Author: Caleb Roehrig
Publisher: Feiwel Friends
Genre/Themes/Demo: YA, Mystery, Suspense, LGBTQ+
Release Date: April 24th 2018
Page Count: 320
Format: eARC via NetGalley
*Disclaimer* A copy of White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig was provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review in any way.
Rufus Holt is having the worst night of his life. It begins with the reappearance of his ex-boyfriend, Sebastian—the guy who stomped his heart out like a spent cigarette. Just as Rufus is getting ready to move on, Sebastian turns up out of the blue, saying they need to “talk.” Things couldn’t get much worse, right? But then Rufus gets a call from his sister April, begging for help. And then he and Sebastian find her, drenched in blood and holding a knife, beside the dead body of her boyfriend, Fox Whitney. April swears she didn’t kill Fox—but Rufus knows her too well to believe she’s telling him the whole truth. April has something he needs, though, and her price is his help. Now, with no one to trust but the boy he wants to hate yet can’t stop loving, Rufus has one night to prove his sister’s innocence…or die trying.
What I Liked
The continuous intrigue. There was not a single moment while reading this novel where I didn’t feel like I needed to know more as soon as possible. I was constantly on the edge of my seat wanting to know what was going to happen next. One thing is for sure, I was never bored while reading White Rabbit.
Incredibly fast pacing. I zipped through this one super quickly and I think that has a lot to do with how fast paced it is. The entire story within White Rabbit takes place over one evening/night/morning (except for an epilogue at the end) and I think the pacing made that feel very believable. There was barely a moment for you to take a breath during this story. It was constantly one thing after the next which made it very hard to put down this novel.
No predictability. I literally had no idea who did what or what the outcome of this story was going to be. The killer literally could have been anyone and I was not able to make a solid prediction throughout the entirety of the novel. Even at the end, the outcome was definitely not something I would have predicted and that is always fantastic when reading a thriller/suspense story.
Teen YA whodunnit. I love to read a good thriller/suspense, but they usually come in the form of adult fiction. The select few young adult versions of this type of story that I have read have usually fallen flat. White Rabbit had me entertained throughout the entire novel and it was finally nice to see a great thriller/suspense story come out for the YA demographic.
Unreliable & twisted characters. These kids are seriously fucked up. No joke. Their behaviour is appalling and downright ridiculous at times, but I think that lent itself to the reason why I couldn’t figure out who committed the crime. Everyone was terrible and could have easily been the culprit. A good suspense/thriller story needs a good unreliable character, and that applied to almost every single character in this story.
What I Didn’t Like
Strange writing style. I’m not really sure what it was about this writing style that felt a little off for me personally, but it took a little while for me to get into it. Once I was a few chapters in and started to get used to the writing, the story started to gain traction for me. It was just that initial moment that made me hesitate about the style of writing.
Hard to keep up with. There was a lot of brainstorming between our two main characters, Rufus & Sebastian. They were constantly trying to put together all of the puzzle pieces so they could solve the murder and get answers, but at times this was really hard for me to keep up with. The explanations got all jumbled in my head and I had to re-read them in some cases to try and make sense of what they were talking about. In some cases, the puzzle pieces never made sense to me, but I just dealt with it and continued with the story hoping that it would make sense in the end.
Who’s who? One issue with all of the characters being unreliable and the fact that there were quite a few of them, made it hard for me to keep track of who was who at times. Because a lot of these characters were minor ones, we didn’t get to learn too much about them, therefore they all started to blend and feel the same to me with the exception of Sebastian and Rufus. There were moments where they would mention someone by name and I had to stop and think about who that character was again for a moment.
Overall, I really enjoyed this thriller/suspense story, especially because it was written for the young adult demographic. It had its flaws, but for the most part, I was always intrigued and at the edge of my seat wanting to know more!
About The Author
Caleb Roehrig is a writer and television producer originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Having also lived in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Helsinki, Finland, he has a chronic case of wanderlust, and can recommend the best sights to see on a shoestring budget in over thirty countries. A former actor, Roehrig has experience on both sides of the camera, with a résumé that includes appearances on film and TV—as well as seven years in the stranger-than-fiction salt mines of reality television. In the name of earning a paycheck, he has: hung around a frozen cornfield in his underwear, partied with an actual rock-star, chatted with a scandal-plagued politician, and been menaced by a disgruntled ostrich.
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