“Love in the Time of Serial Killers” is to die for

This summer, I finally found the time to read new books. After reading “The Love Hypothesis” by Ali Hazelwood and seeing her constantly promote “Love in the Time of Serial Killers” by Alicia Thompson, I knew I had to read it. 

The book came out Aug. 16 and once I began to read it, I had difficulty putting it down. “Love in the Time of Serial Killers” is a romance novel following PhD candidate Phoebe Walsh as she visits her childhood home to help her brother clean out the house after the death of their dad. While there, she’s preoccupied with finishing up her dissertation for her PhD, which she decided to write about what she’s most passionate about — true crime.

However, Phoebe is distracted by her new neighbor, Sam Dennings, who she suspects is a serial killer after an odd encounter they had at 2 a.m.

What I really loved about this book was the exceptional job the author did making it clear that the protagonist is her own person. She wasn’t living purely to be with a guy, and throughout the book she’s in countless situations that have nothing to do with forming a relationship with Sam. Instead, the focus is on healing and improving relationships with her brother, childhood best friend and even herself. Seeing Phoebe as such a self-sufficient figure in a genre full of way too many one dimensional female characters was refreshing, especially with her self reflection and character development being a huge aspect in the book.

With that said, “Love in the Time of Serial Killers” had its share of flaws. Though there was so much to enjoy with this book, the build up before the relationship between Phoebe and Sam begins wasn’t enough. What I enjoy about romance is the tension and small hints that make you question when something will happen between the two characters. With this book, the relationship between Phoebe and Sam seemed rushed, as there wasn’t much time spent on building their relationship before something happened between the two. 

In fact, they had only hung out a few times before the romantic interest was made clear and the writing leading up to it didn’t seem close to being detailed enough. This could make the book a little less cohesive, since there were moments between the two that could have been better described, yet they didn’t receive the same amount of attention as moments that occurred in the relationship later on. 

However, the book was not all like this. Despite my criticisms, reading the second half of the book — once the conflict started setting in — I started noticing the turning point in Phoebe’s character and changed my perspective. I had forgotten my previous negative comments and became engrossed in the book, needing to know if the problem would be resolved and if this relationship would lead to something bigger than a summer fling. 

In fact, there were countless moments in the book that felt perfect and made me fangirl more than I should’ve over two fictional characters. “Love in The Time of Serial Killers” is perfect if you’re looking for a book that’s equal parts funny and sweet, as well as unique.