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359 pages, Hardcover
First published April 3, 2012
"The killer was a badass. Talk about supreme confidence. Jazz couldn't help it; he sort of admired the guy.
People matter. People are real. People matter..."
"And there were the urges. The feelings. The memories. The things that he'd been taught and then forgotten, but that lurked somewhere in his brain's basement, ready to strike like stalkers in the night."
"Maybe it was a guy/girl thing.
He hoped that's all it was. What if it was a predator/prey thing? A human thing? What if he was losing his connection to her? God, don't let that be."
Struggling is what makes it worth doing, Billy said. Jazz closed his eyes, trying to chase away his father's voice, but it was no good.
It's not that I want to or don't want to. It's just...I can. I imagine it's like being a great runner. If you knew you could run really fast, wouldn't you? If you were stuck walking somewhere, wouldn't you want to let loose and run like hell? That's how I feel.
"Have the lambs stopped screaming, Clarice?" Howie said suddenly in a dead-on Hannibal Lecter impression.
”Jazz was afraid of two things in the world, and two things only. One of them was that people thought that his upbringing meant that he was cursed by nature, nurture, and the predestination to be a serial killer like his father.And just when things couldn’t get any worse, it appears another serial killer is haunting the tiny town of Lobo’s Nod. But this might be the perfect chance for Jazz to either prove that he’s nothing like his father… or prove that he’s just like him.
The second thing… was that they were right.”
”’What was I supposed to do?’ Jazz wanted to ask the whole world. ‘Was I supposed to kill him in his sleep? That would have been the only way to stop him. Kill my own father?’The effects of a childhood raised by Billy are profoundly seen in both Jazz’s actions and rapport with the people around him. He knows exactly which buttons to push and can read people like a magnifying glass, preying on their weaknesses and playing to their strengths. One could be tempted to describe him as a morally gray character, but Lyga manages to balance his good side with the side that has the potential to become like his father. You’ll be rooting for Jazz every single moment of this book.
Maybe that’s what the world had wanted, though.”
”’I’m so sick of this. So sick of this constant pity party you throw for yourself. I love you, you moron. I try to be understanding and supportive, but you keep acting like I don’t get you. And you keep trying to scare me and push me away.”And you know how much of a badass she is? She’s such a badass that Jazz actually listens to her. I never thought I would live to see the day where a white, male YA author writes a YA relationship better than some female authors. I didn’t think it was even possible, but MIRACLES HAPPEN.
”Howie had been there all along, always a friend. He was Jazz’s friend when Billy was still home, pretending to be just another single dad juggling his child with his job. And Howie was there when Billy got arrested, and in the shocking days right after the arrest. Most important of all, Howie remained his friend in the dark days afterward.”And because of this, we are treated to some of the sassiest, most sarcastic and glorious dialogue I have had the pleasure of reading. This whole review space could probably consist of me just quoting every time Howie opens his mouth, but here are some of the best lines in the book that are just too good not to read.
”'I can't believe you told her. Whatever happened to bros before hoes?'
'There's a little-known corollary to bros before hos, which states that if Bro One is terrified because Bro Two's girlfriend can make his nose bleed just by looking at him the wrong way, he's allowed to put hos before bros. I chose to implement that corollary because your girlfriend is a total badass.'”
”’What’s your middle name?’
‘Why do you want to know?’
‘Serial killers all have three names. I’m checking to see what yours is like.’
‘Fine. Francis. It’s Francis.’
‘Jasper Francis Dent. Jasper Francis Dent. Jasper Francis Dent. Nah, it doesn’t work. Doesn’t sound right. I don’t think you’re a serial killer.’”
”’Are you gonna have a scar?’Howie is easily the most hilarious character of the book, but his friendship with Jasper is so genuine and heartfelt that you’ll want to be friends right there alongside them.
‘A little one. I wanted a nice big one, but no one asked me, on account of me being unconscious at the time. Can you believe it?”
”To his son, he had been a god. A war god, a god of love, the two of them intertwined in a sick hybrid. Billy Dent excelled at alternating brute force with tender love, then blending the two together until Jazz thought that being forced to mop up blood spatter was just a natural way to show love to his dad.”This is one father/son pairing that you wish will never have happened.
Jazz knew killers. Billy had studied the serial killers of the past the way painters study the Renaissance masters. He learned from their mistakes. He obsessed over them. And he passed his knowledge down to his son. Lucky Jazz—those were the things he remembered from his childhood.
“Someday,” he murmured. “Someday I could snap. I’m my father’s son. It could happen. And when that day comes, when I take my first victim…it could even be you.”
Jazz had an advantage the average teen could never have: a sociopath’s ability to fake absolutely any emotion with utterly convincing authority.
People matter. People are real. People matter. He couldn’t convince himself.