Saturday, September 26, 2015

Review: I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER by Dan Wells

Title/ Author: I Am Not a Serial Killer (John Cleaver #1) by Dan Wells
Genre: Thriller, mystery, Supernatural,
Rating: 4/5 stars
Synopsis: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.


Review

Thoughts on the Overall Book: I picked this book up expecting something akin to I Hunt Killers and…didn't really get that. The synopsis of this book fails to mention the supernatural element so that was a little jarring. Once I got past that though, I was able to enjoy the book more.

Cover--Yea or Nay: It's kind of bland, but I do like it, I think it works for the kind of book this is.

Characters: John Wayne Carver…I'm still a little unsure how I really feel about him. While I was able to sympathize and even relate to Jazz Dent in I Hunt Killers I'm not sure I was totally able to do that with John who is definitely more of a psychopath and rather frightening. Maybe I liked him because of that? I enjoyed reading about him and from his point of view too. It was an interesting perspective to have and I totally applaud the author for being able to get into that character--and just for going there in the first place. I know how scary that can be as an author. So I don't know that I can say I really liked him, but I did like reading about him. It was interesting reading about the other characters from his point of view too. I actually liked his friend Max and Brooke as well. I sort of felt sorry for his mom, but at the same time, I think she could have done more to understand his condition and not just either freak out or pretend nothing is wrong, but I guess that's just human nature. Mr. Crowley was an interesting character. (view spoiler)

The Romance: None. I don't even think I'm going to call a budding romance between John and Brooke yet.

Writing Style: I did love the writing style. As I said before I always applaud authors for going out of their normal comfort zones (or at least I hope they are) and writing characters who go beyond reluctant or anti-heroes to maybe even past dark hero status. To put yourself in the head of a potential serial killer is a feat of skill, especially if you can make it sound accurate which Dan Wells does. And the fact that it's in first person makes it even better, and makes the reader experience some uncomfortable moments.

Accuracy/ Believability: Despite the supernatural element, the psychological depictions of John's character are spot on, and I really appreciate the research the author must have had to do into psychological disorders and serial killers.

Problems/What bothered me: As I mentioned before, my only complaint was that I thought demons were more boring than serial killers. I know there's something wrong with me...

Conclusion: 4 stars. I do look forward to continuing this series. Now that I know what I'm getting into, I think I'll be able to pick up the next book with fresh eyes and enjoy it more without the jarring realization that it's supernatural.

Recommended Audience: Girl or guy read, 17 and up. Fans of I Hunt Killers, who would like to see it crossed with Supernatural would like this. And for the record, it's actually less gritty than I Hunt Killers as well. Even though I think this is classed as 'adult' I would say, at least the first book, reads like YA.

(Read this review with spoilers on Goodreads)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Review: DENTON LITTLE'S DEATHDATE by Lance Rubin

Title/ Author: Denton Little's Deathdate (Denton Little #1) by Lance Rubin
Genre: YA, contemporary
Rating: 3/5 stars
Synopsis: Denton Little's Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day they will die. For 17-year-old Denton Little, that's tomorrow, the day of his senior prom.

Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle (as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend's hostile sister. Though he's not totally sure. See: first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is this what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton's long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters…. Suddenly Denton's life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.

Debut author Lance Rubin takes us on a fast, furious, and outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager's life as he searches for love, meaning, answers, and (just maybe) a way to live on.


Review

Thoughts on the Overall Book: Dark humor, a hearse on the cover--had to check it out. I had a couple complaints about it, but overall, I will admit it was definitely a quirky, and funny read.

Cover--Yea or Nay: Totally yes. That plus the title is what made me pick this book up.

Characters: Denton Little is overall not a bad protagonist. For the most part, he's a pretty nice guy and kind of quirky. The problem I had with him was that he was a little wishy-washy. Maybe he was just a too accurately portrayed teenage boy, but I don't hold the belief that they're all like that either. I would have liked him better if he could have just stuck to liking one girl. Just because he was going to die, didn't give him the right to do that, especially since it was kind of a mistake the first time. But apart from that, I did like him, and his narration was quirky and sarcastic and darkly humorous which is exactly what I expected from this book. I really liked his best friend Paolo, he was funny, typical side-kick kind of guy. I did like Denton's girlfriend Taryn, but I had to feel sorry for her because Denton practically cheated on her. This book had a pretty good cast of supporting characters, I particularly liked Denton's brother Felix and then Phil was a character who was annoying and enjoyable to hate. So it had a fun variety of characters who usually ended up surprising you in some way.

The Romance: This was my main problem with the book. I hate love triangles. And the fact that this one happened more or less by accident, but then Denton didn't do anything about it irked me even more. I really saw no reason his sleeping with Veronica furthered the plot at all, it only caused trouble that didn't really have to do with the story line. And Taryn was trying to be supportive but Denton was making that hard. (view spoiler)

Writing Style: I did like the writing style. It was easy reading, fast-paced and funny. I always appreciate dark humor and making fun of death. Denton made a good narrator. The idea of knowing your death date was really interesting and kind of made a neat twist on normal every day life with the new customs of pre-mortem funerals and self written eulogies. I find this sort of thing hilarious anyway. There were times when the plot got a little on the ridiculous side, like the strange rash Denton develops. It was just a little far fetched, especially when he ended up being totally purple. But I guess this is the kind of book where you just have to go along for the ride. There was a bit more espionage sort of story like to this that I was not expecting. I won't say too much in fear of spoilers but it made for a more interesting story than I thought this would be at the beginning.

Accuracy/ Believability: Not really applicable.

Problems/What bothered me: There was a little too much dirty humor in this book. It's a guy book, and I expect guy humor, yeah, and I can deal with that, but this was a little more graphic than I like usually. Plus the all too casual way the characters slept together bothered me because it just seemed like a 'last night on earth' kind of thing and I get annoyed by that, especially in teen fiction. Particularly since no one seems to have a problem with it, even the parents.

Conclusion: 3 stars. A quick fun read with a surprising cliff-hanger. I'll probably read the next book out of curiosity, but this wasn't really a favorite either.

Recommended Audience: Guy read or girl read ages 18 and up due to content. If you like dark humor or quirky contemporary novels check this out.

(Read this review with spoilers on Goodreads)

Monday, September 7, 2015

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

August 2015 Wrap Up

Hey guys, back with my August wrap up! I read 11 books this month and pretty much made my quota for the summer :) It will have been 35 in all! I apologize for the quality of these videos, I was trying to different setting to find more light but it ended up being worse than before :P Hope everyone's reading was as good this month!