Blog Tour: Pretty Wicked by Kelly Charron (Review & Giveaway!)

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

When I first heard about Kelly Charron's Pretty Wicked I knew I had to read it. A teenage serial killer on the path of murder and deception? Now that's something you don't see every day in YA! As it turns out, Pretty Wicked was wickedly unique.

At surface value Ryann is the typical teenager. She's a good student, a talented cheerleader, and an obedient daughter. Below the surface, however, Ryann is hiding something dark and twisty: a desire to not only kill but also put her town on one of the wildest serial killer chases. To prepare herself, she's been studying up on "The Greats," Ryann's nickname for most notorious serial killers, and her police officer father's every move. Now at 15, Ryann decides it's finally time to strike. Her first victim? A local preteen that never ceased to annoy and taunt her. With the first kill on her hands, Ryann decides to go after the people of her small town who've done her wrong. However, as the murders began to pile up and and the police interest intensifies, Ryann is quickly finding herself to be in over her head...

Reading from a serial killer's POV was intense to say the very least. I found it not only interesting but also incredibly compelling to be in Ryann's head. Ryann's thought process was twisty and dark. She was conniving and deceitful; however, no matter how nutty and off the wall her actions got I couldn't stop reading.  I just needed to know what manipulative crazy plan she'd pull off next. Kelly did a fantastic job of developing Ryann's character as well as establishing the backstory of how Ryann became the way she was. I can't say she justified her actions because Ryann did do truly horrible things, but in some respects it was understandable to see why Ryann turned out the way she was.

In addition to Ryann, Pretty Wicked introduces a plethora of additional characters. One of my favorites was Ryann's best friend B. B introduced a more humane component to the narrative not only in the way she was the one person Ryann had the most normal and close relationship to but also in the way B was a kind, sweet person. It was incredibly easy to see how much she cared about Ryann, no matter how secretive Ryann got over the course of the book. I also liked the addition of the police force. Each police officer brought a different role to the story. Ryann's dad took the split tittle of supportive father and good cop.  Estevez's was the hard a$$ also willing to be the bad cop in the integration room. Knox was the mysterious newcomer, offering Ryann a hand in the investigation. I especially liked that Estevez's POV was included in the story. It added an interesting component to the book, especially when it allowed for new details to come about - ones that Ryann didn't even know about.

The plot in Pretty Wicked focused primarily on Ryann's growth as a serial killer as well her attempt to balance being the normal student during the day and a murderer at night. Over the course of the story,  we get to see Ryann cultivate her skill as a killer through a series of murders. Kelly made each murder unique as well as fully fleshed out why Ryann thought that they were the perfect candidate. Watching Ryann's sociopath tendencies grow as the novel continued made this book mostly fast paced, especially towards the end when everything just seemed to be going wrong. I also enjoyed how there was no romance in this book. I feel that it not only made the book grittier but also it made Ryann's character more believable, as it further showed how little she depended on hands-on, touchy feely relationships.

Unfortunately there were a few parts of Pretty Wicked that brought it down a notch in my eyes. For one, the ending. I don't want to say too much so that I don't risk spoilers, but it felt very rushed. There really wasn't a solid conclusion. Instead I was left with more questions that answers, especially regarding certain relationships. Also, I felt that some of the secondary characters could have been developed slightly more, especially regarding Ryann's family. They were a big part of the reason why she was the way she was, but at the same time, I felt that for some of them (her sister particularly) it was hard to see beyond the surface.

In all, if you're looking for a gritty, unique read, Pretty Wicked is the book for you. I'm looking forward to Kelly's future books!

Grade: B 

Pretty Wicked is now out!

Source: eBook provided by publicist for blog tour

Buy Link: 

About the Author: 
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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Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

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