The Sin-Eater's Confession
People in Merit, Wisconsin, always said Jimmy was . . . you know. But people said all sorts of stupid stuff. Nobody really knew anything. Nobody really knew Jimmy.
I guess you could say I knew Jimmy as well as anyone (which was not very well). I knew what scared him. And I knew he had dreams—even if I didn’t understand them. Even if he nearly ruined my life to pursue them.
Jimmy’s dead now, and I definitely know that better than anyone. I know about blood and bone and how bodies decompose. I know about shadows and stones and hatchets. I know what a last cry for help sounds like. I know what blood looks like on my own hands.
What I don’t know is if I can trust my own eyes. I don’t know who threw the stone. Who swung the hatchet? Who are the shadows? What do the living owe the dead?
|Interest Level||Grade 9 - Grade 12|
|Reading Level||Grade 7|
|Genre||Fiction, Young Adult|
|Category||Diverse Books: LGBTQIA+, Diverse Books: Social Justice, Diversity|
|Publisher||Lerner Publishing Group|
|Imprint||Carolrhoda Lab ®|
|Number of Pages||296|
|Reading Counts! Level||5.5|
- Westchester Fiction Award
- Wisconsin Library Association's Outstanding Book by a Wisconsin Author
- YALSA Best Books for Young Adults
- Tayshas Reading List
- Kirkus Best Teen Books of the Year
- Cream of the Crop for Children's and Young Adult Literature
- Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children
Library Media Connection
“Bick has fashioned a disturbing novel that explores issues of personal identity, orientation, community values, and responsibility….This is a difficult book to read, both because of its unsettling content and because of its intense introspection; however, for the right reader the novel offers an engrossingly realistic entry into a young man’s coming of age.” —Library Media Connection
This gut-wrenching story is like watching a terrible accident in slow motion….Fans of Bick’s Ashes zombie trilogy will be surprised if they pick this up, but those who do will find ample food for thought and discussion." —VOYA
“Bick proves again she is a writer to her core, never at a loss for things to say and uninterested in easy answers. Her handling of Ben’s increasing paranoia and delusion is nimble, making this a violent, and very smart, take-no-prisoners experience.” —Booklist
School Library Journal
Reminiscent of Bick’s Drowning Instinct (Carolrhoda Lab, 2012), the story is told in flashback, this time in diary-type letters….This novel should be in all YA collections, and would be interesting reading for members of GSA’s." —School Library Journal
“Bick (Drowning Instinct) crafts a powerful tale of bigotry and murder in small-town Wisconsin….a potent examination of teenage emotions and reactions to peer and parental pressures, and to the evil that people are capable of.” —starred, Publishers Weekly
“Bick’s compelling tale manages to be a blistering confessional and a page-turning whodunit (or maybe what-really-happened) all in one… Readers won’t be able to look away even if they find they don’t much like—or trust—Ben.” —starred, Kirkus Reviews
Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Ilsa J. Bick is a child psychiatrist, as well as a film scholar, surgeon wannabe, former Air Force major, and an award-winning, best-selling author of short stories, e-books, and novels. She has written extensively in the Star Trek, Battletech, Mechwarrior: Dark Age, and Shadowrun universes. Her original stories have been featured in numerous anthologies, magazines and online venues. Ilsa's YA paranormal, Draw the Dark, was also a semifinalist for the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (as Stalag Winter). Ilsa currently lives with her family and other furry creatures in rural Wisconsin and across the street from the local Hebrew cemetery. One thing she loves about the neighbors: They're very quiet and come around for sugar only once in a blue moon.