Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Babysitter Murders by Janet Ruth Young

Title: The Babysitter Murders
Author: Janet Ruth Young
Publisher: Atheneum
Release Date: July 26, 2011
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Everyone has weird thoughts sometimes. But for seventeen-year-old Dani Solomon, strange thoughts have taken over her life. She loves Alex, the little boy she babysits, more than anything. But one day, she has a vision of murdering him that's so gruesome, she can't get it out of her mind. In fact, Dani's convinced that she really will kill Alex. She confesses the thoughts to keep him safe, setting off a media frenzy that makes "Dani Death" the target of an extremist vigilante group.

Through the help of an uncoventional psychiatrist, Dani begins to heal her broken mind. But will it be too late? The people of her community want justice . . . and Dani's learning that some thoughts are better left unsaid.

What originally drew me to The Babysitter Murders was the premise. I’ve babysat my fair share of young children and never had thoughts about hurting them in any way or form. So I was really interested to read the story and see how it all played out.

Ever since she heard about a father killing his stepdaughter on the news, Dani has had weird thoughts about hurting people she cares about and loves. Scariest thought of all is the one of killing Alex, the little boy she babysits. No matter what Dani does, the thoughts don’t go away and keep spreading to more and more people Dani cares about. Looking for ways to help herself, Dani tries to tell her friends and family but things backfire. Now things spiral out of control and Dani doesn’t know what to do anymore as she starts being the victim of personal attacks when her secrets are revealed to the world. Now Dani doesn’t know what to do anymore and becomes increasingly afraid that her thoughts might become reality.

The story was an interesting one to say the very least. It was one I had never even considered despite how realistic the subject matter is. I have to admit that when I first heard the premise, I was a little worried about what it might entail, especially how far the whole murder aspect of it all would be taken. But it turned out it was really well done and I really enjoyed the story. It was fast-paced and while some aspects of it were predictable, it didn’t make the book any less enjoyable. While I don’t necessarily have an interest in psychology, in this case it really added to the story and made it different from other books of its type.

The way the characters were written left me in a position I don’t normally find myself in when reading a book. For the most part, I would find myself feeling like the people in town did when Dani’s secret came out. I would want things done to ensure my safety and that of those I care about. But at the same time, I would probably do the same thing Dani did if I ever found myself in the same situation as her. To me this says that Janet Ruth Young did a really good job at writing all the different characters in the book. Most characters I liked, but Malcolm I just couldn’t seem to warm to. While I could understand to a certain extent where he was coming from, his actions just really didn’t feel justified.

The Babysitter Murders was a really interesting book, one that was different from most other books. In the future, I will definitely look out for more books of this type.

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1 comment:

  1. I'm totally curious about this book! It definitely seems so different from the majority of books out there. I'm going to have to look for some more reviews to see what people think about it.


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