I just finished reading my first book of 2016. The book was Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill. Now, I’m not one for scary stories (though I handle scary books much better than I do scary films); however, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even with its ghost story elements. The book is an easy read and entertaining story.
The book follows the story of a man named Jude who was once a great rock star but has been sitting on the back burner for a few years now. Jude, who has a fascination with the occult, finds a ghost for sale online and jumps at the opportunity to buy it. What he doesn’t realize is that the ghost he purchased is the dead step-father of his ex-girlfriend–a girl who killed herself after he broke up with her. Now, this ghost is determine to make Jude pay for the pain he caused.
The story is fast-paced and offers one event right after the other without much downtime. As far as style is concerned, while reading this book it is not hard to believe that Joe Hill is the son of author Stephen King. The two writing styles are very similar. Also like King, Hill’s characters find themselves in situations that seem unbeatable, mostly because they are faced with villains they don’t quite know how to fight against.
Even though this was a book that I had to read during daylight hours (because, again, I have a heard time with scary things at night), it was a book I really liked. It was a quick, easy read and very entertaining. It might not be a good novel if you are looking for deep meaning, but it’s a great story for passing the time.
Who doesn’t love a good Stephen King novel? His latest Joyland is definitely worth the read. The novel is relatively short and a quick read, making it the perfect addition to your summer reading list. Though this novel would probably fall far from a literary critic’s idea of great literature, it’s entertaining and gets the reader involved, which is really what I find myself looking for in a book.
Joyland follows the story of 21-year-old Devin Jones. It’s the story of the summer he spent working at an amusement park in North Carolina called Joyland. It’s the story of how he got his heart broken and survived. And it’s the story of a murder that took place years beforehand on one of the rides at the park.
Devin is a character who is easy to connect to because, in some way, I think we’ve all been him at some point in our lives. He’s at a crossroads in his life and is trying to decide which way to turn. He’s dealing with the harsh realities of growing up and learning to live in the world after college. I have to believe that most adults have been at this same crossroads in their own lives, making Devin’s roller coaster ride into adulthood something everyone can relate to.
As for the murder mystery itself, it’s a good one. I admit, I did figure it out about 200 pages in (out of 283 pages total), but I almost always figures these murder mystery stories out before the characters do. That being said, I didn’t quite see how all the pieces fit together until I had finished the entire book (and I have to say, it was very clever).
On the whole, this is one I would recommend. For those of you who are afraid Stephen King is too scary for you, don’t be. Yes, there’s a ghost in this story. But no, the book’s not one that’s going to keep you up all night. Believe me, I get scared easier than anyone I know and I was fine