review: i hunt killers

06 January 2013

book info:
ages: 16 and up
grades: 10-11 and up
years: 12 and up
on sale: now
copy from: library

title: I Hunt Killers
author: Barry Lyga


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

Jasper "Jazz" Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows? (goodreads)

My thoughts:
Ohmygoodness, this is an amazing book. Just finished reading it moments ago, woke up from my reading daze and saw that it is 11:30. A book like this: how can I not read it in less than a day? This book can only be described as a Sherlock/Serial Killer twist book. I could not put I Hunt Killers down, and I'm surprised that this book is classified as young adult. A lot of this material is pretty dark and gruesome, and quite adult-themed.

Jazz Dent is incredibly likeable. Reading from the male POV was refreshing, and especially with Jazz's dark, humorous and raw character. He faces questions many teens face, like who he is, and questions a lot about himself: except unlike a normal teens, his problems are much more convoluted, twisted and messed-up. What I love more about his character is that he is intelligent, and like Sherlock Holmes, fantastically good at working through crimes. The sheriff of the town, and one that Jazz has a unique relationship with, reminds me of a Watson/typical police insider type. But Lyga doesn't make him a bumbling, fat fool. G. William is a capable adult, one who isn't just a flat character, but has problems of his own. Jazz, however, isn't just the good guy, and isn't just being dramatic with his fear of becoming a serial killer. He gets scary sometimes, and one can honestly think he will snap when reading and hurt someone...and I know you may think "He won't do it. He can't" but the thing is, is that Jazz is trained (by his father) in the art of killing: he is incredibly capable of killing. He could easily kill someone and THIS has been is fear throughout the book. His character is absolutely enthralling, I love him! As Cassandra Clare puts it: "Jazz is...chillingly charming"

Jazz's mantra, that he has to remind himself everytime his thoughts stray: "People matter. People are real. People matter..." (39)

A lovely and much needed comic-relief character comes in the form of Howie, a type A hemophilliac who bleeds easily (ironic that his best friend is a serial killer's son) Blood is a recurrent theme in this book, I've noticed, and one would except Howie to be serious and sad about his condition. But he pokes fun of it all the time and I absolutely loved his character. The unconditional relationship he has with Jazz, and their interaction with each other, is a beautiful, brotherly relationship.

Now Connie, Jazz's African-American girlfriend (YAY Diversity!), bothered me. Jazz loves her so much, she keeps him sane and grounded and he's always thinking "Connie's safe". Yet she was the typical comforting girlfriend who would always comfort him in an annoying fashion, cuddling and telling him what he needed to hear. Yet she's got a spunky attitude that's OK, I guess...she's Jazz's rock, I know but...I don't like her.

Now Jazz's crazy grandmother was absolutely twisted. Old and going insane, she brings out the darker side of Jazz that's really freaky to read about. I hate her as much as Jazz does, but she's absolutely necessary.

Lyga's creepy descriptions of murders and killings are what made this book memorable. "Just like cutting chicken": a fragmented memory of Billy (Jazz's serial killer father) teaching Jazz how to use a knife to cut. Cut flesh? My nose twitched and my senses became more alert when reading, and that is a literary accomplishment! But Lyga doesn't overuse the descriptions, and adds just the right amount to get the desired effect from the reader. It's so easy to read his writing, his dark, addictingly-good writing.

SO for one of the most thrilling books I've read: four and a half trees!

 (P.S. If you read the hardback version, take off the just jacket and look at what's underneath :D)

4 thoughts:

  1. Wow. Great review -- though I think I'm too spooked to read it. Putting it on my TBR though

  2. First of all, I always like well-written books with a male POV. It's so different to see a story through the eyes of a male.

    Second, I kind of like dark, humorous characters so Jazz sounds perfect to me! Add a crazy grandmother you just have to hate and I'm in.

    Third, sometimes I really enjoy thrilling books. I will have to try this one out soon!


  3. Thanks for the WordPress custom page tips. While it is a very user friendly blog, some of us are still pretty “geek impaired”.
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  4. this review make me rethink about somethings .. it gave -me curiosity to reed this book, at first moment a just give up .. but now I go give one more chance..

    great review


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