Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells

Title: I Am Not a Serial Killer (John Cleaver Series #1), Author: Dan WellsI Am Not A Serial Killer. Finished 9-17-16, rating 3/5, YA, 271 pages, pub. 2010

John Wayne Cleaver is dangerous, and he knows it.

He’s spent his life doing his best not to live up to his potential.

He’s obsessed with serial killers, but really doesn’t want to become one. So for his own sake, and the safety of those around him, he lives by rigid rules he’s written for himself, practicing normal life as if it were a private religion that could save him from damnation.

Dead bodies are normal to John. He likes them, actually. They don’t demand or expect the empathy he’s unable to offer. Perhaps that’s what gives him the objectivity to recognize that there’s something different about the body the police have just found behind the Wash-n-Dry Laundromat—and to appreciate what that difference means.    from Goodreads

This is the first in the John Wayne Cleaver trilogy.

I like books and movies about serial killers, but even I was creeped out by 15 year old John.  The story took a major turn about 100 pages in, not one I liked and it sort of tainted the rest of the book for me, BUT John was compelling and I kept reading.  This one was recommended by a few book blogger buddies and is the first of a trilogy.  I’m pretty sure I won’t read them, there’s no cliff-hanger that’s making me, but who knows.  John may stay stuck in my head like a bad dream and convince me.

John is a teen who is obsessed with serial killers.  He feels that at his core, he is one.  He keeps himself in check by lots of rules so that he is never put in the position of killing someone because he wants to. This plan worked fine until his small town is home to its first serial killer.

I learned way, way more than I wanted to about what happens at the mortuary.  Let’s just say that you should not read this while you’re eating.  Or thinking about eating.  Or getting ready to go to a funeral.  Go ahead, read the first chapter.  If you are okay with that then this book may be for you.

Since John is 15 this is considered a YA, but John was way older than his years, so only mature teens should read this.  And if you like books like Silence of the Lambs or shows like Dexter this one is for you, but only if you are prepared to be thrown for a loop.

November 18, 2016 - Posted by | Uncategorized

7 Comments »

  1. I do like a good YA. And I’m not particularly squeamish. But I think I’m going to pass on this one.

    Comment by Lloyd Russell | November 18, 2016 | Reply

    • It wouldn’t be the first I’d recommend for you 🙂

      Comment by stacybuckeye | November 18, 2016 | Reply

  2. You may remember I LOVED this series. You are bothered by a part another blogger was so I wouldn’t recommend reading on but John is one of my favourite characters hands down, there is a new release also, I can’t wait to read more to see if I still love the series as much as I did years ago when it came out.

    Comment by Tea Time with Marce | November 18, 2016 | Reply

    • I’m pretty sure you are the reason this I bought this one in the first place 🙂 Sometimes characters and books stick with you and you end up needing to know what happened. Never say never!

      Comment by stacybuckeye | November 18, 2016 | Reply

  3. I enjoyed Dan Wells’ The Partials. He’s an excellent writer. I’ve been wanting to read this series or at least the first book. When I do I’ll let you know how I feel about it! I loved Dexter and all of that so we’ll see….Great review!

    Comment by hmsgofita | November 18, 2016 | Reply

  4. […] I Am not a Serial Killer – Dan Wells.  I was expecting to be wowed by this child serial killer wanna be, but the book jumped the shark in the middle and never quite recovered for me. […]

    Pingback by End of the Year Survey « Stacy's Books | December 27, 2016 | Reply


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