Book Review: WHITE RABBIT By Caleb Roehrig

WHITE RABBIT is a read-in-one-sitting mystery thriller with characters you’ll love (and love to hate!)

Confession time: I like murdery things, probably a little more than your average bear. I’ve spent goodness-knows-how-many hours of my life watching true crime shows (and even some fake crime shows) and listening to podcasts like My Favorite Murder. But generally, my reading habits just don’t feature nearly as much murder as the rest of my entertainment habits. Thankfully, Caleb Roehrig has my back!

In his new book White Rabbit, Roehrig takes readers through one searing night of chaos as a young, queer outcast grows increasingly desperate to solve a murder, all with the somewhat uncomfortable help of his ex-boyfriend.

Rufus’s ex-boyfriend Bash may have tracked him down after weeks to “talk,” but it isn’t the biggest surprise on this particular 4th of July. Before Bash speaks his piece, Rufus gets a distressed phone call from his half-sister, April. When Rufus and Bash drive out to pick her up, they find April’s privileged jock bully of a boyfriend, Fox Whitney, stabbed to death and April drugged out next to him, knife in hand. White rabbits– a new drug known for psychedelic highs and occasionally inducing violent rages– are scattered all around. April insists that she didn’t have anything to do with Fox’s murder and begs Rufus to help her suss out the real killer before calling the police. So begins a wild night of Rufus questioning the very clique that made his life miserable since he started school, but there’s much more to the story than he ever could have anticipated.

Before you dive into this novel, a question: Are you prepared to never trust anyone again? The characters Rufus interacts with range for a bit slippery to total psychopaths. There is so much room to doubt everyone! I changed my mind about the alleged guilt of every character at least a couple times, even throwing in some complete outliers as suspects. While you’ll like Rufus and Bash, most of the characters are young, ultra-wealthy bullies used to getting away with everything, so it’s pretty easy to assume they’re capable of murder.

Rufus’s relationship to these characters really adds a palpable layer of tension to the novel. As previously mentioned, April is his half-sister, but damn, it’s complicated. Rufus is the product of an affair in which his mother didn’t know his father, Peter Covington, was married until she was already pregnant. April is the Covingtons’ post-affair band-aid baby. To say the Convingtons resent Rufus is an understatement, and it’s resulted in years of Rufus getting bullied by his peers, shunned by his father, and a tumult of behavioral issues in the wake of all that. Their lousy behavior absolutely amps up biases. Though April isn’t completely innocent, she’s one of the few people who has shown Rufus kindness when he needed it most. Sometimes it’s hard to see why he is going through all this for April, who’s not always great, but this really helps his case.

But enough about family! Let’s talk about Rufus and Bash. Bash and Rufus. The tension! The chemistry! The drama! Though this story is a mystery, the will-they-or-won’t-they between these two is just so delicious and it really brings everything to life. Not everything between them is perfect, but those messy moments make it so real. If you can’t root for these two, I’m pretty sure you’re dead inside. Some of their backstory is shared in flashbacks that slowed down the pace a bit, but there are only a handful.

The story was set in Burlington, Vermont and as a New Englander, I loved it. It’s a small city that has a unique, crunchy vibe juxtaposed against some old wealth, and that I think Caleb Roehrig did a great job encompassing that.

If you love a good guessing game, this story will have you guessing down to its final chapters. Sure, you’ll think you know where it’s going and who’s responsible. You’ll probably be wrong. But that’s what makes it so fun! Once you’re sucked in, you will not be able to put this book down!

RATING: 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS

White Rabbit is out tomorrow, April 24, 2018. You can preorder it now via Amazon or Indiebound. Do so today and you’ll get some sweet swag!

 

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.

90%
90%
All the murdery goodness
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About Author

Kait is a New Englander, a YA book and adaptation lover, and a Slythindor, as well as a red velvet and red wine enthusiast. She likes to like things. Catch her on Twitter: @kaitmary

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