I Am Not A Serial Killer has been on my list of books to read ever since it came out. (Quick summary: it's like the Dexter series but infinitely better.) It sat patiently on my list while I read dozens of other things. Then one day, my world changed. I discovered they were coming out with a movie and that there is now a series of books.
I said to myself, "Quick, to the bookshelf, Kyle!" I call myself Kyle.
I make it a rule to read the book before I see a movie if it looks like the book is any good at all. So I have now spent numerous hours reading all about everyone's favorite sociopathic teen, John Wayne Cleaver. And then I rented the movie from Amazon and watched it twice.
Having seen the preview, I couldn't help but imagine Max Records as John. Slowly I realized that there was nothing dislodging this image from my mind because the books give very little indication of what John looks like. This bothered me for about 0.5 seconds until I considered John's personality. Told in the first person, his story is one of alienation and confusion. John never experiences emotion in a "normal" way. He's either giddy at the thought of touching a dead body or semi-annoyed when the cutest girls in school want to talk to him.
John doesn't really care what he looks like and we therefore don't get a self-centered description from the book's hero. And yes, John is a hero despite his shortcomings and defects. He is an extreme example of someone choosing to use their unusual traits for good. As a student of serial killers and a sociopath himself, he decides to step in and stop the killer stalking his town because it takes one to know one.
Some people have expressed a bewildered frustration with the first book because part of the way through THE ENTIRE FREAKING GAME CHANGES. But I say don't let that stop you. It's still an awesome book and the rest of the series so far is greatly pleasing. Just take it from your old friend, Kyle.