• Kallie Lou Weisgarber

True Crime - Samantha Kolesnik

I know a lot about actual true crimes. I like listening to true crime podcasts, reading about true crime and watching true crime television shows and films. I’m a weirdo, what can I say? When I found the book TRUE CRIME from Samantha Kolesnik, it was pretty obvious I was going to read about Suzy, Lim and their murderous escape from their horrifically abusive mother.

If it weren’t for my duties as a mom, I could have read this novella in a single sitting. It is raw, unsettling and thought provoking. This story is heavy and dark and I was really surprised to learn that this book is a debut. I have high expectations for this author in the future. I have seen this book being compared to Ketchum’s THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, and I get it. They are both incredibly emotional despite being absolutely brutal. If you have read my reviews before you might know that I don’t like when gore is added just for the sake of shock, and I’m pleased to tell you that the gore and depravity in this book are all there for a good reason.

The things that Suzy and Lim go through are heart wrenching to read about, especially as a mom. The things they end up doing are also really hard to read, but you somehow still have such an emotional connection to these characters. It was one of those things where I just wanted to try to help these kids. I wanted to reach into the pages and help these kids deal with their trauma and help them to move on in their lives and become happy humans. I think it’s so rare for an author to write subject matter like this and still make it possible for readers to have that connection to the characters. I applaud the way this book was written and everyone involved in its’ creation should be incredibly proud of their work here.

I’m giving this book 4.75 stars. I’m rounding up to 5 for Goodreads, because for whatever reason, they STILL won’t let reviewers add incremental star ratings (I could go on a whole tangent about that, but this isn’t the place). The only reason that TRUE CRIME loses half a star from this reader is that I thought there were a few parts that felt a little predictable. I can’t get too far into why I thought that, or which parts I thought that about without spoiling it for others. It may be because of the fact that I like learning about actual true crimes that I found a few parts predictable, I’m not sure, but I did. If you have read TRUE CRIME and you want to chat about those parts, DM me on IG or Twitter and I can talk to you about it.

I also wanted to add that I think it was super cool that this book made me have the nature vs. nurture discussion with myself after I was done reading. What makes Suzy and Lim do the things they do? What made their mother do the things she did? After I finished TRUE CRIME I did some research on cycles of abuse and how they are broken and why they continue. Any book that makes you think on a difficult subject long after the book is through, is a great book.