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.

WWW Wednesdays #59 – October 7th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’ve started reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern earlier this week and so far I’m really enjoying this read. Hopefully it stays this way! I’ve also decided to start reading my last pending ARC Firebolt by Adrienne Woods yesterday evening… It’s been a while since I’ve read stories with dragons and so far it looks promising.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Five finished titles this week… Looks like I’m getting back on track!
* Americosis Vol. 2 by Haydn Wilks was a novella full of chaos and madness I was able to finish the same day I posted my last WWW.
* I then finished The Kill Order by James Dashner, which means I can finally leave The Maze Runner series behind… I can’t say I was impressed by this prequel story either.
* Before starting with my creepy reads, I decided to read An Abundance Of Katherines by John Green first. It’s a quick and entertaining feel-good story, although nothing mindblowing. The teenage dialogues are very well done like always.
* My first creepy read of the month was Asylum by Madeleine Roux, a story with just the right scary factor and a bunch of creepy old asylum photos to look at.
* The last book I finished this week is I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells. I had high hopes for this series, but it turned out to be a bit of a disappointment… I just wasn’t expecting the whole supernatural-demon-serial killer angle.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have said it probably a million times before already, but this time I’m really going to read And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini next. This title has been on my TBR pile longer than any other book and it’s about time I read it… Plus, it will help me finish two challenges. I also want to read On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta and I should read The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey since I have been starting way too many new series without reading sequels. The last one, The Valentine Circle by Reinaldo DelValle, is my newest TBR jar pick and looks like an interesting read as well. (Although I might try to read a few titles on my October/Halloween TBR first…)

Friday Finds #46 – July 24th

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Should Be Reading and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads.  Below a selection of my newest additions; click on the book descriptions to go to its Goodreads page! 😀

My finds:

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