Book Review: Lisey’s Story

857078

×

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

×

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is threatening her to ‘hurt her where she wouldn’t let boys in middle school touch’ if she doesn’t turn in Scott’s unpublished work to certain professor.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

Advertisements

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.

×××

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.

Book Review: Every Day

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

.

×××

Title: Every Day

Author: David Levithan

Published: August 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Time it took me to read: 22/01 – 05/02

Rating: 4 out of 5

×××

“A” wakes up in a different body each day. It’s been like that every day of its life. It is neither a he or a she, black nor white nor Asian nor Hispanic, it is no ones child or sibling. It is a parasite that lives one day of someone’s life and then moves on to the next while leaving the previous person slightly dazed about the last day’s events. The only thing that is constant in A’s life is that he only ends up in bodies in the general area (up to 4 hours away from the previous person) and they always the same age he is.

We meet “A” when he wakes up in the body of Justin, a regular, nothing special, boy. On most days, he tries to get through the days as the people he possesses usually do. Except today is different. He doesn’t know what exactly but somewhere during the day he asks Justin’s girlfriend to take off for the day. Skip school and head to the beach. He connects with Rihannon, Justin’s girlfriend, in a way that he has never connected with a person before. Even after he left Justin’s body, he can’t seem to stop thinking about her. He has to see her again.

×××

I found this book on goodreads when browsing around for new things to read. It stood out to me. The premise is quite unique I think, and I had to read it as soon as possible.

I really liked this book. It wasn’t life changing or anything but it was different and interesting. I kind of hope that the author will decide to write a sequel because there is much more to say about A.

What I like most was the description of all the different people whose body he borrows for a day. All shapes and sizes, genders, colors, sexualities. Everyone had a different story. The only constant in the story is Rihannon.

A’s relationship with Rihannon was not necessarily what made the book great for me. I thought she was a little too accepting of the whole body changing thing. I did like Rihannon though, she was an actual realistic girl. She is the type of girl who you’d like to be your friend. It was how A lives ‘it’s’ life that made it a good read. The concept on it’s own was so original that the story didn’t even matter that much. Is that weird?

Anyway, I recommend this book for everyone who is looking for something new and different with an interesting twist. I rate it a 4 out of 5. I’m really liking David Levithan, I first discovered him through his collaboration with John  Green in the book Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Also a book that I really recommend.

Book Review: The Chaos of Stars

Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of Paranormalcy, is back with The Chaos of Stars—an enchanting novel set in Egypt and San Diego that captures the magic of first love and the eternally complicated truth about family.

Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up—which comes with the territory when you’re the human daughter of the ancient Egyptian gods Isis and Osiris. Isadora is tired of living with crazy relatives who think she’s only worthy of a passing glance—so when she gets the chance to move to California with her brother, she jumps on it. But her new life comes with plenty of its own dramatic—and dangerous—complications . . . and Isadora quickly learns there’s no such thing as a clean break from family.

×

Title: The Chaos of Stars 

Author: Kiersten White

Published: September, 2013 by HarperTeen

Time it took me to read: 22/01 – 26/01

Rating: 3 out of 5

×××

This book is the exception that proves the rule. Those who read my reviews regularly know that when I don’t have anything to add to the synopsis than what is written in the burb, the review probably will not be very good. This is not the case with The Chaos of Stars though, I just want to jump straight into my review.

I picked up this book on a whim after passing it in the library. What made me notice it was the very pretty cover. It was definitely an eye catcher and then after I read the blurb I was like ‘eh why not’ and took it home with me. Let that be a lesson to publishers everywhere: pretty covers help your books get picked/sold. Look at it though, isn’t it gorgeous?

I really liked that this was about Egyptian Gods. We see so many books about myths and legends (see: vampires, werewolves and angels) and lately there’s a lot about Greek mythology too (see: Percy Jackson and the Starcrossed series). This was actually the first book I saw that was about Egyptian history. I was a bit apprehensive at first though, I feared that it would be another Twilight rehash or something like that but fortunately it wasn’t. It was actually pretty good!

Isadora is pretty much like you and me, only thing is that she is the daughter of two Egyptian Gods. Because she is not immortal like them, Isadora *not Isa or Dora please!* thinks that they don’t care about her. She thinks that she is just someone they need to remember them so they can keep their power as Gods. So when Isis feels a dark presence threatening her daughter, Isadora gladly takes the chance to get away and move to her brother in San Diego.

So Isadora is obviously the protagonist, we follow her to the States where she learns to live in the modern age and where she makes a life for herself. She is very cynical and angry at everyone pretty much all of the time. She resents her parents and basically is doing everything she can to get away from them. I don’t think that the author overdid it with the cynicism, though. Or it didn’t bother me anyway, it was just the right amount for me, but I think I can see how some people might think that’s it’s a bit whiny but oh well. What I really liked about Isadora is that her passion is interior design. Not just because I really like interior design myself, but also because it’s completely different from the usual ‘artsy, poetry writing, literature reading’ heroines that we usually have in YA books today. Isadora is very strong and original.

Of course, where you have a YA book, you have a love interest. I liked Ry a lot. And although it was painfully obvious what the endgame was when his full name was revealed, I didn’t mind. Ry may stay. He has the Emma stamp of approval.

So what I liked best about this book is that there’s basically two story lines that are entangled. On the one hand you’ve got that threat that’s looming over everyone’s head but then on the other hand there’s Isadora’s every day life and the story of her figuring out how to live her own life. Sometimes you kind of forget about the threat until it’s suddenly brought up again. I’m thinking that a book is well written when you don’t mind reading about a person’s every day life for fifty pages.

Anyway, another thing I love is that at the start of every chapter there’s this little history lesson on the Egyptian Gods that figures into the story. It was a great way to learn a little more about this culture.

All in all, The Chaos of Stars is very much a Young Adult book and it reads as such. I wouldn’t expect too much from it but it is still very much enjoyable. I do get that it might not be everyone’s cup of tea though. But you should definitely give it a chance, especially if you’re interested in Egyptian Gods and Myths.

I rated it a 3 out of 5 because, you know, it’s not like life changing literature, but it’s enjoyable all the same. It made me want to read more about Isadora and I wish there was a sequel. Oh well.. I will definitely check out the Paranormalcy series, written by the same author, though.