Thicker Than Water

Title: Thicker Than Water
Author: Carla Jablonski
Pages: 246
Pub:2006; Penguin Young Readers Group
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction

Warning: So there might be spoilers in this but not really. I mean, even though I talk about the book rather candidly I don't think that it will ruin the experience if you ever pick up the book. So I guess what I'm saying is, read at your own risk.
"Suicide was not appealing, nor was it the reason she sliced her skin. And this was no 'cry for attention' since to get attention for it, someone would have to now and no one did. Kia made sure of that." (9)

Immediately upon meeting Kia we find out she's a cutter. Just like most fiction espouses through their characters and their characters' thoughts, cutting is about a release, not suicide. Kia stresses this to herself (us the readers?) over and over again. There's too much inside of me, I have to get it out, and it's only released through my blood. Please know that I'm not mocking cutting as much as how it is usually written about. I'm always skeptical because this is a close-to-me-"issue".

Soon we find out why Kia is cutting. Her mom's got cancer and she's been in and out of the hospital and her condition doesn't look good - er WE know it doesn't look good - but she still believes that her mom is going to make it. And her dad, the ex-husband, is emotionally distant, doesn't go to visit the ex-wife with his daughter and instead travels a lot for work. Pretty predictable, huh? Kia has two close friends, the token gay boy who totally wants a boyfriend and the bestie who is focused at school and making out with boys. They are mere backdrops and hardly fleshed out (even though there is some "hey let's get into Wicca" moments with the three of them when they start their own coven of sorts, except, it's not. Like a coven I mean).

And also, can I tell you that Kia is goth? I mean, she's a cutter. Aren't ALL cutters goth? (Insert snark). But truly, the goth is important here. 'Cuz at the hospital Kia meets this cool older chick Hecate (which means what, really?) who introduces her to the underground counter-culture scene of nightclubs and vampires.

Are they real? The vampires? That's what Kia wants to know. Especially when she sees the Vampire rockstar DJ Damon (were you surprised his name was Damon?) He's hot. He's dark. He's got fangs. And he's known for being one that "turns". They call it siring? Kia wants Damon. And she wants him to know that he can confide in her and admit that he is a vampire. And she confronts him in this final emotional breakdown where...guess what? He's so NOT a vampire; he's just a regular guy hanging out in da clubz. CUZ THIS IS REAL LIFE PEOPLE.

So, let's start over. Because the above does have some snark in it. Really? Could you tell. I wasn't totally impressed with this book. I mean, there were parts where I had to roll my eyes. Such as: "Kia looked at her friends. Their faces looked like matching moons, shining in the now-dark park, illuminated by the old-fashioned streetlamps just overhead." (28). I mean, really? REALLY? But get this, peeps, it's still a book I'm putting on my bookshelves at school. Wanna know why? 'Cuz it tells the TRUTH.

Think about it. Here's this girl who's livin' a world of misery and she can't turn to anyone and all of a sudden she's been invited into the underworld and she feels that she's not so different and I mean VAMPIRES CAN REALLY EXIST, CAN'T THEY? They're on television and the movies and books and - and - and -- (!)(!)(!) So it's totally real. A young girl will get enamored and create something that she wants to believe in.

I LOVE THE EXECUTION OF THE NOVEL. I love that Damon's all like, "Jesus! I'm not a real vampire. Real vampires don't exist." It's brilliant. I want all of my lovesick students to read this. I want them to get caught up in their creativity and their imagination without -- without, I don't know, believing it whole-heartedly.

Don't bite people's necks, man. Don't think that there's immortality. Don't believe the worlds that we create to make things better.


  1. Wait, he's really not a vampire? Is that true, is that how the story goes? I'm in love with this! I have to read this book! #tiredofbookswherevampiresarereal

  2. Jenny - that is exactly what redeemed this book.


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