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We Need to Talk About Kevin

Book Review/Family contemporary

Review Contains Spoilers

Author: Lionel Shriver

Rating: 4 Stars

This book portrayed the delicate and destructive relationship between a mother and her son. We start with Kevin's life from birth to current day. I like to think Kevin's parents (Eva and Franklin) were both wealthy adults who grew bored with life and made dumb decisions but it's so much more than that. Especially since Kevin goes to jail for killing several classmates and a teacher. With most school shootings there's always someone or something to blame for the kid becoming a murderer. In this book 

Kevin grew into bullying and simply hated everyone. Everyone but his mother.

The reader is often faced with the question: is Kevin truly evil? As a baby, he's shown to be indifferent towards displays of affection. As a child he's shown to be the devil, causing the nanny to quit after ripping out her hair. When he grows to be a teenager he remains sullen and placid.

The author seems to focus heavily on how a mother's bond can make or break her son, causing him to grow up and be a serial killer. This book drifts away from Columbine and climaxes with a creepy Hunger Games scene, except Kevin is no likable Katniss. We find out Eva summarized the entire story in letters to her husband Franklin and we later find out Kevin also killed Franklin and his younger sister. Eva was the only major character spared.


Although I enjoyed most of the book I didn't feel impacted until the end. It was fascinating to read how a child can trick their parents so well starting at an early age. However, Kevin's killing scene didn't really get to me. It was moments like the last day his family spent together, and when Eva visits him in jail and resolves to give him her support, which hooked me. In the end it truly seems like Eva realizes she loves her son. Too little, too late. But she goes with the flow and I like that. By the end even Kevin is freaking out after being Mr.I Don't Care for the majority of the book, mainly because he's going to be transferred to a more notorious jail. I like how everyone decides they are only human at the end, albeit really shitty ones. Eva has to take on the public image as the Shooter's Mother which is really heartbreaking but she ends the book waiting for her son to get out of jail. You can't get what you want, but you deal with what you get.


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