by Barry Lyga
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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?
Jazz was afraid of two things in the world, and two things only. One of them was that people thought that his upbringing meant that he was cursed by nature, nurture, and predestined to be a serial killer like his father.
The second thing…was that they were right.
EEEEEEE! This made me immensely happy….in a super sick, masochistic way. Like, really?? Why have I never heard about this book before?? I’m not going to lie, I’m truly at a loss for words and I really don’t know what to say. There are certain books where I can’t seem to shut my mouth because I love them so much, and some books where I love them just as much but can’t seem to find the proper words to identify and characterize these feelings of overwhelming awesomeness.
It was a beautiful day. It was a beautiful field.
Except for the body.
What is it about this book that made me fall so deeply in love with it? I can’t help but think it’s because this book appeals to the crazy side of me I found when I was about a year into Goodreads-you know, when I decided to change my name to Chelsea Peril Please?? Yeah, this book fits into that category. That category where people are being abducted and murdered and our dear Jazz is using his knowledge from his childhood to figure out who might be next. But, wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Jazz is the child of a serial killer. Everyone knows Billy Dent….and they especially know his son, Jasper Dent. Poor little Jazz-he grew up in a home where he was expected to watch, learn, help with Billy’s victims, giving him a vast and extensive knowledge on how to successfully murder someone.
Jazz could read people. It wasn’t something he worked at; it was just as natural as breathing. It was as ordinary as reading a billboard on the highway: You don’t really think about the billboard; you just notice it and your brain processes it, and that’s that.
And here is why I loved this book so much-Jazz. What a beautiful, broken character. He was perfection. He is exactly the type of male lead I’ve been looking for, lately. He is traumatized (inwardly) by his past and what his father made him do. People look at him different because they don’t know why he didn’t stop him even if he knew it was wrong. They’re wondering if he’ll be next, if he’ll finally snap like dear old, Dad. And it takes a toll on him, naturally. He is tormented by his own fears that he is no different from his father, that he will one day snap and become an unstoppable killer with no remorse…because even though he isn’t his father and he doesn’t want to kill, he still gets excited by it. He gets drawn into the blood lust and art that is a serial killer’s MO, and it gets harder and harder to fight. What if he’s no different from his father??
God! Goddamn it! Goddamn Billy Dent and goddamn his son, too. Tears sprang to Jazz’s eyes. She was dying. Dying right in front of him, and he didn’t trust himself to help her because he didn’t trust his hands not to finish the job instead.
“Just do it!” he yelled to himself, his voice raw and bleak in the close quarters of the apartment. “Save her, you useless piece of-“
So, yeah. Tortured souls are what really draw me in. He desperately wants to be good, to do good, so he tries to help the police force along. This story was excellent. It was different. It was intriguing. It was beyond addicting. So what held back that final star, you ask?? Well…it’s as simple as time. I was dragged away from this story numerous times and I couldn’t seem to find more than 20 minute intervals where I could get some peace and quiet to read-and, I’ll admit it, the last hour I had to read with the tv on in the background because a certain someone just wouldn’t go to sleep but I couldn’t wait any longer….but it was still so good. I never once was happy I had to put it down and I thought about it when I wasn’t able to read it-so I think that more than made up for my disconnect from lack of reading time.
Who am I? I’ll tell you. I’m the local psychopath, and if you don’t save my best friend’s life, I will hunt down everyone you’ve ever cared about in your life and make you watch while I do things to them that will have you begging me to kill them. That’s who I am.”
The other thing?? his book had such a sinister feel to it. And all my best friends on here know I have this….history, where I find myself screaming in the middle of the night due to a recurring nightmare. It’s terrifying. And, for whatever reason, this book brought that dream back. So I was a little apprehensive about finishing-I mean, I knocked over a lamp and broke the bulb in the middle of the night…not exactly an ideal scenario nor does it make me seem like a sane person. Here, think of it like this: I (wake up?) open my eyes and see this…like…fuzzy, grainy image of someone standing beside the bed, but I can’t see their face. And then they slowly reach for me. Yeah. That’s it. But I always wake up and my throat is sore and I am on the other side of the bed, practically crawling over my hubbs to ‘get away.’
(WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK-some of the gifs that came up when I was searching for an apt portrayal…yikes!!!! I mean, I didn’t even use the most accurate images because, I mean, wow. People are WEIRD.) Not a great example above, but I can’t use those creeptastic images.
People matter. People are real.
Weird as it may be, I think the idea that Jazz felt like someone was watching him got to me. And I haven’t been getting much sleep-I think those two elements combined got me at a weak moment. That is why I am waiting until next week to start book two-I want to be well-rested. But don’t think for a minute I’m happy about waiting….because you couldn’t be more wrong. I already miss Jazz. Sad face.
SRELLIK TNUH I
Because my Anna Banana said Jazz is like Cassel