I’ve become a fan of shorter books lately for some pretty obvious reasons.
Being able to read more books in a shorter amount of times just makes me feel better about myself and my reading capabilities.
The Day I Killed James by Catherine Ryan Hyde was a perfect fit for me because it was a nice, short read.
I don’t typically read books like this.
This book is about a girl named Theresa who brings her neighbor James to a party to make her ex-boyfriend jealous. She knows that she is playing James, but James tells her that he doesn’t care about this. After the party, James dies that night and Theresa feels as if she is to blame. The mystery of this book involves how James died, and this is the main focus of the book.
Throughout the whole book, Theresa feels as if she is to blame for his death. She runs away from her life and takes on a new identity in a new town. She can never fully develop relationships with other people because she still punishes herself for James. Over time, Theresa finally learns how to slowly forgive herself.
The way this book was written was very interesting.
The book jumps back and forth between before the incident and after the incident. Along with these jumps in time, there are also present tense chapters written in third person while the rest of the book is written in first person.
This narration made the book quite hard to follow. It was a hard adjustment to make to finally feel comfortable with the way it was written. Once I adjusted, the book was enjoyable.
I thought this book was okay, I didn’t expect too much from it because it is so short. I think the character development was really poor in this book. I felt like I only barely knew Theresa and the other characters were really hard to read.
I barely even knew James as a character and that really affected how I felt about the whole situation. I was sad, of course, that a character died, but I didn’t feel much of a connection with him.
This book proved to me that it is worth spending the extra time to read a longer book.
Maybe my book count for the year won’t be as high, but my reading life will be a much happier one.