The Messenger Reviews

Obviously, this is a book review blog. I mostly read Young Adult books, but I try to branch out every once and a while as well!

I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent #1)

I Hunt Killers - Barry Lyga

I thought (and still do think) that The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was scary, but this was a whole new level. To me, Mara is a girl who is a little bit crazy who is believed to be completely insane. Jasper is the opposite- people think he's a little crazy, when in reality he's completely crazy. It wasn't the subject matter itself that freaked me out, though there were some pretty disturbing images, it was being inside of Jasper's head. 
I adored the psychological aspect of this book. Not only did it have you pondering what makes a person who they are- nature vs. nurture, but it also encouraged you to think about what motivates people to do anything, especially something as awful as mass murder. Amazingly, it even played with your head, making you believe that everybody is a suspect. While this book was talking about manipulation, it was manipulating you at the same time. This book operated on so many levels, and never failed to surprise me. 
While I found certain aspects of the writing style annoying, such as the repetition of phrases such as "dear old dad," the overall writing was unbelievable, and after the first couple of chapters, I couldn't stand to put this book down until it had been completely finished. The plot moved lightning fast, and there was never a dull moment, though I never found myself confused by what was happening in any way that I shouldn't. Even though I could have easily disliked Jasper (he has a tendency to mope and is [understandably] seriously screwed up in the head), I found myself really liking him and his voice. The language was refreshing and advanced, but not so obscure and difficult that it hindered comprehension or took to much thought.
My one major complaint is the ending. Like The Giver, this book has what I consider to be a "non-ending," not giving the reader any closure. And while this ending was still more satisfying than The Giver had been, it still enraged me. I read the book, but didn't ever find out what I was reading it for. The author avoided resolving the main plot line, only halfheartedly wrapping it up to avoid dealing with the main mystery in any way that really mattered. 
After reading this book's title, I wrote it off as another stupid young-adult book, but I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself really enjoying this book. It was a good kind of freaky, intriguing and appealing to me on many different levels. The twists and turns kept on coming all the way up until the end, leaving me wanting more even after the book was over. 

Five out of Five Stars