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    A suspenseful read but also an uncomfortable one

    There is nothing more terrifying than mass shootings. Real life is much more disturbing than made up monsters and serial killers. In a shooting you can’t fight back or try to reason with the killer. You are completely at their mercy. It’s a difficult subject to read about and I’m sure it’s a minefield for writers. In “Your Life is Mine” we spend a lot of time with one of these shooters (Chuck) and the cult-like group of boys, plus his wife, that admire him and want to be just like him. All of Chuck’s nonsensical ravings are taken as gospel by his followers. His crazy manifesto is then repeated and expanded on by his wife. The B.S. was mind-boggling. How do people believe this kind of garbage? (I’m well aware that they do.) From birth they train their daughter Blanche to complete Chuck’s dream, which is basically to kill even more people. The story is really about this daughter and how she deals with this as an adult. Does she struggle to break out of the brainwashing or does she embrace it? I had a difficult time warming to Blanche because she was so cold and almost alien. She reacted so differently from anyone I have ever known, but of course she had a past unlike anyone I’ve ever known. I had compassion for her to some extent, she was just a kid after all, but she was not an easy character. At first I wasn’t enjoying it very much. Because I didn’t connect to the main character I wasn’t sure this book was going to be for me. I have no problem with darkness and serial killers but this was an infuriating version of evil, mostly centering on Blanche’s crazy parents and all the terrible things they did to her and others. Sure it’s scary, but mostly it just made me angry at the parents. They are the absolute worst. Closer to the conclusion I started to become very invested in Blanche and how her story would turn out. I wouldn’t say that I liked her but I hated the people she was up against. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, as they say. She became more tolerable and I was glad for her competence and toughness. In the end this was a fast paced, suspenseful read but also a very uncomfortable one. Thank you to Atria Books for providing an Electronic Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley for review.

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