Killer Potential by Aften Brook Szymanski - Review + Giveaway!

Sunday, July 24, 2016


Title: Killer Potential
Author: After Brook Szymanski
Publisher: BookFish Books
Genre: YA Psychological Thriller
Release Date: July 17, 2016


Seventeen-year-old Yvette Gibbs was just admitted to the hospital psych unit in handcuffs as the main suspect in a murder case, which she refuses to talk about. 

Drugs and depression claim her family—leaving Yvette to fight her own demons alone. Adopting the skill of master of passive-aggressive vengeance lands Yvette in the psych unit with no family support, unless she cooperates with her therapist to clear her name, also a convicted murderer.

Yvette wants revenge on the world that taught her to be afraid, claimed her mother to depression, hid her father in a fog of job hopping, turned her brother to dealing drugs, and swallowed her sister whole, but to achieve this she must lie, manipulate, and most of all survive. Pitting her dead sister’s shady friend whom she fears against the man who reminded her she’s not immune to victimization, is her perfect solution to all life's hassles, even if that means she ends up with blood on her hands. Until everything backfires.


I received an ARC from BookFish Books in exchange for an honest review. 

I don't even know where to start, it has so much potential, yet it could have been so much more. 

If you are looking for a happy ending, consider yourself warned, you are in for an intense, depressing ride. The hauntingly amazing cover pulled me in right away and the story was off to a good start. Killer Potential was written in dual time frame, alternating between "the past" and the "present" as told from Yvette's perspective. In "the past", Yvette was portrayed as a young girl learning her ways in the real world. In "the present", the setting was switched to a psychiatric ward where Yvette was admitted into under a murder conviction Despite the constant alternation between the dual time frame, I thought the idea was brilliant! The story does not feel lacking, development wise. 

Killer Potential explored themes that the society considered as taboo, from drug abuse, suicide tendencies, pedophilia and peer pressure, the author delved into the unspeakable through the eyes of a young Yvette, and how she handled herself in such situations. This book was everything the blurb promises it to be! 

As much as I love the element of the story (for a moment I had an AHS - American Horror Story flashback), I often felt myself emotionally disconnected from Yvette, in which I find rather disheartening. Don't get me wrong, Yvette is a great character, however I am disappointed that I could not find myself bonding with her character as much as I wanted to. Perhaps it was her erratic thoughts, or her unique personality, she is definitely a complex character that I need more time to get to know her more. 

I'll definitely re-read the book in hopes of understanding Yvette better (because honestly, who suffers through all that and survives?), as for now my thoughts for the book are dark, depressing and beautifully crafted. I will leave it at that! 



Aften Brook Szymanski, at the age of five, once fell on her bum looking out a large picture window while eating a pickle and people laughed. She thought she was funny, life has never been the same. She’s obsessed with LEGOs, cozy reading nooks, and over-the-knee socks. A graduate of the College of Southern Idaho with an Associate of Arts degree, Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science degree, and the University of Utah with a Master of Education degree. Learning is more fun than testing, sometimes we have to endure both. 

She lives in a very cold Wyoming valley with her husband, three kids, and one unhappy cat, where they are being cryogenically preserved for all time—thanks to how cold it is.


Find Aften Online







Buy Killer Potential and Add it to your TBR!




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