26th October, 2015. 4:30pm
I don’t know why I didn’t pick this up as soon as I heard about it in Tea Time last year. I know it’s so morbid, but I liked it. Is it for everyone? No, I don’t think so. It’s definitely not for the faint-hearted, and it’s very dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands because it’s very descriptive and tells a lot about killing and how to get away with murder. But what I loved about Katherine Ewell’s Dear Killer is that it questions the way I view life.
Do I think that the book is encouraging violence like what other reviewers say on Goodreads? I don’t think so. No author would have that in mind and wishes their masterpiece to appear that way, of course. But there’s something about Dear Killer that is so important to be told, and if there’s one thing that I’ve learned about this book, it’s that all of us have dark sides. The book perfectly explained Moral Nihilism, challenging it’s reader about the said topic, and I like those kinds of books, no matter how gruesome and violent they may seem to other people.
Furthermore, Dear Killer is also one of the books that I think will be great for Psychology or Philosophy class. I don’t know. It may be too morbid but I think it will be a great subject for discussion. It’s dark and twisted, grotesque and wicked that I had to go back and reread a chapter because I was so freaked out about what I just read. Dear Killer made Pretty Little Liars, Made For You, and The Lying Game look like child’s play. I almost even thought it’s more barbaric than Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects. Plus, this was written by then-17-year-old Katherine Ewell! How cool was that?
I know it sounds crazy but I love it. It made me want to go back and read it from the beginning once again. Yup. Maybe I am morbid that way.
**I wrote this book review while in the middle of my second read; I reread it the day after I finished reading it. I actually started writing this review last Saturday, but I kept adding things as I reread the chapters.
Remember when I said reading it changed the way I view life? Reading Dear Killer for the second time around makes me think whether I would do the same if I was given the chance. If I know that there’s a Perfect Killer that exist out there that can kill someone I wanted dead without being suspected of it, will I do it? The answer, frighteningly so, is perhaps. Is there someone that I hate enough to have them killed or wish them dead? Yes, in fact, there is. But reading Dear Killer again makes me realize that I’m (hopefully) better than that, that my parents raised me well enough not to stoop down that level; it’s not worth it. Have I ever thought about doing what Kit did and take someone out myself? Of course, I did. I wouldn’t deny that. You have no idea how many times I have fantasized about vanquishing someone I hate. Sometimes I wish I could just hit someone, not caring about the repercussions, but do I have the actual guts to put it in action? No. At least, I don’t think so. Maybe if I was pushed to my limits, but right now, at least I could say I’m not dumb enough, psychotic enough, and angry enough to go down that road.
Is Kit a psychopath? Honestly, I don’t think so. It was the result of the way she was raised and trained. Would she have turned into a killer if her mother raised her in another way? Will she continue what her mother started if she wasn’t trained and raised to be her mother’s protégé? Maybe. But maybe Kit will grow into something else better than her mother, and way better than her moniker. And, in a way, I’d like to believe that she’s already better than her mother because even if she was raised to be a serial killer, Kit Ward was brave enough to take responsibility for what she did.
I’m not saying I’m better than Kit or anyone else, nor am I saying that Kit was right, because I know I have a dark side myself. And even if all I wanted to do was kick the person I hate in the face or wring her neck every time I see her, there would always be a voice inside my head saying, “what would Mommy do and think if she was here and she finds out I was even considering doing what I want to do?” It was then that I start back-paddling, even if people would call me a coward for not doing anything about the demons I’m facing right now.