[eARC Review] Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Title: Dear Killer
Author: Katherine Ewell
Series:  Standalone
Genre: YA Comtemporary
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Release Date: April 1st 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: eARC received via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

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Rule One—Nothing is right, nothing is wrong.
Rule Two—Be careful.
Rule Three—Fight using your legs whenever possible, because they’re the strongest part of your body. Your arms are the weakest.
Rule Four—Hit to kill. The first blow should be the last, if at all possible.
Rule Five—The letters are the law.

Kit takes her role as London’s notorious “Perfect Killer” seriously. The letters and cash that come to her via a secret mailbox are not a game; choosing who to kill is not an impulse decision. Every letter she receives begins with “Dear Killer,” and every time Kit murders, she leaves a letter with the dead body. Her moral nihilism and thus her murders are a way of life—the only way of life she has ever known.

But when a letter appears in the mailbox that will have the power to topple Kit’s convictions as perfectly as she commits her murders, she must make a decision: follow the only rules she has ever known, or challenge Rule One, and go from there.

Katherine Ewell’s Dear Killer is a sinister psychological thriller that explores the thin line between good and evil, and the messiness of that inevitable moment when life contradicts everything you believe.


What makes a great YA novel? In my books it is a combination of many things, like for example a great main character, a unique storyline and amazing writing from the author. And once I started reading Dear Killer I knew this was a great YA novel, and I was not disappointed!

I think what I liked the most about this book was its unique storyline, for one I have never read a YA book that depicted a teenage serial killer, especially one that is so normal on the surface and extremely likable to read. I found myself loving her more than I thought I would, I never expected to feel so strongly for someone who took the lives of so many people and really had no remorse. Kit was a great character to read, not only because of her unique look on life, but also because of her growth as a character throughout the novel. I loved watching to go from fearless killer to someone who questions everything she knows about the world she lives in and what she was taught. It was a weird way of showing the growth of a regular teenager  but with extreme circumstances. I loved that.

I also loved her relationship with her mother, because just like her outlook on life, this relationship was far from normal, yet was surrounded by natural emotions. Kit's mother was her mentor and showed her everything that she knew about murder and the perfect kill. Yet as you read you can see how much her Mother wishes she was Kit, you can see the jealousy on every page. But you can also see how worried her mother is about Kit and what she was doing, even though her mother encouraged her killing you could read how stressful that was for her, and I thought that was such a great thing to read. Even though at times I hated her mother because she was a horrible influence on her daughter, i realized that this relationship had the same components as any other mother daughter relationship, and that was really cool.

There was only one thing I did not like as much as I wanted, and that was the end. I felt like it was abrupt and did not give me the closure that I wanted after reading so much about these characters. But other than the ending I thoroughly enjoyed that book, more than I ever thought I would. it was a great surprise and honestly one of the most unique reads I have read in years.

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