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If there was a Reader's Anonymous, my family would probably have shunted me off into rehab already.

I Am Not A Serial Killer (John Cleaver Books)

I Am Not A Serial Killer (John Cleaver Books) - Dan Wells Well, this book did not turn out to be what I thought it was going to be about. I still read it, and "enjoyed" it. Hmm. Let's say I appreciated it instead. Anyway, there just seems to be a glut of fiction about serial killers and sociopaths lately, no? Especially in the YA section. I picked this up expecting something Dexter-ish, but, be warned. It's not. I had a very different reaction to this book than I did to the first couple of Dexter novels, and not just because SPOILERISH there is a definite supernatural element. Which I didn't guess from reading the book description. I should probably read more reviews on here, ha ha.Okay, exempting the whole supernatural horror part, what struck me most about this book is how sad and creepy it was. John Wayne Cleaver (that's a heckuva name for a budding sociopath) has serious issues. He knows he has serious issues, and he has spent his life studying serial killers in the attempt to avoid becoming one. Unfortunately, a serial killer shows up in John's town, and John is the only person to discover the truth about him.So, yes, back to sad and creepy. Wells does an excellent job of both making John relatable, but also making him alien. John is completely separated from everyone, and the only way he can connect with other people is by making them afraid. He realizes that this is not necessarily the healthiest thing in the world, and therein lies the sadness. John wants people to know who he really is, but he realizes what that would mean--probably a one-way trip to a mental facility. So he spends his life pretending to the best of his ability. Despite this, John is really really scary. I don't know if it was just me and my experiences coming into play on this, but I sometimes felt nauseated after reading parts of this book. Not from the gore (there's not too much of that) but rather from John's viewpoint. There's a couple of really good parts in the book where Wells shows how inhuman John is by contrasting him with the serial killer. The killer actually has emotions, can interact normally with others, and has a "good" reason for what he does. He is more "human" than John, despite the fact SPOILER he's not human at all END SPOILER. And this enrages John. You sometimes feel more sympathy for the killer than you do for the protagonist.There are two sequels to this book. I don't know if I'm up for them yet, but I probably will read them at some point. After this and My Friend Dahmer, I think I need a break from sociopaths. Overall, a good book if you can handle the freaky.