Updated: Dec 15, 2020
White Rabbit is a mystery/thriller novel. It features Rufus, a feisty teenage boy who gets half blackmailed, half bribed, into solving a murder case with his ex-boyfriend Sebastian, and his step-sister April. The book drew me in right from the first chapter, where Rufus simultaneously gets a suspicious call from April (who never ever calls him) and a surprise visit from Sebastian (who ghosted him for like 2 months).
Rufus’s reluctant/ hopeless-romantic personality was hilarious to read right from the start, and the inklings of mystery in the first couple pages made me very eager to continue reading the book.
Here are my thoughts on the novel, as well as my response to the criticism that some readers had about the romance aspect of it:
Being 100 percent honest, the part of this book that kept me reading was the mystery, not the romance. This was sort of a first for me, as I usually find myself flipping through a book solely for the romance.
The mystery aspect of this book is just so well written, that it kept me on my toes till the very end. Rufus’ thought-process as he pieced together information is logical and easy to keep track of.
It almost felt like I was solving the mystery alongside Rufus. I found myself asking the same questions and stumbling over the same small details as he did.
This made it so that I solved the mystery at the same time that Rufus did.
Once this happened, I was able to greatly appreciate all the clues and foreshadowing the author subtly weaved throughout the novel.
Something else I really liked about this book was that it gave me a good scare.
Like, a sleeping-with-the-lights-on and burrowing-under-the-blankets, good scare. Part of that stemmed from how unpredictable the situations were. Things escalate at the moment that you least expect them too, and there’s countless twists and turns that keep the pages turning.
I had so many “NO WAY” and “OH MY GOD JFKDLSA” moments while reading this book. Don’t believe me? Take a look at my Goodreads comments:
Yet another thing that I really liked about this book was how strongly I came to feel about Rufus. Rufus doesn’t seem to be a very lovable guy, or at least he doesn’t think he is; but I feel like he’s someone readers would adore.
I had a lot of sympathy for his character, and oftentimes found myself getting annoyed at the way that people treated him; And that includes Sebastian, his ex-boyfriend.
This is where the romance controversy of this book kicks in. I wanted to address the romance because I’ve read several negative reviews about it, but I don’t want anyone to turn this book down because of that.
A lot of readers disapprove of the way Rufus seems to view his relationship with Sebastian; Rufus mentions that he thinks that Sebastian “completes” him, and that without Sebastian he “doesn’t have a purpose”. Personally, I saw this as the author showing how Rufus is very insecure; that he is someone who hasn’t yet realized his full self worth, and doesn’t feel that great about himself most days. And from the way his family treats him, that makes a lot of sense for his character.
Still, I felt like the relationship between Sebastian and Rufus wasn’t the healthiest in the beginning.
Sebastian wasn't a great boyfriend in my opinion, because he never seemed to address the fact that his friends had been bullying Rufus for a long time. While it’s not explicitly clear if Sebastian knew about this or not, I felt like it was pretty evident.
While I understood why Sebastian acted the way he did, I still didn’t feel the need to fully forgive him for it.
That being said, the author makes it clear that Sebastian and Rufus are both young teenagers in very tough situations. Their actions and thoughts are just repercussions of the situations that they are in. As long as you are able to recognize this, I think this book is very much worth the read.
The novel is an amazing unpredictable thriller which deals with real-life dangers and topics, and has enough action and suspense to keep the pages turning.
After reading this book, I found myself looking for more mystery/thriller novels to check out. So if you have any recommendations for a good murder-mystery or thriller, leave it in the comments down below!
Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Queer Romance
Format I Used: Audiobook