Carrie; Stephen King

Carrie

I’ve been a fan of Stephen King for quite a while now, and I’m always finding more books of his that I want to read.  Carrie has been on my TBR for years and years, and I finally got around to reading it last week.

[The Plot]: Carrie knew she should not use the terrifying power she possessed… But one night at her senior prom, Carrie was scorned and humiliated just one time too many, and in a fit of uncontrollable fury she turned her clandestine game into a weapon of horror and destruction…

I’m so glad I finally got around to reading Carrie, and I can’t believe I didn’t know this was Stephen Kings first novel.  Carrie is a loner, she has no friends and was raised under her mothers strict rule.  She’s a complete outcast in school, the butt of every joke and naive in every way.  All until one fateful gym class where it all gets too much for Carrie and she snaps.

Carrie has her first ever period in the shower after gym class, and has no idea what is happening to her.  So when the other girls all laugh and shout at her, she snaps and sends up being sent home.  Carries mother’s religious views are so intense that she genuinely believes Carrie has gotten her period as punishment for a sin. The more Carrie is starting to understand what is happening to her and her body, the angrier she is getting, towards her mother for not explaining things to her, and to her peers at school for laughing at her and mocking her.  She starts to realise that she can move things with her mind, and at first it takes a lot of effort, but with practice, she becomes stronger and stronger.

Carrie seems to be in a better place up until her senior prom.  Sue Snell, one of the girls shouting and laughing at Carrie in the shower room, had felt so guilty about what had happened she has convoked her boyfriend to take Carrie to the prom.  As a friendly gesture.  However, things go sour from there on in.  Carrie is once again humiliated in a horrible prank, in front of the entire prom and she fully looses it.  I don’t want to give away too much (although I’m sure many of you will have read the book, or seen the film), but Carrie uses her new found power to pay back those who have hurt for all these years.

The only reason I didn’t rate this book five stars, was purely for the fact that I was expecting it to be much more scary.  I found it to be tense and somewhat thrilling, but not so much scary, so I was a little disappointed.  The next Stephen King book I intend to read is The Shining, but please leave any more recommendations in the comments below.

I rate this book four out of five stars.

four star

Those were just my bookish thoughts, but I would love to hear yours in the comments below.

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Sycamore Gap; L J Ross

sycamore gap

After reading Holy Island, which was very generously sent to me by L J Ross, I was super eager to get my hands on Sycamore Gap.  When it was finally released I was in the middle of a huge reading slump, and I mean huge!! It went on for a good couple of months, and then suddenly a little parcel arrived at my doorstep.  The lovely L J Ross had sent me Sycamore Gap and I was so excited I read it straight away… goodbye reading slump!

[The Plot]: The past never stays buried for long…
Detective Chief Inspector Ryan believes he has put his turbulent history behind him. Then, in the early hours of the summer solstice, the skeleton of a young woman is found inside the Roman Wall at Sycamore Gap. She has lain undiscovered for ten years and it is Ryan’s job to piece together her past.
Enquiry lines cross and merge as Ryan is forced to face his own demons and enter into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a killer who seems unstoppable.
Murder and mystery are peppered with a sprinkling of romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit set amidst the spectacular scenery of Hadrian’s Wall country in Northumberland.

As this book is a sequel to Holy Island, I will do my best as to not give anything away from the first book, but you really should go and give it a read!  Anyway, back to Sycamore Gap… as I’ve said already, I was eagerly waiting to read more of DCI Ryan and Sycamore Gap did not disappoint.

Sycamore  Gap was just as thrilling and captivating as Holy Island, and I literally could not put this down.  The story is fast paced and like any good murder mystery, you are really unsure of who the killer is throughout.  Ross has you questioning so many of the characters, and their motives and the outcome leaves you wanting more of DCI Ryan.

As Ryan and Anna’s relationship develops further throughout the book, you see Anna really accept Ryan for who he is.  He is protective and scarred from his past, and this shows the more he opens up to Anna.  With that, Anna almost teaches him that it’s ok to feel vulnerable, and how to let someone in past all of the walls he has built up to protect both himself and the people he loves. Their relationship just grows stronger throughout the book and with Ryan’s past, you can’t help but feel overwhelmingly happy for him.  Ross’ writing makes you feel like you truly know Ryan and want the best for him.

If I’ve not hinted enough already, I absolutely loved this book and need more DCI Ryan in my life! I know that Ross is working on a third in the series to be released this year, and I can’t freaking wait!!

I rate this book five out of five stars.

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Those were just my bookish thoughts, but I would love to hear yours in the comments below.

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The Life I Left Behind; Colette McBeth

life i left behind

It’s been a good few weeks since my last post, and even longer since my last book review. However, I am back with my thoughts on The Life I Left Behind and the mindset of posting a lot more frequently.

[The Plot]:Six years ago, Melody Pieterson was attacked and left for dead. Only a chance encounter with a dog walker saved her life. Melody’s neighbor and close friend David Alden was found guilty of the crime and imprisoned, and the attack and David’s betrayal of her friendship left Melody a different person. She no longer trusts her own judgment, she no longer trusts her friends. In fact, she no longer really has any friends. She’s built a life behind walls and gates and security codes; she’s cloistered herself away from the world almost entirely.

When I initially picked up this book, it wasn’t sure what to make of it, and I almost thought it would be something similar to ‘The Lovely Bones’ by Alice Sebold, however the book took me completely by surprise.

This book is written from three perspectives and it’s this dynamic that gives the book a different depth to other crime/ thriller books I’ve read in the past.  I’ve said already that I was expecting the book to be quite similar to The Lovely Bones, but as soon as I started reading this book I completely forgot about my initial reaction to the blurb and was engrossed in the story from the perspectives of Melody, Eve and Victoria.

Eve’s perspective is an important one in the telling of this story.  Although she is dead, and we know she knows who has killed her, at no point are we given any false implications of who the killer is.  I felt that Eve didn’t give too much away and I was able to make my own assumptions and predictions, and at no point did I actually guess who the killer is.  Also, I found that McBeth hit just the right balance of the supernatural element behind Eve’s perspective, she did well by not trying too hard to create a ghost story as such.

Melody’s story is a powerful one throughout this book.  She is completely beaten by the world when we first meet her.  She’s scared to leave the house alone, she can’t trust anyone and she does everything she can to distract herself from the real world.  When news comes of Eve’s death, it sparks something in Melody and slowly but surely it lights a spark inside of her.  She comes on leaps and bounds by the end of the book and I think it is her story that keeps you reading and completely unable to put the book down.  I made the mistake of reading this book on my lunch break in work, and I found it really hard to concentrate for the rest of the day until I could continue reading at home.

I hadn’t heard of Colette McBeth until reading this book, and I can safely say I will be reading more of her work.  I would love to hear recommendations of any similar books in the comments below!!

I rate this book five out of five stars.

five star

Those were just my bookish thoughts, but I would love to hear yours in the comments below.

Please like,share and follow if you enjoyed this post, and feel free to leave recommendations in the comments.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter; Jeff Lindsay

dexter

After watching the TV series and absolutely falling in love with the Dexter world, I couldn’t wait to delve into the book series it all started with.  For anyone who hasn’t seen the TV series and wishes to do so, this may contain Spoilers!

[The Plot]: Meet Dexter Morgan, a polite wolf in sheep’s clothing. He’s handsome and charming, but something in his past has made him abide by a different set of rules. He’s a serial killer whose one golden rule makes him immensely likeable: he only kills bad people. And his job as a blood splatter expert for the Miami police department puts him in the perfect position to identify his victims. But when a series of brutal murders bearing a striking similarity to his own style start turning up, Dexter is caught between being flattered and being frightened — of himself or some other fiend.

As I have already said, I read this book as a result of loving the TV series and after reading just the first book, I think I may prefer it to the TV series.

As any book that is turned into a TV series or film, there are always going to be differences, whether they be subtle or huge scenes they simply can’t fit into a film.  Something that doesn’t often happen though, is the TV series actually embellishing and adding a whole side plot to the original story.  In the episode of the TV series based on the first book, Dexters sister, Deborah, is actually dating the serial killer miming Dexters own style.  In my own personal taste, I much prefer the way the story unfolds in the book over the TV series.

As you are reading through Dexters point of view, I’m so glad the TV series didn’t exaggerated his thoughts and his relationship with his dark passenger.  You really get a sense of how he can’t fully control the ‘dark passenger’ but suppress it by killing the right people.  I think it was this that kept me

After reading this book in just a couple of hours, I can’t wait to continue with the rest of the series.

I rate this book four out of five stars.

four star

Those were just my bookish thoughts, but I would love to hear yours in the comments below.

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Gray Mountain; John Grisham

 gray mountain

A couple of weeks ago I received my first ever book from a publisher, Gray Mountain by John Grisham, in exchange for my honest opinion.  It was such a bizarre feeling to receive a book from a publisher, and I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you.

[The Plot]: Donovan Gray is ruthless and fearless.  Just the kind of lawyer you need, deep in small-town Appalachia.

Samantha Kofer is a world away from her former life at New York’s biggest law firm.  If she is going to survive in coal country, she needs to start learning fast.

Because as Donovan knows only too well, the Mountains have their own laws.  And standing up for the truth means putting your life on the line.

I’ve heard of John Grisham’s work in passing over the last couple of years, but haven’t had the chance to pick up one of his books.  So when Hodder & Stoughton sent me Gray Mountain, I was really looking forward to experiencing my first John Grisham book.

I started to read Gray Mountain a couple of days before going on a family holiday, and I must admit that it took me a little while to really get into the book.  Although I was enjoying it, I just found myself reading at a much slower pace than usual and being easily distracted.  However, as soon as I was away, laying by the pool, I finished this book in no time at all.

I found the background to the book to be very interesting and informative.  Living in an average town in Wales, strip mining isn’t something I have ever come across or  ever heard of.  So not only was I enjoying a fictitious story about Donovan and Samantha’s two separate worlds meeting in the middle and conflicts they are facing, but I feel like I actually learnt a lot in the process.

As Samantha’s entire world is thrown upside down in a matter of hours, I found that it was quite refreshing to be reading form the view point of what I felt like was a real honest person.  I found her to be refreshing as a main character, instead of creating a strong female lead who will conquer the world and rid Appalachia of strip mining and tear down the coal companies and their corrupt lawyers,  Grisham has created the female lead that I think people may be able to actually relate to.  She learns on the job and realises the importance of helping real people, while still being scared of tackling the big firms.  She gets involved with her new clients, and in doing so she slowly works herself up to wanting to make a bigger difference in the world, even if it’s just in the world of small town Appalachia.

Once I properly got into Gray Mountain, I thoroughly enjoyed it and after hearing mixed reactions to it, I’m intrigued to read more of Grisham’s work.  After enjoying this book so much, I’m sure I will enjoy many more and I would love some recommendations of your favourite Grisham book.

I rate this book four out of five stars.

four star

Those were just my bookish thoughts, but I would love to hear yours in the comments below.

Please like,share and follow if you enjoyed this post, and feel free to leave recommendations in the comments.