Saturday, 7 July 2012

Contemporary Summer: Review of Serial Hottie by Kelly Oram

Serial Hottie by Kelly Oram
Publisher: Bluefields
Released: July 3rd 2012
My Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

Ellie’s sweet sixteen is a summer of firsts. First car. First kiss. First boyfriend. First serial-killing stalker?

Hockey-obsessed tomboy Eleanor Westley has never been the object of a guy’s affection before. So when the hottest boy she’s ever seen moves in across the street and starts treating her like she’s the center of his universe, naturally she’s going to be a little skeptical. But everything starts to make sense when girls who look just like Ellie start dying all around the city. Obviously the new guy is the killer, and of course he only likes her because he wants to slice her into tiny pieces. Right?

The more Ellie gets to know Seth the more she’s convinced he’s a psychopathic killer. The problem is he’s the sweetest psychopathic killer she’s ever met. Not to mention he’s brutally hot. No matter how hard she tries, she can’t help but fall for him. Will Ellie find true love, or will her summer of firsts turn out to be a summer of lasts?
(from Goodreads)

Serial Hottie was not exactly how I imagined it would be. I thought it’d be like the movie Head Over Heels (you know, with Freddie Prinze Jr.), but it turned out to be quite different! There was more to the characters than I expected, and though the story was very funny, there was a slightly more serious aspect that made me want to keep reading – I really wanted to know who the killer was!

Ellie was a tomboy, and didn’t really get along with her girly-girl sister, Angela. Her best friends (the Js, as they were referred to) were all away at hockey camp and so she was stuck doing nothing during the summer. The most interesting thing that happened was the arrival of their new neighbour Seth, but Seth was not the normal boy next door. One thing I liked about Ellie is that she didn’t immediately fall for Seth because of his good looks and charm. In fact, for the first part of the book, he really creeped her out. He acted very strangely, had a fondness for throwing knives and seemed overly interested in the thought processes of serial killers. I liked that Ellie acted logically – instead of running into the arms of this possible psycho (which too many girls do in books these days), she locked her doors and windows and avoided him when possible. And you know what, I didn’t blame her. Seth did act very creepy and at first we had no idea why.  The whole thing was made worse by the fact that there was an actual serial killer on the loose, and the murders started happening when Seth arrived. I would have avoided him like the plague too, because he definitely seemed able to be a killer (he trained in his basement every day and threw knives. And carried a knife at all times. You gotta admit, that’s creepy). I also liked the fact that when Ellie did get to know Seth better, learnt his dark secret and started to trust him more, she still refused to take his crap. I have to admit, Seth was not my type of guy. He could be very sweet on occasion, but while I knew he was trying to be protective and that he did have problems as a result of his past (I did feel really sorry for him), I felt he was too overbearing and too extreme at times. I personally couldn’t have put up with it, and while I didn’t really understand why Ellie liked Seth so much, I felt she did a pretty good job at dealing with him (though I was still unsure if they should really have been having a relationship, especially with Seth’s unexplored issues).

Another thing I liked about Serial Hottie was Ellie’s relationships with other people. I loved the way her bond with Angela developed; at first, they didn’t get along at all, and even half-way through they were fighting and arguing. But you could see how slowly they started to realise that they weren’t all that different to each other, and that they did really love each other despite what they said. I liked Angela a lot more towards the end (though I still didn’t appreciate her trying to force Ellie into a dress – been there myself, was a terrible experience :P). I also really liked the Js. The Js only appeared in person at the end, but there were phonecalls with them throughout, and they were so funny and really got along with Ellie and understood her. I loved what they did for her birthday and generally just thought they were awesome friends! I also liked Dave, another friend of Ellie’s, who always seemed to look out for her or keep her company (and he knew how to wind her up, which was hilarious). There were so many great characters in this book, it’s hard to name them all! Still, Ellie had to be my favourite. She was just so funny and her sarcasm was very impressive.

The plot was great because I was kept guessing about everything right until the end. I suspected Seth of all sorts of things: was he the killer? Was he working for the FBI? Was it all just a coincidence? Some of the things he did were just crazy! I did guess a few things about him, but to be honest, I couldn’t tell if he was the killer or not and the mystery stumped me right until the last few chapters. I only realised who the killer was after it became really obvious (which was still before Ellie and Angela realised, but it was understandable since they had other things on their minds). For a while, I was convinced it was a different person, and was really surprised when I finally worked out who it actually was (though you may not be surprised – it’s all about how you read the book I guess)! I was also shocked at some of the things that happened at the end, but I was impressed at how, despite some of the serious things that went down, the humour was still retained.

I don’t really have any complaints about Serial Hottie, besides the fact I felt Seth really should have seen a therapist or some professional instead of dismissing it all, because I think it would have helped him a lot. There were also a few grammatical errors throughout in my ebook copy (e.g. the “J’s” with an unnecessary apostrophe), but nothing major. I really liked the book as a whole (my notes on it are actually over an A4 page long, and sadly I couldn’t fit everything into this review) and I’m glad I had the chance to read it!

Overall, Serial Hottie was an engaging, humorous read that I’d recommend to fans of comedies and mysteries!
Stop by Cait's blog for her review of Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby!


  1. LOL, yeah---I guy who hangs in his basement throwing knives? I would have hid from him, too. :D I've seen this one around a lot lately and it sounds like a fun read! Great review!

    On a side note: I loved the movie Head Over Heels! :D

  2. Well, it sounds interesting and I love a stumping mystery but I really, REALLY hate overbearing guys. Hmmm, I might still try it but I don't know.

  3. I loved this book as well!!! It was the first book I'd read of Oram's, so I'm saving money to get a copy of Being Jamie Baker now. She has a lot of promise in her writing for future books!

  4. Oh thank the heavens. A girl who acknowledges a potential psycho when she meets one! I like this Ella girl :P And especially for the fact that she doesn't take his crap even after he gains he trust. I love that the mystery was unpredictable. That feeling when a book stumps me and I'm getting frustrated trying to figure it out is the best thing ever haha.

    This sounds like a great book, Liz!


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