Recently acquitted of murder, 17-year-old David has moved to Massachusetts to complete his senior year of high school. His aunt and uncle have offered him shelter--escape from the media's questions and from the uncertain glances of his neighbors and ex-friends.
His attic apartment doesn't feel much like a shelter, though. He sees ghostly shadows at night, his aunt is strangely cold, and his 11-year-old cousin, Lily, is downright hostile. And as Lily's behavior becomes more and more threatening, David can't help but wonder what ugly secrets lurk within the walls of her home.
There's one thing that David knows with certainty. The more he learns about his cousin Lily, the harder it is to avoid thinking about his own past.
Having read a book by Nancy Werlin a few years ago, I decided I would pick this one up after I saw it at the library. It also helped that the summary caught my attention right away with its amazing intriguingness.
This book did not disappoint me with it's creep factor, psychological aspect, and diverse characters. I haven't read a whole lot of books that contain the themes conveyed in A Killer's Cousin and I would like to read more!
Ok, so what was the ever captivating plot? Well basically we are introduced to David, right off the bat, and learn that he has a pretty terrible past. We don't learn what exactly constitutes said past, but we do see in the first chapter that the book is mostly not about that; it is about David's cousin, and the role she plays in his life after a tragedy. David goes to live with his Aunt, Uncle, and cousin, and the events that ensue are epic.
This novel is a great one about deep psychological issues relating to a wide variety of topics: family, death, siblings, jealousy, friendship, romance. Pretty much everything. Werlin writes it flawlessly and effectively, and even adds a pretty swell ending, with lots of heartfelt emotions and events. I recommend it to young adults who are looking for a deep, emotional read.
Spoiler Alert: Don't read past this point if you don't want to know specific book details!
As much as I loved David's character, his thoughts, inner struggles, reactions to his family, and interactions with other characters, I think the star of this book is crazy cousin, Lily. Which follows logic, since the book is aptly named after her. She was so messed up, I couldn't pull myself away from her psychopathic tendencies for even a minute, even though they enraged me at times.
I started to figure out pretty soon that she had something to do with the taboo topic of Kathy's death, and was so rewarded, if mortified, when I found out that she fed her own flesh and blood ammonia and watched her sister die. Anyway, in the end, she got hers, even though David was noble enough to save her (I can't say I would have the courage to do it, myself) and she evidently got to live with the fact that she killed her own sister.
The parents aggravated me. David's Aunt and Uncle were so out of touch, I just wanted to stick my head into their little world and scream until they listened. They were so ignorant and clueless to their lives and the lives of their children, it was uber frustrating. But so is life, and it made for a much more interesting novel. I just hope that in the end (even if they seemed to still refuse that their own spawn could have been responsible for the apocalypse of their family, and David's sanity) they realized that David wasn't the problem after all. One can hope.
David's own story really broke my heart, and I loved the addition of the back story in little snippets throughout the novel. The whole things was structured so perfectly, that there was never a dull moment between characters or revelations.
This was a suspenseful novel full of dark and sad themes, but also one of healing and hope, as we see that David was able to take his tragedy and turn it into help for someone else's crazy. Thoroughly enjoyful, I say!
Until next time--Cheers & Enjoy♥