When I Am Through with You by Stephanie Kuehn

When I Am Through with You

Stephanie Kuehn

Smart, dark, and twisty, When I Am Through With You will leave readers wondering what it really means to do the right thing.

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A gripping story of survival and the razor’s-edge difference between perfect cruelty and perfect love.
 
“This isn’t meant to be a confession. Not in any spiritual sense of the word. Yes, I’m in jail at the moment. I imagine I’ll be here for a long time, considering. But I’m not writing this down for absolution and I’m not seeking forgiveness, not even from myself. Because I’m not sorry for what I did to Rose. I’m just not. Not for any of it.”
 
Ben Gibson is many things, but he’s not sorry and he’s not a liar. He will tell you exactly about what happened on what started as a simple school camping trip in the mountains. About who lived and who died. About who killed and who had the best of intentions. But he’s going to tell you in his own time. Because after what happened on that mountain, time is the one thing he has plenty of.
 
Smart, dark, and twisty, When I Am Through With You will leave readers wondering what it really means to do the right thing.
 


Advance Galley Reviews

This is the second Kuehn book I've read. When I first became interested in it, I didn't realize it was the same author who did "A Smaller Evil" and I really wasn't a fan of that book when I read it last year. In fact, if I had made the connection, I might have not picked up "When I Am Through With You." However, while I am starting to believe she has a "definite type" when it comes to plots and their characters, I did like this book considerably more. The story is told from the MC Ben's POV and pretty early on the reader discovers Ben in sitting in jail and that some people have ended up dead. The tale then backtracks and we find out what exactly happened to Ben. Ben has not had the easiest childhood. His mother will not win any parent of the year awards and his father is absent. Ben ends up dating Rose, a fellow high school student and right away, it seems Rose is in charge of the relationship. In fact, they end up dating because Rose tells him he's going to be her boyfriend. Ben ends up joining a hiking club at school, despite the fact that he has numerous health problems, and one weekend, his teacher and a ragtag group of students leave their home county to hike up some California mountain. Trouble ensues and death soon follows. I actually thought I would hate Ben throughout the entire book but actually ended up disliking Rose and her twin brother much more. There were times I really felt for Ben and wished like hell that he would stop putting himself in horrible situations. Even when Ben tries to take charge, he pretty much fails. This book was somewhat thrilling in that there are several twists and turns along the way and as a reader, I was constantly guessing about what was happening and I'm sure I had a "WTF" look on my face during the last 100 pages or so. I had the look a lot longer when reading "A Smaller Evil.: I am glad I read this book and my opinion on Kuehn has changed somewhat. I know a lot of bloggers who love her work so I'm glad I'm no longer basing my not-so-glowing previous opinion on just one book. If you like YA, thrillers and unreliable characters, you will find it all in "When I Am Through With You."

What’s very riveting about this novel is the approach the author has taken to build up the narrative. She starts off the story with the ending. Well, not necessarily, but she gives the reader glimpse of how the story is going to unfold. But the reader is going on a journey to discover what is going to happen with the characters. Their dynamics are rich, they have substance to them and explore who they are and what they mean to each other. On the one hand that’s great because it brings the characters to life and makes them more realistic. On the other hand, this novel is about a very unhealthy relationship. It’s just a very toxic relationship that’s hard to watch unfold because Ben is a character who suffers, he suffers from such abuse and neglect from his mother and then there is Rose who is unlikable for many reasons: she acts entitled, and she’s manipulative. Ben is a pitiable character because he suffers physically and mentally from such a lack of self-loathing. He doesn’t think he’s worth anything, doesn’t think he deserves someone as beautiful as Rose because he is himself. And Rose, she can only be kind to him when she feels good. Otherwise, she works so hard to try to fix him because he’s so broken rather than doing what she needs to do to really help him: love him genuinely. However, following the story, watching the mystery unfold. It’s clear Ben cares for his friends, for Rose, so as the story drives forward, the mystery continues to unfold and become something worth reading. The relationship was difficult to read sometimes, but it gives so much depth to who the characters are, creating a lot of tension to the story. And in their own way, the characters are trouble, each of them going through something, but they are also stupid making most of them, except Ben, unlikable. They distract from the overall enjoyment of the story, serving as nothing more than plot devices to move the story to its inevitable climax. The other characters are really the biggest downside to the novel only because, as troubles as they are, giving them a semblance of depth, they are incredibly stupid. Overall though, it has enough tension and mystery to keep the reader engrossed in the happenings of the as the events unfold to reveal the eventual outcome. (????? | B-)

I received a previous book by Kuehn, The Smaller Evil, from Penguin last year and I could not connect with it. I recognized her name with When I Am Through With You and decided to give her another chance. I'm glad I did. This book was much better! It flowed better, it made more sense, and it was just a better story. I liked the plot of The Smaller Evil but the end result was just confusing. When I Am Through With You was interesting throughout. It was fascinating, like Ben was narrating his own documentary. I wanted to get to the end so badly! It was very intriguing. Ben was a likable character, a good guy, average Joe. Except when he wasn't anymore. This was a cool confessional book and now I can check out more of Kuehn's books!

To me it felt like Ben was telling his story like in a crime show documentary. It made me really like it and want to keep reading to see what was happening and where his story was going to go. Ben was a little weird, rarely stuck up for himself, a people pleaser, a nice person, and a killer. I can see why I guess on why he thought he was doing to right thing, I just couldn’t do it myself. I liked reading about their hiking trip up the mountains and the misadventures that happened. At one point it was one wrong choice after another. Made this interesting to read and to guess to what was going to happen next! The ending I wished there was a little more but I was completely fine on how it ended. *Side note-the copy I was reading on stopped working and kept getting an error so I had to buy it to finish reading it.

***5 STARS**** Full review can also be found on my blog Lair Of Books: https://lairofbooksblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/18/arc-august-review-when-i-am-through-with-you-sins-and-scandals-1-by-stephanie-kuehn/ PLOT Let’s just start by getting this out of the way….I LOOOOOOOVED this book!!!! Ok, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system I’ll tell you why ;) In what I found to be a unique form of story telling, our MC Ben is telling us this story as he sits in Jail which is disclosed in the very beginning & in the synopsis (no spoilers here lol). This had me asking all sorts of questions & all of the answers made this one story i’ll find hard to forget. From the opening pages, Ben Gibson starts off by recounting the day he met Rose. He’s automatically infatuated with everything about this gorgeous girl who seems too mature to be in High School. Even more unlikely is Rose approaching him and making him her boyfriend. Make no mistake, Rose doesn’t ask she tells him they are now in a relationship. This pretty much sets the tone for this story, both are complex characters for very different reasons. Ben is someone who comes from a toxic home environment & Rose is the polar opposite but she has her own dark passenger. Ben is part of the schools Orienteering class where you are taught all there is to know about camp, survival, map & compass reading. This is one thing that makes Ben feel good about himself and there isn’t much of that in his life. We’re introduced to the other students in the class who all fall into the cliques we’ve all seen form in High School. Ben however, is the teachers right hand man and he sort of leads the class whether they like it or not. They prepare to go on one class trail exploring trip with Ben spear heading while their teacher supervises. Ben, a character who likes to be in control of every variable has his doubts about whether he can successfully lead. He has no idea how justified his doubts really are. This book might have played out like one of those movies we’ve probably all seen where campers get lost in the woods & everything that can go wrong DOES go wrong. The thing is with so many players on the board having their own personal demons, it eliminates all predictability. I was HOOKED! this tale is DARK and twisted, it will make you question our MC who is also narrating since this is first person POV. It will have you looking at every character with a mean side eye lol & ultimately leave you shook! CHARACTERS Without getting into too many specifics, I can tell you this isn’t your ordinary cast of High School students. They each have secrets, some are manipulative, and others think they are better off than they really are. Ben Gibson isn’t like any MC I’ve ever come across in YA or even Adult Fiction for that matter. I wondered whether he was a unreliable character or just dead inside. It seemed like he couldn’t catch a break at times & others left me wondering if certain events cemented his fate. I found his story to be tragic and he surprised me when I read the last line in this book with a tear streaked face. I was left wondering what could’ve been if life had dealt him a different set of cards & not just him. All of the characters seemed lost inside & they kept me invested in this story. I NEEDED to know how and why. It’s been so long since I’ve come across characters that leave me thinking of them after I’ve read the last page. WRITING & FINAL THOUGHTS GRIPPING! DARK! TWISTED! I’ve read other YA thrillers but NONE like this before. Yes I have already added this authors other books to my TBR, I’m definitely going to need more from where this came from lol. I inhaled this book similarly to how my read of Mary Kubica’s Every Last Lie went last month…to the very early hours of the morning. Although we are given the end game in the beginning with Ben sitting in jail, how he got there is one MESSED up story you can’t possibly see forming til you’ve been given the final piece. I think writing this story in first person POV worked so well in giving us a sense of what Ben does & does not feel. Being in his head isn’t the easiest but that only heightened my interest. You really shouldn’t expect to like any of these characters, they don’t even like themselves but know you’re in for one hell of a sick ride! I was surprised to see on Goodreads that this is a start to a series & would love to know if the next book will have us following a new set of characters or the same. My guess is that it’s going to be one of those series where each book stands on its own but it any of you know please let me know down in the comments. *HUGE thanks to Penguin Random House/Dutton Books and Stephanie Kuehn for this eGalley in exchange for an honest review

A seemingly emotionless, down-on-his-luck teenage boy finally has an adventure and finally takes an active role in his life. Two manipulative but meant-well teen girls bite off more than they can chew. A self-loathing, self-destructive boy finds a reason to go on, and dies anyway. A naively optimistic teacher is lost in his own world instead of keeping an eye on the real world, and chaos ensues. There are lots of ways to describe When I Am Through With You, but for me, the main way is: confusing. There were a lot of loose ends, unanswered questions and unexplained weirdness, but if I wrote about them all right here, this review would be nothing but spoilers. So I'll just say this: It was an interesting story in an interesting setting, but the characters seemed a bit one-dimensional. The narrator's lack of emotion kind of stunted some of the suspense and made it hard to emotionally engage as a reader. Overall, interesting but a bit uneven.

I'd give this one a tentative 3.5. I absolutely loved the voice this was written in, very matter of fact no ridiculous metaphors or useless fluffy filler. I also loved that this was set for a majority in the woods, at any given time there's few other places i'd rather be than on a hike to a lake. What i didn't love, now hear me out, is the number of absolutely asinine decisions that were made by all the characters. Now i know it's a thriller so i shouldn't expect good decisions to be made or the plot wouldn't go anywhere but I'm also not one of those people who likes to hate read. Ya know like in Gone Girl how everyone hated the characters but then loved the book for it? That's not me. After a certain moment right before the climax i decided that i really didn't care what would end up happening to any of the characters because they had all made their beds. There's probably a whole lot more hidden in this one that i'm missing about the struggle between right and wrong and what that really means or the fact that no one can save you but yourself but i just cannot get past my lack of concern for the characters. Having said all of that though i would definitely recommend this book and am currently adding more books by Stephanie Kuehn to my TBR.

3.5 stars Our protagonist, Ben Gibson, has no confidence. He comes from a dysfunctional home, previously accused of killing his step-father. He is a teenager, caught in the web of care giver for his invalid drugged out Mother. His only salvation in the world is Rose Augustine - who approached him and stated she was becoming his girlfriend - period! Ben went along. On a school camping trip in the mountains, Ben, Rose, her twin Tomas, and a handful of other misfit students run into trouble. It appears that each student has his or her own agenda. People are lost, people are killed, and things look really bad for Ben. This story is told by Ben. In his own way. This story seemed to rise and fall. This is a YA novel and that is easy to detect. However it had some well developed characters that helped to move the story along. Once you give yourself over to Ben, you want to continue to read. Thanks to First to Read and Penguin Books for giving me this ARC in exchange for a truthful review. (less)

When I Am Through With You by Stephanie Kuehn is a twisty, thrilling confession from Ben Gibson, who is in jail for the murder of his girlfriend Rose. Ben is a senior in high school, but doesn't have any plans for after besides work and watching after his mom. Rose has been his girlfriend for two years and sometimes he can't tell if he wants to be with her but yet can't seem to let her go. Joining the Orienteering Club with his teacher Mr. Howe, they plan a trip with a group of kids to climb Granite Falls in a neighboring county. The trip with teenagers is what you can expect: a little booze, a little sex and angsty drama. But when they unexpectedly meet up with another group on the mountain, things take a crazy, wild turn. This book is my first by Kuehn and I could not stop turning the pages. The tragedy and keeping up with what happens to the characters was spellbinding but, unfortunately, the end fell a little flat. Overall a good story and one I would recommend.

Ben is on the verge of graduation, but has no plans for the future. He knows that he is going to be stuck in the town that he lived in his whole life. His girlfriend on the other hand has many plans on what she plans to do with her life. He can feel her slowly slipping away from him and is not sure what to so about it. They decide to go on a school camping trip that will change everyone's life. This trip especially changes the life of Ben since he ends up in prison for the murder of his girlfriend Rose. This is the story of what happened. You be the judge of if it really was murder.

When I Am Through with You by Stephanie Kuehn 5 stars “Tragedy is infinitely more interesting than bliss. That’s the allure of self-destruction.” Ben Gibson has a lot to say about what happened on the trip to the mountain. His first trip out of Treyben and how it slowly became a nightmare. This is Ben’s confession about what happened on the mountain, how nine people went on a school trip and only five returned, and what he had to do for Rose. This novel is intense. It’s dark, twisty, and it doesn’t put a smile on my face. Stephanie Kuehn is gifted with writing loathsome characters who go through horrific events. This novel is unsettling and I feel unsure of myself and the characters. I question their intentions and what really happened. Was everything I just read true or was it all a lie? This is my second Kuehn novel and once again, I’m amazed at her talent. Yes, this is YA, but it doesn’t read like YA. Kuehn has the ability to write novels for a target audience that tiptoe into the adult genre. Her content is dark, barren, emotionless, and helpless. She puts you into the head of our confessor, Ben, and she shows us how hopeless a lot of these teens were when they went onto the mountain and how they remained hopeless after it. Whimsical Writing Scale: 4.75 “Be humble,” he said to us. “That’s the only way to survive out there.” There is a huge cast of characters for this novel. There’s Ben, our lead protagonist, who we quickly learn is behind bars for the murder of his girlfriend, Rose. There’s Rose, a character who can be cruel and is constantly looking for the worst in humanity. Dunc and Archie, two friends who seem to constantly be getting drunk or high. There’s Shelby and Clay, two characters who are there and seem to be going through a lot of personal issues. There’s Avery, a girl who has a crush on Ben. Tomas, Rose’s twin brother and Ben’s least favorite person. Mr. Howe, the teacher who is chaperoning the trip and who wants to help Ben. I don’t won’t to tell you anything about any of these characters, especially Ben. I think it’s best to go into this novel absolutely blind to the characters’ pasts and personal motivations. Character Scale: 4.5 The Villain- There are many villains in this story, but I think it’s up to the individual reader to decide who was in the wrong and who was in the right. Everyone has their own motivations, but were their motivations justifiable? That’s the question you have to ask yourself and keep in mind while reading this novel. Villain Scale: 5 There’s a chapter in this novel where everything that goes wrong could possibly go wrong and it was one of the most intense chapters I’ve read in a YA novel. As much as I disliked a lot of these characters and questioned their motives and actions, I really wanted to see them make it off the mountain and I was rooting for them. I recommend this novel to fans of YA who are looking for an intense psychological thriller or suspense novel. I also recommend it for YA readers who want to read something darker, but aren’t ready for the adult genre. I think Kuehn’s novels are a great bridge between YA thriller and adult thriller because her novels touch on a lot of darker themes. Plotastic Scale: 5 Cover Thoughts: It’s a creepy cover, but it’s nothing fantastic. It fits the mood and tone of the novel, but it doesn’t catch my eye. Thank you, First to Read and Dutton Books for Young Readers, for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

I had some technical issues as well and was unable to finish this one.

I tried to download this several times and couldn't get it to open on my reader. :(

I really enjoyed When I'm through with you. I loved that this was a confession from Ben Gibson that explained why he killed his girlfriend, Rose. This book hooked me right away and kept me guessing regarding what happened and why people did things. Some of the high school drama dragged, but it was pretty quick in recovering to get you back into the story. I don't want to give too much away, but it ended in a different manner than I expected. Note: while difficult to read through Penguin's program, it's worth trying again. There were sections where the pages would freeze because of artwork. I would just try to load the page after that when I restarted since those pages didn't have artwork and would load a little easier.

I received an advanced copy of this book through First To Read for an honest review, however, I was unable to read the book. After several times trying to load the book it kept freezing after getting through the first couple pages.

I liked this book a lot. The story grabbed me right away and I was completely hooked. This is the first time that I have read anything by Stephanie Kuehn but I quickly found that she is a fabulous storyteller. I ended up reading this book over two nights and really never wanted to put it down because I had to know what happened. I had a lot of fun reading this book. This story is told by Ben. I really liked the way the story unfolded through Ben's recollection after the event. From the book's summary, we know that Ben does something to Rose but as I read the story I just couldn't figure it out. Ben is really a likeable guy. He's not perfect and doesn't always know the answers but I just couldn't see him causing harm to anyone. So I had to keep reading to find out what really happened. The book takes Ben, his teacher, and a few more high school students on an overnight hiking trip. I was a little surprised by how much this group of kids got away with on the trip. Ben is the teacher's assistant for the trip so he has a bit of responsibility but he doesn't hesitate to have a little fun himself. There is a bit of high school drama which I really didn't mind in this story. It felt realistic and really helped show who each of the characters really were. There are a few surprising twists in the story and a whole lot of excitement before everything is over. I really had no idea what was going to happen to everyone as the story moved along. I ended up feeling for these kids as they tried to figure out how to handle the situation they found themselves in. I would recommend this book to fans of others. It was a really exciting story that was really hard to put down. I definitely plan to read more of Stephanie Kuehn's work in the future. I received an advance reader edition of this book from Dutton Books for Young Readers via First to Read.

The one thing that made this book extraordinarily readable is the high points of this book. A couple of chapters had a few lines at the end that really just dragged you back in. The writing is simple and concise and tells a story that's quick to the flesh of it and gets you from Point A to Point B with just the right amount of pain and guessing. This was a fantastic thriller. A couple parts of it dragged, but it was probably mostly personal preference over the actual plot or writing itself. There was a lot to be discovered and it told a unique story about survival and what makes us human, even in times we're discovering ourselves. Great read! It's only 300 pages, so enough to get you through it quickly and does not bore you. I, personally, was a little disappointed in the actual result of the book, but I'm sure other readers will disagree with me! You'll have to read to find out why and have your own opinion!

This book started out as a typical young adult book: group of kids heading out for a weekend hike. You expect some alcohol, some sex, etc. You may even expect a little bad weather to throw in a few twists. What you do not expect is death. Even reading the story summary I wasn't prepared for how Ms. Kuehn got the reader there. At 300 pages with many many chapters, the book is a quick read, keeping the reader on their toes.

I've loved Stephanie Kuehn's books in the past, but this one just wasn't for me. She tends to write weird thrillers that blur the line between imagination/fantasy and reality, which is great, but here I couldn't stand any of the characters. It starts compelling, with Ben Gibson admitting that he both loved and killed Rose and then taking a trip back to tell us how and why. I think my disconnection from the characters was a huge problem because it amounted to one thing: I honestly didn't care that he'd killed Rose or about how/why he'd done it. I've noticed others talking about the fast pacing, but I actually found the plot really random, scattered and boring. Just because lots of weird things are happening does not necessarily make the story engaging, it seems.

I really enjoyed this book. It was engaging and thought-provoking. From the start, Ben's seeming innocence and naivete had me hooked. The author also did a wonderful job delving into the realm of subtle manipulations. I was honestly sad that it ended.

Ben has had a rough life, dealing with debilitating migraines from a brain injury and taking care of his injured mother, having no aspirations for more in his life. When a friendly teacher takes Ben under his wing and gives him a chance to be in charge of the school outdoors club, Ben jumps at the chance. After months of prepping and planning, Ben and his teacher lead an eclectic group of his classmates on a 3 day hiking adventure. But right from the start something is wrong, and some people may not make it out alive. I had no real idea what this book was going to be like when I started, but I liked the cover and the synopsis was illusive enough to peak my interest. This was so different from any expectations or any other YA book I have read recently. The story was such a slow build, full of character development for Ben, the main character, letting the reader get a feel for who he is and what he is capable of before the actual plot or action of the story really even started. The book begins with him admitting to killing his girlfriend Rose, but then his narration of the events seem in contradiction with his confession, so I had no idea what to expect and this mystery left me guessing at every turn. I really liked Ben, regardless of his murder confession, which is a strange thing to say about a character. He does some questionable things while in the story, but really I feel like he was an honest, loyal, dependable guy who hated being in control of his own choices and was just incredibly unlucky. You learn more about him as the book goes, some things that really surprised me about his past and his present really, but still I liked him and I had no idea what was going to happen next. I feel like this book snuck up on me, full of slow building plot and seemingly inconsequential interactions, until BAM! a crisis occurred so fast if you blink you miss it. There was a lot of introspection here, which I usually don't like, but it worked for Ben and his journal, but also it helped to lull the book after the shocking moments, making the reader feel safe and secure before another surprise. I am not sure if I am in love with this book but it really made me think and it stuck with me for a long time after reading, so it obviously resonated in me and I look forward to what other stories the author wants to suck me into. I received this title in return for my honest review.

I don’t normally read Young Adult Thrillers but I heard good things about this story and I wanted to give it a try. It was heartbreaking to learn about what Ben went through but I thought it was a good story and I’m glad I read it.

This book was....interesting. First off, I didn't really care for Ben and his narrative style. He was just too frustrating for me. Ben suffers migraines from a brain injury years ago and narrates in a wishy-washy style that grinds my gears. Aside from Ben, pretty much all of the other characters wore me down as well. Rose was a snob. The other kids in the group were self-important kids who didn't listen and made bad decisions. The teacher wandered off and left the students completely behind. But then there is the rest of the story line. The thriller part. Is it possible for me to like the actual story but not like any of the characters? Apparently so, because I do! I thought the book was fantastic if not for the idiot kids! I liked the premise and the action, and the survival...just give be a couple better characters and this would be the perfect book!

I felt that the book could have been written better. The characters and put lacked depth. However, it was an OK read.

Intriguing, but somewhat flat. All the characters except Ben felt superficial, and I found Rose incomprehensible and annoying. Honestly, by the time they started the trip I was rooting for Ben to just get it over with and off her already. The frequent chapter breaks (51 chapters in a sub-300 page book!) made the whole story feel disjointed and knocked me out of the story.

Honestly, I had a really hard time getting into this novel and staying interested. The first chapter is gripping; you meet Ben, our MC, who has a really tough time making his own decisions. He struggles with knowing what to do and when and has let the actions of others define him for most of his life). In walks Rose, a girl who tells him what he wants and then tries to get him to see that he could be more. You know from the very beginning that something will happen between these too. The first chapter is really interesting! But unfortunately, everything spirals (slowly) from there. We got lost in Ben's mind as he deals with Rose going off on a family trip without him and then coming back and acting different. He starts to bond with a teacher at his school. There's a girl he's known forever that he starts spending more time with. Then, Ben and friends decide to hiking in the woods. And let's just say, they should've stayed home. I couldn't suspend my disbelief to get into this part of the story, sadly. There were just too many things that didn't make sense and seemed really absurd. Please see my full review on Goodreads! It does contain spoilers so I didn't want to post the spoiler-y bits here. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32957193-when-i-am-through-with-you

I received a copy from Penguin First To Read I really loved the last book I read by this author, and was really looking forward to this new one. After reading it, initially I gave it a four star rating, I really liked the main character, but found the twist in the novel quite disappointing. And after thinking about how to review it for more than a week after I finished, I realised I just didn’t like it that much at all. So I’ve lowered the rating to a two star. The main character Ben is in jail for killing his girlfriend Rose. There’s something really compelling about Ben’s voice. He makes no apologies for his actions. He’s quite blunt in some respects, but in others almost quite passive and pessimistic. Calls himself a realist, but it’s almost quite depressing. He’s from a small town he never sees himself getting out of. He spends most of his time taking care of his mother who suffers from injuries from a car wreck and depression. He doesn’t see much prospect of ever getting out of his small town, thinking he’ll be stuck taking care of his mom for the foreseeable future and being stuck with minimum wage jobs. Though you do get the impression he could be quite intelligent if he puts his mind to it. When he meets a girl called Rose who decides she’s going to be his girlfriend, things change for him. Can’t say I really liked Rose much. She’s a drama queen who has to have things her way. When this book started I had plenty of ideas for how he may have killed her and the why was almost understandable. The bulk of the story is a camping trip gone wrong. Ben and a group of other students heading up to a local mountain range. Ben suffers from debilitating migraines as a result of the same car accident that injured his mom. There’s also hints of something he did to cause the accident, also that he killed his step-father. This is all explained in context as the novel progresses. It goes to explaining some of his pessimistic personality. There’s a handful of other kids on the camping trip, two stoners/drinkers, Rose and her brother, a girl Ben is sort of friends with, a few others and a nice teacher who seems to be the only adult encouraging Ben to do something with his life. At some point while separated from the main group Ben, the other girl and the two stoner/drinkers stumble across another group of campus. A creepy old man and two weird women with him. Someone’s heard a story about escaped convicts and boat loads of hidden cash. The weather is getting worse. And things start going wrong very quickly. But it takes an incredibly long time (or it seems like) for anything to actually happen. It’s very slow and when things finally start happening, it’s…like…eh. The actual killing of Rose was nothing like I had been picturing when thinking of the start of the novel. It felt rather anticlimactic. Despite Ben’s shifting personality from pessimistic to passive aggressive, I did find his tone of voice incredibly compelling. Even though the story was gloomy and rather boring, there was something about Ben’s telling of it that made it a quick read to want to know what happened but in the end it was all rather disappointing. Looking forward to the author’s next book, but didn’t really like this one much.

Oh, this book. I actually started out really liking it. I loved the mystery and I wanted a great thriller to read. Unfortunately, this book completely fell apart at the climax of the story and my interest nosedived. We follow Ben Gibson as he narrates what happened on a disastrous school trip that lead to death, pain, and loss. Things I Liked I really loved the short chapters it made it incredible easy to read, even when my interest in the story began to wane. It was really easy to latch on Ben as a characters. It was easy to follow his POV in the story, and his emotions and uncertainty with everything that was happening. Things I Didn't Like I didn't like Rose at all. I thought she was entitled, manipulative, and not really a good girlfriend. (Ben wasn't that great of a boyfriend either, though) The climax of the story shows the students making the stupidest decision possible. From that point on, I didn't care if they died, or got hurt, because they were so incredibly stupid. I lost interest in the story, and I honestly only finished it because it was easy to read. I really wanted to like this, and while it has a solid start, the characters completely ruined the story for me. I'm a character driven reader, so if you like plot or action more you still might like this. And honestly, there wasn't much of a thriller, we know exactly what happened and are only learning the why - and like I said, the characters were largely idiots, so I didn't care. An unfortunate miss for me. Thank you Penguin for a chance to read this book!

First off, there was something wrong with the file I got. At times, I had to wait five minutes just for the next page to load. That being said, this was a good thriller. It was a little melodramatic, mainly because what happened wasn't entirely believable, but I enjoyed it over all. I think teens will enjoy a deeper thriller!

Thank you, Penguin and First to Read for the opportunity to read this novel. This was an eerie novel that catches you from the beginning. The unreliable narrator makes the pages turn. It was really good. It does read like a young adult novel, but I really think that's what makes this book. It's speedy and easy to follow.

What was supposed to be a short camping trip in the mountains turns into a fight for survival for 7 teens and their History teacher. Everyone is there for different reasons, some for extra credit in school, some for extra money, and some for unknown reasons. Our main character, Ben, is there for the money. His teacher, Mr. Howe, offers him a job to lead this camping trip for some extra cash. Ben is always looking for ways to make money since he is the sole provider of his household. Ben and his mom were in an accident when he was a child that led to his frontal lobe to have been damaged. His mother was injured to the point of not being able to work. Ben’s damage to his frontal lobe leads him to suffer from terrible migraines, which make an appearance a few times while on this camping trip, leaving him incapacitated for hours at a time. There are many other obstacles that these teens must overcome to survive, but you’ll have to read the book to find out the whole story. Guys, I really loved this book. You know from the very beginning that Ben kills his girlfriend, Rose. I found myself trying to solve the puzzle as to why the entire time I was reading. It turns out I wasn’t able to guess why until towards the second half of the book. This is when everything starts to come together and make sense. I had a lot of fun playing the guessing game while reading. There were so many times in this book that I found myself frustrated with the decisions that some of the characters made that I wanted to scream! This didn’t necessarily make the book annoying to read, like in some cases it can. Every decision added to the plot which allowed the story to end the way it did. When I Am Through With You was an entertaining read. I’m a big fan of survival stories and thrillers, so when I read the synopsis for this book, I knew I had to get my hands on it! It was well written with characters that did not fall flat. Each had their own issues and their own stories. I wouldn’t say this book was unpredictable, as I usually hope for when reading a thriller. At times I had no clue what would happen, but as things played out I began to be able to guess how the story would end. This didn’t take away from the story though and I still really enjoyed reading it. However, there are a few things that bothered me. Some loose ends never got tied up, and I wish the ending would have been just a bit longer to tie the story up in a neat little bow. We didn’t get closure for some of the characters and I felt like I was left hanging. Still, in the end this was a fun, entertaining read. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys survivor stories or thrillers. I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars. Publication date is August 1, 2017. Thank you to Penguin’s First to Read program for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

4 stars for WHEN I AM THROUGH WITH YOU So this is the story of Ben and why he kills his girlfriend Rose. The book is setup as Ben retelling his story and why he did it leading up to where he is currently. This was the first YA thriller I've read, most my YA are fantasy/paranormal and this was a pleasant surprise. I found myself unable to put it down and needing to get to the bottom of the story. I know this is a fairly short review but without giving too much away there aren't many things I can say other than this was a great read!

This YA thriller was impossible to put down. It was a much darker read than I had anticipated, but the story drew me right in. The characters were wonderfully twisted and this book was full of surprises.

I wound up having mixed feelings about this YA slow burning suspense novel. I liked the actual story, but I had difficulty connecting with the characters. I felt especially conflicted in regards to Ben. One moment I was completely emphasizing with him, and the next he was driving me crazy with the choices he kept making. Yet, despite the issues I ran into, I found myself unable to put this down. Overall, I think this will appeal to teens who love twisty mysteries with complex narrators.

This novel was a novel about a high school hiking trip gone bad. Even though our narrator tells us early on that bad things are going to happen, this story is a slow burner. It was a bit like seeing something grotesque and not being about to look away. Parts of story seem a bit unrealistic to me such as every person on this trip had emotional problems underneath the surface and amount of medications the teacher was carrying for these students should have raised a red flag, but it didn’t seem to concern him. The ending is unsatisfying, but regardless, I could not put this book down!

This book may not be what you were expecting, and not in a good way. I really enjoyed the pacing and steady sense of impending doom of the first half of the book but the second half seemed to drag. The characters were flat and almost unlikable making me not care what happened to them. The somewhat predictable ending left me unsatisfied. If you're expecting a thriller/murder mystery you might be disappointed

I enjoyed the pacing, setting, language and tone of this young adult thriller. But I had difficulty relating to any of the characters. It felt like a screenplay where all the characters were overacted. And as an avid and longtime backpacker (starting in my teens), I found the scenario absurd. I couldn't buy the number of absurdly bad decisions, not just by the main character and his fellow teens, but by every single adult in the book. Just ... no. Statistically, you could throw darts to determine your decisions and have a better record than these characters did. All that said, I read the book voraciously and just kept telling myself to suspend my disbelief. I will for sure read more Stephanie Kuehn in the future.

This was a very interesting story, and also very unexpected, given the synopsis and my own assumptions. I went into this book expecting a thrilling story about a murder committed in cold blood, and that is not what this book is about at all. When I Am Through With You is more of a slow-burn thriller, which doesn't really make sense, but that's the only way I can think to describe it. You go into the book knowing that Rose is dead and that Ben killed her, which for me took away from the suspense, but this novel was still a page-turner. I didn't really feel a connection to any of the characters, but the plot was enough to carry the book. I wasn't completely sold on this book until the very last page. I thought the ending was perfect, and it really makes you think about the story in a new way.

I would give this book 3.5 stars. Ben makes a good unreliable narrator and I was generally sympathetic to him bc of his dysfunctional background, but the main action in the story doesn't with everyone we learn about him. Lots of drug use and sexual activity would make this book best for older teens.

Ben struggles to find his own self-worth while saving his classmates from imminent danger during a school-sponsored hiking excursion in this YA adventure. Ben is a small-town kid who has never left his hometown thanks to a harrowing, desperate act as a child that has left his mother widowed, permanently injured, mentally unstable, and an alcoholic. He feels beholden to her to help make her life simpler in any way he can. Despite becoming codependent on his very self-reliant and confident girlfriend, Rose, Ben is ready for her to move on from him as he feels he will never be more than he already is now. This hiking trip is his chance to prove he has more to offer Rose, and the world, but when everything begins to go wrong it will be up to him to save their lives. Thoughts: I hate to say this, but I was not a fan of this story. I feel it started as an interesting suspense/thriller and became an adventure/survival that wasn't quite as interesting. Maybe it's because I'm not a huge adventure/survival fan, but the characters also began to wear on my nerves and the lack of real communication and the continuous poor decision-making was frustrating for me. There is a demographic of my HS students that might find the fast pace and rule breaking interesting enough to hold their attention, but with the abundance of adult content (several descriptive sex scenes) and language, I would keep the appropriateness level at grades 12+.

I was a little disappointed in this book. The characters were well developed, and relatable, and the setting was nicely described, but the plot was somewhat weak. I was hoping for some twist but that never happened. I also would have liked to know more about what happened with the main character's legal issues. I felt the middle of the story was more developed than the ending: bam she's dead the end. I would rate this with 3 stars because I did like the characters.

This story center around a senior named Ben and his complicated life with his mother and his girlfriend Rose. The story ends up taking us on a camping trip with Ben, Rose and a number of other characters we meet along the way. Each character has their own set of secrets and complications which make this story an intriguing web of lies and betrayal that keep you reading until the end. I enjoyed the way that it grabbed me from the first page and made me want to know more. I wish it was a little longer so i could continue the journey.

This will likely be a quick review because I was very disappointed with this book and I’d like to just move past it. Stephanie Kuehn is an auto-buy author for me and so I was obviously extremely excited to get this in my hands as fast as possible and devour it just as quickly. But I feel that the bar was set pretty high with Complicit a couple years ago and it’s just not easy to meet those same standards. I waited and waited for When I Am Through With You to get better, gripping, thrilling and it simply never did. That’s not to say there wasn’t anything redeemable in here. What I liked the most about this book was the bad decisions almost every character made. I know that sounds weird, but in the YA world right now there are too many people harshly criticizing teenagers for acting rashly, without forethought, with their hormones, and it’s like no one remembers what it was like to actually be a teenager. But Stephanie Kuehn does. She perfectly grasped the feeling of knowing you are currently, right now, doing the Wrong Thing, but continuing to do it anyway. She made realistic the act of doing something and not really knowing why, without being frustrating to this adult reader. I also really liked reading from Ben’s perspective. Ben has a pretty dark history; his father walked out on his family, he killed his stepfather, and he’s found himself in a never-ending cycle of guilt surrounding his mother’s poor mental and physical health. He is regularly mistreated by the people who are supposed to love him and he’s internalized it. But what is so brilliant about Ben’s characterization is that he thinks he knows he’s internalized these feelings. He thinks he knows when he’s being manipulated and he believes he’s okay with it. In reality though, he’s being misused and abused in so many other ways but he doesn’t even notice! This makes Ben’s version of events much more intriguing and much more unreliable. However, the events in question were absolutely boring. There’s no other way to describe this book. Now, admittedly, I am not a huge fan of survival stories. It’s not a subgenre I reach for. I didn’t know this was going to be that kind of book when I picked it up, but I still would have read it anyway because Stephanie Kuehn. This book is violent and dark and kind of incredible – in the way that there’s no credibility to the histories of the characters or their actions on the mountain. Despite Kuehn’s beautiful writing, I just couldn’t feel compelled to give a crap about any of it. I didn’t care about the orienteering club, I didn’t care about Ben’s relationship with Rose, or her manic-pixie-dreaminess. I didn’t at all care about Ben’s out-of-school interactions with Mr. Howe and his wife. While I liked Ben okay and thought he was a fascinating character, his life was just boring. I can’t help but believe this book would have been much more interesting from any other character’s point of view, especially those in the thick of it all like Avery or Tomas. A lot of people die. There’s an explosion, a massacre, a miscommunication, a misidentification. Somehow, though, there was never a point at which I couldn’t put the book down and walk away from it. What’s worse is that by the end, the whole thing felt pointless. I thought Ben’s reason for killing Rose came on way too quickly – for someone who supposedly never makes a decision for himself, it doesn’t take too much prodding for him to decide to end Rose’s life. He’s had the wool pulled down over his eyes for so long and then a few hours later just makes a decision based on the tiniest trickle of information? And for someone who is plagued by guilt just for looking at someone the wrong way, how could he feel no remorse for what he did? The whole climax was anticlimactic and there should have been much more time spent getting to the why and internal how of Rose’s murder, since that’s the hook that had us all reading from the beginning. This wasn’t a story at all of how he came to kill Rose. This was a story of Ben realizing that he’d been making shitty decisions the whole time, even if he wanted to pretend nothing was his fault. Okay, so maybe this wasn’t that quick but I had to take the time to explain how I felt. Bored, mostly. Fascinated by how a character can deceive himself. And frustrated by the rushed ending and the very pointless passages involving Mr. Howe’s wife at the end. All of this is made even more sad by the fact that I love Kuehn’s writing and her books are typically wild and bizarre. I do think there are others out there who will appreciate this more than I did, but in the end I felt it was a dull, jumbled mess of tragic backstories, bad decisions, and hiking.

I am unable to access this novel after trying on multiple devices.

Rating: 3 stars In Stephanie Kuehn’s young adult novel, When I Am Through with You, a hiking trip with seven teens and a high school teacher takes an unexpectedly dark and tragic turn. Narrator Ben Gibson has a dark family history which is not fully revealed until late in the novel. His two year relationship with girlfriend Rose Augustine is beginning to feel the strain of his debilitating migraines, his dysfunctional relationship with his mother and his tendency to avoid making decisions. After spending part of the summer apart, Ben is not as excited about their reunion as he feels he should be, but his inertia and desire to avoid conflict keeps them together. Rose is very surprised by Ben’s announcement that he is in charge of the school’s orienteering group and the he, along with teacher Mr. Howe, will be leading the members on an expedition. The members turn out to a rather diverse yet somewhat troubled mix of young men and women and Ben quickly loses control when Mr. Howe takes a shockingly hands off approach once they embark on their journey. It is not very surprising when Ben quickly loses control of the students on the expedition since he easily gives in during confrontations. Although Ben is well aware there could be dangerous repercussions from his classmates poor decisions, he does not make any effort to let Mr. Howe know there is trouble brewing. Mr. Howe is also a large part of the problem since he abdicates a lot of his responsibility to Ben even though he is fully aware of Ben’s shortcomings. Circumstances are ripe for disaster in the face of an unforeseen encounter with a sketchy group of campers, unanticipated bad weather and exceedingly bad decisions by everyone in the group. When I Am Through with You is well-written but the pacing is excruciatingly slow. Ben holds his secrets close and he is not exactly perceptive when it comes reading people. Outside of his relationship with Rose, he is essentially a loner who is essentially clueless about what is going on in his classmates’ lives. With so many unknown variables, Ben is literally and figuratively stumbling around in the dark for much of the expedition. The storyline is rather convoluted and predictable, everyone exhibits poor judgment and Stephanie Kuehn brings the novel to a somewhat unsatisfying and ambiguous conclusion.

Wow! This book had me feeling a gamut of emotions. This started out with curiosity about what is going to happen on the hiking trip because you know that this group of teens is going to go on this trip and things were going to go bad, but you don’t know how or when. Initially, I had trouble connecting with the narrator because his tone was very remote, almost disconnected, but as you read you find out there is a reason for this, that it is a result of a traumatic event in his past. Also, I was curious about what was going on in the heads of the other characters, as it was somewhat of a mystery due to the narrators inability to read others emotions well, and the trip serves as a background for the main characters internal journey to figure out what is going on internally/emotionally with his fellow hikers and himself. However, the writing is so compelling that I couldn’t stop reading. Once I was into the story, I was frustrated with the actions of several of the characters, as many of the choices they made were very self-serving, but by the end, I found myself left with a feeling of sadness that things turned out like they did, as no one intended for things to end so badly. One thing I would say though, and this may be one of the best things you can say about a book, is that I wanted more, even just a couple more pages telling us what happens with the main character’s legal troubles in the end.

After reading the description, I was ready to enjoy a novel about what happened on that mountain! However it wasn't about the incident during their school trip. It was about these teens and their feelings. If you are into that kind of reading experience than this novel is perfect.

This book surprised me in so many ways, I could not put it down. Dark, violent, heart-rending, just overwhelming emotionally, especially the ending. Ben has been neglected and abused, leading to his stepfather's death which in turn causes a car accident (intentional) leaving his mother dependent and giving him horrific migraines. Rose, his girlfriend mistreats him and takes advantage of his neediness. An orienteering trip to the mountains with his mentor and several peers, including Rose, turns into a dangerous confrontation and fight for survival. Twists and dark secrets are revealed culminating in Ben's ordeal on the mountain. The pact between the girls in his life seems unrealistic, even for immature and naïve teenagers. Definitely a worthwhile read.

The target audience for this book is teens, so I'm a couple decades past that target but reading about these characters brought me back to those difficult years. The concern about what other people were thinking and doing, the inability to see past the immediate challenges of family, teachers, grades, high school relationships... it's a confusing time in life. Especially when, like many of the characters in this book, your family life has been far from nurturing. The main character in When I am Through With You is Ben. We find out right away that Ben has been charged with murder, and that he's not sorry about it. Other than some brief backstory on how he met his girlfriend, Rose, and how he came to be involved in the fateful weekend trip, with people he wasn't exactly friends with. Most of the novel takes place a few suspenseful days spent camping and mountaineering with a group of high school students and one teacher that starts out according to plan, but goes spiraling into chaos due to unexpected situations, misunderstanding, mother nature, young love, and most of all - bad decision-making. When I look back at my teen years, bad decision -making is a recurring theme, as I expect it is for most people. That's why I find books like this especially intriguing. There's so much pressure at that time in your life when you have so little life experience that it's not hard to imagine how easily the wrong mixture of circumstances, hormones, uncertainty, and peer pressure can turn into tragedy. This is a story of just that, in a very compelling and suspenseful read.

What a pleasant surprise. I’ve never read a YA thriller before, which is why I requested this one on a whim. I was curious. But honestly, my expectations hadn’t been very high. More fool me. When I Am Through with You is told from the point of view of Ben, a high school senior who’s waiting to go on trial for murder. As his story begins to unfold, we first learn about Rose, his girlfriend of two years who he allegedly ends up murdering. We also learn all about the school hiking trip up in the mountains that went wrong, as this compelling story of intrigue, adventure, and betrayal develops. This is one of the most addicting books I’ve ever read. It had me from the very first page. I cared about these characters, who were at once sympathetic and realistically flawed, and I was intrigued by Ben’s complicated relationship with Rose. I was drawn into the host of fascinating characters – whip-smart Avery; mean and self-loathing Archie; kind-hearted but unfulfilled Mr. Howe, the history teacher who leads their expedition. Each of these characters is multifaceted, and has their own story to tell. I’d never heard of Stephanie Kuehn before, but I can say with certainty that I will be reading more of her books in the future. I thought her prose was intelligent, compelling, and quick-witted. The pacing in this novel was outstanding – I sat down to start this yesterday and when I blinked hours had gone by. Kuehn brought the scene of this treacherous camping trip to life – I truly felt like I was with this group of students on that mountain. It’s been a while since I’ve read something with such an immersive setting. I highly recommend this to fans of adult and YA thrillers alike. The only thing that served as a constant reminder that this was YA were the ages of the characters – otherwise, I found this novel surprisingly mature and dark and quite twisted. I received an advanced copy of this book from Penguin First To Read in exchange for an honest review. Big thank you to Penguin Random House and Stephanie Kuehn.

**Thanks to First to Read for providing me a complimentary copy of WHEN I AM THROUGH WITH YOU in exchange for my honest review.** GRADE: A- 4.5 STARS Ben killed his girlfriend Rose, and he's about to tell you why. A heartbreaking story of abandonment, child neglect and domestic violence made Ben who he was. His father left when he was two, his stepfather nearly killed his mother, Ben accidentally killed him before his mother not-accidentally tried to kill him all before the age of eleven. He cares for his alcoholic mother, still suffering from injuries from the car accident that didn't kill Ben. He plans to sacrifice his future to continue taking care of her, despite how terribly she treats him. Rose also treats him badly. Mr. Howe, a kindly teacher takes Ben under his wing as assistant to a hiking club, which is how the teens ended up on a mountain. Not everyone would come down alive. Stephanie Kuehn is an automatic preorder for me, so I was thrilled to get an ARC copy of WHEN I AM THROUGH WITH YOU. She drew me into this mystery from the beginning with Ben's confession to killing Rose. I like and empathized with Ben and often wanted to tell him he was worth more than he thought he was. My other favorite characters were Mr and Mrs Howe. While some of the scenarios in the story stretched credulity, I cared what happened to Ben and the other kids. If you like mysteries and complex narrators, WHEN I'M THROUGH WITH YOU is unputdownable.

 


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