Mini Review: Mean by Renata F. Barcelos

Book info:
Form: pdf 
Length: 60 pages
Genre: psychological thriller
Target audience: adult

A copy of this novelette for reviewing purposes was sent to me free of charge by the author – thank you very much Renata!  That fact, of course,  didn’t influence my review in any way.

Because I am really feeling mean after the lecture let me start the synopsis like one of these jokes.
A nice girl with green eyes comes to a shrink. She knocks, enters and says: “Good evening. I want to kill somebody really worth killing but I’m still undecided. Would you mind my talking to you for a moment or two?”
Of course the shrink doesn’t mind it at all – it’s her job, after all, and she is paid handsomely for listening to different nutcases and wacky people. Is it really as safe as it seems to be, is she just a therapist? Is it possible such a nice girl really has a serious reason to kill anybody? Is she really so mean or is it just her sick imagination?
What I liked:
The idea behind this novelette was a very nice one – simple yet captivating. I truly enjoyed getting to know Cassandra and her horrible family. I was also immediately interested in the identity of her potential victim. I didn’t mind the first person narration much because  it helped creating an illusion the reader is actually a shrink. Some things Cassandra had been through sent a thrill down my spine and the more she told the more I wanted to know.
The best feature of this one was actually Cassandra herself – such a nice, intelligent girl with such a dark, twisted, narcissistic mind. She kept me wondering: was it because of her horrible childhood or was it because of her gene pool or maybe both ? Nurture or nature?  I  loved the ambiguity of her situation: she was not only a potential killer but also a victim; she was so self-centered and narcissistic she hardly noticed how much harm she was doing to herself. Still she remained perceptive enough to pursue a successful career and to plan a murder in a really clever way.
What I didn’t like:
Perhaps I have a dangerous mind but I guessed pretty quickly who Cassandra wanted to kill. Still I  didn’t know why till the very end so it didn’t spoil my pleasure. An my main carping: this novelette would be far nicer if it was turned into a novel, with a richer characterization of the main lead and some other characters added in the background.
Final verdict:
A nice, short, intelligent read. Next time I  want a fully-fledged novel, though! Preferably with Cassie as a main character as well because her story is not over, is it?
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