RTW: June Reads

This Week’s Topic: 

What was the best book you read in June?

I’ve always enjoyed dark and gritty books that push the envelope. Since I delved into YA and got serious about the genre both as a reader and writer, I’ve been looking for that darkness I enjoy so much in adult literature. Now given the nature of YA and its target audience, the ‘darkness’ has to be toned down a bit and balanced out with a dollop of light. That’s why I was totally thrilled when I read I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga this month.

As a huge fan of the TV shows Dexter and Criminal Minds, I was immediately drawn to this book based solely on the title and cover. In fact, I started reading it not really knowing it was aimed at a YA audience at all. There’s still debate regarding this book and whether or not it’s appropriate for younger readers. This story certainly isn’t for the squeamish.

This is Jasper ‘Jazz’ Dent’s story as he’s faced with the looming reality he might just end up just like his father: a serial killer. And not just any serial killer, but the country’s most notorious serial killer. That alone makes for some pretty dark internalization considering Jazz was raised with his dad grooming him to become a murderer. As the title would suggest, Jazz strives for something different, wanting to use his gruesome knowledge for the greater good by helping the police catch killers. This book is super dark but is balanced out by Howie, Jazz’s best friend, and Jazz’s kick-ass girlfriend, Connie.

If you’re into twisted psychological stuff and can endure the fairly graphic descriptions of animal abuse and torture from a sociopath’s perspective, then you might enjoy this book. The writing is good, the characters are great and whole glimpse into a boy-coming-of-age-as-a-serial-killer is a rather unique take on the theme of adolescent watersheds.

Have you read any dark books lately?

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