Friday, August 29, 2014

Review: The Stranger Beside Me

Book: The Stranger Beside Me | Author: Ann Rule | Started: July 31, 2014 | Finished: August 3, 2014 |Format: Large print hardcover | Own or borrow?: Borrow from library
Synopsis: How could someone so handsome, charming, and brilliant in fact be such a monster. And when you work side by side with that person, how could you not know. That's how Ann Rule felt when she began to put together the true picture of her former co-worker and friend. Ted Bundy was on the verge of a dazzling career, and at the same time was one of America's most wanted. On January 24, 1989, he was executed for the murders of three young women, having confessed to taking the lives of at least thirty-five more. This is the story of one of the most fascinating killers in American history -- of his magnetic power, his bleak compulsion, his double life, his string of vulnerable victims. It is also the story of Ann Rule, and putting together the pieces of the biggest story of her life. Twenty years after it was first published, The Stranger Beside Me remains a gripping, explosive, true-crime classic

Everyone has heard of Ted Bundy. You've probably been living under a rock if you haven't at least heard his name. But this book goes into depth about who Ted Bundy really was. It was creepy and scary and heartbreaking. 

This book was so different than anything else I've ever read about Ted Bundy. This book was more real. Sure, his Wikipedia page tells me that he was a politician-to-be, but this book taught me so much more than that.
This book is rated four stars when it should be really a three. Four stars for me mean that I would recommend it to a lot of people. Three stars means I would recommend it to people that asked for the specific genre. I would not recommend a book like this to anyone that did not want to read a book like this. There are many people that could not and would not read a book like this. But I enjoyed it so much that I bumped it up a star.
So what did I like about it? First, it humanizes the victims. Go to Bundy's Wikipedia page and what do you learn about his victims? Their names, ages, and what state they were killed in. But this book tells us what they were like before they were killed. Ted Bundy became the famous person out of the situation and this book brought to light and made the readers never forget that these women were real people.

I also liked that it was written by someone that knew Ted personally. She started writing the book before she knew it was Ted and she continued to write the book after she found out it was him. We got to see a side of Ted that no one else could have written about- because she was actually there. In a way, she humanized Ted as well.

The only reason it's not 5 stars is because the end was kind of slow at times. It was more about her life post-Bundy. And that's totally fine. I expected she would bring herself into the story at least a little bit considering she knew him personally and was allowed to write whatever she wanted. But that doesn't mean I was zipping through it like I was the rest of the book.

Ted Bundy was a scary guy. Everyone knows that. This book made me paranoid. I was scared to be on the downstairs floor at night if everyone else was upstairs. And I continuously checked under the car and in the back seat if I were leaving the house late at night. I was jumpy and nearly had a panic attack when I saw a deer in the backyard at three in the morning. Do not read this book if you easily get scared.

It was such a good book, but by the end I was getting so paranoid that I read 600 pages in two days just so I could finish it. I would definitely recommend it to people that are interested in Bundy or true crime. Extremely well written about an extremely interesting subject. Just scary.