Saturday, November 29, 2014

In the Blood

Title: In the Blood
Author: Lisa Unger
Number of Pages: 340
Date Read: 11/29/14
Genre: Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

Synopsis (Found on

Liar, liar, pants on fire . . . College senior Lana Granger has told so many lies about her past that the truth seems like a distant, cloudy nightmare.  But she meets her match when she begins babysitting for a volatile, manipulative eleven-year-old boy.  Soon after Lana takes the job, her close friend Beck mysteriously disappears.  Lana instantly begins fabricating stories - to friends, to police, to herself.  Why doesn't her account jibe with those of eye-witnesses?  Lana will do anything to bury the truth about that night ... and about her life.  But someone else knows her secrets.  And he's dying to tell.

My Review:

I found this book to be good even though its not one of my go to genres. 

I found the synopsis interesting- it deals with murder and psychopaths. Who wouldn't wanna read this? Basically the book is about Lana who has witnessed a traumatic event in her life and is trying to hide in a small town university. She answers a babysitting ad and gets hired to babysit a troubled child names Luke. Luke is a psychopath, which you can tell just by his behavior. He gets Lana to play a scavenger hunt with him that takes her to creepy areas in the town. In addition to dealing with Luke, Lana best friend, Beck, went missing. Now Lana has to try to find Beck all the while playing Luke's little game. The story is told mostly in Lana's POV with a few chapters in diary format of a woman who was dealing with her son who, to me anyway, seems like a sociopath (sociopaths are capable of empathy). The woman is never mentioned by name but as the story progresses the reader figures out who she is.

I'm not sure how I feel about Lana. I didn't really like her but she didn't annoy me. Lana has many psychological problems and has classified herself numerous times in the book as having been a "trouble" child. Lana has a lot of secrets that she is hiding and as the story goes on, the reader is able to figure out some of her secrets. Lana has to get a job because her trust money is running low. So her professor Langdon Hewes, urges her to take the job babysitting Luke. Lana is able to deal with Luke but she also kind of acts childish with him. For example, he is a great chess player and Lana tries everything she can to beat him. She falls into his little games easily, letting her anger and wanting to win get the better of her. This is what causes her to play the scavenger hunt with Luke and what causes her to keep playing even with things keep getting more disturbing. Lana is also a very cold person, who doesn't show her emotions. She shows no real emotions, outwardly, to Beck's disappearance, which causes police to suspect her in her disappearance. We as the reader can see that she loves Beck but that she also is angry at her for reasons we find out later. Lana is a very complicated character who I couldn't really relate to which causes my mixed feelings about her. 

Luke is a crazy psychopath who is only eleven years old. Lana constantly wants to give him the benefit of the doubt and wants to keep thinking that hes only a kid/child, not evil. But the reader can see how Luke really is. He is calculating and is able to find the weakness in people and exploit it to his benefit. He is charming and can get his mother, Lana and others to do what he wants. He alters his behavior from cold and calculating to acting like a normal 11 year old would act, which keeps on fooling Lana. He has rages where he destroys his room and he goes to a special school for troubled kids. Throughout the book Lana keeps wondering if Luke is involved in Beck's disappearance but keeps on dismissing it because she wants to think of him as only a kid. Luke is scary and he freaked me out. 

Langdon Hewes is Lana's professor and college advisor. He is the one who urges Lana to take the job babysitting Luke. He and Lana are friends as well. He is a professor of child psychology and works at the school where Luke goes. He worries about Lana and for some reason helps her with Luke's scavenger hunt. I was kind of suspicious of him when he started helping Lana with Luke's scavenger hunt because he should know better than to help her enable Luke's behavior by participating in the hunt. He half heartedly tells her not to play the game but then helps her with it. 

I gotta say my favorite parts were the diary entries of the mystery woman. That poor woman had it so hard with her son. Her son would do anything to stay with his her. He caused problems at school and was kicked out of numerous schools for his sociopathic behavior. From reading about her son her was a chronic liar, he did things so he could be with his mother at all times, he raged when he didn't get his way, he hurt people like children at school and family members. This woman had it hard and she didn't know what to do. I wouldn't know what to do in that situation. Like I said before the woman's name is not mentioned but the readers do figure out who she is and who her son is as the story goes on. 


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