Sunday, February 19, 2012


Julie and I read I HUNT KILLERS by Barry Lyga about the same time.  I was totally surprised that we both rated it the same. We texted back and forth as soon as I was done.  Here is how it went:

Of course, it is totally up to you guys to make your own decision about the book.  It is due out April 3rd, 2012. Here are our reviews:

Jazz Dent is the son of one of the most notorious serial killers in the United States. Billy Dent proudly killed over one hundred young women and told his son about each and every one of them. He made Jazz responsible for keeping the trophies from the murders in order. Jazz knows how to go about gaining the confidence of a potential victim, ways to kill and torture, and how to avoid being caught. It seems that every time he talks to someone those things keeps running through his mind. Jazz has to consciously think about acting “normal.” 

Jazz relies on his best friend Howie (a hemophiliac) and his strong-willed girlfriend, Connie, to keep him grounded. They know everything about him – all the gory details about his life with Billy and how he struggles to fit in with society. 

When dead bodies start turning up in town, it doesn’t take long for Jazz to realize another serial killer is at work. He does whatever he can to try and piece together the clues to prevent any other murders from taking place. When Jazz makes a startling discovery about the murders, it threatens to turn his world upside down all over again. Will he be able to catch the killer? 

I HUNT KILLERS is a wonderful concept. It is definitely a book that will fly off the shelves since a lot of people crave dark, macabre, suspenseful stories. I liked it and I liked Jazz, Connie, and especially Howie. Howie provides some lightness to a very dark story. People who love Dexter will definitely see the similarities. 

So, why did I only give it 3 Glasses? Well, there were several factors that led to the rating. One was the over use of the term “Dear Old Dad.” Over and over again Jazz referred to Billy in those terms. It grated on my nerves very early in the book. Another is the level of goriness. I know this is a young adult novel, but I thought it should have been more suspenseful and more gory. If the book is going to compare itself to Dexter, have an “in your face” title, and revolve around serial killers then it should scare the pants off of readers. Finally, several years ago I read another book where a teen was racing against time to save a girl from a serial killer and it was soooo suspenseful and I have that to compare it to. If you haven’t read it you should totally check it out – ACCELERATION by Graham McNamee.

"What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?"

That's the teaser on the back of this book. Of course it had me hooked!

Jazz is no ordinary teen, although he knows how to act like one. But when you have been raised by the world's most horrific serial killer it is hard to be "normal". Especially when your dad has taught you everything he knows in order to groom you as his successor. 

"Dear Old Dad" is now behind bars. Jazz really is trying to lead a normal life now. He has a girlfriend, he's in the school play. But Jazz' life is anything but normal. He lives with his crazy gramma, trying to keep the child welfare people from sending him to a foster home, his best friend Howie is a hemophiliac, and he lives in fear of becoming just like his father.

When a woman is found dead in a field with 3 fingers missing Jazz knows right away that another serial killer is on the loose. Unfortunately he can't get the law enforcement to agree with him before another murder is committed. Jazz joins forces with the police to catch the murderer. Jazz knows how a serial killer thinks and he wants to prove to himself that he is not like "Dear Old Dad". But it's a fine line he is walking because he understands the cravings to see a person's last breath seep out of them.

This is one of those books where I wish I had half hearts to give out. I would have given this a three and a half rating. I vacillated between really liking it and "it was just okay". I really liked the suspense of the story and the not knowing who the killer was until almost the very end. I disliked that this is a YA book. The theme was pretty horrific and sometimes goes into some gory details about what the killer did to his victims. Surprisingly the author kept the language fairly tame. I was offended by his use of Jesus, and g** d*** but other than that there really wasn't a lot of language, maybe because the theme was harsh enough? 

I Hunt Killers is published by Little Brown and will be out for sale in April 2012- I received my ARC copy at ALA in January.

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