Book Review

Review | Carrie by Stephen King

10160130Carrie
Author: Stephen King (Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Website)
Published: April 5th 1974
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pages: 253
Genres: Horror, Thriller, Paranormal
Rating: 3 Stars

Synopsis

Carrie knew she should not use the terrifying power she possessed… But one night at her senior prom, Carrie was scorned and humiliated just one time too many, and in a fit of uncontrollable fury she turned her clandestine game into a weapon of horror and destruction…

Review

I’ve been wanting to pick up Carrie for a long, long time. Stephen King is a mastermind at story telling and I wanted to experience his first book that he got published. It definitely wasn’t what I was expecting, but I grew to like it.

From the beginning Carrie never had a chance. From the bullies at school and her abusive mother at home, Carrie felt like she had no one to turn too. She was truly alone with her troubles with no one to guide her. I truly felt bad for her. No one deserves to be treated the way Carrie White was.

One night it was taken too far. At her prom, where she finally felt like she belonged, she was humiliated and laughed at as students and teachers alike stood by and let a mean joke make her the laughing stock at prom. She had enough and she vented her anger through the only method she knew people would listen. Her power. It was a gruesome night, a night that the city would never recover from and it was all because no one showed Carrie White any compassion.

The book jumps back and forth from different point of views including a reporter that was doing research on the Carrie’s telekinesis. It became a wildly researched phenomenon when people learned of Carrie’s abilities and the carnage she chose to do when she had enough of people treating her like garbage. She was a child who was outcasted for being different, and when she got upset she had the power to move things with her mind.

I think the book would have been more entrancing had it been written in first person from start to finish. I didn’t like how the story jumped back and forth from past to present, talking about situations that hadn’t happened yet, leaving the reader grasping at straws to understand the conversations.

I am so happy to be able to say that I have finally read a book written by Stephen King. His books have been on my shelves for years and I never picked one up until now. I think I was a little nervous because of how many stories he has written and all the hype that surrounds his name. He will always be a cultural phenomenon and I didn’t want to be disappointed. Carrie was good and I can’t wait to continue reading Stephen King books so I can see his writing progress from the Carrie. After all I imagine his writing might be very different now as this was his first published work and it was released quite a while ago. 3 Stars

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

stephen_kingStephen King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947, the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. He made his first professional short story sale in 1967 to Startling Mystery Stories. In the fall of 1971, he began teaching high school English classes at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels. In the spring of 1973, Doubleday & Co., accepted the novel Carrie for publication, providing him the means to leave teaching and write full-time. He has since published over 50 books and has become one of the world’s most successful writers. King is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to the American Letters and the 2014 National Medal of Arts.

Book Review

Review | Bird Box by Josh Malerman

18498558Bird Box
Author: Josh Malerman (Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Website)
Published: May 13th 2014
Publisher: Ecco
Pages: 262
Genres: Horror, Thriller, Sci-Fi
Rating: 5 Stars

Synopsis

Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it’s time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat–blindfolded–with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?

Interweaving past and present, Bird Box is a snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.

Review

Everyone is raving about Bird Box right now. Having just seen the movie adaptation on Netflix, I knew that I needed to read the book ASAP. Everyone said that the book was better than the movie and I wanted to find out for myself if I agreed with their claims. And after rating this book 5 stars, I realized that everything they’ve been saying about the book is true. I’m upset that it took the movie to discover this gem, because I would have bought it on the release date, had I known about it.

Bird Box follows Malorie,  a woman in her thirties, left alone with two children, trying to find a way to survive in the new world where no one can look outside without dying. The hardships that she had to face by herself, as well with by the group of survivors she holes up with throughout the book. The book is goes back and forth between the past and the present, over a course of 5 years where we learn everything that’s happened to her while the world comes to an end.

This book was thrilling on every page. There was never a dull moment and I read the book in one sitting. It was impossible to put down, because I needed to know what happened to all the characters in this grim tale. The lengths that they were all willing to go to survive was remarkable. The friendships and the divides that were presented throughout the book were all matters of life and death. No one was safe, as much as I wished certain characters were still left standing.

Thrillers like Bird Box are honestly what I am looking for in a book. Suspense, likeable characters, and ruthless plot problems that show the characters no mercy. I recommend Bird Box to anyone looking for a good horror/thriller vibe that takes place during the end of the world. I can’t wait to read more of Josh Malerman’s stories. If they are anything like this one, I know I am going to love it.

5 Stars

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

artist__199075Josh Malerman is an American author of novels and short stories. Before publishing his debut novel Bird Box with ECCO/HarperCollins, he wrote fourteen novels, never having shopped one of them.

Being the singer/songwriter of the Detroit rock band The High Strung, Malerman toured the country for six years, as the band played an average of 250 shows a year, and Malerman wrote many of the rough drafts for these novels in the passenger seat between cities on tour.

Book Review

Review | Coraline by Neil Gaiman

474073Coraline
Author: Neil Gaiman (Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Website)
Published: August 4th 2002
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 162
Genres: Horror, Fantasy
Rating: 2 Stars
Where to buy: Amazon US |Barnes & Noble | Amazon CA | Indigo CA |

Synopsis
The day after they moved in, Coraline went exploring….

In Coraline’s family’s new flat are twenty-one windows and fourteen doors. Thirteen of the doors open and close.

The fourteenth is locked, and on the other side is only a brick wall, until the day Coraline unlocks the door to find a passage to another flat in another house just like her own.

Only it’s different.

At first, things seem marvelous in the other flat. The food is better. The toy box is filled with wind-up angels that flutter around the bedroom, books whose pictures writhe and crawl and shimmer, little dinosaur skulls that chatter their teeth. But there’s another mother, and another father, and they want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Other children are trapped there as well, lost souls behind the mirrors. Coraline is their only hope of rescue. She will have to fight with all her wits and all the tools she can find if she is to save the lost children, her ordinary life, and herself.

Critically acclaimed and award-winning author Neil Gaiman will delight readers with his first novel for all ages.

Review

I picked up this book because I had watched the movie Coraline a year ago and it scared me out of my wits. I really wanted to read the original story, the get a better understanding of the world and characters. Unfortunately, this book fell flat for me.

I had a really hard time connecting to the characters and the world. I don’t know if it’s because I am a young adult reading this book when it is primarily meant for kids, or if the movie set an expectation that this book really just didn’t meet. Maybe I would have liked it better if I was still a child, or maybe it would have brought me nightmares, who knows.

The only character that I did like in this novel was Coraline. I loved her bravery and her determination throughout the book. She was young, but she knew what was right and Coraline would never stop until her world was set right again. Her parents were captured by a monster pretending to be her mother. Coraline needed to use her wits and cleverness to try and outsmart her fake mother.

The concept is so unique, like nothing I’ve ever read before. I am really disappointed that I didn’t like this story because the synopsis was amazing. I think a lot of my issues came from the writing style. I just couldn’t get sucked into this story no matter how much I tried. It honestly became a burden to read which brought on another reading slump. I was contemplating DNF’ing this one but I’ve only ever done that to 2 books in my life so I really wanted to push through and finish it.

I’m giving this book 2 stars because while I didn’t really enjoy  the story, I liked Coraline’s personality and spunk. She made the book more bearable for me, which is the reason I decided to finish this one. I know a lot of people do love this book, so I would recommend that you give it a chance, it honestly just wasn’t my cup of tea.

2 Stars

neil-gaiman-author-photo-bw3-768x1024ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Neil Gaiman was born in Hampshire, UK, and now lives in the United States near Minneapolis.

Neil Gaiman is credited with being one of the creators of modern comics, as well as an author whose work crosses genres and reaches audiences of all ages. He is listed in the Dictionary of Literary Biography as one of the top ten living post-modern writers and is a prolific creator of works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama.

Book Review

Review | The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

26157005The Grownup
Author: Gillian Flynn (Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Website)
Published: July 17th 2014
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Pages: 97
Genres: Horror, Short Story, Mystery
Rating: 3 Stars
Where to buy: Amazon US |Barnes & Noble | Amazon CA | Indigo CA |

Synopsis

A young woman is making a living, faking it as a cut-price psychic working at Spiritual Palms (with some illegal soft-core sex work on the side). She makes a decent wage – mostly by telling people what they want to hear. But then she meets Susan Burke. Susan moved to the city one year ago with her husband and 15-year old stepson Miles. They live in a Victorian house called Carterhook Manor, built in 1893. Susan has become convinced that some malevolent spirit is inhabiting their home and taking possession of the stepson. She has even found trickles of blood on the wall. The young woman doesn’t believe in exorcism or the supernatural, but she does see an opportunity to make a lot of money. However, when she enters the house for the first time and meets Miles, she begins to feel it too, as if the very house is watching her, waiting, biding its time….

The Grownup which originally appeared as What Do You Do? in George R. R. Martin’s Rogues anthology, proves once again that Gillian Flynn is one of the world’s most original and skilled voices in fiction.

Review

I was pretty apprehensive picking this book up, because I’ve tried to read Gone Girl and it was the first book that I have ever DNF’ed in my life. But since this was a short story, I figured I would give it a shot because I would have it done in an hour.

I’m really glad I decided to give Gillian Flynn another chance because I thought that this story was actually really good! It was very fast paced and I was constantly wondering when the shit was going to hit the fan.

Were introduced to a woman trying to make it in the world by being a a pleaser for men if you know what I mean and a  fake medium for a living. She meets a client named Sadie that has a house that appears to be haunted and she would like some advice to figure out what to do about it.

For such a short story, I was really captivated by the characters and I was really curious to find out what happened to them. I flipped page after page hoping to unravel the mystery of the haunted house and the troubled son that seemed to be causing loads and loads of trouble for our two main woman.

After being so pleased with The Grownup, I am actually considering giving Gone Girl a second chance. I feel like my tastes have changed since I’ve grown older and I might appreciate the thriller more than I did in the past.

I’ve decided to give this short story 3  stars for the fast paced mystery and engaging characters. I did however have some unanswered questions that are probably going to haunt me tonight but I would still recommend this book. Especially if you are uncertain about Gillian Flynn’s other books, it’s a great way to dip your toes into her writing style.

3 Stars

 

gillian-flynn-238x300ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gillian Flynn was born in Kansas City, Missouri to two community-college professors—her mother taught reading; her father, film. Thus she spent an inordinate amount of her youth nosing through books and watching movies. She has happy memories of having A Wrinkle in Time pried from her hands at the dinner table, and also of seeing Alien, Psycho and Bonnie and Clyde at a questionable age (like, seven). It was a good childhood.