The Sin-Eater's Confession - YA Review by Rayna Grace

Reader: Rayna Grace C.
Age: 14
Title: The Sin-Eater's Confession
Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab
Pub Date: 11/28/12
Galley: Yes
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: This book was good, but it left much to be desired. In the beginning, when the main character was giving back story and reminiscing in his past with his friend Jimmy, the writing was very vivid and detailed and almost sweet. After the main character witnesses Jimmy’s death, however, the writing and plot really fell flat. Even though I do think this was supposed to be partially because of the trauma and depression that the main character went through during that time, it seemed to go kind of overboard and made the rest of the book really boring. Also, the resolution of this book was pretty much non-existent. I read the whole book solely because I thought there was going to be a really deep, heartfelt ending that blew my mind to make up for the crappy middle parts that just flaunted the protagonist’s let’s-just-sit-here-and-twiddle-our-thumbs attitude. Unfortunately, that was not the case. The ending was pretty much like this: “yup, this is what happened, sorry I didn’t tell anyone earlier. Whoops, hope you don’t arrest me.” I do not think that the lack of good characters really helped the book’s case, either. It was just Jimmy (who only lasted about 1/3 of the book) and the main character himself who were relatable and/or interesting. This book really had good potential, and I think if the middle and end plot and writing style had been tweaked at some point during the editing process, this would have been a book I would have told my friends to read.
Memorable or Forgettable: This book was memorable for me personally because I think this is the first time where the main character (or any character, for that matter) in a book related to me so well back story-wise to the point where I was kind of creeped out. For example, we both live in small town Wisconsin, are honor roll students who have pretty much no lives besides school (most of the time), and our mindset was pretty much the same throughout the beginning of the book up until Jimmy’s death. After that, the main character pretty much lost it and did some pretty unsavory things that would repulse most people. Obviously once that happened I stopped relating to the character and just became really frustrated with his choices. Other than that, this book seemed ordinary to me.
Cover: The cover was really good and it really drew me in, and did reflect the contents, I think it fits pretty much perfectly with the book itself.
Age Range: 14 through 18 and up
Quality: 3Q Readable
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

tags:  coming of age / homophobia / personal responsibility / individual freedom / ya lit

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