I don’t know why “my kid is evil” books terrify me so much, since I’m never having kids anyway. But they do. We Need to Talk About Kevin FUCKED. ME. UP. when I read it. I suppose the true terror is being in an untenable situation without any way to get out: it’s not like you can return your kid at the New Kid Store and get a replacement, so the stress the protagonists feel in these types of stories feels inescapable and horrifying.
Knowing that, I was very interested in this book when I first heard about it. It’s another Evil Child book, with the added twist of chapters told from the child’s perspective, making her growing sociopathy and intent to harm clear.
I did find this to be a very engrossing read: I finished it all in one day, and was certainly desperate to know what happened next at any given turn. However, I did find it faulted in several ways. The main character is far too passive, and while ample reason is given for that trait, it’s still frustrating to read. The husband is inconsistent: by turns utterly devoted to his daughter and then suddenly absolutely willing to believe the worst of her, with no real explanation given for the change. And finally, and most hard to get past: the child is far too young to behave and think the way she behaves and thinks. Aging up the child by even a couple years would make suspension of disbelief easier, as it is I found every tense moment ruined by myself thinking “this is a four year old. This isn’t physically possible”.
I wouldn’t say I don’t recommend this: it’s a quick little psychological horror read for fans of that. Just be aware of those faults going into it.