Killer Instinct by SE Green | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Killer Instinct by SE Green | Book ReviewKiller Instinct by S.E. Green
Published by Simon and Schuster on 2014-05-06
Genres: Adolescence, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Social Issues, Violence, Young Adult
Pages: 224
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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A teen girl version of Dexter meets the high stakes danger and mystery of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in this riveting debut.Lane is a typical teenager. Loving family. Good grades. After-school job at the local animal hospital. Martial arts enthusiast. But her secret obsession is studying serial killers. She understands them, knows what makes them tick. Why? Because she might be one herself. Lane channels her dark impulses by hunting criminals and delivering justice when the law fails. The vigilantism stops shy of murder, but with each visceral rush, the line of self-control blurs. And when a young preschool teacher goes missing—and returns in pieces—Lane gets a little too excited about tracking down “the Decapitator,” the vicious serial murderer who has come to her hometown. As she gets dangerously caught up in a web of lies about her own past, Lane realizes she is no longer invisible or safe. Especially after the Decapitator contacts her directly. Now she needs to use her unique talents to find the true killer’s identity before she—or someone she loves—becomes the next victim…

Man, I have not been this disappointed with a book in a really long time. I just finished reading Killer Instinct by SE Green and I totally had Nick from New Girl face after closing the book. I know I probably should have DNFed it right after the main character calls her sister a slut, but I couldn’t do that because I was already 50 pages deep and the book is only 250 pages and for real, I just cannot let myself give up so early in the book. Do any of you have that problem, where you can’t quite force yourself to DNF even though you really want to, because the book is short and easy?

Killer Instinct’s plot is as follows: Lane is a teenage girl who is freakishly obsessed with serial killers. She doesn’t get upset at crime scene pictures or anything. She wonders if maybe she might have something dark inside her because of her obsession. So, in order to scratch her itch for violence, Lane goes out at night in a mask and enacts some vigilante justice on bad guys and girls. Meanwhile, her mom who is an FBI project director is hard at work on a case involving a serial killer called the Decapitator. Lane gets obsessed with the case too, because you know, her mom brings confidential things home with her, like all professionals do. Oh also, Lane is in a blended family, she has a stepdad named Victor, a half sister named Daisy and a half brother named Justin. Oh and also, there’s this new guy at school that she is into.  And that’s the book, lots of threads, but no tapestry or anything.

Frankly, Lane is not the type of character I would be friendly with. She’s judgmental and weird. She uses her one and only friend, Reggie, to hack into computers for her. She is constantly calling her sexually active sister Daisy a slut and commenting on her activities of choice. The book gets graphic with those activities, FYI. I just was a bit flabbergasted at how often Lane was like, ‘Daisy is a slut.’ I mean, maybe because Lane is the worst, it makes sense in regards to her character, but ugh, it was so aggravating. And I mean, maybe okay it might make sense in the story if the two were like rivals for the same guy for more than ten seconds and not related or anything, BUT NO. She says that about her sister, which is whack.

As for the romance, flop. The romance is a flop. Like, Lane is into this guy whose name I forget. His brother is a veterinarian named Dr. Issa who Lane is kind of in love with. And when Lane is hooking up with her guy, she’s thinking of Dr. Issa. And then at one point, the guy’s ex pops into the picture and we discover that she is a deranged alcoholic, because you know all alcoholics are deranged. Ugh. And like, the ex-girlfriend is obsessed to the point of car-keying. The guy though, doesn’t put a stop to it. He’s also the worst. That’s all I can say, those two deserve each other because ugh.

I had a visceral negative reaction to the writing as well. I did not connect with any of the characters. I was disappointed by the twist ending. There’s all these details that are brought up but never fully developed or expanded upon. There’s some slut shaming. There’s just not a whole lot of development. In all, Killer Instinct was not the book for me at all.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Oh man, that’s so disappointing! It sounded so good!

    And yes, I have more ‘guilt’ DNFing a short book too – it’s so much easier to chuck a longer one because they take up so much more time.

  2. Beautiful. I got this from the publisher too and was so excited to read it! I’ll still give it a chance, but I’ll definitely lower my expectations going into it.

    I feel bad about DNFing short books, too. I’ll still do it on occasion because I have so many books I want to read that I would enjoy, but it does make me feel a little guilty.

  3. Wow. That’s a lot happening for there to be no tapestry weaving it all together. It just seems like a bunch of separate elements? Yikes.

    Was the slut shaming because the author was trying to demonstrate Lane is a bitch? Or chaste? Or a chaste bitch? Or was it just purely random and didn’t fit? Because if she is calling Daisy a slut yet she is hooking up a guy while wishing it was her brother, isn’t that pretty slutty too? Pot- meet kettle.

  4. I had downloaded this but after the comments from you and Giselle, I am run run running away.

  5. Mike Anderson says

    I don’t know what is wrong with you people! It was a great book, yes its short. But it is definitely worth reading. This whole ‘1.5 stars’ thing is a bunch of BS. I know its an opinion, but it was a great book. I’m telling you people to read it. Don’t listen to this!!!


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