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July 26, 2011, Atheneum
Summary from Goodreads:
Everyone has weird thoughts sometimes. But for seventeen-year-old Dani Solomon, strange thoughts have taken over her life. She loves Alex, the little boy she babysits, more than anything. But one day, she has a vision of murdering him that's so gruesome, she can't get it out of her mind. In fact, Dani's convinced that she really will kill Alex. She confesses the thoughts to keep him safe, setting off a media frenzy that makes "Dani Death" the target of an extremist vigilante group.I heard about this book months ago and was so eager to read it. So of course I was totes ecstatic when I saw it on Simon & Schuster's Galley Grab. Are you guys ready for this?
Through the help of an uncoventional psychiatrist, Dani begins to heal her broken mind. But will it be too late? The people of her community want justice . . . and Dani's learning that some thoughts are better left unsaid.
I think...I might have book #4 for my MAHROAT list! Yes, I found the events in this story that horrifying, and that realistic, that I'm going to add The Babysitter Murders to my Most Awesomely Horrifying Reads of All Time. Even though there's no rape or incest in this book, what happens to Dani is so unbelievable that you just know it can really happen.
When Dani starts to have these uncontrollable urges to hurt or kill people, she's understandably scared. Why is she having these thoughts, and is it possible she could actually do what she's thinking of? How could she ever want to harm anyone, especially Alex, the uber-sweet little boy she babysits? Dani first tries to confide in her best friend, and later her mother, to no avail, and finally attemps to quit her babysitting job. Alex's mom, however, won't take no for an answer, and Dani is finally forced to reveal what's been going through her mind.
The aftermath after this revelation is what makes this novel so shocking. I mean, Dani never does anything to actually hurt anyone. She simply confides in Alex's mom that she's thinking these thoughts, and all of a sudden the entire community wants to burn her at the stake. And I have to say that her mom's reaction is about as scary as eveyone else's--she's not the most supportive person. But everyone, and I mean everyone--friends, police, teachers, the media--villifies Dani without a second thought. This poor girl is suddenly having this nasty thoughts, and instead of immediately seeking medical attention, she has to contend with lawyers and hatred thrown at her. How can Dani ever return to "normal" after this? If you love those dark, uncomfortable reads as much as I do, you will love this book. Be sure to pick it up tomorrow!
eGalley received from publisher.
Enjoy your reading!