Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Pretty Wicked by Kelly Charron - Book Tour & Review + Giveaway


Pretty Wicked
by Kelly Charron
Genre:
YA Killer Thriller

The daughter of a local police detective, 15-year-old Ryann has spent
most of her life studying how to pull off the most gruesome murders
her small Colorado town has ever seen.

But killing is only part of it. Ryann enjoys being the reason the cops
are frenzied. The one who makes the neighbors lock their doors and
windows on a hot summer’s day. The one everyone fears but no one
suspects. 


Carving out her own murderous legacy proves harder than she predicted.
Mistakes start adding up. And with the police getting closer, and her
own father becoming suspicious, Ryann has to prove once and for all
that she’s smarter than anyone else—or she’ll pay the ultimate
price. 


Mature YA. *Some graphic content


This creepy novel places you inside the mind of a twisted teen killer,

which is even more unsettling because of how familiar and normal she

seems. Be prepared to leave the lights on and look at the people
around you in a whole new way.” 


-Eileen Cook | Author of WITH MALICE

"Pretty Wicked is fresh, thrilling, and deeply haunting. I've never read
anything like it! The story escalates from page one and will leave
your pulse pounding as you wonder just how far Ryann will go. 5/5
stars."

-Tiana Warner | Author of Ice Massacre & Ice Crypt


Goodreads * Amazon



Some people are called to certain things in their life. That’s what hunting is for me. An urge. A desire.
The closest thing I have to a calling. My name is Ryann Wilkanson. I’m fifteen years old.
And I’m a killer.
v v v v

It was hard to pick my first.
Call me sentimental, but it had to be just right.
I knew what I wanted. What I needed. Someone worth the risk, the challenge. Somebody who
deserved it. Now, I’m not talking about the horrible, abusive assholes you see on TV. I wanted someone
who I thought deserved it…

And to be honest, that could’ve been just about anybody. Some people might think it’s odd to contemplate killing someone, but it was the most natural thing in the world to me. I didn’t dare talk about it—I somehow knew that much—but my thoughts raced with vivid, red-tinted images.
While my fantasies were fun, I had to wait. I still lacked the skill and organization to actually go
through with it.
And, as I matured, I realized part of me was still hesitant. A piece of the puzzle was missing. It was as
though I was waiting for permission. Something to give me the final push into action.
Funnily enough, I got that that clarity six years ago, when I was nine. My dad thought he was simply
giving me a ride to school, but he initiated the defining moment of my life.
I remember it like it was yesterday. He’d just come off nights and wasn’t in the best of moods when my
mom asked him to drive me and Bri. I’d raced to the car first, winning shotgun, leaving Brianna to storm behind me. She was a sore loser, and it only made my grin bigger.
We were just a few blocks from the house when Dad started with one of his commentaries on all that
was wrong with society.
“Jesus. People like that make me sick.”
We had stopped at a red light, and I spotted a guy standing on the corner with a sign that read Please Help. At first I felt kind of bad for him, and I didn’t understand why Dad was upset. “At least he’s not
dealing drugs,” I suggested.
“Brilliant observation. Maybe we could put that on a T-shirt for him,” Bri said. My father laughed
and my stomach dropped. She never wasted an opportunity to make me look stupid.
Dad grunted. “Don’t be na├»ve, Ry. He’s probably scraping enough together to get his fix. People like
that are after one thing—and it’s not a job.” He rolled his eyes, disgusted. Not a minute later, while we were still waiting at the light, a kid in a fancy sports car passed us. “See, look at that. Punk probably had it handed to him from Mommy and Daddy. He’s what—seventeen? Probably hasn’t worked a day in his whole goddamn life. Entitled brat. This is the problem with the world. You got two lazy bums
on opposite ends of the spectrum, and neither are worth their salt.”
My father didn’t have a whole lot of empathy for anybody, and he certainly didn’t entertain excuses. I
had to be the best if I wanted him to love me.
“People need to either lead, follow—”
“Or get out of the way,” I finished. He patted me on the head. I knew this rant well and kind of
understood my father’s reasoning. The homeless guy couldn’t even be bothered to walk up and down
the rows of stopped cars to beg. He just stood there with an empty cup. He really was a waste.
I fought the urge to point out to my dad that I was nothing like those people—and never would be—but
I knew he wouldn’t care. He loved me, but nothing I did seemed to impress him, especially since my older sister Brianna, the golden child, had perfected everything before I even had a chance to try.
I had to do something really big to make an impression.
I had to be a leader.
In the car, all those years ago, I realized that my desires could turn into something much more.
Those entitled, useless people my dad despised were taking our hard-earned money, space, and air. And I was someone with deadly urges who wasn’t afraid to do something about it. Not everyone could say that. But unfortunately, I would have to wait. I was much too young to execute my plans in the way I
wanted.
My thoughts, however, were uninhibited, and I became enamored with the power and control that
selecting the right kill could bring. The foreplay was intoxicating. I daydreamed about the countless ways I could do it. About all the places I could sneak up and strike. About the legacy I would leave behind. For years I researched and studied serial killers— or as I liked to call them, The Greats. Most of The Greats hadn’t started until well into their adulthood. Call me an overachiever, but I wanted more kills in less time. I had all the qualities required: above-average
intelligence, inside information (Dad was a cop), and a sweet cherub face.
But I also had something more. Tenacity. I knew what I wanted, and come hell or high water, I was
going to get it. By fifteen, the thirst inside me could finally be quenched.
Cue my first planned victim—a snotty little brat who lived only a few streets away from me. Olivia
McMann. Ugh. She was exhausting. Spoiled. Whiny. Brianna used to babysit her. I’d be dragged along because my parents usually worked overtime at their respective jobs. I was twelve and old enough to stay home alone, but they insisted. Like I had nothing better to do.
Brianna would be online with her friends or texting her boyfriend, and she’d stick Livy with
me. Olivia wouldn’t leave me alone. One night she pestered me for hours on end until I lost it on her.
Then she got the quivering lip and teary eyes and went crying to Bri.
Bri’s voice ripped across the room. “Ryann, what did you do now?”
“Nothing! Why do you always assume it was me?  Maybe Livy is being a little crybaby over absolutely
nothing,” I said, arms crossed tightly across my chest.
The brat came running up behind me. “You’re mean, Ryann. I hate you!”
I swept my hair into a ponytail and turned my back to her.
Death glare in full force, Brianna dug into me. “Why are you being such a pest? Leave Olivia alone
already. Go find something to do, and don’t think for one second I’m giving you any of the money.”
She proceeded to get Olivia some licorice. A reward for her evilness. Maybe they were in on it
together and shared private laughs while discussing different ways to torture me.
Brianna was seventeen at the time, and she hated me. No matter how hard I tried, she always
dismissed me like I was an annoying pain in her ass.
“Not everything is my fault, you know,” I said, determined to stand my ground.
“Well, she’s not the one in my face right now. Go play with her for an hour until her bedtime, and
maybe I won’t tell Mom.” Smiling smugly, Bri tilted her head. I wanted to punch her. As soon as we were out of her sight, Olivia stuck her tongue out at me and danced around, joyous in her victory.
“See, I told you I’d get you in trouble. I always get my way. You have to do what I say.” She laughed.
I promised myself I’d never forget.
Back then, I’d imagined choking her or holding one of her mom’s embroidered pillows over her face until her squirming stopped. I knew her parents were well-off. Only the best for their princess. Olivia was the type of kid who tantrumed, tattled, and fake-cried to get what she wanted, no matter the cost to anyone who got in her way. Olivia was going to turn into the same kind of spoiled, manipulative bitch I’d seen time and again at school.
I knew how to deal with someone like her.
After all, I had killed.
Once.
Holy crap! Where do I even begin with this book?

Pretty Wicked is an intense thrill ride through the mind of a teenage serial killer. Ryann Wilkanson is one of the most narcissistic, ridiculously crazy characters I've stumbled across in a book in a long, long time. She's utterly insane.

The story starts with Ryann sort of introducing herself and discussing her first kill. It's pretty...well, wicked, if you will. There doesn't seem to be a remorseful bone in her body. One would think she was a sociopath, save for the fact that she's pretty, popular, and has a ton of friends. She doesn't exactly fit the bill of what a normal serial killer should look like. And that seems to work in her favor.

Ryann isn't content with just that one "accidental" kill. Oh, no, she wants to feel that rush again and again. And that's pretty much what Pretty Wicked is all about. Ryann and her urges.

The question is, can Ryann pull off these murders she so wants to commit in such a small town? Especially when her father happens to be a cop? Well, you'll just have to read the book and find out.

Let me tell you, this book is not for the weak or faint of heart. There's a lot of mature themes, including graphic violence, language, and a hint of sexual situations (although they aren't described at all, so no worries there). In fact, I had to stop reading a few times because my heart was pounding and my anxiety was through the roof. It's that good.

I love horror, and while this isn't really a horror novel, it's pretty scary to think about a normal, happy looking blonde cheerleader being a soulless monster who thinks murdering people is exciting and fun.

The crazy thing is, Ryann reminds me a lot of myself at age fifteen. Except, of course, I had no desires at all to murder anyone. No, the thing that I found similar was we both had a fascination with true crime and real-life serial killers. Ryann called them 'The Greats' in the story, idolizing them and wanting to be just like them. At age fifteen, I was more into studying serial killers and what made them do the horrendous things they did. The psychology aspect fascinated me, and at the time, I was seriously considering a career as an FBI Agent or something along those lines. I eventually gave up on that and lost interest in true crime, though. Stuff like that got to be too much for me.

Anyway, back on track. Ryann is a very likeable character, mostly because she has two very different personas. She comes off as this sweet, straight-A student who loves her friends and family, but underneath it all is someone heartless, cruel, and sick in the head. Ryann also has a lot of likeable friends. There is also an unlikeable character, but they don't become unlikeable until closer to the end.

The plot of Pretty Wicked moves along quickly, and you'll find yourself eagerly plowing through the pages, desperate to see what will happen. How does it all end? It's definitely a roller coaster ride.

I'm giving Pretty Wicked five well-deserved stars mostly because it was better than I expected it to be. It was harrowing, panic inducing, and all-around exhilarating. Definitely check this one out!

Kelly Charron is the author of YA and adult horror, psychological thrillers
and urban fantasy novels. All with gritty, murderous inclinations and
some moderate amounts of humor. She spends far too much time
consuming true crime television (and chocolate) while trying to
decide if yes, it was the husband, with the wrench, in the library.
She lives with her husband and cat, Moo Moo, in Vancouver, British
Columbia.



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