Tuesday, October 16, 2012

This Is Not Forgiveness

This Is Not Forgiveness by Celia Rees
3.5/5 stars
Bloomsbury, 2012
280 pages
YA Contemporary

Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was cautiously excited about this one. Although I hadn't read any other books by Rees, I saw that it was a contemporary and when am I ever not interested in those? Plus I saw Brandi's positive review so I eagerly opened up this book (well figuratively as it was on my Nook).

The beginning was very difficult for me; I felt dropped into a perspective without any guiding posts to orient me. Although it took me more than a few chapters, eventually I worked out that the main perspective was Jamie with additional chapters coming from the point of view of the free-spirited political Caro and his veteran brother Rob with the latter two having a secretive relationship.  All three are compelling especially as Caro and Rob build to something awful with their manipulations and secrets coming to bear on Jamie.

I just loved Jamie-he's a pretty sweet guy and completely falls for Caro despite multiple warnings from everyone in his life and no matter how badly she treats him. Rob has his own wounds, literally from combat and how that pressure has warped his mind. His entries are told via video diaries that he has recorded with his version of events. And lastly we have the mysterious Caro with her own tortured past and scars. For the longest time, I could not fathom what she had planned despite all of her talk. It just seemed too much to imagine it could be that.

Content warnings: Language, drugs, and sexual stuff and yet none of that seems too big in comparison to what ultimately happens.

Overall: Rocky beginning but great buildup to an explosive ending that tackles real-life issues. Very psychologically twisty and if you can get past that beginning, a quick read where you have to know how it all ends.


  1. The narration sounds a bit odd...Jamie seems like a great character though.

    Nice honest review!

  2. Well, twisty is definitely good in my book! I hadn't heard of this one and I'm not sure if it would be my thing or not but it does sound compelling so I think I'll go check it out on goodreads and see what others are saying as well. Thanks for putting this one on my radar!


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