From Amazon: John works in his family’s mortuary and has an obsession with serial killers. He wants to be a good person, but fears he is a sociopath, and for years he has suppressed his dark side through a strict system of rules designed to mimic “normal” behavior. Then a demon begins stalking his small town and killing people one by one, and John is forced to give in to his darker nature in order to save them. As he struggles to understand the demon and find a way to kill it, his own mind begins to unravel until he fears he may never regain control. Faced with the reality that he is, perhaps, more monstrous than the monster he is fighting, John must make a final stand against the horrors of both the demon and himself.
I'm not going to lie and say that everyone will like this book, because they won't. It's complex, gruesome and frightening, yet brilliant and bold.
John Wayne Cleaver (great name!) is a fifteen year old sociopath, who helps out in his family's mortuary and is obsessed with serial killers. He has very little emotion or empathy, and frequently has to stop himself from losing control of his inner demon.
John's voice is my favourite part of the whole book; I love it. It's dark and satirical, but spotted with humour and sarcasm. His blunt thoughts and desires are written with such simplicity that you can't help but like this character, even though I'm not entirely sure you should. I sympathised with John, who is a boy fighting with himself to refrain from killing people. Did I expect to sympathise with him? No, I didn't. His loneliness and alienation from his peers and family will be something that a lot of people will relate to, and it's an aspect of his character that humanises him, whether he thinks it does or not.
To write about this subject in a YA novel is quite brave, as it won't appeal to a lot of readers. Some things are just too real for people to read about, and serial killing undoubtedly falls into that category. I Am Not A Serial Killer is quite gory at times, and describes in great detail what happens behind the closed doors of a mortuary. I now know more about embalming than I ever thought I would!
The plot is clever, with quite a few unexpected twists and turns. It almost reads like a crime novel, especially with the inclusion of John's personal hunt for the Clayton Killer terrorising his town. The conclusion is satisfying and intriguing, and sets up the sequel nicely. I can't wait to find out if John can save himself from himself, along with the lengths he'll go to to achieve this. The next book will certainly be an interesting read!
Oh, and if you're a fan of the show Dexter, you should definitely read this book. I think you'd love it!