BOOK REVIEW: I Am Not A Serial Killer – by Dan Wells

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Title: I Am Not A Serial Killer
(John Cleaver #1)
Author: Dan Wells
Genre: YA, Horror, Fantasy
First published: March 5th 2009
Finished reading: October 6th 2015
Pages: 271
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“Fear is a … it’s a weird thing, when you think about it. People are only afraid of other things, they’re never afraid of themselves.”

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I know it’s partly my own fault I didn’t enjoy I Am Not A Serial Killer that much, because I had really high expectations before I started reading it. Those who follow my blog already know I’m a big fan of Barry Lyga‘s Jasper Dent series and I was hoping to find something similar with this John Cleaver series. I guess I was wrong. Dan Wells‘ serial killer read has a supernatural/demon twist I wasn’t expecting and I’m not sure I could actually appreciate it. The main character John Cleaver is a seriously disturbed teenage sociopath who is both obsessed with serial killers and trying not to turn into one himself. His mother also works in a mortuary and he usually helps her prep the bodies… That sure sounds like an potentially interesting character, but I just couldn’t connect to him in the way I connected to Jasper Dent. Still, I Am Not A Serial Killer has a fast pace, lots of facts about serial killers and a prose that is easy to read, making me pretty much a happy camper up until the point Dan Wells decided to go supernatural on me. I won’t go into details because of spoilers, but let’s just say I probably would have enjoyed this book way better if it had been just an ‘ordinary’ serial killer.

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John Cleaver has been spending his whole life pretending to be normal, but he is not sure how long he can keep the monster inside him locked up. He is obsessed by serial killers and afraid he will turn into one himself… To prevent that, he lives by strict rules to keep himself under control. He helps his mother at the mortuary and has a hard time considering dead bodies as anything other than things. He has been diagnosed with sociopathy and doesn’t feel any empathy… It turns out that might just come in handy as a serial killer seems to have chosen the small town John lives in to do his killing. John is determined he is the only one that can stop the killer…  But will it be safe to set free the monster inside him?

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I don’t think that I Am Not A Serial Killer was that bad, but I do think it was a mistake to throw in the supernatural element into the story. The beginning of the story looked really promising even though I couldn’t really connect to the main character, but as soon as the story went supernatural I actually said WTF out loud. It might be original, but it wasn’t the story I was looking for and it just doesn’t go with the whole serial killer information overload and mortuary scenes the story starts with… Those make you expect a ‘normal’ thriller/crime story, not this demon/serial killer hybrid. I guess that if you start reading it knowing to expect the supernatural, you will probably enjoy this Dan Wells read a whole lot better though.

TBR Book Tag

tbrbooktagI saw this TBR Book Tag over at Book Snacks last month and I thought it was a fun way to analyze how ridiculously out of control things are with my TBR pile. Let’s go see the damage, shall we?


  • How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

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Definitely both Goodreads and also my own TBR list of books I own and still need to read. Goodreads comes first though! Feel free to add me if you like by the way. 🙂

  • Is your TBR mostly print or eBook?

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Unfortunately I read mostly eBooks… I love physical copies, but they are too expensive here in Argentina and English versions are also quite hard to get. Let’s just say I’ve learned to love my kindle. 😉

  • How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

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I normally make a monthly TBR to have a general idea of what I want to read… ARCs normally have priority, but I mostly just read whatever I’m in the mood for. If I really don’t have a clue what to read next, I use my TBR jar… But mostly those TBR jar picks end up on the waiting list to be read later on haha.

  • A book that’s been on your TBR list the longest?

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That would be And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, but I’m about to change that. I’m going to try and start reading it either today or tomorrow!

  • A book you recently added to your TBR?

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One of my most recent adds to my owned-but-not-read shelf at Goodreads is All The Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry. It sure sounds like an interesting read!

  • A book on your TBR strictly because of it’s beautiful cover?

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I’ve  heard The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury is actually not that good, but I sure love the beautiful cover!

  • A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?

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I got a physical copy of Ireland Awakening by Edward Rutherfurd at a hostel book exchange, but it’s quite a long read and I don’t think I will ever end up picking it up…

  • An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?

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If I have to pick just one I would go for Winter by Marissa Meyer. I can’t wait to find out how the series continues!

  • A book on your TBR that everyone has read but you?

sinceyouvebeengone

I’ve seen Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson everywhere, but I’m not sure if this book will be for me… That’s probably why I haven’t picked it up so far.

  • A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

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A lot of people have been recommending Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli to me ever since it came out earlier this year; I really need to get a copy soon!

  • A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read?

I have a lot of books I really want to read ASAP, but I guess I’m really looking forward to finally start Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

  • How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

I just checked, and I have no less than 238 books on my owned-but-not-read shelf and a total of 942! titles on my to-read shelf. Oops! I really have to learn how to control myself haha.


If you enjoyed this tag, feel free to consider yourself tagged as well! 😀