YA ARC Review: THICKER THAN WATER by Natasha Deen


Author: Natasha Deen

Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Release Date: 01.29.2019

Zack Bernard has a thing for crime shows, especially the forensic-investigation kind. So when his friend Ella goes missing, Zack can’t help piecing together what he thinks is concrete evidence that could lead to her whereabouts. The problem is, it’s all pointing toward his dad. He knows his dad is lying about not having seen Ella because Zack saw them together at the mall the day she disappeared. What he doesn’t know is why. With the help of his friend Ayo, Zack tries to solve the mystery himself to avoid having to make the ter-rible choice between losing someone close to him and betraying his family.

My Review:

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the eARC in exchange of an honest review.

A suspenseful and page turning story about finding a missing friend and accidentally revealing family secrets in the process.

The story follows Zack as he investigates the disappearance of his friend, Ella. He knows Ella was last seen with his father although his father keeps denying it. Unsure whether or not to go against his father and reveal it to the police, Zack starts looking for Ella on his own uncovering family secrets along the way.

In this short and gripping story about friendship and family full of secrets, Deen shows how much you can be willing to forgive to keep them close. Although it’s less than an hour’s read, the story explores deep subjects like loss and forgiveness and risking own safety to protect the ones you love.

The book was fast paced and a complete page turner, almost way too fast. At some points, it felt like there were some missing pages, or maybe I just wanted there to be more explanations to specific things. I also think it would have been better if it were a little slower and took the time to explain things in detail. That way, it would have been easier to stay in track with Zack’s investigation process and the backstories.

The pacing also messed up with the characters, not giving them enough space to fully develop. It was hard to empathize with Zack even though he has bursting with emotions, feelings of fear, guilt and betrayal. Still, I loved how Zack was portrayed so realistically with raw emotions and wrong choices.

The ending was nicely wrapped up and didn’t leave anything to keep you hungover. The twist could use more nuance but given the space, it would have been too confusing that way. So I liked the way it is even though I believe this plot could take better and less predictable turns.

Overall, this story may not cover all that it could, but it still challenges the characters’ faith in the ones they love, and its suspense keeps you turning the pages for more.

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