Jenny Green doesn’t seem like a killer. She’s a spoiled JAP from Long Island, and not exactly someone I’d love to be best friends with, but she seems like a pretty typical teenage girl. A completely boy-crazy teenage girl. When things aren’t totally fabulous in the boy department at home on Long Island, Jenny convinces her parents to let her switch to Molson Academy, a boarding school in Montreal where she knows for a fact there’s at least one totally hot guy (he used to go to school with her in Long Island). Plus, there’s a TCBY on campus, which is settles it entirely for Jenny. And, of course, she’s got her parents wrapped around her pinky finger, so it’s off to Montreal she goes!
At first, things seem to be going wonderfully. Although she has to move into the gross hippie art dorm, she finds another great friend who’s only there because the other housing was full, too. And the guy she came to Montreal for seems to actually be interested. But then she realizes what jerks guys can be, and, well, apparently this spoiled princess has an inner psycho killer because before you know it, she’s a murderer.
This book is…Well, the first adjective that comes to mind is “psychotic.” And bizarre. And kind of creepy. Jenny is an annoying, materialistic, boy-crazy, completely superficial teenage girl who is completely despicable, and then she’s no less despicable but certainly a better candidate for being institutionalized. I found it really strange how quickly Jenny changed. I am not sure how much it made sense in the context of the book. But, then, people always say that the serial killer next door seemed normal.
It’s not like she just goes around offing people, though. There are reasons, and she really believes they are good ones, even if, to me, there is no good reason to kill anyone. Jenny is smart, though, and she never really seemed completely crazy because she was the narrator, and, obviously, she didn’t think she was a psychopath. And sometimes, she even felt bad about being a murderer. Sometimes. It was scary, though, how she was often able to rationalize what she did. I didn’t know quite what to think of her character by the end of the book.
Jenny Green’s Killer Junior Year is certainly unique. It’s smart, darkly funny, and well-written. Jenny’s narration is spot-on, fantastically psychopathic and always superficial. I didn’t think that the secondary characters were all particularly well-developed, but Jenny was very, very interesting. I wish there had been more about the book’s setting in Montreal; Jenny thinks it’s a great city, and I’ve heard it’s wonderful, too, but I would have liked to have seen more of it, rather than Jenny just talking about how she liked it. However, that’s more of a personal preference than anything. In six words: Bizarre, psychotically awesome superficial serial-killing.