Friday, February 17, 2012

I Am Not A Serial Killer (but I could be)

"I'm a good person...because I know what good people are supposed to act like, and I copy them.."

John Wayne Cleaver knows that he is different from his fellow teens - he enjoys assisting his mother and aunt with the family mortuary and is fascinated by the dead.  And thoughts of killing.  Despite his inclinations John doesn't want to be a bad person, so he lives by a set of rules he's developed to keep him from doing something wrong.

Don't focus on one person when people watching.
Don't mess with animals.
If you ever feel like hurting someone pay them a compliment instead.

Wells has crafted a young adult novel that stands apart from its literary peers.  The novel is told from John's perspective which puts the reader straight into the head of a budding sociopath, "It stinks pretty bad," I said. "She." "She stinks pretty bad," I said. Mom and Margaret were adamant that we be respectful to the deceased, but it seemed a little late at this stage. It wasn’t a person anymore, it was just a body. A thing...".  The reader should have trouble relating to a main character who is sometimes as disturbing as the villain of the story, but Wells manages to balance the creepiness with a fierce determination to be good.  Sometimes creepy, but always intriguing, this novel ponders the question: what makes a monster?

Recommended if you enjoy:
Kristin Cashore, Jonathan Maberry, Lish McBride, TV Show: Dexter