#BookReview The Shining by Stephen King

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To say Stephen King is a genius and a legend in the horror world is an understatement.

I had been meaning to read The Shining for a very long time – I became determined to read the book before the movie, and I’ve been dying to watch the movie for the past two years! While I have heard the comments over and over that the book and the movie aren’t the same, I’ll stil wanted to stick to my word and read the book well before I found the movie again.

This book didn’t strike me as hard as It and Carrie did, but I still found it incredibly fascinating. The work is legendary and sits on many top shelves of readers I know and look up too. So, of course, I had to dive right in and tear this book apart.

This book was slow starting, but Stephen King’s descriptions and writing style kept me hooked. I didn’t enjoy the slow pace, but it did pick up about halfway through the novel. Then I was hooked and needed to finish this book, and yearned to know what would happen to these characters.

I read someone, a long time ago, that this book was based on cabin fever. It definitely seems possible, but there were lots of ghosts or mystical beings mashed up within this book as well. After watching Ready Player One and seeing references I didn’t understand, reading this book and seeing those figures helped me grasped a better understanding of what was happening in that movie. The creepy descriptions of the lady in the bathtub and all of the other weird creatures really made me feel like I was in this story. At times, I totally understood how this book got turned into a movie (and how has there not been twenty remakes by now? The story is so cool!). If you’re looking for a frightful read with descriptions that will blow your mind, Stephen King is absolutely for you!

While I don’t find myself to be a crazy horror fan (since I don’t get scared from these books, but I am always in awe), I have to say I really like this book. I like how Stephen King writes and I like that it’s such a different story. Just comparing this book to It and Carrie (the only two Stephen King books I have read), these books are always well thought out, absolutely insane and full of scenes you’d never imagine! It’s A+ horror and one of the best thrillers.

To me, this book wasn’t scary – I don’t find books scary because of the lack of noise and background sounds, but it was an epic thriller with scary scenes. I could see readers easily finding this scary, and I would not recommend reading this to children. It’s R rated, but a really great R rated ride! Jack, Wendy and Danny are also really interesting characters that develop in crazy ways. Slowly you can see their minds unwinding and going into dark terroritories. Although, I’m really curious as to how Stephen King got into the mind of Danny. Is that how little six year olds think? Or is he mature because of the Shine?

The shine seems to pop up in many books from this point on, which makes me excited to throw myself into Mr. King’s collection and have these books intertwine with each other like a horror-filled Pixar theory.

I might never read this book again, mainly because I need to catch up with all of Stephen’s other books. Is it worth a second read? Heck yes. I’m sure there are lots of scenes and easter eggs I missed throughout! Would I recommend this book? Oh my gosh, yes! It’s a great book, and if you’re only going to pick one horror book it might as well be by the King of Horror.

Five out of five stars!

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview The Erotic Muse by Rajeev Singh

Comment below – what is your favourite horror novel?

If you read this review, give me a shout out on Twitter using the hashtag #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

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#BookReview The Vampire’s Assistant by Darren Shan

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The Vampire’s Assistant was an excellent young adult novel that is full of thrills and chills!

I watched the movie adaption of this series YEARS ago, and I had been dying to pick up this series. Unfortunately for me, the bookstore is big and full of millions of books so I’d forget what I was looking for the minute I walked in. Luckily for me, I walked into a bargain bookstore and found an old, extremely damaged version of this book for clearance – so of course I bought it! A little water never hurt anybody!

I hadn’t read the first book in this series, but jumping right in was super easy! This book was fun, full of silly frights and awesome character development, and made me remember why I loved vampire novels in my youth!

This book is quick – it moves fast and keeps you interested at every turn. There’s some really creepy bad guys, Evra (the snake boy), a wolf man, and some awesome parental-yet-not-so-parental adults hanging around. It’s definitely the type of horror book I would read as a kid (but it doesn’t scare me at all now – adult me has worse things to be afraid of…like politics and bills…ick).

I highly recommend this book to anyone considering introducing their children to YA books with horror or vampires in it. It’s fun and creepy in all good ways! It’ll keep the adults interested too!

Four out of five stars!

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BooKReview Hercufleas by Sam Gayton

Comment below – what is your favourite young adult novel?

Give me a shout-out on Twitter using the hashtag #briarsreviews if you read this review! Briar’s Reviews on Twitter – @ReviewAlholic

And check out Darren Shan:

http://www.darrenshan.com/

@DarrenShan

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

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The Light Between Oceans is a bittersweet novel that will crush your soul (in a good way).

This is M.L. Stedman’s first book, and it is one fantastic first novel (to be brutally honest). This book was beautifully written, it pulled at my heart strings and it demanded my attention. Typically fictional novels that are more focused on “drama” don’t pull me like this book did! I was obsessed and had to finish reading it, I had to know what was going to happen to Tom, Isobel and Lucy.

The layers of love and affection in this story, mixed with the difficult decision making (and catch-22’s, as most reviewers are saying) make this a really intriguing story. It really made me question myself and my own choices – if I was Isobel in that time period (or Tom for that matter) and went through what they had been through, would I keep the baby? Would I admit I kept the baby? What would I do?

It’s a difficult decision, and you see one plot line of how this story can go. It’s not like a crazy soap opera, it seems realistic (to me, anyways). It’s a story all about bad decisions being made by good people, and the tension and fall outs that happen because of it. Were they really doing a bad thing, if their hearts were in the right place?

This book seems to be 50/50 for people – you either love it, or you don’t. I enjoyed the slight romance, dramatic fiction, heart wrenching tale that it is….but…I also didn’t read any reviews before and went in knowing I just wanted to read the book to see the movie. I had 0 expectations, and I came out loving it. In my opinion, some people seem to be reading way to far into the book. Are there themes? Yes. Is this a book that will be compared to Shakespeare (or even It…) in relation to it’s themes? No. Does it identify how good people can make bad decisions? Yes. Do you have to agree with their decisions? No. Do the characters decisions have to be your decisions? No. It’s simply a novel that is well written and shows one story of bad decision making.

Overall, this book is well written and is a fun read. All I can say now is, I can’t wait to watch the movie!

Five out of five stars.

 

Did you enjoy this book? Review not enjoy another! #BookReview The Winter Family by Clifford Jackman

In the comments below, tell me your favourite book that has a film adaption!!

Check out M.L. Stedman and her work! M.L. Stedman

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

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I first read this book in my first year of high school for a book report (we could choose ANY book we want, and I was obsessed with the film version of this novel at the time). Since it’s been…well, years…it’s about time I finally give this book a review to add it to my collection!

This book was super popular and a sequel has come out (which is currently sitting on my to-read shelves waiting for me to dig into it) in recent years. For those who don’t know about the first book in this series, we are following Andrea (or Andy) who gets a job at a famous, fashion magazine (similar to Vogue) which is run by the insane workaholic Miranda Priestly. Andrea believes this is the step she needs to get into her journalism career! A job at a high end fashion magazine! But, as we all know, nothing is ever that simple.

The movie is not the same as the book, but I like the think the quality of both are insanely good! Despite being different in plot, tone and character personalities, both works were fantastic! If you haven’t read the book, I highly suggest it. It’s unique and dramatic!

Andrea’s journey involves her changing (and sometimes growing) along the way, as she encounters all of the antics of being in the fashion world: uptight assistants, overbearing bosses, deadlines, insomnia, and work/life balance.

This book is in it’s own niche market – it became really popular, but it’s not for everyone. The humor is a type of special, especially since you are following Andrea’s life fall apart. For me, it’s a five star book! It’s interesting to watch the plot spiral out of control as your begging the author to give Andrea some type of happiness in the end. But honestly? It’s kind of how life is – not perfect. Andrea is NOT perfect and she’s definitely not the most likable character, but I grew to like her knowing all of the horror she was going through.

Five out of five stars!!

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview Intricate Deceptions by Jennifer Rayes

Comment below – what was your thoughts on the book?
And follow me on twitter! @ReviewAlholic & maybe use the hashtag #briarsreviews if you read this review! 😉

#BookReview Zodiac Unmasked by Robert Graysmith

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Zodiac Unmasked was an interesting take on the real life incidents revolving around the Zodiac Killer.

This book could have been a LOT shorter than it is, there is almost so much content in this book I got bored (and I am OBSESSED with conspiracies and theories, I’ll sit through long books and videos any day of the week). I almost quit this book completely because it was boring me to death. I did love all the research and information within this book, but it was almost too much.

This is one of many theories of who the Zodiac Killer was, and it truly is fleshed out. It may not be 100% correct, but it was a good read if you want to look into the information surrounding this theory.

The positives within this book is the amazing content within it, but that also ties with my major negative: it’s long, repetitive and becomes quite boring due to those two factors. The theory itself is confusing and long, but that doesn’t mean the book needs to be over 500 pages of repeating the same stuff over and over and over. I did enjoy the fact that the book was in chronological order, but I also felt that it didn’t need to be. I would have loved all the hard hitting facts and awesome plot points first before all the boring, nitty, gritty details.

Overall, I’m not totally impressed with this book. It bored me to tears and I almost stopped reading it.

1 out of 5 stars.

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another book you might enjoy! Book Review: Confessions of an English Psychopath by Jack Strange

Young Adult July Reads Book Review: The Fault in our Stars by John Green

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Photos via Goodreads.

Book Review:
Book Title: The Fault in our Stars

Book Author: John Green

Rave and Rant: I read this book after my father lost his battle to cancer, and it gave me a beautiful insight into a land where cancer is not viewed as the villain and rather as a fact of life. This book is not your typical love story! It followed sarcastic teenagers who live with cancer, and does not mainly focus on the cancer, it follows their life. It is a beautifully written book and John Green brings his excellent wits in this novel. I’d suggest it to anyone, but remember to have a tissue box nearby once you’ve finished the first half of the book! This book deals with strong emotional themes. Five stars!

Potential Issues: This book does make cancer seem a little romanticized. When I look back on reading it, at the time it was the type of book I definitely needed. I was hurting and I needed a book that didn’t make cancer seem like this horrible villain in my story. This book might not be for everyone, but it helped me at the time. Is cancer scary? Yes. It is life ending, horrible, and ruins lives? Yes. But can this book help heal? Yes.

This book will make you cry – it’s definitely sad, but at the same time it gives you  a different insight into cancer. Yes, there is a romance story in it, but these characters will give you some form of hope. There are beautiful quotes throughout the novel that show you cancer from a very different perspective. Readers must keep in mind this book was written after John Green lost a friend to cancer as well, so this book could have helped him heal.

Final Thoughts: This book is a YA novel – that means it is not going to be 100% realistic. This novel has it’s ups and down in many ways. The characters don’t seem to talk like teenagers would (but the novel was written by an adult). I found Hazel (the main character) to be quite average (other than her amazing quotes), but sometimes you don’t want the perfect Mary Jane as your main character. Gus is kind and a jerk, all wrapped up in one package. He’s not your perfect male lead, which is why I like him. Yes he has his issues, but at the same time he is romanticized for the audience this book is aimed towards. There’s a villain who has his reasons for being evil, but they don’t entirely make up for his behaviour. Overall, I enjoyed this book because it was there when I needed it to be – it’s a good book to read to heal after losing someone to cancer because it gives you a very soft and sweet look compared to the horrors a cancer story typically is.

Five out of five stars. I enjoyed this novel.

Murderous May: The Girl on the Train – BOOK REVIEW EXTRAVAGANZA!

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Book Review
Book Title: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins

Introduction: I have had this book on my shelf for AGES. I had been dying to read it but I never had the time. And then, with a hint of luck, I had to go sit during a long appointment and I had all the time in the world to read this book! And I read about 85% of the book in one sitting and finished it one day later. I not only wanted to read it because of all the fantastic reviews I had read about it, but because I want to watch the film adaption as well. I always love reading the book before seeing the movie – hence why I haven’t watched many movies lately! So many are based on good books!

Review:

This book has been compared to Gone Girl since it hopped on the suspense/mystery novel scene – and while you can definitely say they are similar (because of, you know, murders and mystery) they are both fantastic in their own ways. They are two separate entities that shouldn’t be compared! Unless you are using them in a list of the best suspense books in the last decade, then list them together!

This book follows Rachel, a drunk, angry, depressed, bitter woman who has been divorced by Tom. Slowly throughout this book we are introduced to her back story – a glorious tale woven so beautifully by Paula Hawkins. Tom is now married to Anna, the other woman in his and Rachel’s relationship, and it all goes downhill from there. When a girl that Rachel has seen is missing, Rachel decides that she has to help this mystery.

Reading this book from Rachel’s, Anna and Meghan’s point of view is truly incredible. Rachel isn’t totally reliable because of her being an alcoholic, Anna sounds like the not-so-perfect housewife Tom probably desired at some point, and Meghan gives an inside view to the outside view Rachel has been watching. These three tales woven together are just so beautifully written that it’s hard not to want to tell everyone to read this book just to show them how three separate characters who barely interact can have  their lives so entwined with one enough.

So is all this hype worth it? I would say yes. Don’t put this book in some high and mighty place in your mind and then be disappointed. I decided I would read this to see the movie – all the comparisons to Gone Girl made me quite suspicious so I didn’t leave my standards high. But, surprisingly, this book was excellent. If I would have given it silly expectations, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much.

If I could describe this book in a few words, I would give it – insanity, murder, and suspicion. Every time I thought I had an idea of where this book was going, Paula had to go and shake it up like a magic eight ball. Typically I can see the ending from a mile away, and this book was different. I did NOT expect the ending. Will the reader guess it? Potentially, but it’s not a dead giveaway – which is why I like this book! Paula didn’t make it obvious and made the reader work for it if they wanted to guess.

Overall – this fast-paced, mind-blowing novel is definitely what I needed in my life! It lived up to the hype, and I’m excited to watch the film now! The psychological, murderous novel full of absolute insanity is spectacular! I can’t wait to read more by Paula Hawkins! Her and Gillian Flynn need to write a book together…because the insanity between the two of them in one book? That’d be killer!

Five out of five stars.

Positives:
1. Fast-Paced
2. Unpredictable Twists and Turns
3. Unreliable Narrators
4. Well Developed Characters
5. Complex Plot with a Layered Storyline
6. Unique Concepts

Negatives:
1. Comparisons to Gone Girl
2. Over-Hyped? Maybe.

Positive & Negative All Wrapped Up In One:
1. Dual (3 to be exact) POVs
2. Stereotypical Relationships
3. Black-Out Drunk Moments