Book Review: Misery by Stephen King

Misery by Stephen King is King at his best. Misery is a deeply psychological horror that you can not put down. White knuckle thrill ride is not a term I use often, but the finale is so tense, that could not help being delighted and terrified of what was on the next page. Misery is a character but also cleverly the tone of this book and what Annie puts Paul through. I have seen the movie Misery, where the excellent Kathy Bates won her Oscar, and thought I knew the story, where some things were similar and right from the page, others were not which made it still terrifying, and had no idea what would happen next. The book is way more brutal and gorier than the movie for one thing. The weakest thing is the story within a story about Misery that the author is forced to write, I needed more about her character and the messy love triangle, that made me very confused, thankfully that is about a 5 percent of the novel and the other 95 percent is amazing. I have just read On Writing by Stephen King, which was a big reason I wanted to read this novel, King goes over his original ending which was pretty amazing, but he let the characters guide him to the ending in the book which I also loved. I believe this is King’s most personal novel and shows his relationship with some of his fans which probably scare the crap out of him, and dealt with his drug abuse at the time. King is notorious for not having the best endings in his stories, but I felt this one was one of his best I still think The Long Walk is my favorite but this is a close second.

The Plot Summary: Paul Sheldon has just finished his latest novel in a Colorado hotel called Fast Cars, this is a vastly different novel from his last and most famous romance novels the Misery Chastain series. He had recently closed the series by killing off his main character. Paul is so excited about this book he doesn’t make any copies and decided to drive back to his home, on the way a snow storm over takes him and he gets in a wreck breaking his two legs, Annie who lives in a the small town and claims she’s his number one fan rescues him and sets him up in her second bedroom. What looks like a good intention turns into a nightmare after Annie reads Misery’s latest novel newly released and the character is killed, she burns his new novel and makes him write Misery’s Return. Paul is at Annie’s mercy and makes his life a misery.

What I Liked: The amazing writing talent of King to make a scene practically in one room with only two characters so compelling. The flashbacks really work especially the caged African bird, which he can easily identify with. The background on Annie and her string of killing. The intensity of the scenes and the horror of the situations. I do like since this Story takes place in Colorado that, there is a link to The Shining, by one of Annie’s other victims that photographed the remains of the Overlook Hotel. I liked the little gems about writing. It is a small book by Stephen King standards and very focused through out.

What I Disliked: I would have liked to take away and understood more of the Misery story that is in the book, the longest passage makes the most sense about her resurrection, but every other piece of writing I was confused by. I also could have gotten what Annie actually loved so much about Misery, maybe she just liked her and there was no explaining of it.

Recommendation: Misery is fantastic and such great psychological horror. A lot of time when I have watched and loved the movie, I think why am I going to read a story I already know. Misery and The Shining have both surprised me in what was added and what was let out from the movie. This is truly on of Stephen Kings best. I think I have read a little over 30 and this is in my top ten maybe top 5. I rated Misery by Stephen King 5 out of 5 stars. 

ARC List: First Quarter of 2022

With this year almost over here is my list of Netgalley ARC’s I’m already approved for the first quarter of the new year.  I have gotten a good streak of approval lately still waiting on approval of Anthem by Noah Hawley from the genius writer of Fargo TV series, The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi best title ever, The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen always a great mystery never been disappointed, and Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama by Bob Odenkirk looking forward to his autobiography and his stories of SNL, Mr Show, Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.  So I have a busy quarter.

January 2022

The Maid by Nita Prose is already getting a lot of buzz. It will be made into a movie starring Florence Pugh.  It seems like a fun mystery with a lot of heart.  Published on January 4th 2022.

February 2022

Moon Witch, Spider King by Marlon James is the sequel to Black Leopard, Red Wolf and the second book in the Dark Star Trilogy.  Reading Black Leopard, Red Wolf was one of the most challenging reads of 2019, but I found the story really rewarding once I figured out the writing style which was beautiful but heavy in metaphors.  The story is based on African Fairy Tales. Moon Witch, Spider King is published on February 15.

Cherish Farrah by Bethany C. Morrow is a horror dealing with social issues.  The pitch from Dutton is: in the vein of Get Out meets My Sister, the Serial Killer, about Farrah, a young, calculating Black girl who manipulates her way into the lives of her Black best friend’s white, wealthy, adoptive family but soon suspects she may not be the only one with ulterior motives. Which has me excited, Dutton publishing reached out to me to invite me to read it. Cherish Farrah is Published on February 8.

The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart is a trippy new science fiction by the author of The Warehouse that Ron Howard is looking to adapt.  The tag line is An impossible crime. A detective on the edge of madness. The future of time travel at stake. I’m sold don’t need to know any more. I have not read The Warehouse, Ballentine books reached out to me to read this one.  The Paradox Hotel is published on February 22

Stars and Bones by Gareth L. Powell Is the start of a new science fiction series about people of earth on giant arks 75 years after earths collapse dealing with an alien treat and a murder plot. Stars and Bones is published on February 15

March 2022

Sundial by Catriona Ward is a psychological horror by the writer of The Last Hose on Needless Street, which I loved and gave 5 stars, so I was happy to read her next novel.  The coolest cover of the new year. Sundial is published on March 1

The Ravenous Dead by Darcy Coates is the horror sequel to The Whispering Dead, which was up for a Goodreads choice award in horror this year.  A graveyard’s new groundskeeper can talk to ghost, she attempts to save, but when she runs across a serial killer he does not want to be saved. The Ravenous Dead is published on March 15

Cimino by Charles Elton is a biography on infamous director Michael Cimino Who went from making the hit film The Deer Hunter with Robert DeNiro winning Best Picture and Director at the Oscars to making Heaven’s Gate the biggest bomb that almost made MGM lose the studio. I’m a big film buff I look forward to learning more. Cimino is published on March 29. 

Book Review: Goosebumps – Return of the Mummy by R. L. Stine

Return of the Mummy by R.L. Stine is Goosebumps book 23 in the original order. This book is a direct sequel to The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb. It has three of the same character’s returning Gabe, Sari, And Uncle Ben. There’s a couple scary moments, getting lost in a dark cave with no light, falling in a pit of spiders, and and a mummy coming to life. This novel is more about the character’s than the scares. I liked Gabe the first and so far only non white lead character in Goosebumps, but I found Sari still so annoying. Uncle Ben is more caring and pulls a pretty good prank scare off. The ending was good but not great. There is a pretty good twist ending, that will surprise most readers. I liked The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb more but this is a pretty good sequel, reading The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb is not necessary, but it will enhance your experience, since you will know what the mummy’s paw can do. This story was made into a Goosebumps tv episode called The Return of the Mummy. Go to the bottom of this review to see where I rank Return of the Mummy against the 22 other goosebumps books.

Plot Summary: Gabe is back for another Egyptian adventure in the ancient pyramids with his cousin Sari and his Uncle Ben. This time Ben is to open the tomb of Khor-Ru, who was King Tut’s cousin. Gabe still has the Summoner from the last adventure, which is a petrified mummy’s hand, that can bring back the dead, with words spoken from the last adventure. But this story it goes missing which means trouble.

What I Liked: The scene where Gabe falls into the pit of spiders was scary and well written. I liked the twist, and thought it was clever. I thought Uncle Ben’s prank was good and funny. I liked that Sari had some human moments instead of just being annoying and challenging. I like Uncle Ben’s little flirts with Nila. I liked the setting and getting to know Gabe more and his background.

What I Disliked: The story takes a while to get going and have any scares. Where the first story had lot’s of mummy’s this story has one that is really brief.

Recommendation: This story was good but not great, it had a low scare rating. The scare that it did have where great but it didn’t have that many. The thing that I felt it did well was expand on the character from the first story The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb. I will barely recommend you checking it out. I rated Return of the Mummy by R. L. Stine 3 out of 5 stars. Here’s my full ranking of the 23 Goosebumps books that I have read in order to my favorite to least favorite: 1) Stay Out of the Basement, 2) Ghost Beach, 3) Piano Lessons Can Be Murder, 4) The Haunted Mask, 5) One Day At Horrorland, 6) Night of the Living Dummy, 7) Welcome to Camp Nightmare, 8) The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, 9) Say Cheese and Die, 10) Let’s Get Invisible, 11) The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight, 12) Welcome to Dead House, 13) Monster Blood II, 14) The Girl who Cried Monster, 15)Deep Trouble, 16) The Ghost Next Door, 17) Be Careful What You Wish For… , 18) Return of the Mummy, 19) Why I’m Afraid of Bees, 20) Go Eat Worms!, 21) The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, 22) Monster Blood, And 23) You Can’t Scare Me!

Book Review: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King is half mini-biography of how King found writing and published his first novel Carrie, and the other half is tips and insights of the writing process, the end goes back into biography to take the reader through his accident that could have killed him. This is a reread for me, I read it when I was in college and had the writing bug, well the bug is back and I thought I would get another lesson from the master Stephen King. When I had read On Writing before I was a Stephen King novice having only read about five of is works, now I’ve read 26 which is a huge difference. There’s a lot of insights into his past work that I missed because I hadn’t read more of his works. The one that I have not read which is Misery ( I plan to soon) has really good insight, into his process of ideas, and his original ending is pretty wicked. He had a great section on The Stand and how to end it. The writing lessons are invaluable and also inspiring, he details the way for a writer to reach success, with a lot of hard work and a plan for submissions.

What I learned: I learned that Stephen King threw Carrie away and his wife Tabitha King pulled it out of the trash and said there is something there, since this was the first novel that he sold it was pretty cool. Stephen King put all his rejection letters on a nail, then later a train spike, when he had so many. He writes a novel then puts it away for 6 weeks to get a fresh perspective. His original idea for Misery was drastically different from the original ending in his mind, he listened to the characters and let it guide him to the new ending. He writes 10,000 words a day which is about five pages, then he stops sometimes he accomplishes this fast, but sometimes not. His work ethic is detrimental to his success.

What I Liked: The insights in to the craft, are special. I like how real and honest it is, we has no quick fix to being a writer, work hard submit short stories to place that don’t pay, your job is creating an audience, build up enough published works to start submitting for an agent. I like the insights into the works of Stephen King, we get stories about Salem’s Lot, The Green Mile, Misery, Carrie, The Running Man, The Stand, The Shining, The Dead Zone, Heart in Atlantis, Different Seasons, Night Shift and From a Buick 8. He also discusses his addictions and recovery in a very raw and real way. The story how his agent phoned him about the sale of Carrie was priceless.

What I Disliked: I did want more stories about his most famous works, I can’t believe there was more about IT, there was a small blurb about his brother and him blocking a creek which flooded various parts of town, but I wanted more.

Recommendation: I think this is a great resource for those curious about the craft. This book will not make you a writer, but King lays out the hard work and the long hours it takes. I love that it recommends reading as a great tool to learn form and style. I rated On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft 5 out of 5 this is the same rating when I was and college and now have an even deeper sense of understanding.

TBR: December 2021

December 2021 TBR list: last month was so successful I read all 6 books plus 3 more, I’m going to stick with 6 because work is picking up.  I am 2 books away from hitting my reading goal for the year of 80 books. 

Wool (the Omnibus edition) by Hugh Howley This is book one of the Silo series. It is science fiction in the apocalypse. The opening chapters are one of the best openers for a book, it messes with your perceptions, of what you think is going on so masterfully.  I love the story of how this book got published, as Howley would write chapters at a time online and built up his base.

All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman this is a bloody Science Fiction/ Young Adult that is getting a lot of buzz and sounds devilishly good.  The plot is a fight to the death for 7 families to control high magick. This book review is thanks to Net galley and Macmillion-Forge.Tor Teen

On Writing by Stephen King this book is one of the most inspiring books about writing from the master storyteller Stephen King.  I’ve gotten the writing bug lately as I’ve been working on my short story writing here and there. I have read this book before and loved it.  I can’t wait to read it for the blog and learn from it as well.

Station Eleven By Emily St. John Mandel is  science fiction meets the pandemic. This is a book that has been on my TBR for so long, I’m finally ready to take the plunge.  The trailer to the HBO Max show is what got me it looks super interesting.

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 10 by Stan Lee takes Spiderman into the 1970’s.  This comic has a death that will rock Peter Parker to his core it feature the return of the Green Goblin, and Doc Oct.

Goosebumps: Return of the Mummy by R.L. Stine is Goosebumps book 23 in the original book order, this continues my quest to read all the Goosebumps books then give to my eager nephews.  This story continues the adventure in The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb.

Book Review: Goosebumps Ghost Beach by R. L. Stine

Ghost Beach is by R. L. Stine is Goosebumps book 22 in original published order. Ghost Beach is scary, in both its nightmare scares and real life scares. This book is hauntingly atmospheric. It sets the tone early and will give the reader goosebumps. The twist are really clever and it ask you the audience what is going on? The final twist could be the best one yet, I loved it so much. The book is paced so well and a really fast read, that is hard to put down. The Scares that really work are the hands grabbing from the grave, finding a dead body, skin peeling off bones, ghost that can kill, and the final twist. This is a good story around the campfire. This book did not have to be called ghost beach, more like ghost cave. There is nothing that really dates this story, you can’t tell it was written in the 90’s. This is one of the better Goosebumps stories that I have read in some time. This story will stick with me more than others. Check how high a ranking this story will go against all the 21 other Goosebumps books I have read so far at the bottom of this review.

The Plot: Jerry and Terri spend their Summer vacation in a cabin near the woods, a beach, and a graveyard. They meet 3 other children around the same age with the same last name, who live not to far away, the kids, their distant cousins, like pranks and scare each other, they warn of ghost are they joking or serious. Their relatives are happy they made friends with the local children, but what those friends said about ghost seeks into their brain and they must find out if ghost exist or not?

What I Liked: The final twist, I was a little shocked by, and what it means for the characters, it was a pretty awesome twist, more out of Tales from the Crypt than Goosebumps. I liked the brother/sister relationship, Stine will sometimes write them too annoying but this one was just right. The twist kept me guessing all the way until the end. I like how dark this tale got with the graves dug for Terri and Jerry, to the skins falling off to reveal skeletons, and the final twist. The pranks weren’t too much, they were good and provided a jump scare.

What I Disliked: The rules of ghost were never established, it is said that they can go through walls but it never happens.

Recommendation: This is a can’t miss Goosebumps novel, it is scary and spooky with a great twist. The story and the twist will stick with me. I rated Ghost Beach by R. L. Stine 5 out of 5 stars. Here’s my full ranking of the 22 Goosebumps books that I have read in order to my favorite to least favorite: Stay Out of the Basement, Ghost Beach, Piano Lessons Can Be Murder, The Haunted Mask, One Day At Horrorland, Night of the Living Dummy, Welcome to Camp Nightmare, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, Say Cheese and Die, Let’s Get Invisible, The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight, Welcome to Dead House, Monster Blood II, The Girl who Cried Monster, Deep Trouble, The Ghost Next Door, Be Careful What You Wish For… ,Why I’m Afraid of Bees, Go Eat Worms!, The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, Monster Blood, And You Can’t Scare Me!

Hellboy: The Complete Short Stories Volume 1 by Mike Mingola

Hellboy: The Complete Short Stories Volume 1 by Mike Mingola is about Hellboy’s is short stories from his discovery in 1947 with stories through to 1961. My knowledge of Hellboy is based solely on watching the films. I think it was a bit of a mistake to have me go in Hellboy timeline Order than the publication order, there’s very small amount of establishing the character or much characterization at all. So I will skip the second volume and might revisit this volume after I have read 1-4 of the omnibus. The stories vary in length from 2 pages to 48. The stories consist of two genres comedy and horror. I liked half of the stories, some felt like repeats of stories I had just read. The art is fantastic I love, love what is done with shadowing and I love the uniqueness of the art of Hellboy. Almost half the book takes place in Mexico in 1957 and I feel the art was the best here. The Mexico stories were hit and miss. I felt the stories worked best when they relied on humor. The Crooked Man The Troll Witch, The Chained Coffin, Double Feature of Evil, and Pancakes were my favorite stories. The Double Feature of Evil was the stand out stories for me, really unique stories that were unlike any other in the book.

The Plots: Hellboy eats Pancakes for the first time and Hell knows he’s not coming back. Young Hellboy breaks out of the research and defense headquarters to go to a circus, but it is not an ordinary circus but one of ghosts. Hellboy investigates paranormal activity in Mexico, gets lost, becomes a wrestler. Hellboy gets married but it is bride is not among the living. Hellboy goes on a quest to bury a man to stop the curse of the crooked man. Hellboy must rescue a stolen baby from goblins. Hellboy must confront a haunted house that pays for the souls it takes.

What I Liked: The humor was great, I laughed out loud as Hellboy has an old pirate corpse on his back looking for a sacred burial, they stumble on to treasure that the corpse wants and get in an argument on what the corpse would need with it. There was burst of great action, that was fun. I loved the art, it is so unique and the shadowing was amazing. I liked the use of muted colors. The mini story of Sullivan’s reward was so great it was creepy and had humor, that is the only story that will stick with me for a while after reading this.

What I Disliked: The Midnight Circus was pretty lame. since nothing happens, and it was really hard to follow the bad guys motivation. A couple of the stories were carbon copies of the other with slightly different ghost. Character development was severely lacking.

Recommendation: I can not recommend this collection, there’s a couple stories you could casually breeze through but there is little to no development with the Hellboy character or any other character. I rated Hellboy: The Complete Short Stories Volume 1 by Mike Mingola 3 out of 5 stars. This was close to being rated a two but the last two stories pushed it over the edge.

Book Review: The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix is a slasher mystery, that uses a mash up up all our favorite final girls from the movies. It was fun to find out the girls origins and from what movie franchise they were from. The movie slashers depicted in this book are Halloween, Friday The 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Scream, and the outlier is Silent Night, Deadly Night. I like what was done with each character, and how these events were eventually made in to Slashers themselves. The dialogue is really fresh and flows so well. There’s a good deal of humor that lands for the most part. The mystery is good I don’t know if everything lined up, but it was fun. The flow of the novel is steady, when there’s slow moments in action, the fun witty dialogue made up for it. Mystery aside the real meat of the story is hope do these women cope with the loss of friends and the choices they made that fateful night. This is my second second Grady Hendrix novel, the first was My Best Friend’s Exorcism, which had plenty of witty dialogue and was totally 80’s but not as strong of a plot of The Final Girl Support Group, which I ended up liking quite a bit better.The Final Girls Support group has been nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award in Horror. I got to read The Final Girl Support Group thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group. The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix was published on July 13 2021.

The Plot: Women who survived mass murders were left the final girl in their massacre have all started a support group. The group has existed for 16 years seems to be barely held together, they don’t so much talk about the tragedy but the film series that have been inspired by them and internal squabbles. One member Adrienne failed to show, Dani says this is her last, Lynette tries to hold it together, and says Heather needs this, and is close to using again. The group turns on Lynette saying we were here cause we thought you needed this, it is revealed that Lynette was not a true Final Girl she didn’t stand up to her bad guy she played dead and the police killed him. Lynette is falling apart when the group finds out that the missing member Adrienne was murdered by a mass murderer and Chrissy a new final girl murdered him. Soon all the women are targeted, will this be Lynette chance to be a real final girl?

What I Liked: I like that the characters are inspired by movie final girls Dani represents Halloween, Marilyn represents The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Adrienne represents Friday the 13th, Heather represents A Nightmare on Elm Street ,Lynette represents Silent Night, Deadly Night, and Julia represents Scream. I loved the fun chapter titles all inspired by a title from a slasher franchise. The idea is smart, I don’t know if it was inspired by the current Halloween and what they are doing with the character of Laurie Strode, but it is interesting seeing where every character ended up. The dialogue is really witty and fun. The fast moving pace made this book a breeze.

What I Disliked: The twist are fun but it doesn’t all make sense, once you know everything. This is a big pet peeve for me. I though the visit to the lost final girl was good for action and making Lynette not be a victim, but it felt like it was from another book, it didn’t gel with everything that came from before.

Recommendation: Do yourself a favor and check out this book, it has a fun meter of 11. I had a slight issue with some plot points but, the fun out weighed my apprehensions. The Final Girl Support Group was released weeks away from another Slasher novel My Heart is a Chainsaw from Stephen Graham Jones which I would easily pick The Final Girl Support Group. Where I feel both added to the Slasher genre, the flow, the characters, and dialogue make The final Girl Support Group the winner in my opinion. I rated The Final Girl Support Group 4 out of 5 Stars. I will add We Sold our Souls by Grady Hendrix a little bit hire on my TBR.

TBR: November 2021

November 2021 TBR list: I took a couple months off to find my groove back after moving in my house; I decided to shoot for 6 , with one of the books fairly long.   I have 9 books left from hitting my goal of 80 books this year.  I plan to read one advanced reader’s copy thanks to Netgalley.  I will read 3 books from existing book series: Goosebumps, Marvel Masterworks Amazing Spiderman, and The Sword of Truth Series.  I plan to start one new book series Hellboy graphic novels.

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix  is going to be a fun slasher filled novel.  About a group of final girl’s mirrored after survivors of horror movies like Halloween, Friday the 13th, and Scream have a support group that is about to be targeted who will be the final, final girl?   Last month I read my Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones, which I have heard has similarities.  I have read My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix before which was a lot of fun and very tongue in cheek about the horror genre.  I hope this is as good. Netgalley did provide me this copy. 

The Woman on the Pier B. P. Walter is going to me a fun mystery.  The Tag line is Two Strangers meet on a pier one walks away… I had the pleasure of reading The Dinner Guest by B. P. Walter, which was the author’s debut.  The publisher reached out and asked if I would like to read the follow up, I was let down by my last mystery The Maidens by Alex Michaelides, so I hope this one does the trick.  This is an advanced readers copy from Netgalley and Harper Collins, One More Chapter. The Woman on the Pier by B. P. Walter is published on November 11 2021.

The Temple of the Winds by Terry Goodkind is the Sword of Truth book 4.  This epic fantasy series has been a lot of fun.  It is very detailed and very easy to picture.  The characters are well written and fell the stress and strain of each decision.  I was a fan of the TV series based on the books Legend of the Seeker, but that series only scratched the surface this dark and very adult book series. 

 Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 9 by Stan Lee collects Amazing Spider-Man issues 78-87.  This series I have been having a lot of fun with reading a comic book series I loved as a kid.  I read the Spiderman of the 90’s is has been fun going all the way back to the beginning with Spiderman in the 1960’s.  I didn’t know how deep Peter Parker’s love for Gwen Stacey meant since I only knew Mary Jane.   I got a killer deal and bought over 20 issues of Marvel Masterworks for 1.99 on kindle. It has been fun reading this comic series in order.


Goosebumps: Ghost Beach by R. L. Stine is issue 22.  This is another Series I have loved exploring since I was a kid when I read it.  I like looking back on all the things that are totally 90’s.  I have my nephew’s hooked so I give the books to them when finished.  I’m close to the halfway mark on the series, I rate and rank putting them in order from best to worst, which has lead to some fun debate.  I am looking forward to see where Ghost Beach ranks up.

Hellboy: The Complete Short Stories Volume 1 by Mike Mignola I have never read a Hellboy comic but it has been highly recommended to me.  I found another great deal on kindle and got the whole series.  I’m staring with the short stories since it take the character arch to 1947 to 1961. I will read not in publication order, but character development order.

Wrap Up: October 2021 Book Reviews

Dear Readers, October was a great month, finally got my reading groove back, that was lost a little after moving into my house. I read 7 books this month. I read 2 graphic novel, 3 horror, 2 mystery and 1 new release thanks to Netgalley. I Read 3 books from a book series with Star Wars: The High Republic graphic novel volume 1, Goosebumps book 21 Go Eat Worms!, and I added a new book series The Hardy Boys 1 The Tower Treasure. I read two 5 star book, two 4 star books, and three 3 star books. I started linking all my full book reviews to the cover pictures.

Five Star Reviews:

Alright, Alright, Alright: The Oral History of Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused by Melissa Maerz is look at what led up to the cult classic film Dazed and Confused getting made and how it became a cult classic. The film Dazed and Confused has been a favorite of mine for some time. The book is very detailed and doesn’t shy away from controversies both on set and off. Over 3o crewmembers were interviewed and over 20 cast members. The story of the making of film is very David and Goliath-like as Writer/Director Richard Linklater battles the corporate entity that is Universal Studios, to make and independent minded movie. How the unsupervised cast partied their way through the shoot and each other. How much of the movie was improved. How Matthew McConaughey was cast and what he added to the character.

The Thief of Always by Clive Barker is a wonderful modern day fable, yet the writing feels timeless. This story has so much heart, you can’t help but feel for the characters. The writing is really good very poetic, one of the best first lines to a story in a long time. When I read that first line, I knew this was going to be a special story and I was not wrong. This story is very fast paced I read it in two days but could easily finished it in one sitting. The illustrations for this book are pretty perfect, they go very well with the descriptions, it made me think of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth and illustrations done by Shel Silverstien.  The novel reminded me of Coraline by Neil Gaiman meets There’s Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Four Star Reviews:

Star Wars: The High Republic, Vol. 1: There Is No Fear by Cavan Scott is a lot of fun and high stakes adventure. This graphic novel makes up for one of my complaints in most books in the High Republic little to no action. This book is filled with action and light saber duels. This graphic novel is a page-turner and over way too fast. This novel features for the most part characters that were referred to only briefly in Light of the Jedi, Into the Dark, The Gathering Storm, and Out of the Past (the two adult and two young adult High Republic novels).

The Tower Treasure by Franklin W. Dixon is a fun action adventure mystery aimed at middle grade boys, but fun for adults too. I thought the writing would be horrible but the mystery was really fun and really smart. The twists are clever and keep you guessing. The story is kind of a double mystery, since one mystery leads to another.

Three Star Reviews:

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides is a thriller that plays out like a Greek tragedy. This is Michaelides second novel since his incredible debut novel The Silent Patient. This book takes place in the same universe as The Silent Patient.  The flow of this book is good but the story is lacking. I wasn’t all that compelling the people getting murdered I really didn’t care about and it takes so long for characters that I care about to be in danger.

My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones is a retelling of The Boy Who Cried Wolf but this time it is The Girl Who Cried Slasher. This book is a huge homage to the Slasher movie genre and the final survival girl filled with history, facts, and opinions. Where Slasher movies are not known for there characterizations this novel is all about character. The ending was great and everything you want in a Slasher (high body count). The story is good, but I did not like the way it was told. Jade has ADHD and at a moments notice will focus on something else usually a Slasher, and then circle back 7 paragraphs later which I found extremely frustrating. I also found that this novel missed key descriptors and was at time hard to vision what was going on.  Thank you Netgalley Gallery / Saga Press for letting me read and review this book. My Heart is a Chainsaw was published on August 31 2021.

Go Eat Worms! by R. L. Stine is Goosebumps book 21 in the original order. Go Eat Worms is more gross than scary. The title is based on a character’s phrase to tell other kids off, Go Eat Worms! I am very picky when it comes to food so biting into a sandwich and and eating half of a worm would be my nightmare. The story is more a series of pranks with a small hint of supernatural. The ending I saw for a mile away, and was let down by it.