Jimmy by William Malmborg

Jimmy seems like an ordinary high school senior. He has a doting mom, a clueless dad, and a cool younger brother. He even has a sort-of girlfriend. On the outside, he’s the perfect kid. Jimmy has a secret, though. He has a bondage fetish. He loves seeing girls tied up and tortured. And even more than he loves seeing it, he wants to dothat to a girl. When he kidnaps a fellow student, he starts to think, just maybe, his dream is coming true.

Bu unfortunately, Jimmy is an idiot. He snatches the first girl he can. Once he has her tied up in his secret bomb-shelter hideout, he doesn’t really know what to do with her, other than string her up by the wrists, slap her with a belt a few times, and make her touch his penis. One of the things that bugged me about this book was just when the author was starting to delve into Jimmy’s mental sickness, the writing would suddenly become stilted and almost clinical in its delivery, especially regarding male physiology and how things like erections work.

So Jimmy has a few issues to deal with. His girlfriend takes things up another level, so he is suddenly realizing maybe he didn’t have to kidnap a chick to get his rocks off. But by then, he’s got a second girl in his harem, and this one fights back. His brother is starting to suspect something is off about him. A bully has found Jimmy’s stash of bondage porn. And worst of all, prom is Saturday night!

Throughout the story, the plot gets convoluted with introspection by Jimmy’s girlfriend, his brother, even the bullies. We have the girls in the bomb shelter throwing in their two cents. Tina, his girlfriend, has mommy issues–this ultimately could have worked out very well for the story, and added a big kick in the pants at the end, but more about that in the “spoilers” section.

At the end of the story, the author gets body-count happy and starts killing people off left and right. Literally. None of the people the reader should actually care about survives, save for the girlfriend, but to me, she wasn’t someone I liked or disliked. She was the usual angsty teen girl, with no real redeeming qualities. She could have been completely removed from the story, and it wouldn’t change the plot noticeably. To me, a main character–actually, any character worth naming and giving a backstory–should be so integral to the story that their absence would change it. If Tina had been taken out, the story would have progressed just the same.

So, all in all, it’s not a bad story. It’s technically well written. I thought the story would have been a bit more immersing if the author had relaxed a little. There are times when the writing is very stiff and reads as if is almost over-edited. The dialogue is good, if a bit stilted at times ( especially when female characters are speaking). Jimmy is a decent way to waste a few hours.

**spoilers**

You can’t kill someone with a couple blows to the face with an empty bucket. The human skull is pretty dang hard. You can do some damage with a metal bucket to the face, obviously, but I highly doubt it’s possible to outright kill a healthy, strong teenager with a bucket to the face. It’s possible the bucket could do enough damage to impede breathing and cause suffocation.

All through the book, Jimmy’s girlfriend extols monotonously on her mommy issues. At the end of the book, the survivor, Samantha, discovers she is pregnant and the book suggests she is about to commit suicide. It would have been a bigger twist, with more of an emotional kick, if his girlfriend had discovered she was the one who was pregnant, especially considering her history with her own mother.

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