I simply found the narration very cavalier. Here he is, now an adult looking back on his treatment of a young Jeffrey Dahmer. Numerous times in the text our narrator states, “We weren’t bullying him---just having fun”. But yes, they were bullying him!!!!
Wasserman’s novel is a delight, if only for the excellent writing. Although some may find it a bit “Dan Brownish”, I say Bah Humbug! There’s nothing I love better than to learn as I read( I’m not really a “read to escape” girl), and I learned TONS! And I was in Prague while doing it! I’m not saying Book of Smoke and Blood will be our eventual champion, but it deserves to move on.
While I appreciated Wasserman's artistic choices in Book of Smoke and Blood, I have to admit, it left me empty. The narrator's constant dithering about her love life annoyed me and ultimately, I really didn't care about any of the characters. Wasserman hooked me in the beginning - wow, what an opening - but the pace for the remainder of the book slowed and for me, was fairly implausible. However, I do commend her on penning an imaginative tale for teens that plays on the Dan Brown craze and for that and because my partner threatened to beat me up, I allowed this title to move forward.
I was haunted by the Dahmer piece. Obviously, the subject matter is similar to rubber-necking at a traffic accident, but as an educator, to catch a glimpse of the teen before he started making heinous choices, was fascinating. I did have difficulty marrying the Cracked/Mad-like drawings with the serious nature of the subject and like Jacquelyn, did take issue to the teens' treatment of Dahmer, but ultimately, it's an important perspective on a twisted and disturbed soul. Read it.