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Thicker Than Water

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  793 ratings  ·  162 reviews
Cecelia Price killed her brother. At least, that’s what the police and the district attorney are saying. And although Cecelia is now locked up and forced into treatment, she knows the real story is much more complicated.

Cyrus wasn’t always the drug-addled monster he’d become. He was a successful athlete, but when an injury forced him off the soccer field and onto pain medi
Hardcover, 307 pages
Published January 5th 2016 by Harper Teen
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  793 ratings  ·  162 reviews

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Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“I regret being born.”

This was an interesting mystery story, featuring prescription drug abuse.

It was clear that CeCe felt really guilty in this story, even though she hadn’t forced her brother to overdose, she really did blame herself for his death, and it was obvious that she felt she deserved to be punished. Her brother Cyrus on the other hand, was a serious d
"Denial isn't a river, it's a refuge. It's where you go for answers when the truth is a) too upsetting, b) too far-fetched, or c) too ugly."

I'm really torn in my rating. A part of me feels like I should give this book at least four stars because it's meticulously written with an authenticity that feels so refreshingly believable and brutally honest. But then another part of me had a few problems with the text that made it hard for me to get into.

One of my biggest issues had to be the romance. T
Jen Ryland
I liked (with a few tiny quibbles) this story of a girl accused of being responsible for her brother's death. I liked CeCe as a character and stayed interested as the story slowly doled out the puzzle pieces of the circumstances that led to the downward spiral of her family and brought her to trial. Though I'm not often a fan of the flashback-flashforward method of storytelling, I thought it worked really well in this book. I could always tell if I was in the past or the present, and I think it ...more
Amanda (Fandomly Bookish)
Rating: 4.5 stars

I remember feeling brave when I requested this title to HarperCollins International a few weeks back in December. Family tragedy, drug addiction and the mention of Ellen Hopkins’ name are three things that I don’t want to go along together in a book for the sole reason of me knowing that it would break my poor heart into pieces. But hey on the flipside, those are actually the three things that captured my attention and encouraged me to request and review it. It made me curious i
Hazel (Stay Bookish)
Actual rating: 4-4.5

A very poignant book about drug addiction and how it affects lives, not just of those who yield to it but the people around them. Full review to come.
Kim at Divergent Gryffindor
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

Author's writing style = more than perfect!! <3

"Regret forces us to relieve the moments we hate the most - the moments that drove us into spiraling downfalls, the moments where we stopped living and started surviving."

When I first read the synopsis of Thicker Than Water, I was really curious about it but I didn't really want to read it because I feared that it would clash with my morals and I wouldn't be able to fully appreciate it. I initially didn't want to reques
Gaby (lookingatbooks)
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeously written!

I've never read a book on addiction, unless you count Sarah Dessen's Dreamland. Which I absolutely despised. So this was more of a first for me. Although I first hand have seen drug addiction, so I understood this book more than the passerby.
The author stressed the point, that family members and friends closest to the drug addicted, are victims. Victims of their loved ones horrible habits. And Cecelia Price was the number one victim in this book.

Plot: CeCelia Price killed he
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
Jun 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got from the publisher via Edelweiss.
*CeCe’s roommate Aarti is Indian
*CeCe's brother is a drug addict
*CeCe’s family is quite poor; borderline poverty

Well, this review only got put off for two months by my lazy ass. Oops. Part of it’s because having only online classes is surprisingly difficult, but the other part is because I didn’t know what to say. Thicker Than Water tapped into something very personal to me and made me realize how
Aug 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review was originally posted on Novel Ink

I have been so excited to read this book.  I mean, did you read the first sentence in that synopsis? If not, let me provide it for you:

Cecelia Price killed her brother.

Intriguing, isn't it? I thought so.  But, let me tell you, the whole story is much more enthralling.  Kelly Fiore takes us on a rollercoaster of a ride with Cecelia's story.  I will warn you though, there are some serious topics presented in this book.  Things like

Kelly Hager
Jul 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've loved Kelly Fiore's books since I read Taste Test, and this is easily her best one. (No offense to the others.) Those are just incredibly fun, sweet, fast reads and this one broke my heart.

CeCe carries around a lot of guilt for her brother Cy's death and as a result, she doesn't do that much work to participate in her own defense. (We learn the exact circumstances of his death toward the end of the book, but we know that whatever it is, her involvement was enough to land her in legal troubl
Dec 14, 2015 rated it liked it
This was a very good but very tough book to read. I feel like there isn't a person out there that hasn't had their life affected by addiction.
For me, I remember the friends in high school on the 'meth' diet to stay so so thin. I remember the hushed conversations about parents that drank too much. I remember the O.D. The drunk driving accident.

So this book is something that I think can reach everyone. It just hits a nerve we all instinctively have and is just tough enough to make reading it not 1
I beta read this one quite a while ago, and I can't wait to read it again. It completely knocked me on my ass, and was so unexpectedly dark after the author's first two books, but also seriously freaking great. ...more
Kelly Gunderman
Dec 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Check out this and other reviews on my young adult book blog, Here's to Happy Endings!

When I picked up this book, I wasn't really sure what I was expecting. I knew it was about a girl who was in trouble with the law for the death of her brother. I knew it was about addiction. I knew it was about a family that had been torn apart. But what I didn't expect was such a gut-wrenching, emotional reading experience. Thicker Than Water is haunting and heartbreaking - and it shows off the pains of be
Hannah (jellicoereads)
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary-fic
This is a book about a series of bad decisions. Bad decisions that end up in a downwards spiral towards tragedy. But it was a well-written read nevertheless, taking a look at family relationships, drug addition and teen rehabilitation.

What Cece does is wrong, no doubt about it, but there’s certainly a pervasive sense of unfairness that she is the one that takes all the blame, whilst the rich kids who bought from her, and the doctor who prescribed the pills, emerge scott-free. It’s also an intere
Nov 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
For some reason, I was stuck in a rut while reading this book. While I did enjoy reading it, it's full of dark themes which made me put down the book countless of times not because I don't like it, but it really made me feel heavy.

The book tells about the story of Cecelia Price or CeCe, and how her life drastically changed because of her brother, Cyrus. From a straight A student, Cece learned how to deal drugs to help her family.

I would say that this book was a tragic story. CeCe had so much pot
Lisa (lifeinlit)
Aug 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, print-arc, e-arc
Going into Thicker Than Water I had no idea what to expect. I hadn't read the synopsis in many months and basically went into this blind. Right off the bat I knew I was going to like this story due to the criminal/court aspects of the story. After working in that field for over 14 years, I'm consistently drawn into stories that address the legal side, including court appearances, trials, even the criminal activity and treatment thereof. It's a topic that I'm always interested in, so I was happy ...more
May 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a book that was dark and had morally complex characters. It was a book that made it easy to root for a character even when she did things that were wrong and even illegal. It dealt with tough issues of addiction to and use of prescription drugs. There were complex relationships between family members. Nothing in this book was just easy and simple. I also liked how this book alternated past and present timelines so that the full story unraveled throughout the book.

CeCe is in behavioral
Jan 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Over the past year or so, I have been absolutely loving contemporary novels. That's what really attracted me to the story of Thicker Than Water, though it was a dark contemporary, which made me love it even more.

The story follows a girl named Cece who supposedly killed her brother. She's now trying to get better while preparing for her court date, where a Judge will decide whether she actually did. It would probably help if she didn't keep telling people that she was the one who killed Cy
Katy Upperman
This one was high on my most-anticipated of 2016 list, and it did not disappoint. It's a story of addiction and the toll it takes on an already floundering family. CeCe Price's big brother, Cyrus, has been hooked on OxyContin since suffering a soccer injury. He used to be CeCe's hero, but now he's something of a tragedy -- lying and manipulating, abusing CeCe, stealing from their father, disappearing for long stretches of time. Money's tight in the Price household and, thanks to an unfortunate b ...more
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I had wanted to read this book since before it came out. I finally got my hands on a copy. Typically when I buy a book I carry it around and look at it for a bit before I read it. I read this book in 2 days after receiving it. I probably would have had it read it sooner but it turns out that when you have a kid, your time isn't your own anymore, but I digress. This book was everything I had hoped it would be. As someone that has struggled with addiction, I knew there was a chance that this book ...more
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was very intriguing from the start because it talked about how everyone thought Cecelia Price was responsible for killing her brother, Cyrus, but that wasn't the case. Although she blamed herself, little hints are dropped throughout the book that prove she did not actually murder him. I did not like how the chapters were all mixed up going from present day and then back two or three months. For instance, I think that the chapter that talks about the day Cyrus died should have been plac ...more
I like the idea of this book. I think the premise is good, and I think it's important that the author goes after a tough topic.

I struggled with a few elements of the ending, specifically (view spoiler)
Jeanie Phillips
Apr 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: kiddo
Compelling, gritty, and heart breaking. CeCe gets caught up in the spiral of her brother's OxyContin addiction and her family's denial and compromises her own future. Readers of Ellen Hopkin's books will love this. ...more
Nuzaifa - Word Contessa
THE REVIEW - For more reviews, please visit

> 15 MILLION - The number of people in the US ALONE who abuse prescription drugs.
50% - The percentage of young adults who believe that prescription drugs are much safer than illegal street drugs.
54.2% - The percentage of prescription drug users who get them free from a friend/relative.


As appalling as these stats are, they are also very real.

There's no denying that drug abuse is a prevalent issue among young adults so it is d
Hannah Puckett
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this novel because it had so much in it and made me want to keep reading and reading more. I love books like that. It was filled with drama, worrisome, wholesome, mystery, and it showed readers the rough relationship between CeCe and Cyrus and all of the hardships they suffered through. I loved how much detail this book contained and how strong the author showed the murder and described it precisely. Overall, I enjoyed this.
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Huge thank you to the publisher for sending me an advanced copy for review!

Wowwwww this book is heavy. If you have issues with drugs and addiction, please be careful when you approach this book then because it could be very triggering.

This is the story of a family who's dealing with addiction and denial. Cece's family started to fall apart when her mother died of cancer. Cece has a really difficult time with her, but her family moves forward and on. Her father remarries and buys a farm where he
Stephanie Ward
Oct 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
'Thicker Than Water' is a raw and emotional novel that deals with some heavy topics very relevant in today's society - teen drug use, addiction, grief, guilt, family issues, and a lot more. The story follows our main character - Cecelia - as she recounts what has happened in the past few months of her life. Mainly her brother's death, her subsequent arrest, and her stay at a behavioral rehabilitation program. The book is told from the first person point of view - from Cecelia's perspective - whi ...more
Alisha Marie
I so expected to love Thicker Than Water. I love contemporary YA. I tend to be more impress with contemporary YA than with every other fantasy/paranormal/dystopian YA novel that's the IT book. Plus, Thicker Than Water was dark. And if there's one thing I like more than contemporary YA is dark, angsty as shit, contemporary YA. And while I did get all of this, I was still not in love.

The Good: Thicker Than Water was an engaging read. And as someone who is still suffering from the ass end of a read
Kaitlyn Abshire
Jun 22, 2015 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Thicker Than Water follows the story of Cecelia (CeCe) Price after the death of her brother, Cyrus Price. Cece has been blamed for the death of her brother and is currently residing in a behavioral health center while waiting for her trial. Cece legitimately believes that she is the reason for her brother’s death and she should spend her life in jail as consequence. Cece’s story is told in current tim
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Key characters...

Cece and her brother Cyrus are key players in this book. There are other important to this story figures, friends, attorneys, therapists, doctors, a stepmother...Cece's father and even Cece's dead mother...all of these characters play an important role in what ultimately happened to Cece and her drug addicted brother.


Much of this book takes place at Cece's school and home...some of the book takes place at the center where she is confined after her
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