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review 2018-07-09 16:48
I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells
I Am Not A Serial Killer - Dan Wells,John Allen Nelson

This is a weird book but I think I liked it well enough. Let’s see if I can work out a rating by the time I stop writing out my feelings here.

 

“I think that fate wants me to become a serial killer.”

 

John Wayne Cleaver is a teen doing his best not to murder the cretins that surround him. I’m not joking about this either. He has serious serial killer in the making vibes. Even his therapist thinks so. His family runs a mortuary and he’s been exposed to death since he was a child but he’s the only one in his family who finds death fascinating. He’s written school essays on serial killers and is obsessed with learning everything about them. But unlike most killers (besides Dexter), he knows murder is wrong and he creates rules for himself that will prevent him from acting out on his urges to slice people up like stir-fry. But people do not make it easy for him. As you all probably know, most people are jerks. Especially when they’re still in high school. John has one friend and that friend was so annoying I might’ve wanted to slice him up a time or two myself.

 

This kid is detached, he knows it, you know it and it’s hard to feel for him since he doesn’t feel normal emotions. He mimics others in order to be a decent citizen and get by in society. You think you see where this all heading with comments like these, don’t you?

 

“If you met me on the street you’d never know how much I wanted to kill you.”

 

But you would be wrong. The book takes a weird and unexpected turn somewhere midway in and it really threw me off. I thought I was reading one thing and then it turned into another thing and I wasn’t sure I liked where it was heading but in the end I guess it worked out because I didn’t quit it. Just go in expecting the unexpected and you might be ok.

 

With that said, I must steer you away from the audiobook read by John Allen Nelson. Sadly this narrator was not a good fit for my ears. He has a news anchor voice and he’s not afraid to use it and it continually threw me out of the story. He would be much better suited to a true crime or a nonfiction book. He doesn’t do well with a teen’s voice and this book is told by a teen. He also has the funniest, most cartoony old person voice I think I have ever heard outside of the shows my kids used to watch on Nickelodeon. I laughed when I should’ve been a wee bit sad or terrified.

 

In the end, I guess I’m giving this production and story a three. I wasn’t happy with the way everything was wrapped up so tidily in the end. It seemed too easy and too unbelievable and it infuriated me a little. Many people say this story gets better as the series moves along. I may try another if I stumble on a free copy but I won’t actively seek them out.

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review 2018-07-09 04:30
Intensity by Dean Koontz
Intensity - Dean Koontz

 

The red sun balances on the highest ramparts of the mountains, and in its waning light, the foothills appear to be ablaze.

- first sentence

 

Chyna is a psychology student sleeping at her friend's house when she hears a noise in the middle of the night. A serial killer is in the house and Chyna manages to evade him by hiding under the bed. Through a series of unusual choices and coincidences, Chyna ends up hiding in the back of the motorhome driven by the killer.

 

The story is tense and frightening. Chyna makes some stupid choices, but all in the name of saving another girl who is also the killer's prisoner. It is a bit predictable, but still entertaining.

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review 2018-07-02 06:06
Green River Killer
Green River Killer: A True Detective Story - Jonathan Case,Jeff Jensen

This book should have been interesting, but the material is mishandled, and it ends up being a story about essentially nothing (what was the point of this book?).

 

I did not understand the interweaving timelines. It just made it difficult to understand what was happening.

 

Skip this one and read My Friend Dahmer instead if you're looking for graphic novels about serial killers.

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review 2018-06-04 23:11
Nighttime is My Time
Nighttime Is My Time - Mary Higgins Clark

I was having a bad day yesterday and pretty much did nothing after I got out of bed but sit on the couch.  I started this book but couldn't concentrate on reading so I got the audio book.  I got out my knitting and tried to relax.  It was my husband's birthday so we had planned to go to a movie and dinner.  I wished I could have an out-of-body experience because inside my body was not a good one.  Too bad I can't move out.  

 

Anyway, I was enjoying the book and I could tell because I wasn't getting much knitting done.  I kept finding myself holding my knitting needles paused in front of me while I stared into space, listening.  I finished it the same day I started it.  

 

__________

 

Jean doesn't want to go to her 20 year school reunion where she was to be honored but once they decided to have a memorial for her friend that passed away she couldn't skip it.  She had planned to go with her friend when she died in an accident.  There are a lot of memories there and she hated to bring them all back to the surface.  Several of her classmates had died in accidents and one committed suicide.  She also visited the mother of a classmate who had been stabbed in her bed 20 years before.  The first day there she was accosted by a pushy teen reporter doing interviews for the school paper and he asked her to look at list of names.  She was started to learn that 5 of the girls she used to share a table with during school lunches had died over the past 20 years and there were only 2 of them left.  She was shocked when the reported asked if she thought it was odd that they had died in the order they sat at the table.  Laura, the next one in the lineup disappears and the other's get worried.  She hasn't checked out of her room but it isn't the first time she changed her plans and took off.  The other's don't know what to think.

 

____________

 

I was really surprised to see so many bad reviews for this book since I loved it.  To each his own I guess.  

 

 

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review 2018-05-28 18:59
And Then There Were None (audiobook) by Agatha Christie, narrated by Dan Stevens
And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie,Dan Stevens

Several people, all strangers to one another, arrive at a small, isolated island. Some believe themselves to have been invited by an old acquaintance, while others thought they were being hired by someone named U.N. Owen. All of them discover, too late, that these were lies designed to lure them into a trap. With no way to escape the island, the guests begin to die, one by one, in ways that eerily fit the "Ten Little Soldiers" rhyme.

I've only read or listened to a few of Agatha Christie's mysteries, but so far this one is my favorite, and I think Dan Stevens' narration plays a part in that. Christie's works are usually difficult for me to handle in audio - it's easy for me to lose track of characters or details - but in this case the audio format is perfect.

I had to do a double take when I looked up the narrator's name, because it never clicked for me that this was the same Dan Stevens from Downton Abbey and Disney's live action Beauty and the Beast. The man's range is impressive. There were a couple characters who sounded a little too similar for my tastes (Rogers and Dr. Armstrong, I think), but, in general, I loved his interpretations of the characters, particularly Philip Lombard and Justice Wargrave.

The first time I listened to this, the big reveal was an absolute shock. The explanation didn't quite work for me, though. I've since listened to this audiobook several more times, and my doubts about whether some of the murders were possible haven't gone away. That hasn't made And Then There Were None any less entertaining, however.

Knowing the killer's identity added another level to my enjoyment. Certain lines and bits of dialogue struck me as jaw-droppingly gutsy on Christie's part. Did she ever worry that she was being too obvious? And as for the killer, ooh, some of the things that person said and did would have required nerves of steel.

Although I loved this book overall, I also want to note that it includes both antisemitism and racism. In the version of the story used for this audiobook, the antisemitism and racism are mostly (entirely?) linked to a particular character, Philip Lombard. I interpreted them as examples of Lombard's general nastiness. I just got through reading a little about the history of And Then There Were None's publication, however, and I'm now wondering if my interpretation of those moments in the text was too charitable. No matter how much I've enjoyed the present incarnation of the story, I doubt I could have made it through the original version.

 

Rating Note:

 

My gut-level rating, the first time I listened to this, was 4 stars. I've bumped this up to 4.5 because it's been such a consistently enjoyable re-listen.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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