April is here!!

Well, April is finally here!  Ahhhh, Spring…it actually snowed today which was really strange but yes, now the sun is out and it is finally Spring.  I just wanted to write my super exciting plans for reading this month.  I do not have any reviews currently that I am in a mental space to write so we will do a general status update today.

This weekend I finished my reread of The Shining by Stephen King which is one of my all time favorite books.  I have to say, I think it was even better the second time round or maybe it is because I am so much older now I can appreciate it more.  I first read The Shining in high school, so over 20 years ago, and I was so freaked out through the whole thing that I think I may have missed a few details. I did remember my favorite chapter though when I got to it, almost paragraph for paragraph.  Chapter 36, The Elevator.  Wow.  A chapter that could be a total workshop in horror writing – but honestly, this book is a masterpiece.  I think people forget just how groundbreaking it was for psychological horror when it was first released.  The year was 1977, people! This book is a classic.  A timeless classic and I will always love it.

This leads me in to my reason for rereading it now – I am joining a readalong through Instagram called the #traintoteenytown which is a large group readalong of Doctor Sleep. For those of you who may not know, Doctor Sleep is the sequel to The Shining which King released in 2013…quick math = 36 years later.  Little did I know when I bought it upon release day that it was the book I had been waiting for my entire life!  Danny Torrance, all grown up. After I finished Doctor Sleep, I thought to myself, ‘man, I would love to read them back-to-back someday’ – as it turns out, today is that day.  So, I finished The Shining on Saturday night and started my reread of Doctor Sleep this morning before work.

Quite literally, The Shining/Doctor Sleep combo is the most brilliant duology ever penned and I will stick to that! I am excited to be reading it this time with a group as well.  We have a certain number of pages to read each week, for four weeks, with discussion questions sent out on the Sunday of each week to discuss via group chat.  Most of the people reading it are reading it for the first time so I am really looking forward to hearing their thoughts on it.  I will be annotating it this time around so am hoping to bring some insight into the discussion as a 2nd time reader.

Also this month, I will be participating in a buddy read of Justin Cronin’s, The Passage, with a group of my book buddies (we are lovingly called the Floatin’ Troopers) – really looking forward to diving into this post-apocalyptic horror trilogy as I have heard nothing but good things about it.  It’s a pretty long book, the paperback edition coming in at 766 pages, so we are reading this one into May.  Our group usually picks one book a month that we all try to read – it is very informal though and discussions are usually steered more towards how the book is making us feel, what our thoughts are on a particular author’s writing style as opposed to plot points; that way we aren’t spoiling things for our buddies who may not have gotten as far in the book.

I have a couple other books I am hoping to get to this month.  Firstly, I hope to finish all of the 9 books I am currently reading! I have some ARCs I really need to get to this month and I definitely want to get to Tomi Adeyemi’s, Children of Blood & Bone.  What are you looking forward to reading this month? Anyone else doing any buddy reads or book club reads? I would love to hear about them in the comments below!

Happy reading!!!

Review: NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Happy Saturday bookish loves!  Today I finally feel ready to discuss NOS4A2. I finished NOS4A2, by Joe Hill, almost a week ago and still do not think that I have a truly cogent way of explaining my love for this book. However, one of my 2018 book goals is to review every book I finish so here we go….
This book was so unique, so dark and amusing, so full of references to King works, so replete with character and world development, I find myself still pondering it days after completion. Halfway through I ordered a copy for my sister and had it sent to her because I just needed to share this with someone. This book tests the line between the world around us and the world we create with our minds.
Our villain, Charles Talent Manx (the III, I believe), is a vampire of sorts and so devilishly charming that he almost fooled me into developing a soft spot for him. He was all kinds of evil and powerful and wonderfully creative.
Next comes Victoria McQueen – Vic is our heroine. She was powerful in her own right – using her powers to ‘find’ things that had been lost – losing a little of herself every time she used her gift. The loving, yet apprehensive mother of Bruce Wayne Carmody, Vic’s strength (both mental and physical) are pushed to the limits numerous times during the story, all on account of Manx. Unfortunately, her little Wayne feels the pull of Christmasland and we watch his soul go on one hell of a dangerous ride!
Then we have our minor characters, who were so well drawn and complete – my favorites, Maggie & Lou, were so important to this story and in my opinion, two of the most likable people in the action. Both misfits, they were real, engaging, loyal and brave.
This book is long, really long, but worth the ride if you put in the time. I may read it again next year around Christmas – making it a sort of tradition. After all, once you go to Christmasland, you never want to leave!

Review: Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill is another one of my 5-star reads from this year.  I finished up with this one in September and was once again blown away by Hill’s talent. I had previously read his novel, Horns, which has since been turned into a movie starring Harry Potter…..I mean, Daniel Radcliffe. For those of you who have never heard of Hill, he is the richly talented son of my favorite writer, Stephen King. Is writing genetic? Possibly.

In this one, we meet Judas Coyne, an aging rock star who has a penchant for younger women and collecting obscure, macabre items. This odd hobby (the item collection, not the younger women) brings him to buy a dead man’s suit and thus it begins – a gritty ghost story that grabs you from the very first chapter. I could not put this one down once I started. Joe Hill is such a fantastic writer – he writes with such persuasion and conviction that you find yourself believing what the narrator is telling you, no matter how dark. You can dive right into this one and never look up if you allow yourself. This was so creative and fast-paced and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute!

As a side note, I am currently reading Hill’s novel, NOS4A2 (which is a wonderful Christmas time read), and it is proving to be my favorite of his works thus far!!  If you like dark, you have to read Hill!

Review: The Wicked by James Newman

The Wicked. Oh how I love you! (I mean, look at this cover!) I finished this book yesterday and enjoyed it so much.  It is like nothing I have read in a very long time.

I received this book through my Nocturnal Readers Box subscription and I am so glad they included this. This book is true horror – the entire book teemed with the classic feels of 1980s horror. I grew up loving all things horror – watching movies like The Gate, Fright Night and Halloween over and over again, in addition to reading anything in the genre I could get my hands on.

In this one we have the classic tale of evil taking over and almost completely annihilating a small town- the pace of this book is very fast moving and the imagery is solid and disturbing.  Some of the deaths scenes….damn, that Moloch is harsh!  In the beginning I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy the main characters, as they are very different from myself, but I did grow attached to them and ultimately was really rooting for them to survive the bloodbath. My favorite character was this older gentleman named George who was really just a smart-ole’ battleax (these types of characters always tended to be my favorites in old horror movies as well). They provide a bit of humor and a sense of comfort, being older, and that they always know how to tackle a situation.

If you are looking for a true horror read, I would definitely recommend you check out this book, you will not be disappointed! *One aside, there are some strong sexual elements in the story so if you are a more ‘sensitive’ reader to that type of situation, you may wish to steer clear.