Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Book Review: Deviant by Adrian McKinty

Title: Deviant
Author: Adrian McKinty
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: 10/01/2011
ISBN: 9780810984202

I really debated about whether or not to review this book because I didn't really know what to say about it. It isn't a terrible read but I just didn't get into this as much as I would have liked to. The following parts of the review will be semi-spoilerish (I'll leave the big stuff out) to some people, so if you're wondering whether or not to read the book then here's my opinion: It's worth checking out as a library book & reading. I also recommend that you read the book synopsis below because well, the official book description isn't all that accurate. Those details are in the book, but not to the degree that the official synopsis makes it appear.

Danny's not happy. First his mother got married to a guy that Danny just can't stand and now he has to leave his home because his mother got a new job in Colorado. To make matters worse, Danny's new school is "special" in that everything is controlled. The kids don't just wear uniforms- they're also not allowed to speak unless it's from a script. Supposedly the incredibly controlling environment is going to help kids excel, but it doesn't stop schoolyard bullies from finding ways to pick on Danny & his new friends. If these stressors aren't enough, there's the neighborhood's tendency for dead cats. The adults swear that it's due to coyotes, but the kids know better. They know that there's someone dangerous out there & that it's only a matter of time before he makes the leap from animals to humans!

First the good. I really appreciated that the author took such great pains to research the stages that a potential serial killer would go through as well as what might go through their minds. The rather gruesome beginning to the book sets a dark tone for much of the book's opening. When it comes to details about serial killing, the author is top notch.

However, when it comes to details about everything else the author seems to come up a little short. Scenes that revolve around non-serial killer emotions tend to fall a little flat & I really couldn't help but feel that a few lines here or there would have helped out immensely. One such scene occurs later in the book with Danny & there just wasn't enough buildup to really justify such a scene, especially since it's such a complete opposite of things he was feeling & thinking earlier. It also doesn't help that the book's official description doesn't really fit the actions of the book's bad guy. If you're expecting this to be about a serial killer then you'll be semi-disappointed. The book is mostly about Danny adapting to his new environment, his stepdad, & his new friends.

I'm willing to give the book the benefit of the doubt though & I'll still recommend it, albeit as a library read. I can see this having a pretty large appeal to the male reading audience, especially since it's so hard for young men to find a book that isn't aimed towards teen girls or written for a far younger mindset. It's just that this didn't draw me in like I really wanted & needed it to. It'll never capture the public mindset like Pretty Little Liars did, but I have a feeling that it'll still find a good following.


(Arc provided by Netgalley)

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