Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Babysitter Murders ~ Janet Ruth Young (eARC) review

The Babysitter Murders
July 26, 2011
336 pages

The Babysitter Murders, Janet Ruth Young's novel released today, is like a modern day witch hunt story. Dani Solomon is your well rounded high school student: tennis player, sings in the school choir, babysits after school . . . But lately Dani's been keeping a secret.

Thoughts about those she cares about most have been invading her mind. Bad, usually violent thoughts. She thinks about stabbing Alex the little boy she babysits with a giant knife from his kitchen while he sleeps.

Dani doesn't want to do it. She loves Alex. Enjoys babysitting him. Feels bad for him because of his absent mother. But she thinks about it.

When Dani's secret gets out, the moniker Dani Death is bestowed upon her even though she's never committed any crime, never harmed anyone. No matter, though, the whole town, the whole area, is soon out to get Dani Death.

An enjoyable YA psychological tale. you get to see what's going on inside Dani's mind . . . and what happens to and around her once she decides to let some of it out (or even just share it). It's also also a fantastic portrayal of the town's psyche - of the pack mentality, really - and how they're all so ready to latch on to Dani as Dani Death even when no crime has been committed.

With tabloid headlines, news reports, internet communications and other characters mixed in, The Babysitter Murders shows just how people will react to mental illness-whether they know it's that or not.

It's an excellent depiction of how people are still ready to dig out the pitchforks and storm a castle. Or think/post that they are.

And what it means for the person on the receiving end of those comments, posts, taunts, headlines, etc.

The Babysitter Murders is written in present tense. For me it felt more like anarration of a story than a story--I was always one step away from being full engrossed in it. Present tense storytelling doesn't really seem to work for me; it doesn't allow me to connect with the characters. But for other readers, it really might.


big thank you to GalleyGrab fot the advance galley of this book

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