose. 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.
After reading the blurb, I absolutely knew that I had to read this book – it sounded like something thad I would fall in love with and I needed to know the mystery and what happened on that mountain. However, I have some really mixed feelings about this book and I am not entirely sure how to even review this – but I did enjoy it overall. I reckon I am going to review this in list form, because it’ll be easy to sort out my feelings!
- The psychological aspect of the book. Our MC has major issues after a childhood incident (I don’t want to give away spoilers), which leaves him with both physical and mental scars. Ben is an unreliable source of information and we are left questioning certain things throughout the book. As a reader, I was unsure as to whether I should really believe his version of events in the way that he tells it because of other things we learn about him throughout the book.
- All of our characters are messed up in one way or another and this has a major impact on events throughout the book. We know as readers that the characters have underlying issues, but we don’t learn what they are until later in the book. Some of the characters had a huge impact on the direction that the book went because of the issues they had.
- The relationship between Rose and Ben was also, from the very beginning, messed up. It made no sense and they both treated the other person horribly. For me, the entire relationship didn’t make much sense and it was made clearer as the book progressed why they were even together in the first place. Whilst I didn’t like Rose throughout the book, I understood her motives by the end.
- I felt compelled to read on. I struggled throughout some of the book because of the narration style, but at the same time, I HAD to know what was going to happen to the characters and why.
- I struggled to keep reading because I struggled to really be pulled into the style of narration. I liked the unreliability, but it felt very disjointed throughout the book.
- I’m not entirely sure I understand the point of the book itself. I read other reviews to see if there was something I had missed or to see if I was just being a bit stupid, but I was relieved to find that I was not alone! So, whilst I enjoyed the book itself, I didn’t really understand… at all!
- I would have liked to have seen more of Ben’s home life and the way in which his mother treats him, rather than just being told about it (the unreliability again). I would have also liked to have known a bit more about his past and what happened and why exactly.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book, although I didn’t completely understand what the point really was. I felt compelled to keep reading, and I loved the unreliability of the MC. I gave this book 4/5 stars.
3 thoughts on “When I am Through With You by Stephanie Kuehn”
That blurb is definitely intriguing.. I’ve seen this book before and was already interested… I’m a bit afraid for the ‘style of narration’ though if it’s so different from the usual easy reads… Thank you for your review!
You should definitely give it a go, though! You might like it and it was definitely a compelling read!