Monday, June 4, 2012

Book Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Title: I Hunt Killers
Author: Barry Lyga
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Little, Brown
Hardcover, 361 pages
Date Published: April 3, 2012
Source: Publisher
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

Jasper (Jazz) Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could--from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret--could he be more like his father than anyone knows?
Omgomgomg…that is how felt right after finishing I Hunt Killers. That’s because Barry Lyga’s psychological serial killer slasher is incredible! Jasper “Jazz” Dent is screwed up and maybe a killer to be and maybe a killer already, but he’s a teenager that is so amazingly likable. He knows how to play people, thanks to Dear Old Dad – a notorious serial a killer – and he knows that he’s manipulative. Jazz sees his own faults and they scare even him.

But Jazz is grounded by his fragile, but awesome, best friend Howie, and his more than understanding girlfriend Connie. Both of these secondary characters are fleshed out and have some very pivotal scenes. They, along with the local sheriff G. William round out the cast of characters well. Lyga employs Jazz’s narrative and intersperses the killer’s as well, making for a messed up, but thrilling reading experience.

Every chapter, every page offers something new and opens up the story just a little bit more. I had no clue who the killer was the entire time. I had ideas, I had suspicions, but I was so off on all of them. That’s the beauty of Lyga’s story: he writes this compelling, no holds barred story, but he writes it in a smart way. The killer isn’t plain as day and the characters aren’t without fault. Poor Jazz is far more damaged than anyone could imagine. He did grow up with a serial killer for a father though. And that serial killer taught him everything he knew…

I Hunt Killers is a surprisingly gripping and taut thriller, with characters to love and story that refuses to let up. It’s being touted as a Dexter-like read for a younger audience, but having never seen Dexter, I just like to think of I Hunt Killers as a phenomenally engaging and intense read. And the ending is the most screwed up, thrilling, I-want-to-scream-expletives-at-its-perfectness, and an insanely good way to wrap up the book that I’m sitting astonished at Barry Lyga’s genius. MUST. READ. BOOK. 2. NOW.

Opening line: By the time Jazz got to the field outside town, yellow police tape was everywhere, strung from state to stake in a sort of drunken, off-kilter hexagon. ~ pg. 3

Favorite lines/passages: Sometimes hope could be the most frightening thing in the world. ~ pg. 92
“This is why I forgive, but I don’t forget. When you forget someone, the forgiveness doesn’t mean anything anymore. So, let’s say she left. Fine. You forgive her for that. Good. But you’ll never, ever forget her.” ~ pg. 144
And this one:
He easily gathered her in his arms; Gramma was made up of skin and bones and hate and crazy – and hate and crazy don’t weigh anything. ~ pg. 183

*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

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Andria Buchanan said...

Uh wow, this sounds amazing.

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