23 January, 2012 | By: Kaitlyn

Kaitlyn's Review: I Am Not A Serial Killer

Title: I Am Not A Serial Killer (1 of 3) Author: Dan Wells Pages: 272Published: 2010
Summary: John Wayne Cleaver is dangerous, and he knows it.

He’s spent his life doing his best not to live up to his potential.

He’s obsessed with serial killers, but really doesn’t want to become one. So for his own sake, and the safety of those around him, he lives by rigid rules he’s written for himself, practicing normal life as if it were a private religion that could save him from damnation.

Dead bodies are normal to John. He likes them, actually. They don’t demand or expect the empathy he’s unable to offer. Perhaps that’s what gives him the objectivity to recognize that there’s something different about the body the police have just found behind the Wash-n-Dry Laundromat---and to appreciate what that difference means.

Now, for the first time, John has to confront a danger outside himself, a threat he can’t control, a menace to everything and everyone he would love, if only he could.

Dan Wells’s debut novel is the first volume of a trilogy that will keep you awake and then haunt your dreams.

While I read this book quite some time ago, I remember it well. As someone who wants to go into a psychology career, the aspect of a book in which a 13 year old boy knows that he has serial killer tendencies was absolutely fascinating and I bought it without hesitation. I read it in a very short amount of time; I remember not being able to put it down. Perhaps because of my personal interest in the way a sociopath's mind works, more than anything. 

While this is the first of a trilogy, I enjoy that with each book, it has its own plot and it doesn't get worse.  I did enjoy this plot. John's small town is plagued by a serial killer, and John is the only one who seems to know how to find it and hunt it down. I don't want to give spoilers, but I loved, loved, what ended up happening even if it ended up being very bitter-sweet. 

My only issue with these books is perhaps the writing. Because of the nature of the book, I suppose, it couldn't be considered "YA." Even though, it is much like a morbid YA book. John is 13, he has a crush on a girl. The writing is not bad, not at all, but it's not the best I've seen. The characters were rather well rounded, though it did kind of set me off that John, being so different, fell for such a typical girl. Perhaps her character wasn't fleshed out because she isn't the point of the story, but I really would have liked to gotten to know her more in this first book (though you do learn more about her in the coming books). 

Overall, I enjoyed all 3 of these books, though the first is probably my favorite. You learn the most about how his mind works, and the plot is, as I said, bitter-sweet. It's interesting and captivating.

Rating: ★★★★ 4/5

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