Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Sin-Eater's Confession - YA Book Review

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I recently finished a YA fiction novel written by a child psychiatrist, film scholar, surgeon wannabe, former Air Force major, and author. Lest you think this book was written by five people, you'd be wrong. All of those titles belong to one author: Ilsa J. Bick. I want you to know this because what I love about this book is that Bick really takes all of her expertise in these different fields and uses it to create this one story.

The Sin-Eater's Confession is told in diary format by 20-year-old Ben, a medic in Afghanistan. But the story he's writing isn't about his time serving his country. It's about what happened to him three years ago in his rural Wisconsin town that made him leave for Afghanistan. It all started with a boy named Jimmy and a friendship gone sour. And when Jimmy needed Ben the most, Ben didn't offer any help. And then Jimmy died.

Ben carries around a huge load of guilt. He doesn't know why he didn't help Jimmy. He doesn't know why he let what happened between them split them apart. He doesn't know if everything really thinks he's gay or if he thinks he is. He doesn't know if he really wants to go to Yale and become a doctor like his mom wants him to do. As Ben struggles through what happened to Jimmy, he also struggles to figure out who he is and what he wants and ultimately, how to make his own decisions for his life.

While I liked this book, it should come with a warning: there are parts that are a bit graphic. A few war scenes in the beginning of the book. A violently descriptive hate crime. If you can't stomach stuff like this, then this isn't the book for you. It's for ages 14-18, but just keep the gore level in mind.

The Sin-Eater's Confession is published by Carolrhoda Lab and is available to purchase now. I received a free review copy for my honest review.

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