Book Review: Lisey’s Story

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Lisey Landon lost her husband Scott two years ago, after a twenty-five-year marriage of profound, sometimes frightening intimacy. Scott was a celebrated, award-winning, novelist. And a complex man. Lisey knew there was a dark place where her husband ventured to face his demons. Boo’ya Moon is what Scott called it; a realm that both terrified and healed him, that could eat him alive or give him the ideas he needed to write and live. Now, it’s Lisey’s turn to face her husband’s demons. And what begins as a widow’s effort to sort through her husband’s effects, becomes a perilous journey into the heart of darkness

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Title: Lisey’s Story

Author: Stephen King

Published: October 2006 by Scribner Book Company

Time it took me to read: 10/05 – 29/05

Rating: 3 out of 5

the story

Two years after the tragic death of famous writer Scott Landon, his widow Lisey finally has worked up the courage of cleaning out his workplace. Many hidden treasures are hidden here, treasures that more than one collector wants to get their hands on but Lisey has been able to keep them away from what remains of her husband’s legacy. But as she breaks ground on this project, things seem to go horribly wrong.

Scott was a troubled man, growing up with an abusive father who had taken it on himself to make sure that he and his sons regularly let out ‘the bad-gunky’ by making blood-bools to make sure they stayed sane, until one day his brother Paul is overtaken with the real bad-gunky and dies. All his life Scott has had to deal with the consequences of what happened to Paul and took to Boo’ya Moon to heal and find whatever he needed to cope with what was happening.

Now it is Lisey’s turn to take over from Scott. Danger comes from two sides as her oldest sister is taken ill and seems to have permanently vacated the premises and a dangerous southerner is threatening her to ‘hurt her where she wouldn’t let boys in middle school touch’ if she doesn’t turn in Scott’s unpublished work to certain professor.

Lisey is forced to follow the clues that Scott seemed to have laid out for her before (or after) his death to make it out of this one alive. Through flashbacks, we learn about Scott and Lisey’s marriage and that Boo’ya Moon is not just the imaginary place where Scott got his inspiration, but an actual mystical land where many dangers lie, and where Lisey has to go to save her sister, and herself.

my thoughts

Okay so here’s the thing. I love Stephen King to death, I really do. But every once in a while there’s this book where I think ‘whyyyyyy’. This especially happens when at first it seems to be a non-supernatural story that works really well, when suddenly he plomps in this magical world. This happened in Rose Madder, an amazing book about a battered woman when suddenly her abusive ex husband turns into an ox and she takes him inside of a painting where he is dealt with (sounds familiar maybe?), and it happened again with Lisey’s Story. I think that if Boo’ya Moon would have remained an imaginary place, his creative refuge maybe, I would have liked it so so so much better.

The story is really very compelling though, from the first page you just keep reading. I do have to say that it’s very confusing, you don’t really find out what is actually happening or what the plot is until you’re maybe halfway through the book. But if you keep with it, you’ll be fine. You won’t regret it. At least I didn’t.

What did annoy me a little were the many ‘Scott-isms’ that are used. A couple is fine, especially if they add to the story, but after ‘bad-gunky’, ‘SOWISA’, ‘smucking’, ‘bool’ and ‘boo’ya moon’, I thought it was enough. Scott seemed to have a different word for everything and that’s great, he’s a creative genius, but we don’t need to hear every single one multiple times.

Speaking of creative genius.. I don’t care how much they loved each other but if my boyfriend put his hand through a greenhouse window so he can bleed for me as an apology when I’m upset with him, I’m running in the opposite direction. Like seriously. What the hell, Lisey.

I did enjoy our crazy Southern friend in the story. He reminded me a little bit of the guy from Secret Window, but it turned out to be something completely different. I think if it would have been a non-supernatural stalking/crazy person story, it would have been perfect.

But of course, it remains a SK book and that means that even if I don’t agree with certain decisions he made, it is still awesome. You won’t regret reading it. 3 out of 5 stars for Lisey’s Story.

SOWISA, babyluv, Strap On Whenever It Seems Appropriate

Poll things

One of the things I’m really bad at is actually reading the books that I buy. Somehow, I just end up reading and re-reading my comfort books that I’ve already read 100 times before. So I’m brining back the polls. Help me decide.

I’m wrapping up Lisey’s Story pretty soon, I’m thinking in the next 2 or 3 days, so that’ll give me (and you) more than enough time to gather some votes on this muy importante poll.

That reminds me.. I still need to review Firestarter.. Dammit. I’m so out of it.

This is why we don’t have nice things, Sam. Or a famous blog. When it’s late I like to quote Supernatural. Don’t judge me.

Annywayyy, vote below please ^_^

Book Haul!

Ceeeeeelebrate good times, come on! 

Do you have annny idea how long it has been since I bought books? Do you? It’s been MONTHS. MONTHS I TELL YOU. It’s been nearly unbearable.

Anyway so I am very happy that I have the sweetest mother in the world who, when I was whining “I want to buy these books so badly but I can’t”, said “oh just buy them already I’ll pay”. I bet you all wish you had a mother like that. Jealous? You should be.

Here’s the haul:

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Now to be fair the Hundred-year-old man who did all those things I plucked out of my moms book case because I haven’t read it yet. Shame on me, I know. Then we have the new Jonas Jonasson “The girl who Saved the King of Sweden”. If it’s anywhere as good as good as his debut novel, it’s going to be golden.

Then there’s “Twelve Years a Slave”. I recently saw the film and was very impressed. I wanted to read this book ever since.

Of course it’s absolutely unacceptable that I haven’t read the Book Thief yet but what am I gonna do. It’s on the list. I’m happy I finally have it in my collection.

Only problem now though is that my bookcase is utterly full. Like no place left full. I’m currently storing these books on my bed along with all the books that I’m reading at the moment but I think I will have to find a place for them some time.. I think I’m gonna have to build some shelves or something. Problems of a bibliophile pt 1.

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Ten Influential Books Tag


10 most influential

Hello my lovely internet friends. Hope you’re all doing well. I must apologize for my absence of late, I still really need to get back into regular blogging and writing book reviews now that I don’t work 45 hours a week anymore. I mean to do blogs and then it’s a week later and I’m like “… shit”. Which brings me to today’s topic. About three hundred years ago (more like a month) Leah tagged me in her “10 most influential books tag“, and because she’s awesome and the tag is awesome I am going to do it. I could probably make a 100 book list but hey. Let’s get started shall we?

1. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone

I started reading relatively late. When I was younger I always refused to read, much to my parent’s frustration, until I was about 10 years old when on one random night I felt like reading about a boy living in a closet and took HP off it’s shelve for the first time. I was smitten and I think I read the first four books in about as many months. It was how I fell in love with books. The start of everything. After this I would become the girl who was reading in class and forgot the whole world around her. FYI, I was in a Montessori school which means that you can decide what you do when, so I could read whenever I wanted to. I remember my classmate shaking my shoulder, telling me that we were allowed to go home now.

2. Jan Rap en z’n Maat

I am so sad that this beautiful book was never translated into English because now most of you will never be able to understand the importance of this book. I read this book at a relatively young age. I have no idea how I came by it because it’s definitely not a kids book but oh well. It’s a novel based on the experiences that the author had while working in a youth shelter in the Dutch city of The Hague (Den Haag). We see all kinds of different teenagers come in, looking for a place to stay. These kids have problems ranging from severe mental issues to a transvestite who was kicked out of his house, to physical abuse and rape and everything in between. This book has had such a big influence on me because it was reading about these kids that made me want to go into Social Services. That eventually lead me to education and my desire to become a guidance counselor.

3. And Then There Were None

The first time I ‘read’ this book, I didn’t actually read it myself. My mom read it to me as a thing over the summer when I was about 12/13 years old maybe. It was something that we could do together at night before we went to bed. My mom being the teacher that she is was able to make the already amazing book incredibly scary and mysterious and even more exciting than it already is with her theatricality. Basically I was scared to go to bed after reading another chapter. She loved it of course, and so did I. It spiked my love for Agatha Christie, even though I have read way too little by her, and it made me better understand how much books are worth. Reading a book together is one of the most bonding things to people can do together.

4. The Color Purple 

I read the Color Purple when I was in College for an assignment where we had to analyse the pedagogical situation in a book of our choosing. I chose this book simply because I knew my mom owned it, not knowing what it was about. I was sucked in pretty much from the first page on, with the weird writing and the horrific situation that we are thrown in right away. I was fascinated by it, I was impressed and proud with Celie as she changes and develops over the years. I wanted to kill Mister. It was amazing.

5. Dresden Files: Storm Front

You know how you read the first book of a series and you fall in love and you read the whole series (10 books long at that point) in basically two weeks? It was like this for me with the Dresden Files. I came across it because of my dad who had bought one of the graphic novels, thinking it was an actual book, so he gave it to me. It was funny, brilliant, exciting.. it was perfect. So when my dad did get the books in the mail I about snatched them from his hands and read them in lightning speed. It pains me that the books aren’t more popular.. Argh I just love it so much and I want to be able to talk about it!! May 27th the fifteenth book will be released. It’s called Skin Game.. whatever that means. But that means you now have little over 2 weeks to read 14 books. You can do it. Go on.

6. Carrie 

When I was in my early teens, my parents wanted to watch Stephen King’s Carrie with me. This is an 18+ movie so one could ask what my parents were thinking.. but anyway I ran out about half way and refused to watch it for years. Years. Even the dvd case scared me. My parent’s thought it was hilarious and teased me relentlessly with it. At some point I did a book review on a book by my favourite writer at the time named Carry Slee. My dad helped me type and thought it was extremely funny to keep type Carrie White instead of Carry Slee. Eugh. Anyway, one day I thought ‘fuck this shit’ and bought and read the book, which was much better of course. This was the first SK book that I have read, and it has now developed in a slight obsession. I don’t always feel like reading him as sometimes the book can be very long (IT, I’m looking at you here) but I love him.

My SK collection, all books that I don't have on paper I definitely have on my Kindle
My SK collection, all books that I don’t have on paper I definitely have on my Kindle

7. 19 minutes

As someone who both wants to work in education and with troubled teens, this book struck a chord with me. I admire Jodi Picoult so much for having the balls to write this and humanize the shooter in this situation. I believe I have mentioned this book several times over the last year and a half and I think I’ll keep doing this until everyone in the world has read this book. I have always said that I love Jodi Picoult because she isn’t afraid to write about different and controversial subjects, this is especially true with this book.

8. The Help

Ever since high school I have been fascinated with the civil rights movement in the US in the ’60s. I don’t know why but it was one of the few subjects in my history class that I studies with actual interest. I did my graduating project on it. This is why I picked up The Help in the first place (that and I heard that it was a great book) but I kept reading because of how much I loved it. After reading something like this I always thank the Gods that I live in a time and country where everyone is accepted as they are. I count my blessings.

9. Looking for Alaska

This is the second John Green book that I read, TFIOS was the first, but it was this book that had the most impact on me. I kind of hated Alaska, which surprised me, but I felt sorry for her. I could see what was going to happen from a mile away. What I love about this book is that we don’t get a definite answer and that the reader is allowed to decided for itself what happened that night. I wrote about what I thought had happened in my review because my theory was itching to be voiced. My review for Alaska has been my most read review to date.

10. Love Story

Love means never having to say you’re sorry. I cried. I hate that book. Hate.

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So that’s it for me. You’re up next. I tag Kokkieh, Black ‘n Write Reviews, Art and Youths Love and Madame Bibilophile Recommends anyone else who wants to do it. Share with us. Link back to Leah’s original post when you do though. The banner is mine but you are absolutely free to use it.