CARRIE by Stephen King | Review

Title: Carrie

Author: Stephen King

Book #: Standalone

Genres: Adult, Horror, Fantasy, Thriller

Publication: November 2002, by Pocket Books

Pages: 253

Author’s Website

Rating: αρχείο λήψης (1)

Stephen King’s legendary debut, about a teenage outcast and the revenge she enacts on her classmates.

Carrie White may have been unfashionable and unpopular, but she had a gift. Carrie could make things move by concentrating on them. A candle would fall. A door would lock. This was her power and her sin. Then, an act of kindness, as spontaneous as the vicious taunts of her classmates, offered Carrie a chance to be a normal and go to her senior prom. But another act–of ferocious cruelty–turned her gift into a weapon of horror and destruction that her classmates would never forget.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

“People don’t get better, they just get smarter. When you get smarter you don’t stop pulling the wings off flies, you just think of better reasons for doing it.”

Review

Well… How can I say this? I just didn’t like this book. And I’m quite upset about it because I’ve been wanting to read it for a long time and it really disappointed me.

Honestly. When you think about Stephen King and especially Carrie what are some of the first things that come to your mind? Because for me it’s: really scary, creepy, weird unexplained things happening, more scary, great writing, extremely scary, un-put-downable. Well from all these things the only one that was accomplished for me was the “weird unexplained things happening”.

For the first half of the book everything was going okay. Not really good, but acceptable. And then, when I thought “now the real thing will start”, it started becoming worse and worse! First of all, the whole book was revolving around one single event. When I realized that I thought “Okay, at least it better be good!”. And it so wasn’t. The event in itself was quite big, to be fair. But the way it was described and the feelings of Carrie during that event where very unemotional and just lukewarm. When you’re writing a whole book around one thing and building anticipation and excitement and curiosity about how it will all go down, you can’t describe it almost with no emotions at all. And you can definitely not describe it from a secondary character’s point of view.

But that’s exactly what happened. Even worse actually, because the point of view was not from only one secondary character, but from so many! Some of them were actually not even mentioned in the book before that. They just randomly appear towards the end of the book and we’re stuck reading from their perspective. Quite frankly, I don’t freaking care what a random person / character has to say about what happened! I want to experience what’s happening first hand from the perspective of Carrie or some other important character and not some stranger who doesn’t even know what has been going on! Not to mention that they weren’t even there when everything went down, so we learn everything from these secondary characters talking to some of the main characters and asking them what had happened. I mean, WHAT? WHY? This really frustrated me to no end.

The only positive thing I could find about this book was the dynamic between Carrie and her mother. Her mother is an obsessively and extremely religious person who makes Carrie go through a lot of different punishments in order to pay for her sins. Of course this plays a major role to how Carrie evolves as a person and pretty much shapes her personality. So I really thought that Carrie’s reactions and her relationship between her and her mother was a very well described part of the book. Also the scenes with the punishments ended up being the most emotionally hard, but also exciting scenes in the whole story.

In general I was very disappointed by this book. I had really high hopes for it and expected to read something truly scary and twisted, and it ended up being anything but that. I’ve heard quite a few things about this book, so obviously others have seen something in it, but I really cannot see it. I might try watching the movie, though. I have a feeling I might like it better.

First Line

It was reliably reported by several persons that a rain of stones fell from a clear blue sky on Carlin Street in the town of Chamberlain on August 17th.

Mini Review

Completely disappointed in this book.
The story wasn’t what  I expected it to be.
I had some serious issues with the writing style.
Generally, not my cup of tea.

Recommend it for…

  • fans of classic thrillers

αρχείο λήψης (1)

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FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC by Virginia Andrews | Review

Title: Flowers in the Attic

Author: Virginia Andrews

Book #: 1 in the “Dollanganger” series

Genres: Young Adult, Horror, Mystery

Publication: September 2011, by Harper

Pages: 423

Author’s Website

Rating: combinhe_images

The haunting young adult gothic romance classic that launched Virginia Andrews’ incredible best-selling career.

Up in the attic, four secrets are hidden. Four blonde, beautiful, innocent little secrets, struggling to stay alive…

Chris, Cathy, Cory and Carrie have perfect lives – until a tragic accident changes everything. Now they must wait, hidden from view in their grandparents’ attic, as their mother tries to figure out what to do next. But as days turn into weeks and weeks into months, the siblings endure unspeakable horrors and face the terrifying realisation that they might not be let out of the attic after all.

Virginia Andrews is a publishing phenomenon, with over 100 million books in print. Still as terrifying now as it was when it first appeared, Flowers in the Attic is a gripping story of a family’s greed, betrayal and heartbreak.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

“There is no hate such as that born out of love betrayed- and my brain screamed out for revenge.”

Review

While reading this book I was constantly thinking: “This is different from what I expected”. When I finished it I thought: “This is turning into some kind of a soap opera”. That being said I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book!

By reading the synopsis of this book I was expecting to read a horrific story of children locked up in a small, dark attic, being constantly molested and/or abused, getting little or no food and just trying to escape. Well this was not exactly what this book was about. I mean, yeah, there were some of these things going on, but to a much smaller degree than what I had thought.

Maybe even because what I thought was going to happen never happened, I was constantly on edge reading this book. I kept thinking to myself “something terrible is going to happen now” or “something big will happen and change the whole thing”. But nothing really “big” happened. At least in my opinion. I have heard people saying that they were really shocked by the things that were happening in this book, so I guess it’s just a matter of perception. But I was in no way shocked. As a matter of fact I was kind of  laughing at the things that were happening, because after a point they started resembling more and more things that would happen in a soap opera!

So, as you’ve probably understood by now, I found the storyline a bit ridiculous, but also monotonous and slow-paced. There were a lot of things that were revealed in the end of the book. And by “the end” I literally mean “the end”. Like the last 20 pages or so. But also in the last 70 pages there were some major things happening and a kind of twist to the story.

Moving on to the characters, I found Cathy, the main character and narrator, quite ok. I had no problems with her and I found that she reacted in a normal way most of the times. I enjoyed her impulsiveness, but other than that it was a kind of “plain Jane” character. The one that bugged me a little was the oldest brother, Chris. He was the perfect optimist and those kind of characters often get on my nerves. Also he kept believing things would happen, even when all evidence clearly showed that they were never going to happen. Yes… he was pretty annoying!

So you might be wondering why I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars since there were so many things I found problematic. The answer is that I didn’t mind those things. I still found the book absolutely amusing and couldn’t put it down. I think its biggest asset was the writing style. Everything was described in such a great way that made me believe that everything was really happening and kept me on edge all the time.

My dilemma now is, whether I will continue reading this series or not. There is a total of 5 books in this series, but to be honest I think they will only get worse and worse. I threw a look on the synopses (synopsises?) and they definitely get more and more like a soap opera (soap-opera-y?). So what is your opinion? Should I continue with this series?

First Line

Truly, when I was very young, way back in the ‘fifties, I believed all of life would be like one long and perfect summer day.

Mini Review

Completely different from what I expected.
I found the story a bit laughable.
Some characters were overdone.
I still LOVED the book.
That’s how weird I am at times…

Recommend it for…

  • people who don’t feel like they would enjoy a real classic, but might want to try something semi-classic
  • a light read that will still keep you on edge
  • fans of soap operas

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DRACULA by Bram Stoker | Review

Title: Dracula

Author: Bram Stoker

Book #: Standalone

Publication: April 2012 by Penguin

Pages: 440

Rating: acombine_images

The vampire novel that started it all, Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ probes deeply into human identity, sanity, and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.

When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries about his client. Soon afterward, disturbing incidents unfold in England—an unmanned ship is wrecked at Whitby, strange puncture marks appear on a young woman’s neck, and a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his “Master” —culminating in a battle of wits between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries.

Synopsis from Goodreads

“Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!”

There are so many vampire books out there, so I felt the need to read this book in order to find out what it was that started it all! The first vampire book with the original count Dracula myth! This is also the first classic I have ever managed to finish!

The whole book is written in the form of journals and diaries of several people involved in the story. The beginning of the book, was narrated by Jonathan Harker’s point of view as he visited Dracula’s castle in Romania. This was in my opinion the most interesting part of the book and I was immediately hooked. As I continued reading though, the point of view shifted from Mr Harker to his fiancé, Mina, in England and the story started growing slower and less interesting. This pace continued almost until the end of the book, sometimes becoming a bit faster, but in general pretty slow.

I did enjoy Mina’s character though. Keeping in mind that this book was written in the late 19th century, when a woman’s role was mainly to be a wife, Mina was much more independent and powerful. Even though women were considered and sometimes even expected to be weak, Mina was quite strong, making her own decisions and speaking up even in a room full of men! She was always freely saying her opinion which was taken into consideration and respected by everyone in this book.

What I felt missing from this book was the perspective of Count Dracula. He was supposedly the main character of the book and we only get to see him through the eyes of others. I would definitely like to learn his side of the story and also his thoughts, plans, motives and actions.

The movie is also nicely done and quite accurate to the book. Check it out at imdb.

All in all I did appreciate the book even though it wasn’t exactly my taste. If you want to find out what a real vampire is like and enjoy classics, definitely give this book a chance! On the other hand if you enjoy fast paced action/thriller books, this is not the book for you.

 
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