Title: Dear Killer
Author: Katherine Ewell
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Source/Format: Library / Hardcover, 359 pages
Opening Sentence: “Rule one. Nothing is right, nothing is wrong.”
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Rule One—Nothing is right, nothing is wrong.
Rule Two—Be careful.
Rule Three—Fight using your legs whenever possible, because they’re the strongest part of your body. Your arms are the weakest.
Rule Four—Hit to kill. The first blow should be the last, if at all possible.
Rule Five—The letters are the law.
Kit takes her role as London’s notorious “Perfect Killer” seriously. The letters and cash that come to her via a secret mailbox are not a game; choosing who to kill is not an impulse decision. Every letter she receives begins with “Dear Killer,” and every time Kit murders, she leaves a letter with the dead body. Her moral nihilism and thus her murders are a way of life—the only way of life she has ever known.
But when a letter appears in the mailbox that will have the power to topple Kit’s convictions as perfectly as she commits her murders, she must make a decision: follow the only rules she has ever known, or challenge Rule One, and go from there.
Katherine Ewell’s Dear Killer is a sinister psychological thriller that explores the thin line between good and evil, and the messiness of that inevitable moment when life contradicts everything you believe.
Well, my dears, I have to admit I’m rather torn over this book. Dear Killer is a novel I was excited for from the moment I heard about it. I was watching Tea Time when they showed it and immediately went to Goodreads like OMGOMGOMG.
The thing is, I’m not sure if I particularly liked this novel. On the one hand I thought the story was unlike anything else I’ve read and that made it special. Before this one, I hadn’t crossed any YA books that had a straight up serial killer as the main character. Let alone a female serial killer. It seems almost a taboo topic in YA. That was the main thing that drew me in, and if I’m being real? That idea is still my favorite part about it.
Now onto the other hand… There was something off about the way the story was presented. For a lot of the time I was entertained, but in the back of my mind there was still the thought that it could have been done differently. There wasn’t anything particularly wrong, but around halfway through the book I started to get bored. When I had about 100 pages left to read I started questioning if I should even finish it. I did finish the book and it was good, but I still feel lukewarm about it. The story started to feel redundant after a while and the main character stupid. I’m trying not to hold this against the book though, because it’s sort of seems like it was done on purpose.
Anyway, it seems as though my own expectations about the novel are what ultimately made me like it less than I could have. It’s like this novel had a lot of hype–in my mind, at least–that basically ruined the reading experience for me. I had a very hard time reading the story and not thinking that I had expected it would be better or different or [ENTER ADJECTIVE HERE].
That being said, Dear Killer wasn’t a bad story or a bad book in general. I know a lot of people would really enjoy it, but if you pick it up I advise you not to go in with too many expectations. Those expectations will ruin it for you. Try to keep a clean-ish slate and an open mind.