John Wayne Cleaver is dangerous, and he knows it. Obsessed with serial killers, he never wants to be one. Yet terrible impulses constantly tempt him. Having grown up helping his mom at the family mortuary, dead bodies are no big deal to John. He likes them, actually. They don’t ask for the empathy he’s unable to offer. Perhaps that’s what gives him the clarity to recognize that something is frighteningly different about the freshest body on the slab. For the first time, John must confront a danger outside his own mind, a threat he cannot control, a menace to everything and everyone he would love, if only he could.
I Am Not A Serial Killer
John Wayne Cleaver knows that he is different from his fellow teens - he enjoys assisting his mother and aunt with the family mortuary and is fascinated by the dead. And thoughts of killing. Despite his inclinations John doesn't want to be a bad person, so he lives by a set of rules he's developed to keep him from doing something wrong.
1. Don't focus on one person when people watching.
2. Don't mess with animals.
3. If you ever feel like hurting someone pay them a compliment instead.
Wells has crafted a young adult novel that stands apart from its literary peers. The novel is told from John's perspective which puts the reader straight into the head of a budding sociopath, "It stinks pretty bad," I said. "She." "She stinks pretty bad," I said. Mom and Margaret were adamant that we be respectful to the deceased, but it seemed a little late at this stage. It wasn’t a person anymore, it was just a body. A thing...". The reader should have trouble relating to a main character who is sometimes as disturbing as the villain of the story, but Wells manages to balance the creepiness with a fierce determination to be good. Sometimes creepy, but always intriguing, this novel ponders the question: what makes a monster?
Recommended for Readers of:
Kristin Cashore, Jonathan Maberry, Lish McBride, TV Show: Dexter
4. Surprisingly touching