Review: THICKER THAN BLOOD by C.J. Darlington

Thicker than Blood
TITLE: Thicker Than Blood
AUTHOR: C.J. Darlington – Web
GENRE: Christian, Suspense
PUBLISHED: Tyndale House Publishers (December 3, 2009)
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: Personal Library

In her debut Christian novel, Thicker Than Blood, C.J. Darlington is praised on the back cover for a plethora of things but what it fails to mention is that if you read this novel you will not only have to endure a trite attempt at inner turmoil but also annoying religiosity.

This is a story of two sisters. They were complete opposites in every way and actually a good contrast to each other. Their parents had died when they were teenagers and the older girl, Christy, ran away and didn’t return for 14 years. She turned to a reckless life of alcohol, smoking and bad boyfriends. She is a quite believable character, rather three-dimensional. Everything about her is interesting including her job at an antiquarian bookstore. (“Coincidentally” the same job as the author--must be why it is so believable and interesting.)

The younger sister, May, lived with their Aunt and was raised in a Christian home—thus, the opposite: Christian goodie-goodie. She is kind, calm, reserved and pretty much totally UNinteresting, which is a bummer and makes me wonder if the author thinks Christians are supposed to be uninteresting. When she appeared in the storyline she looked like a paper doll, very two-dimensional. I wished that Christy would have changed HER too, it's only fair. Christy changed dangit!

I get that she wants to get a message of salvation across, but it felt so contrived. People don’t really talk like that about “religion” do they? I thought it was about God Himself, not about a religion. And I’m sorry but if I keep reading Christian fiction am I going to have to go to church in every book???? Seriously!

It says in the back that she started writing this story as a 15-year-old home school student. I won't be judgemental about who is allowed to write fiction, so just let me sum up my concerns with this: there was emotion in the book, but it was overdone. She narrated and explained too much. She could’ve just showed us and left it at that, it would have been less annoying to hear Christy whine about how she was afraid of her sister's judgements of her.

I’d give this book a 1. Poor: A waste of time. (I didn’t even want to finish the book, but I’m so anal about not finishing things.)

Companion books:
Book 1: Thicker Than Blood
Bound by GuiltBook 2: Guilt Bound (To be Released March 2011)