Monthly Archives: December 2014

Review – Bag of Bones

Bag of Bones

 Title: Bag of Bones

 Author: Stephen King

 1998 – Fiction – Horror

 Rating: 4/5

The Story: After his wife’s death, author Mike Noonan begins to suffer severe writer’s block. So he sets out for the lake house he and his wife loved so much, Sara Laughs, hoping to find inspiration and refreshment in the small town he remembers so fondly. Instead, he finds that his wife had big secrets. And the town he loved so dearly is now in the grip of eccentric and dangerous millionaire Max Devore. After stepping in on behalf of Max’s daughter-in-law Mattie and her daughter Kyra against Max, Mike finds himself caught up in a supernatural battle that has raged throughout the history of the town.

The Opening Line: On a very hot day in August of 1994, my wife told me she was going down to the Derry Rite Aid to pick up a refill on her sinus medicine prescription – this is stuff you can buy over the counter these days, I believe.

What I Loved: This chunkster demanded a huge portion of my time and attention. I happily gave it. I think the greatest thing about this book was how well King was able to build tension and suspense – even when absolutely nothing terrifying had happened yet. It was the delicious anticipation of how King was going my scare my socks off that I loved the most. And then when King actually began to weave the story together and things began to happen, that’s when I had to stop reading before bed or when I was home alone.

What I Didn’t Love: I read this back in early December, so I can’t exactly remember anything I particularly didn’t love about it. Maybe some of the things that happened during the ending that I can’t talk about? Oh, and the way he repeated the phrase “bag of bones” throughout. Yep, I get that it’s the title, but it was annoying.

Final Thoughts: So I was trying to compare Bag of Bones to ‘Salem’s Lot, but it’s hard. The vampires of the Lot are super terrifying in kind of a known way. But the thing is, you know how to fight them – during the day, with stakes and holy water and faith. The supernatural events of Bag of Bones were less tangible, but equally scary. Once again, King amazed and petrified me, leaving me to wonder if I should read another of King’s books or seek out less terrifying fare. Thoughts?

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Preview – When

When

 Title: When

 Author: Victoria Laurie

 YA – Realistic Fiction with a Twinge of Psychic Ability

 Release Date: January 13, 2015

 Source: NetGalley

So tell me this. Would you want to know the date of your death in advance? Not how or why or any of the details, just the date? Would you want to use that time to prepare, get your affairs in order, and hug your loved ones a little tighter? Or would you prefer to be blissfully ignorant, letting nature run its course?

What if someone came up to you, claiming to know that date? Trying to warn you so you would be aware? Would you write them off as a fluke or a quack? Would you pay for a professional reading? Or would you get angry?

As far back as she can remember, Maddie has noticed strings of numbers hovering above the foreheads of the people she encounters. She can also see those numbers on television and in photographs. But it isn’t until her father dies in the line of duty that her family figures it out – those aren’t just any numbers, they are each person’s unique death date. As her mother succumbs to the pull of alcohol, she relies on Maddie to do professional readings to bring in additional income. But after Maddie warns a mother that her son’s death date is the following week, the son is brutally murdered – and Maddie is implicated.

Reading this novel was like watching an episode of CSI with a supernatural, psychic twist. It was full of drama and action and plenty of those coincidences that you just can’t fully believe, but you’re more than happy to accept because they move the action along. It was light and fast-paced and didn’t take very much time at all to read. And it had the added bonus of being just thriller-y enough to freak me out when I was lying in bed at night, wondering who the murderer was.

Just like watching those uber-dramatic crime shows, though, I often found myself wondering why the main character was so dumb sometimes. Seriously. When your lawyer uncle tells you not to do something because you’re being investigated for murder and it could make you look even worse, you don’t do that thing. You don’t knowingly put yourself in danger. You don’t implicate yourself even more. Just like the helpless main character in a horror movie always walks into the dark house alone asking “Who’s there?”, sometimes Maddie wasn’t the brightest crayon in the box. But she was fiercely loyal and passionate and persistent, so I guess that’s something.

YA murder mysteries/thrillers aren’t really a thing these days. Today it’s all about sparkly supernatural vampires, magical boarding schools, zombies rising from the grave, fantasy assassins, and horrific future dystopias in which kids are pitted against others or the government in order to survive. We don’t see enough thrillers for teens, and that’s not a good thing. Because sometimes you just need a light, chilling read like When. Even with its flaws, it’s unique, with a hint of romance, and plenty of action to lure even the most reluctant teen. And that’s definitely a good thing.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! is a weekly meme hosted over at Book Journey that allows bloggers to post a sort of wrap-up of the past week while also looking to the week ahead. Without further ado…

Last Week: I celebrated Christmas with my family – only 4 of us this year! Other family members dropped in and out throughout the couple of days I was home, stopping in for a few minutes to eat leftovers or play a quick round of Zombie Dice. Overall, this was a weird Christmas. We all have short tempers, so we tend to spend the holidays arguing. After all, it isn’t Christmas unless someone is crying, right? But this year, no tears, no drama, no arguments. We spent time eating great food, opening great gifts, and playing some really fun board/card/dice games.

In other news, after investing hundreds of hours, plenty of curses, and part of my soul, I finally beat Skyrim! I’m feeling that post-game emptiness as I search for something new to fill the gap. So between Christmas and Skyrim, my reading and reviewing was light this week. That’s okay, right??

Reviews: Gabi, A Girl in Pieces

Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero Fun Home by Alison Bechdel Fables by Bill Willingham

Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier Fables by Bill Willingham

Currently Reading: When – Victoria Laurie; Fables: The Deluxe Edition, Volume 3 – Bill Willingham

When Fables: The Deluxe Edition, Vol. 3

Looking Ahead: Finishing Skyrim + another weird work week + time off for New Year celebrations = plenty of reading time this week…I hope. I always say that, then find that I have plenty of other things to fill my time. However, later this week, another Roomie Reading Challenge begins. This time we are rereading through the Harry Potter series. Yep, all 7. We haven’t set the stakes yet, but it looks like my library stack will have to wait a bit as I race to claim victory yet again!

The Cure for Dreaming The Settling Earth Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2)

So, tell me. Big plans for ringing in 2015? A small celebration with friends? Or just settling in with a favorite book?

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