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Deviant von Adrian McKinty
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Deviant (2011. Auflage)

von Adrian McKinty (Autor)

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Fourteen-year-old Danny Lopez reviews the path that led him from Las Vegas, Nevada, to an experimental school near Colorado Springs and then to his imminent death at the hands of a cat-killer ready for bigger prey.
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This creepy mystery kept me guessing until the end. ( )
  kimpiddington | Jan 28, 2012 |
A bit disturbing because McKinty tries to get into the mind of a cat killer. Danny Lopez is a new student at a really strange school where the students are not allowed to talk, have to wear gloves and follow really dull scripted lessons. He becomes interested in trying to find out who is killing the cats in Colorado, and his interest almost gets him killed. A nice mystery that moves along quite quickly, and believably. ( )
  JRlibrary | Nov 13, 2011 |
Danny Lopez and his mom Juanita and step-dad Walt live in Las Vegas where his mom works at a Casino for Mr. Glynn. They move to Colorado because Glynn is opening a new casino and wants Danny’s mom to manage it. Danny is therefore enrolled in Cobalt Junior High where they use the system of Direct Instruction. Direct Instruction is where the teachers and students read from a script. They do not permit talking aka triangulation at this school and the students have to wear white gloves all the time. This is where Danny meets Mr. Lebkuchen, the principle of the school. The students he meets there are Charlie, Tom, Olivia, Cooper, Hector and Todd. They are member of various secret groups within the school.

Before Danny arrived in Cobalt, there was a “cat killing.” There were more after he arrived and he and a neighbor and fellow student, Antonia aka Tony try to figure out who the cat killer is. They enlist the help of one of the chain-gang at Walt’s work named Bob Randall, who is an expert in crimes. Bob is in prison for check writing and is expected to be released on parole in the coming months. Bob explains to them what they need to figure out in order to find out who the cat killer is. This story tells of the process they go through to identify the killer.

I like the way the characters develop in this book. There are so many to keep track of and it is easy to associate them with the secret groups that they are members of. It was hard for me to put this book down once I got into the plot and they were actively trying to figure out who the cat killer was. A good read. ( )
  YABReviews | Nov 4, 2011 |
Okay, since this was a DNF this review will be short. I'm simply going to state my reasons for not completing the book.

1) There was too much head-hopping. This book randomly switched perspective in the middle of scenes. In the very first chapter it went from the killer's point of view to the cat's. And it didn't stop there. I'd be following along with Danny and then all of a sudden be inside his stepfather's or his mother's head. It was hard to follow and kept me from really connecting with ANY of the characters.

2) Characters were flat. I got a hundred pages in and I still had no sense of who the characters were, nor did I care what happened to them.

3) Dialogue was unrealistic. For me, this book just never really captured the YA voice. The dialogue and Danny's internal thoughts seemed more like those of an adult.

Overall, the book just wasn't for me. I know some people have raved about it, but I can't recommend it. ( )
  Melanie_McCullough | Oct 9, 2011 |
I chose to review Deviant by Adrian McKinty because I thought the premise sounded interesting. With my background in psychology, I always love to read stories about troubled teens or "tough cases." Unfortunately, this description of the book seems to be misleading. The school isn't for troubled teens. It is an experimental school with strange programming, but it is a regular charter school.

I think it's pretty clear that I love books. Love them. I even love to love them. I hate it when I don't like a book, not just because it isn't a good reading experience, but because I feel bad for all the people who put so much work into the story. That's why this review is so hard to write.

I didn't like it.

And not one of those, "Oh, the story was good, but it wasn't right for me" kind of not liking either. It's one of those, "I really wish I was critiquing this as a writing partner so I could make comments about all the things not working for me," kind of not liking. :P

Okay, so let's start with the good. Despite the premise not sounding exactly like the above blurb, it is still an interesting one. There's a cat killer who we get to see into the mind of every few chapters. This creates a good sense of mystery and intrigue to balance some more mundane chapters. There's also a very strange school and the weird principal who runs it. The policies of the school and getting behind what's really going on there would be enough for a good story.

Now, the stuff I didn't quite like. Most of my dislikes can fall under the heading of: Does Not Sound Like Realistic YA. By that, I mean that the voice and the language didn't strike me as well done YA. I was painfully aware that an adult wrote this book. I mean, when was the last time a teenager described someone as a "valley girl?" The author tried to use updated dialogue on occasion, but didn't seem to use it right. For example, the phrase "made of awesome" is in there a few times. While this is a more current phrase, it wasn't always used correctly.

Also, everything is very clearly spelled out in a way that I found condescending to read. I'm sure this wasn't the author's intention and maybe I picked up on it more because I like to write, but I just wanted to scream, "Show, don't tell!" There was actually a part of the story where Danny does a mini psychological evaluation on each of the main characters (including himself). I realize, I am an adult reading a young adult book, but I think we need to give teenagers more credit for what they can pick up on in a story than this novel does.

Other than that, I think this story just wasn't for me. While the narration was mostly in Danny's head, it would randomly flip perspectives or go omniscent. Personally, I don't like that style, though others might. Also, I didn't feel as closely connected to Danny as I prefer to. Again, personal preference. Another nitpick that might not bother other people but definitely bothers me: there was product placement all over the place. Whether or not this was done intentionally, it bugged the heck out of me. These things alone wouldn't make me hate a story, but lumped together with my previous complaints made this story difficult for me to finish.

While I did not enjoy Deviant, I wouldn't write it off as a no-go for everyone. If it sounds like the type of story you like, I'd say read the first few chapters. They'll give you a good sense of what the rest of the story is like.

Overall rating: If interested, borrow it. ( )
  yabotd | Oct 4, 2011 |
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Fourteen-year-old Danny Lopez reviews the path that led him from Las Vegas, Nevada, to an experimental school near Colorado Springs and then to his imminent death at the hands of a cat-killer ready for bigger prey.

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