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Posted October 25, 2007
This book is a story about two young teens Wendy Garner (13) and James Evans (15) who are in a relationship of obsession and commit a terrible crime. Wendy used to be a great young girl who got good grades and behaved like a young girl should until she met James. Wendy's grandmother notices a big change in the way Wendy acts such as drinking, not attending school, sneaking out, and having sexual intercourse. She was not impressed so she decided that she is going to try to keep the two young love birds away from each other. Wendy and James would not have this happen to them. Read this book and see the twisted things these two young teens manage to do. I enjoyed this book because it just goes to show the terrible things that a child or children are able to do. I also liked to hear about how the lives that the children had made them into the people they were. I recommend this book to a person who enjoys to read true crime books, just be prepared to read a disturbing story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 29, 2007
I think it's extremely important for readers to know that 'true crime' does not contain 100% truth. There's lots of hearsay and fabrication in this story. Jim DeFelice has writing ability, but not all of the facts. I don't live far from where this crime took place. My family lived next door to Wendy and they knew that Wendy had been physically abused by her grandmother, but there was little mention of it in this book. Also, Wendy was not a 'cutter' as she was described in the book, nor was there evidence to that claim. The book paints Wendy out to be a cold little monster, when in fact, it was James Evans who was a ticking time bomb who wasn't forced into killing Betty Gardner. Everyone in their neighborhood knew that Wendy and James were nothing like Romeo and Juliet. The young couple were obsessed, not in love with each other. Wendy had told James that she was too young to know what real love was. She also didn't really know death, either. Both kids came from very troubled homes and were far from happy. That's what made them bond and it was far from true love. James himself was abusive to Wendy, and he was not some pawn in a murder plot. Many were disgusted with a nearly 16 year old guy having sex with someone nearly 13. James was known to abuse and kill animals and set fires - true markings of the sociopath his psychiatrist diagnosed him as being. James had his own agenda for murdering Betty - she was abusive to Wendy and she disapproved of him. He figured that killing Betty should obligate Wendy to love him, claiming he did it for her, when he did it for personal gain. That was a manipulation tactic James used on Wendy that caused her to take the blame for the crime. James did what he did for himself, admitting he'd have killed someone else if not Betty. The teenagers never ran off to be together because there wasn't really a plan like the book described. James was going to kill Kathy, but Wendy prevented that from happening. James made Wendy wear a blanket with nothing underneath because he knew she'd go to the police, and he never let her out of his sight. He was callous and cared nothing about the law or life. Her involvement in the crime was out of fear, and unlike James, Wendy had remorse about it. Wendy was released from prison in 2004, James and Saugerties are in the past, and Wendy has found the love of her life and tied the knot in true love. Her sister Kathy is also back in her life and people are moving on. It's a horrible thing that didn't have to happen. I also thought it was in poor taste to include the photos in there because it's disturbing to the family of the deceased, aside from exploiting a girl who had just turned 13.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 7, 2006
The Book, Kill Grandma for Me by Jim DeFelice, was very shocking. The genre of the story is true crime. It is a bout a thirteen year old girl living in New York who was once the perfect child. Her name is Wendy Gardner and was raised by her grandmother, Elizabeth Gardner. The year was 1994Things were going great in life until fifteen year old James Evans came in. James and Wendy started going out. This drastically changed Wendy. She stared picking up bad habits that problem child James had. Elizabeth did not approve of these ¿Love Birds¿ Dating. She was determined to put it to an end. Wendy and James couldn¿t live without each other and was going to destroy what ever stood in their way. This graphic book goes through the murder and trial of Betty Gardner. The point of view that the writer chose for this book was third person. In this story, DeFelice likes to bring the readers close to each of the characters. In this story we see letters and diary entries written by the characters. This book has vivid detail during the time of the murder. This is not a book for the Squeamish. The story begins with action. The middle of the story gets boring this is the time of the trial. The story starts to pick its speed up towards the end of the book. The cover and title of the book explains wheat the book is all about. The cover is what grabbed My attention. It had the quotes ¿If I kill Her will You Love Me?¿, ¿Yea.¿, ¿Maybe We should shoot Her?¿, ¿Just do it.¿ How could anyone kill their own Grandmother? No one deserves to be killed, let alone by their own flesh and blood. I did not like the fact that the writer used more that half of the story on the trial, it was so boring!!!!!!!!! Over all I give this book three thumbs up. I recommend this book to the young adults and to adults. This book is not for children due to the fact that there is a murder, foul language, and contains sexual content. This book made me appreciate My family and the life that God has given to Me. This book also proved the fact that the mind of a child, teen, tween, what ever they want to be called is very immature. These two lovebirds needed a lot of more time to grow. What really made this whole story crazy was that of it being non-fiction.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 4, 2001
Growing up in this neighborhood, knowing the streets intimately, and eating at Pizza Hut, I was captivated by the story. I could not put the book down. How could these young adolescent kids become such diabolical monsters. As I walked the streets of the neighborhood when I returned home for the holidays, it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up just thinking the monsters walked the same street, plotting and planning.
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Posted May 13, 2012
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