We Need to Talk About Kevin Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of We Need to Talk About Kevin

A woman writes to her husband about their son's involvement in a school massacre Kevin is a disturbed teenager who plans to and kills several of his classmates.
Click here to see the rest of this review

The book is in the form of letters from Kevin's mother to her estranged husband, Franklin, Kevin's father. She describes coming back from visiting her son in prison, and from that point onward the story alternates between the past and the present.

We learn about Eva and her husband, Franklin's, decision to have a child, Eva's misgivings about having children and about her career as a successful entrepreneur who runs her own travel-guide business. After Kevin is born, Eva slowly becomes certain that Kevin's troublesome behavior is intentional and that he harbors hate towards his parents and himself. Kevin's father however refuses to acknowledge Kevin's sociopathic tendencies and this leads to multiple arguments between Eva and Franklin, and eventually toward their estrangement.

The climax is about the actual killing and its immediate aftermath. Along the way, the author addresses various issues such as mental illness and gun violence.
Best part of story, including ending: I really liked this story because we keep hearing of these school shootings but we never get to hear the point of view of the parents of the killers.

Best scene in story: My favorite scene is probably the most haunting scene of the novel where Eva comes home after her son is taken to prison and she's searching for her husband.

Opinion about the main character: There is nothing to like about the main character. However, in terms of criticism, I really doubt that Kevin, as a baby, could have evil intentions as the author portrays.

The review of this Book prepared by Esmeen a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of We Need to Talk About Kevin

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Age group of kid(s) in story:    -   high school Something wrong upstairs/downstairs?    -   mental illness Parents/lack of parents problem?    -   rebelling against parent's expectations Wild kid(s)?    -   committing crimes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   killer Age:    -   a teen Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   3 ()

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like We Need to Talk About Kevin

Lionel Shriver Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian