The Telling by Alexandra Sirowy #bookreview

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Title: The Telling

Author: Alexandra Sirowy

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Date of Publication: August 2016

Genre: YA Contemporary, Horror/Thriller/Mystery

Page Count: 389

ISBN: 9781481418898 (hardback)

 

 

 

synopsis

Lana used to know what was real.

That was before, when her life was small and quiet.

Her golden stepbrother, Ben, was alive.

She could only dream about bonfiring with the populars.

Their wooded island home was idyllic, she could tell the truth from lies, and Ben’s childhood stories were firmly in her imagination.

Then came after.

After has Lana boldly kissing her crush, jumping into the water from too high up, living with nerve and mischief.

But after also has horrors, deaths that only make sense in fairy tales, and terrors from a past Lana thought long forgotten: Love, blood, and murder.”

My Review

I picked this book as my Five Star Prediction read for Contemporaryathon. Sadly, I was greatly disappointed.

“For the girls who are sharks, and those who are kittens, and those who are heroes, and those who are villains.”

The Telling is about a teen named Lana becoming a different person after she witnesses her stepbrother’s murder. Before his murder she was a quiet “kitten”, worried about what other’s thought of her, spending most of her time with her close friend Willa. After his murder she’s becoming a more confident “shark”, hanging out with the popular group of friends known as “the core”: Josh, Carolyn, Rusty, Duncan, and Becca.

My favourite characters are Lana’s stepbrother Ben, a good guy who couldn’t stand living on rich Gant Island after volunteering in Guatemala, and Lana’s best friend Willa, studious, cool-minded, and not impressed by “the core”.

I liked the paranormal aspect of Ben’s stories coming to life. It was a page-turner, but only because I guessed who the killer was really early on, and wanted to find out if I was right (hoping that I was wrong so I could be surprised).

I didn’t feel connected to any of the characters, and wasn’t upset when any of them were in danger. Detective Sweeny and Wood are flat, uninteresting, one-dimensional, typical good cop/bad cop.

It’s disappointing that we never get to meet “Skitzy-Fitzy“, even though he’s mentioned multiple times.

I was really confused when the parents let Detective Sweeny and Wood interview Lana, Willa, and “the core” without a parent or lawyer in the room. The detectives told Lana details about Maggie’s death during the interview which I think should have been kept private. It felt extremely unbelievable that a detective would be giving a suspect that much information about a possible homicide.

The Telling felt like a cheesy horror novel with stereotypical characters that lack real emotion. Pardon the pun, but The Telling did just that – too much “telling”, not enough “showing”.

Even though I didn’t like it, a lot of my friends on Goodreads did. So don’t take my word for it! I recommend The Telling to readers who are into YA horror/mystery stories.

About the author

“I WRITE ABOUT GIRLS WHO RESCUE THEMSELVES, TRUE LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP, SECRETS AND LIES, AND MONSTERS AND HEROES THAT LOOK LIKE ME AND YOU.”

http://www.alexandrasirowy.com/about.html

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The Humans by Matt Haig #bookreview

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Title: The Humans

Author: Matt Haig

Publisher: HarperCollins Canada

Date of Publication: July 2013 (first published May 2013)

Page Count: 304

ISBN: 9781443423656

Synopsis on Goodreads click here

The Humans is a funny Science Fiction novel about an alien who comes to Earth to destroy evidence of a mathematical equation which Professor Andrew Martin has solved, and in the process the alien discovers what it means to be human.

“This book, this actual book, is set right here, on Earth. It is about the meaning of life and nothing at all. It is about what it takes to kill somebody, and save them. It is about love and dead poets and wholenut peanut butter. It’s about matter and anti-matter, everything and nothing, hope and hate. It’s about a forty-one-year-old female historian called Isobel and her fifteen-year-old son called Gulliver and the cleverest mathematician in the world. It is, in short, about how to become a human.”

I’ve never read a book like this before. A funny story with an alien coming to Earth to kill a few people to halt human technological progress somehow turned into a very touching narrative about family, love, sacrifice, and forgiveness. The lessons that the alien learn are lessons that we can all appreciate.

The first half of the book was slow for me, and it didn’t keep my attention. Thankfully the last quarter of the book made up for that. I couldn’t connect with any of the characters, and I really didn’t enjoy the choppy chapters. Many chapters were only one page.

My favourite part of The Humans is the 97 points of “Advice for a human”.

” 1. Shame is a shackle. Free yourself.

64. Be alive. That is your supreme duty to the world.

81. You can’t find happiness looking for the meaning of life. Meaning is only the third most important thing. It comes after loving and being.”

I recommend The Humans to adult Sci-Fi fans who can appreciate corny humour.

 

 

 

#ContemporaryAThon TBR

Contemporary-a-thon is a readathon taking place from September 17 – September 23. Check out the Twitter hashtag to follow along 😉

Hosts:

Chelsea from Chelseadolling Reads

Natasha from myreadingisodd

Julie from Pages and Pens

CHALLENGES:
1. Read a contemporary with orange on the cover
2. Read a dark/spooky contemporary
3. Read a diverse contemporary
4. Read a contemporary in a non-traditional format (graphic novel, poem, audio)
5. Read a contemporary that has your initials somewhere on the cover
6. Read a contemporary from a new to you author
7. Read a contemporary that is a 5 star prediction

 

22554204Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy

– Orange on the cover
– Diverse
– Non-Traditional format
– Initials on the cover (AH)
– New to me author

Synopsis: “At Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s camp for hard-core lady-types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams. Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together… And they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here.”

25522033The Telling

By Alexandra Sirowy

  • – Dark/Spooky Contemporary
    – 5 Star Prediction
    – New to me

Published August 2016 by Simon & Schuster

389 pages (hardcover)

YA Contemporary, Mystery/Thriller/Horror

Synopsis: “Lana used to know what was real.

That was before, when her life was small and quiet.

Her golden stepbrother, Ben, was alive.

She could only dream about bonfiring with the populars.

Their wooded island home was idyllic, she could tell the truth from lies, and Ben’s childhood stories were firmly in her imagination.

Then came after.

After has Lana boldly kissing her crush, jumping into the water from too high up, living with nerve and mischief.

But after also has horrors, deaths that only make sense in fairy tales, and terrors from a past Lana thought long forgotten: Love, blood, and murder.”

34413706If I somehow finish both of those before the week is done then I’ll read The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin.

Contemporary, Romance, Adventure, Survival

Synopsis: “When a blizzard strands them in Salt Lake City, two strangers agree to charter a plane together, hoping to return home; Ben Payne is a gifted surgeon returning from a conference, and Ashley Knox, a magazine writer, is en route to her wedding. But when unthinkable tragedy strikes, the pair find themselves stranded in Utah’s most remote wilderness in the dead of winter, badly injured and miles from civilization. Without food or shelter, and only Ben’s mountain climbing gear to protect themselves, Ashley and Ben’s chances for survival look bleak, but their reliance on each other sparks an immediate connection, which soon evolves into something more.

Days in the mountains become weeks, as their hope for rescue dwindles. How will they make it out of the wilderness and if they do, how will this experience change them forever? Heart-wrenching and unputdownable, The Mountain Between Us will reaffirm your belief in the power of love to sustain us.”

 

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle #review #netgalley

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Title: The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (originally published as The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle)

Author: Stuart Turton

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Date of Publication: September 18, 2018 (first published February 2018)

Page Count: 432 (e-book)

 

 

 

 

synopsis

Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others…

My Review

I’m going to try to write a review worthy of this amazing début novel by Stuart Turton. The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a mind-twisting story with characters that leap off the page. This multi-perspective mystery has murder, manipulation, and a feeling of desperation, but in the end delivers a message of kindness, forgiveness, and self-acceptance. The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is one of the BEST BOOKS I have EVER read.  I’ll try to keep this post at a reasonable length because I could ramble for pages about the writing quality, descriptions, and symbolism.

I have NEVER read a book with so many moving parts. Turton must have lost his mind trying to keep track of who was doing what, and when. Mentioned a few times in the novel, chess is a symbol of the theme of dark and light throughout the story with Aiden moving each host towards checkmate. Trying to figure out who killed Evelyn is like putting together the most complicated puzzle you’ve ever seen.

As Aiden embodies the eight hosts he initially complains about their limitations, but learns to focus on their unique talents. The plot is very twisty, at times confusing, and I loved every second. The ending clearly explained all the confusing parts and I felt extremely satisfied.

The characters are FANTASTIC. I could picture each unique person clearly in my mind. The mansion, Blackheath, is one of my favourite characters. “Blackheath shrinks around me, shriveling like a spider touched to the flame.” The Plague Doctor is a mysterious character who keeps you wondering if he’s good or bad. Anna is “fierce and fearless”. I love to see authors write about strong, smart, women.

Hooked from beginning to end, I recommend The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle to fans of mystery/thriller who like a dash of magical realism (time travel).

Thank you to Netgalley and publisher for the complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.

 

Currently Reading…The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

I’m at the 45% mark and thoroughly enjoying every page of this debut novel. Thanks to Netgalley for the complimentary digital copy.

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

By Stuart Turton

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Expected Publication: September 18, 2018

432 pages (e-book)

Synopsis: ”

The Rules of Blackheath
Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m.
There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit.
We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer.
Understood? Then let’s begin…

***

Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others…

The most inventive debut of the year twists together a mystery of such unexpected creativity it will leave readers guessing until the very last page.”

 

 

Toil & Trouble #bookreview #anthology #emojiathon 🎵 ✊ 🏳️‍🌈 🧙‍♀️ #toiltrouble #netgalley

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Title: Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft

Edited By: Jessica Spotswood & Tess Sharpe

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Genre: YA Anthology, Fantasy

Date of Publication: August 28, 2018

Page Count: 432 (e-book)

ISBN: 1489267425

Cost: $8.84 (ebooks.com) $18.99 (Hardcover)

Synopsis on Goodreads

Contributors:
Tehlor Kay Mejia “Starsong
Andrea Cremer “Afterbirth”
Tess Sharpe “The Heart In Her Hands”
Lindsay Smith “Death in the Sawtooths
Brandy Colbert “The Truth About Queenie”
Shveta Thakrar “The Moonapple Menagerie”
Robin Talley “The Legend of Stone Mary”
Nova Ren Suma “The One Who Stayed”
Zoraida Córdova “Divine are the Stars”
Brenna Yovanoff “Daughters of Baba Yaga
Kate Hart “The Well Witch”
Jessica Spotswood “Beware of Girls With Crooked Mouths”
Anna-Marie McLemore “Love Spell”
Emery Lord “The Gherin Girls”
Elizabeth May “Why They Watch us Burn”

Toil & Trouble is a unique short story collection of imaginative tales about witches learning to believe in themselves and face their fears. Some of the stories are light, while others are more serious and moving. Nothing can stand in the way of a woman who believes in herself. The real history of witches inspire a modern conversation about past mistakes as an opportunity for change. With a cast of diverse characters, many tales had me hooked from the first paragraph to the end.

Toil & Trouble is a commendable compilation for fantasy fans, especially for those interested in witches, but is also a significant piece of today’s conversation about feminism and diversity.

Some of my Favs:
“Afterbirth” by Andrea Cremer
“The Heart in Her Hands” by Tess Sharpe
“Death in The Sawtooths” by Lindsay Smith
“Love Spell” by Anna-Marie McLemore
“The Gherin Girls” by Emery Lord

My favourite: “Why They Watch Us Burn” by Elizabeth May

All of the stories are at least ⭐⭐⭐ for me, my only complaint being that I found some of the endings abrupt/incomplete.

Thank you to Netgalley and publisher for the complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.

TBR…September 2018

Monthly TBR: July… | Echoing Books

36426163

 

Title: Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft

Edited By: Jessica Spotswood and Tess Sharpe

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Date Published: August 28, 2018

Genre: YA Anthology, Paranormal (witches)

Page Count: 416

Synopsis: “A young adult fiction anthology of 15 stories featuring contemporary, historical, and futuristic stories featuring witchy heroines who are diverse in race, class, sexuality, religion, geography, and era.

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Title: Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties

Author: Dav Pilkey

Publisher: Graphix

Date Published: August 2017

Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Comedy

Page Count: 256

Synopsis: “He was the best of dogs… He was the worst of dogs… It was the age of invention… It was the season of surprise… It was the eve of supa sadness… It was the dawn of hope… Dog Man, the newest hero from the creator of Captain Underpants, hasn’t always been a paws-itive addition to the police force. While he can muzzle miscreants, he tends to leave a slick of slobber in his wake! This time, Petey the cat’s dragged in a tiny bit of trouble — a double in the form of a super-cute kitten. Dog Man will have to work twice as hard to bust these furballs and remain top dog!

the 7.5 deaths of evelyn hardcastle.jpg

 

Title: The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Author: Stuart Turton

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Expected Publication: Sept 18, 2018

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Page Count: 512

Synopsis: “How do you stop a murder that’s already happened?
At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed—again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend—but nothing and no one is quite what they seem.

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Title: The Good Daughter

Author: Karin Slaughter

Publisher: William Morrow

Date Published: August 2017 (first published June 2017)

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Crime

Page Count: 528

Synopsis: “Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind.

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father—Pikeville’s notorious defense attorney—devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, Charlotte has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself—the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again, and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized, Charlotte is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress–because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever. Packed with twists and turns, brimming with emotion and heart, The Good Daughter is fiction at its most thrilling.”

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Title: The Humans

Author: Matt Haig

Publisher: Harper Collins Canada

Date Published: July 2013 (first published May 2013)

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Humour

Page Count: 304

Synopsis: “Body-snatching has never been so heartwarming . . .

The Humans is a funny, compulsively readable novel about alien abduction, mathematics, and that most interesting subject of all: ourselves. Combine Douglas Adams’s irreverent take on life, the universe, and everything with a genuinely moving love story, and you have some idea of the humor, originality, and poignancy of Matt Haig’s latest novel.

Our hero, Professor Andrew Martin, is dead before the book even begins. As it turns out, though, he wasn’t a very nice man–as the alien imposter who now occupies his body discovers. Sent to Earth to destroy evidence that Andrew had solved a major mathematical problem, the alien soon finds himself learning more about the professor, his family, and “the humans” than he ever expected. When he begins to fall for his own wife and son–who have no idea he’s not the real Andrew–the alien must choose between completing his mission and returning home or finding a new home right here on Earth.“

Wrap Up…August 2018

Books I read in August 🌞

25943106

 

Title: Firelight (Amulet #7)

Author: Kazu Kibuishi

Publisher: Graphix

Date Published: February 2016

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Graphic Novel

Page Count: 199

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Click here for my review

 

 

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Title: Everything’s Eventual

Author: Stephen King

Publisher: Gallery Books

Date Published: May 2007 (first published 2002)

Genre: Horror, Short Stories

Page Count: 464

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟🌟  Click here for my review

 

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My son introduced me to one of his favourite book series…

Title: Dog Man

Author: Dav Pilkey

Publisher: Graphix

Date Published: August 2016

Genre: Middle Grade, Comedy, Graphic Novel

Page Count: 231

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟🌟  My son, Owen, and I brought out our best acting voices and read this together. It’s hilarious! Owen’s read this one so many times he knew what the next line was going to be before we turned the page. It’s nice knowing who Dog Man is now, and I have to admit I’m looking forward to reading the next one.

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Title: Dog Man Unleashed

Author: Dav Pilkey

Publisher: Graphix

Date Published: December 2016

Genre: Middle Grade, Comedy, Graphic Novel

Page Count: 224

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟

 

 

32075671

 

Title: The Hate U Give

Author: Angie Thomas

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Date Published: February 2017

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Page Count: 444

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟  Click here for my review

 

 

The Hate U Give…Spoiler-Free Book Review

The following is my spoiler-free review of a compelling, crisp, and crucial début novel called The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.  There’s a video interview with Thomas on Youtube where she talks about why she wrote The Hate U Give, and how it’s based on her own experiences as a young black woman. In the interview she explains that she wrote the book for the people of the black community, in particular the youth, who need hope for their future. As a white woman I feel like I’ve been given a special glimpse into their life. Black Lives Matter. If you’re one of those people who say, “What about white lives? What about police lives?” then this book is not for you, and you do not have the insight to appreciate a story like The Hate U Give. Check out the interview: https://youtu.be/w1gNYFka1-s

32075671

 

Title: The Hate U Give

Author: Angie Thomas

Genre: YA Contemporary Realistic Fiction

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Date published: February 2017

Page Count: 453

Hardcover

ISBN: 9780062498533

 

synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.” Goodreads

My Review

The Hate U Give comes from something Tupac said. Thug Life: T-H-U-G L-I-F-E: The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody. Meaning, how we treat our youth will affect all of us.

Our main character is Starr, daughter of a grocery store owner who is known in the neighbourhood as “Big Mav“. Once a gang member, he did jail time to get out of the gang and make a better life for his family. He’s not the perfect dad, however, he loves his kids and he’s passionate. The part where he’s reciting the Black Panther’s Ten-Points with his kids…wow. It took my breath away. I love the relationship between Starr’s father and mother. Their marriage feels like a partnership, where they have each other’s backs even when they disagree.

The relationship between Starr and her mother is tender, yet tough. Her mother knows when she needs to make Starr laugh, when to let her yell, and when she needs wise words to remember.

“‘It’s okay. Like I was saying, I did everything right. I remember being in that delivery room, and when they pulled you out, I waited for you to cry. But you didn’t. Everybody ran around, and your father and I kept asking what was wrong. Finally the nurse said you weren’t breathing.
I freaked out. Your daddy couldn’t calm me down. He was barely calm himself. After the longest minute of my life, you cried. I think I cried harder than you though. I knew I did something wrong. But one of the nurses took my hand’ – Momma grabs my hand again – ‘looked me in the eye, and said, ‘Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right’.”

Starr and her two brothers attend a mainly white private school called Williamson, and live in a black neighbourhood called Garden Heights. Starr’s boyfriend, Chris, is a white boy that she goes to school with. She’s been dating him for over a year, but hasn’t told her Dad because Chris is white. Starr and Chris come from two different worlds, which reminded me of Romeo and Juliet. I think many readers relate to Starr feeling like she’s one person while at home in Garden Heights, then a different person when she’s at Williamson prep school.

When Starr was twelve her parents talked to her about what to do if a cop talks to her. No moving. No talking back. I never needed that talk because I never had to fear the cops. My daughter is almost twelve years old, and I can’t imagine having to talk with her about how to avoid getting shot by the cops. I take my white privilege for granted, and I’m thankful for a book like this that reminds me to remember how lucky I am.

“‘This is bigger than me and Khalil. This is about Us, with a capital U; everybody who looks like us, feels like us, and is experiencing this pain with us despite not knowing me or Khalil’.” – Starr

The plot is fantastic, however it’s the characters that truly shine in this dark story. I love how Thomas uses the appearance and sound of the English language to create distinct voices. I could hear each character’s voice in my head while reading.

The Hate U Give is suspenseful, and emotional page-turner. I couldn’t put it down.

Other reviewers have disliked the parts of this book that are racist towards white people. Anyone who gives this novel a low rating because the cop who shot Khalil is white, or that Starr says racist things about white people, you didn’t get the point of this story.

This is one of the best début novels I’ve ever read.

I’m not sure if I can summarize my thoughts into a sentence or two. I could write, and write, and write, about this book. I recommend The Hate U Give to every reader mature enough to handle its powerful message (probably 12-14 years old+). I urge you to read this ASAP.

About the author

Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi as indicated by her accent. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She can also still rap if needed. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Meyers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Her debut novel, The Hate U Give, was acquired by Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins in a 13-house auction and will be published in spring 2017. Film rights have been optioned by Fox 2000 with George Tillman attached to direct and Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg set to star.https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15049422.Angie_Thomas

Everything’s Eventual #stephenking #bookreview

Everything’s Eventual, a collection of 14 short stories written by Stephen King, has a couple of tales I couldn’t read before bed.

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Title: Everything’s Eventual

Author: Stephen King

Genre: Horror Anthology

Publisher: Gallery Books

Date published: May 2007 (first published 2002)

Page Count: 464

Paperback

ISBN: 9781416549857

 

synopsis

Whether writing about encounters with the dead, the near dead, or about the mundane dreads of life, from quitting smoking to yard sales, Stephen King is at the top of his form in the fourteen dark tales assembled in Everything’s Eventual. Intense, eerie, and instantly compelling, they announce the stunningly fertile imagination of perhaps the greatest storyteller of our time.

My Review

The short stories in Everything’s Eventual slowly build suspense, layering dread, until you start to feel like you simply can’t take anymore. A series of occurrences contingent upon some uncertain event.

“We’re in it together, after all. This is a date we’re on. We should have fun. We should dance.” Stephen King to his “Constant Readers”

Autopsy Room Four ✩✩✩✩
About a man awaiting his eventual autopsy, laying on the table, awake, and unsure if he’s really dead. I may have broken the world record for breath holding while reading this one.

“There’s a harsh ripping sound and all at once I am in white light; it is blinding, like the sun breaking through a scrim of clouds on a winter day. I try to squint my eyes shut against it, but nothing happens. My eyelids are like blinds on broken rollers.”

  • Adapted to TV in Nightmares and Dreamscapes, 7th episode

The Man in the Black Suit ✩✩✩✩✩
A man who hasn’t told anyone that as a child he met the devil in the woods eventually tells this story.

“…the terrible stranger turned his burning eyes on me again, his thin lips pulled back from tiny rows of sharp teeth in a cannibal smile.”

  • Adapted to Short Film in 2004

All That You Love Will Be Carried Away ✩✩✩✩
A man has felt lonely for too long and has eventually planned his suicide. I have read an entire sad novel and not shed a tear, yet this story made me cry three times in 15 pages.

“Alfie drew the book back to throw it, then lowered his arm. He hated to let it go, that was the truth of it.”

  • Adapted to 6 different Short Films

The Death of Jack Hamilton ✩✩✩
This one is about a real American gangster, John Dillinger, the eventual death of his pal Jack.

“I suddenly thought of Jack standing in the street after the Mason City bank job. He was firing his tommy gun and covering me and Johnnie and Lester as we herded the hostages to the getaway car. Bullets flew all around him, and although he took  a flesh wound, he looked like he’d live forever.”

  • Adapted to Short Film

In the Deathroom ✩✩✩
When you’re naming names it’s inevitable that a reporter named Fletcher finds himself in a South American interrogation room fearing for his life.

“He thought his chances of ever leaving this basement room in the Ministry of Information were perhaps one or two in thirty, and perhaps that was optimistic.”

The Little Sisters of Eluria ✩✩✩✩
A novella set in the world of The Dark Tower series about the gunslinger eventually discovering the nurses helping him to recover are vampires.

“The five were dressed in billowing habits as white as the walls and the panels of the ceiling. Their antique crones’ faces were framed in wimples just as white, their skin as gray and runneled as droughted earth by comparison. Hanging like phylacteries from the bands of silk imprisoning their hair (if they indeed had hair) were lines of tiny bells which chimed as they moved or spoke.”

Everything’s Eventual ✩✩✩✩
A Fantasy novella about 19-year-old Richard who was once broke and bullied, and is now living a life where he can have whatever he wants because of his special power, but eventually learns that this life comes with much sacrifice.

“I’ve always had something, some kind of deal, and I sort of knew it, but not how to use it or what its name was or what it meant. And I sort of knew I had to keep quiet about it, because other people didn’t have it. I thought they might put me in the circus if they found out. Or in jail.”

L.T.’s Theory of Pets ✩✩✩✩✩
A short story about how a dog and a cat, given as gifts, eventually led to a divorce and disappearance of a woman.

“My friend L.T. hardly ever talks about how his wife disappeared, or how she’s probably dead, just another victim of the Axe Man, but he likes to tell the story of how she walked out on him.”

The Road Virus Heads North ✩✩✩✩✩
This one made it hard for me to fall asleep after reading it. It’s a short story inspired by a picture King has in his home about a man who buys a creepy picture at a yard sale that changes and eventually comes to life.

“Richard Kinnell wasn’t frightened when he first saw the picture at the yard sale in Rosewood…the painting was a watercolor…it showed a young man behind the wheel of a muscle car…he was grinning, and his parted lips revealed teeth which were not teeth at all but fangs.”

  • adapted to Short Film and TV

Lunch at the Gotham Café ✩✩
A husband and wife agree to meet for lunch to discuss their eventual divorce when their waiter loses his mind.

“Time ceased to exist for me at the moment Alfalfa the maître d’ brought his left hand out from behind his back and I saw the butcher-knife.”

  • Adapted to Short Film

That Feeling, You Can Only Say What it is in French ✩✩
A woman on a plane repeatedly wakes from a nightmare about the death of her and her husband eventually learns the truth of what the visions are trying to tell her. As someone who often experiences déjà vu this story made me feel uneasy, but I’m not a big fan of “groundhog day” plots.

“Besides, it wasn’t just love that held people together. There were secrets, and the price you paid to keep them.”

1408 ✩✩✩✩
Stephen King admitted he scared himself with this story about a haunted hotel room. It gave me the eebie jeebies. Goosebumpies. Hair standing on the back of your neck. You know, the good stuff. It’s about a man who doesn’t believe in ghosts, who makes a living researching and writing about haunted places, eventually stays at a place that’s really haunted.

“Olin was really afraid of room 1408, and of what might happen to Mike there tonight…digital wristwatches don’t work in room 1408…”

‘You know the history of the room, beginning with the suicide of its first occupant.’

‘Five men and one woman have jumped from that room’s single window, Mr. Enslin. Three women and one man have overdosed with pills in that room…A man hanged himself in the closet…’

  • Adapted to a film by the same name starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson

Riding the Bullet ✩✩✩
A novella (according to Wikipedia, the world’s first mass-market e-book) about a university student hitchhiking home after getting a call that his mother had a stroke. He learns that all life is eventual.

“I wasn’t just afraid, I was terrified. Everything was wrong, everything, and I didn’t know why or how it could possibly have happened so fast.”

  • Adapted to Film, starring Jonathan Jackson and David Arquette

Luckey Quarter ✩✩
A short story about a single mom with two kids working at a hotel struggling to get by, and is eventually left a lucky quarter as a tip.

“She sat down in the chair beside the rumpled, abandoned bed with the quarter in one hand and the envelope it had fallen out of in the other, looking back and forth between them and laughing until tears spilled from her eyes and rolled down her cheeks.”

  • Adapted to Short Film

I give Everything’s Eventual 3.6 ✩ overall.