Thursday, February 24, 2011

Review - We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

Title: We Need to Talk About Kevin (Amazon)
Author: Lionel Shriver
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Release Date: 2004
Pages: 400
Genre: Adult Fiction

The gripping international bestseller about motherhood gone awry
Eva never really wanted to be a mother - and certainly not the mother of the unlovable boy who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a much-adored teacher who tried to befriend him, all two days before his sixteenth birthday. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood, and Kevin's horrific rampage in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her estranged husband, Franklyn. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails.(Goodreads)

Kim’s take -

This book was really good and had such a sad, shockingly unexpected twist at the end. The book is in letter format from Eva to her husband Franklin. They are the parents of a 15-year-old who murders 7 of his classmates in the school gymnasium in a very original, well thought out, and brutal fashion. It started out a little slow with Eva going over some of their marriage before they had Kevin and their decision to even have a child. Things go badly from the moment Kevin was born. He immediately seemed to develop a hatred of his mother from birth which his father seemed to dismiss because Kevin would act completely different when his father was around. Throughout the story, Eva seems to be the only one who sees Kevin as the evil and manipulative infant, child, and teen he becomes. Kevin seems to obtain pleasure in the mental torture and abuse he inflicts on his mother. His father fails to see any of this and accuses Eva of creating the stories of the horrific things Kevin has done, making excuses for him, or believing Kevin’s lies. But Eva sees the dangerous, evil, look of no remorse in his eyes. Of all those who have came into contact with Kevin, Franklin seems to be unaware of, or in denial of, how calculating his son actually is. And the murder of his classmates is only one of many hideous and unthinkable events caused by Kevin throughout his 15 years. It was a great look at the outcome of tragedy through the eyes of the mother of a murderous boy. A great read!

Kim’s Rating: 4/5


  1. This isn't one I've heard much (if any) about, but I'm intrigued by the premise, and I like how deep and gritty it sounds. Awesome review! :)

  2. Wow, this one sounds really emotional and disturbing. I can't imagine being a parent and having a child who seems to relish in the pain of others, I'm not sure what I'd do! You've definitely piqued my interest on this one though, I haven't heard much about it!

  3. I have a copy of We Need To Talk About Kevin! I've been interested in reading it ever since a few people discussed it on Goodreads.

    I am glad to see that it was good. It looks emotionally harrowing, and sometimes, that's just what the doctor ordered (a book that impacts one's emotions).

  4. Sounds really powerful!
    Sad stuff is my thing sometimes as long as its done well as it seems this is.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  5. Wow! sounds intense :( I hadn't heard of it though! Thanks for sharing.