Author: Janet Ruth Young
Genre: Teen Fiction, Realistic Fiction
Publication Date: July 26, 2011
ISBN-13 Book: 9781416959441
Source: I received a copy for review from Teen Book Scene Tours. This is my honest review!
The Babysitter Murders by Janet Ruth Young
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Dani Solomon is talented, beautiful, and comes from a wealthy family. She is a member of the Hawtones, an a cappella group at her high school, and a star player on the school’s tennis team. She loves the little boy she babysits for, Alex. But Dani has a secret. She has thoughts she can’t control. Thoughts of outing her best friend in public, inappropriate thoughts about those around her, but scariest of all are the realistically disturbing images she sees in her mind of herself murdering little Alex. When Alex’s mother won’t let Dani quit babysitting for him, she tells Alex’s mother about her disturbing thoughts setting off a series of events that will put her life in danger and turn the media spotlight on her small town. The town wants justice, and they want to make Dani pay.
First off, let me say that I will be able to sell this book to teens at my library with no problem. It is a story with the juiciest gossip, a persecuted teen, and the most frightening consequences. The teens I know will love this book and want more like them.
Dani is a likable girl with a real problem. She makes a mistake by telling the wrong person about her inappropriate thoughts and that causes the town to go into an uproar. The pacing is spot on and propels you through the novel making this an extremely fast read. There is action and danger that will keep teens on the edge of their seats to know what will happen next. Most importantly, there are people who are good friends to Dani, even after they find out her secret.
On a side note, it has been an incredibly long time since I read a book with third person omniscient narration. It was kind of startling when I first read the book. I felt like an outsider looking in at the story rather than an active participant. It works for this story though, because so much of it depends on the voyeuristic characteristics that Third Person Omniscient narration can give. You can see all parts of the story while they are happening.
Overall this book has a lot of teen appeal and will definitely attract teens. However, it wasn’t one of my favorite books to read this year. Yes, it was an incredibly quick read, and yes it was interesting, but I found the story to be a little over the top. Great sell to teens, but it wasn’t for me. That said, I made sure to purchase multiple copies for my library.
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