Peruse Carefully (The Bazaar of Bad Dreams – A Book Review)

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams
Author: Stephen King
Published: 2015

On Goodreads

Bazaar of Bad Dreams

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

A master of horror, crazy, and supernatural, Stephen King brings another collection of short stories. A few you may know. Others come at you with a realistic and horrifying twist that will make you shiver. From a people-eating car to a little green god of agony possessing an elderly, rich and entitled asshole to a Kindle linked to the Dark Tower.

In this latest collection, the King still stirs that pot, mixing the dark and morbid side of reality with that of the fantasy side.

 

Personally, Nightmares & Dreamscapes is my favorite collection of the King’s stories: the hardcover, purple with the gravestone. Just beautiful. This one wasn’t as great, but their were a few stories that really perked my interest. Just something about the way they caught me by surprise.

Mile 81

The Bad Kid

Ur

The Little Green God of Agony

Obits

Summer Thunder

The ominous shadow that hangs over all of these stories really enticed me. It kept me curious.

I found the title of the book to be intriguing. A bazaar-a market that sells goods-was a unique choice for it, emphasizing that you can peruse these short stories instead of reading them in order. And, bad dreams? Yeah, the King isn’t kidding. Some of these stories are what nightmares are made of. And the cover, looking at a person and only seeing death, is beautiful and chilling.

Short stories are an art form. I agree with this. Very hard to conquer. Sometimes. With this book, I feel that. This was one that I had 50/50 feelings about. It was good, yet not really. The imagery was powerful with each one. Some of the stories I enjoyed immensely and others not so much. There were points where I just couldn’t get invested into the story. I felt like I was getting dragged.

However, each detailed intro to each story was poignant and beautiful. It’s getting a backstage pass to what I believe to be one of the funniest yet outspoken minds of fiction. He truly writes some beautiful words in a cloud of morbidity. I dig it.

Thumbs Up

Now, my favorite stories (above) are favorites because of one BIG element. Shouldn’t be that hard to guess if you’ve been keeping up with me this far in the blog. There’s that special supernatural touch. Though, if I had a specific favorite it would be Obits. The story centers on a journalist’s dark comedy obituary and his sudden ability to kill people with it. So much power and so dangerous!! This was the greatest page turner, and maybe that makes me a bit morbid, but I’ve read stories similar to this—where you could write someone’s death and then it actually happens. Its creepy and unnerving. Imagine having that kind of power. It’s mind-blowing!

mind blown

And I swear, when reading this, I can hear the King’s voice ring so clearly, and it sounds very close to a professor’s I had: cocky and condescendingly intelligent with a thrive for life. It made me smile. I liked that professor, because while he did sound like that, he was a cool guy. Made everyone feel included and nobody felt stupid. There was learning to be had and he did a great job of helping with that.

 

Overall

This book left me tied up on how I feel about it. There were some great stories. They really pulled me in. But…I wasn’t moved to love the entire book. That’s what’s interesting about short stories. Because you don’t like one, doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy the entire book.

Beautiful words, chilling stories, intense characters, but a one-time read for me.

 

Quotables:

“If you saw a guy lying by the side of the road, it didn’t matter if he was a Samaritan or a Martian. You stopped to help.” (Mile 81, p. 23)

“Arr, reality’s a dirty place with no religion in it.

So buy me a drink, goddam you!

We’ll toast elephants that never were.” (The Bone Church, p. 162)

“I think the world is mostly populated by shitheads. You take it from there.” (UR, p. 210)

 

More to comes soon…

-K.

 

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P.S. Song today? Tainted Love by Marilyn Manson

 

Thoughts? Tell me in the comments below.

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It Runs in the Family (Willow – A Book Review)

Willow (De Beers #1)
Author: V. C. Andrews
Published: 2002

On Goodreads

Willow

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

 

All that glitters isn’t gold…

After the death of her father, Willow goes in search of her biological mother after reading his journal, finding her in the ritz and extravagant Palm Beach. Being rich is the name and throwing luxurious parties is everyone’s game. She assumes a name and pretends that she is conducting a study for her college graduate thesis in order to grow closer to her mother.

Willow discovers not only that her mother is in Palm Beach, but that she also has a son. Willow has a brother. Now, she’ll work to get to know her mother and uncover all of the secrets surrounding her fall from the glamorous lies of this beach town. It’s slippery down the rabbit hole and Willow must be careful not to lose herself in the life of the rich and famous.

 

This story started out pretty slow, but gave a really good overture of Willow’s upbringing with her adoptive family. Her mother, who she called A.M., is treacherous and took pleasure in destroying Willow. She wasn’t the only one either. People just thrived on the destruction of others in this book. It was unbelievable. I was disgusted!

Willow, while I love her backbone and inability to let people manipulate her, also started to make me wonder after a while. We all converse with our conscience. It helps us make decisions and confer with our feelings. Willow took it to an EXTREME! It got a little weird because of the way she didn’t seem to be conversing with herself, but other voices in her head. Like, I believe she needs some psychological help, which is funny since her biological mom spent time in the psych ward.

Crying of Lot 49

The other characters were a range of wild, too. Thatcher Eaton came swooping in as a kind of prince charming. Kind of, because he’s rather full of himself. His parents were no better. They were MUCH worse. And Linden, Willow’s newly discovered brother, is especially odd. He comes across as a loner and rather morbid with his artwork and possessive. I was ODing on the crazy with all of them and I’m pretty sure Willow was, too.

The lustrous setting of Palm Beach was filled with crashing waves, speedboats, sunsets, glitz and glam…and secrets. This really got me thinking about Revenge—great for building upon secrets until you begin to tailspin. It was crazy!

The difference between the rich glam-train and the poor on the shore in this book was how they were perceived and the stories told about them. The folks who live the life of never-ending luxury carry themselves with extreme narcissism, as if they’re saviors and should be thanked for constantly, yet go on about those with less as if they’re a disease. It’s despicable. I got pretty worked up about it.

I will say: this the writing really threw me off. It’s typically what pulls me in ultimately. Now, this wasn’t written by the true V.C. Andrews, but it did come from her notes. This just didn’t have that ominous tone that she originally had. The tone actually came off bland for me.

 

Overall

I wish psychological—I wouldn’t’ call this a thriller—books were my thing, but this one was slow and dragging. I was really intrigued by the idea of delving into the dark chasm of the rich and how this side of it was explored. However, I just couldn’t get into it as much as I wanted to. A good one time read for me.

 

Quotables:

“Bad news travels with the wind. It’s as if everyone who hears it feels an obligation to pass it along, or maybe a need to get rid of it before it affects them and their lives as well.” (p. 57)

“Most people I meet here are empty, mindless. I call them Hollows.” (Linden to Willow, p. 245)

“Secrets have a way of twisting themselves around your heart like a python and choking the joy out of you.” (Thatcher to Willow, p. 325)

“Daddy taught me never to run and hide but to face my problems head on and never be intimidated by them. Good Advice, don’t you think?” (Willow to Aunt Agnes, p. 434)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Shadow of the Day by Linkin Park.

 

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Speedy Quote Sunday

Speedy Quote Sunday

Hello, my book lovers,

It’s Speedy Quote Sunday. I love sharing the quotes that have made such a moving impression on me. We all have those quotes that stick with us.

 

“Listen and you will learn.” (Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman)

This was one of those ones that if we just did it, we’d get it. Yet, we humans have a bad habit of talking while other people try to tell us things. This was just simple to the point and if you hear Neil Gaiman’s voice in your head, saying it, it’s incredibly wise.

 

“People never really die until you forget about them.” (Christopher’s Diary: Secrets of Foxworth, V.C. Andrews)

I don’t if I believe this, but it was incredibly eerie and chilling to think about. How do we determine when a person is truly dead, because history doesn’t let go.

 

“I’ll tell you something about true love. There’s no science to it. It’s natural as the sky.” (Wither, Lauren DeStefano)

Love is looked at form so many different angles. This really moved my heart. Love seems so light and easy and vibrant and exuberant. Everything that makes it fairytale-esque.

 

More to come soon…

-K.

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Favorite book quote of yours? Tell me in the comments below.

Mighty Gods? Maybe…Not. (Norse Mythology – A Book Review)

Norse Mythology
Author: Neil Gaiman
Published: 2017

On Goodreads

Norse Mythology

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt Half bolt

 

Having been long inspired by mythology, Neil Gaiman has come up with a collection of retellings through his own unique (and crazy) point of view of Norse mythology and, yes, this includes the great Ragnarok-the end of the world.

With cameos from Odin, Thor, Loki and even Sif, Gaiman’s humor and powerful storytelling takes flight. Thor’s hammer goes missing. The gods trick the giants. And Loki continuously talks his way out of death.

 

First off, I’m a regular geek-out over Neil Gaiman. The man is a pleasant kind of crazy. I also LOVED his V/O in Lucifer, though it took me the entire episode to figure it the eff out. He’s a phenomenal writer with an untouchable talent. I swear he gives birth to the kind of stories that become legendary star constellations…then again, maybe I’m just fangirling. *shrug*

 

This book didn’t compare to American Gods or The Ocean at the End of the Lane, but it was still amazing. Starting off with an informative introduction and ending with a glossary specifically to help with further understanding, this book was rather fulfilling and enjoyable to my yearning for mythology. I love mythology. Usually, I’m quite attached to Greek myths, so this was a great change-up.

Also, the glimmering, gold on black cover of Thor’s powerful hammer is breathtaking. Just saying. I fondled the cover with glee.

From the creation of Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, to the end of the gods’ world-Ragnarok, there was both humor and seriousness. Most of all, it was magical. With dwarves and large wolves. I was so enthralled. I think the wolf-son of Loki-was actually my favorite character. What can I say? I’m a dog person.

Norse Mythology

I loved the imagery of Asgard, the world of the gods and the description set up alongside it. Gaiman has this way of explaining and showing and describing, and all of these things that make the images move in your mind, so that it’s easy to understand, yet in depth and smooth like the ocean. Cheesy way to describe it? Maybe. But, I like it and it’s suitable. He’s a real genius and it shouldn’t have taken 20 years just to read his work.

What really caught my eye was the way all of the stories tied together for an epic ending. I won’t give anything away, except to say that there’s a lot of blood and loss and rebirth. Simply wonderful. The gods were certainly not the ones we all know and love out of Thor.

Norse Mythology

Nope. Thor actually red hair. And Loki isn’t even Thor’s brother. He’d Odin’s brother. Might I add that Thor is basically the Kelso of the group. LOL. Not even kidding. It’s hilarious. Loki is basically Hyde, who gets away with shit by blaming somebody else. (If you haven’t watch That 70’s Show then go do it.)

Norse Mythology

AND THE GODS ARE SOME REAL JERKS. LOL. I was stunned by this. Granted, I figured there’d be selfishness and possibly some incest and weird family love, but whoa! They also brought all of the tragedy and mishaps upon themselves with their paranoia.

 

Overall

I fun and delightful read with many surprises. Doesn’t feel educational and partially because it’s not, though it is. Worth a read if you enjoy Gaiman and if you haven’t read any of his work yet, start with one of his novels to a feel and then read this one.

 

 

Quotables

“Now he understood magic. Now the world was his to control.” (p. 22)

“When something goes wrong, the first thing I always think is, it is Loki’s fault. It saves a lot of time.” (Thor, p. 52)

Norse Mythology

“That was the thing about Loki. You resented him even when you were at your most grateful, and you were grateful to him even when you hated him most.” (p. 67)

“Listen and you will learn.” (p. 269)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? The Heat of the Moment by Asia.

 

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From Another Time, Another Dimension (Watcher in the Woods – A Book Review)

Watcher in the Woods (Dreamhouse Kings #2)
Author: Robert Liparulo
Published: 2008

On Goodreads

Watcher in the Woods - Scholastic

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt Half bolt

 

It’s not just the house that’s keeping secrets.

After Xander’s mom is kidnapped and dragged through one of the dimensional doorways of the house, the rest of King family rallies together to get her back. Secrets about they really moved into this mysterious house is divulged and the Kings will never be the same.

A new school year begins and the townspeople of Pinedale are starting to suspect the King family of strange things, like abuse. With the mystery of the house, and a strange man stalking them, they have to stand together if they hope to get their mom back.

 

This book was better than the first one by a hair. There were many new elements and characters. Turns out, Dad has been in this house before. There’s an assassin that came through one of the dimensional doors that wants the house for himself. A bully harasses David.

I liked that the novel spread out some, going to school and that clearing where you can nearly fly. New settings really open up a book. However, the clearing (the anti-gravity clearing as I call it) was very strange and out of place feeling. There was so much I Don’t Know that it was just pointless. It didn’t bring very much to my imagination nor did it do anything for me but feel weird. The school was really cool because there was a glimpse of it in the first book. Now, school is in session and obviously, nobody wants to go.

The storytelling didn’t improve by much. I’m still a little confused because the characters aren’t making much sense of everything so neither am I, but I did like that the emotions were higher. Dude, mom is gone. Time to crank this up to eleven! And there’s an assassin! (The flashback of the assassin’s time before getting teleported into the Dreamhouse was out of place feeling, too.) I liked that the intensity was kicked up a notch. Everybody is freaking out.

What is happening

 

Overall

Still not a book that did much for me. My heart got pulled a little. I love my mom beyond words and I’d be going all terminator if somebody kidnapped her so, I can relate to Xander on that level. The storytelling felt like a jumbled mess and therefore didn’t really pull me in even though the imagery was great. A strong feeling of meh.

 

Quotables:

“He thought he could be a hero, and now he was about to get shot or blown up or…something that amounted to the same thing: dead.” (David, p. 4)

“It’s not kidnapping if I asked you to take me.” (Keal to Jesse, p. 280)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

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A Door to Anywhere (House of Dark Shadows – A Book Review)

House of Dark Shadows (Dreamhouse Kings #1)
Author: Robert Liparulo
Published: 2008

On Goodreads

House of Dark Shadows

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

15/25

 

Dream house…or bad dream?

When the Kings up and move from L.A. to the small town, Pinedale, Xander is more than upset. But when they happened across an old Victorian house hidden out in the woods, they think they’ve hit the jackpot. Everyone gets their own rooms. There’s woods for miles to explore.

Weird things begin to happen as they get ready to move in. There are prints of larger-than-normal feet in the dust. A special door in the linen closet. There a hallway with doors that lead to different periods in time like the Civil War. Xander begins to wonder if this is the coolest thing ever or just a dread nightmare come true.

 

This book marks 15 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. I was really drawn in by the artwork and weirdness.

 

I honestly don’t know how I’m feeling about this book. It felt a little all over the place for me. I know this book is geared toward the independent reader genre, but still, I didn’t feel all that enthralled. Much of the bits were very intriguing, but I felt like they were lost in the story. Crazy things are happening in this old house, but they just didn’t work together, not in any way that made sense to me. My curiosity was piqued for sure, but unsatisfied. I did love the many TV references—Misery, Star Wars, and Supernatural to name a few. It puts the story in the real world, and lets readers relate more.

The setting of the small town and the old house was very cool. Everything was secluded, adding to the growing ominous feeling. The boys, Xander and David got a tower in their bedroom. Call me jealous, I’ve always wanted my own personal tower; a spot where I can read and have my own world. I really liked the blueprint of the house in the beginning of the book. Things like that really make me feel a little closer and involved with the story.

I struggled in following the story. There just wasn’t enough detail to make all of this click. I just couldn’t get emotionally invested either. This was written to get you on the edge of your seat with all of the wild things happening and sadly, I was just wanting it to be over.

ITBT

The closeness between Xander and his siblings was so special. At such a young age, most siblings fight and bicker and that wasn’t the case at all. They were there for each other and protecting one another. However, the parents were very odd. There wasn’t much of a difference between them and the kids. They talked and acted like them. Any real parental authority was overshadowed by them wanting to relate to the kids and be their friend. It really threw me off.

 

Overall: this book wasn’t what I imagined. I knew it wouldn’t be gory or utterly spine-tingling, but I do feel like this should’ve been more to help make the story more vivid and enthralling. Connect the dots. With tigers in the jungle and a creepy man wandering the property and other unexplainable things, I hoped for something more.

 

Quotables:

“What was embarrassing or personal, dreams and fears—it was all fair game in the King household.” (Xander, p. 107)

“We’re humans, not robots.” (Mom to Xander, p. 107)

“Loved ones die. Fact of life.” (Xander, p. 271)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

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Midnight Tease

Midnight Tease - Giphy
Hey, book clan!

It’s been a long month. May and June whipped past, but July really lingered. It’s been rainy and it’s been sunny. It’s been hot and a few rare days that were pretty chilly. There were some really good thunder storms.

Lightning

I know this month is going to be a little busy. With a concert, flea market, a trip to see The Meg coming up this month, my posts may be a little spaced out. Can’t wait to see The Meg though. SHARKS! That and Mamma Mia 2—which was so fantastically fun that I couldn’t stop smiling—are the movies I’ve been anticipating this summer. This fall, I can’t wait to go see The Nun.

The MegRight now, it’s the witching hour, the great in-between. Midnight. If you’re reading this then you’re awake, too, just like me. And since you’re up, you can read the Midnight Tease. Here, I’ve got everything that I’ll be reading during August, as well as what I’m reading currently and what will be up for review!

 

 

Coming Soon…

Ghost_atniquity - LiveJournal

 

Over the Moon
Author: Angela Knight, MaryJanice Davidson, Virginia Kantra and Sunny

Over the Moon

I picked up this set of short stories because I love reading books with the supernatural. Also, I like to indulge in a bit of guilty pleasure with those gushy mass markets. Sue me.

 

Thebes of the Hundred Gates
Author: Robert Silverberg

Thebes

I plucked this out of a library sale I went to last year in October. I was really interested because of the cover showing ancient Egypt. It was one of my favorite subjects to study in history. Plus, there’s time travel.

 

Down a Dark Hall
Author: Lois Duncan

Down a Dark Hall

I really can’t get enough of Duncan. I really like the airy feel in her writing. Of course she was MEGA popular in the 70s. I really like the feel of urgency and discomfort in her books, too.

I also JUST discovered it’s been turn into a movie and will be released August 17, 2018 and will be starring Uma Thurman and AnnaSophia Robb!

 

Of Mice and Men
Author: John Steinbeck
of Mice and Men

Not only is it on my New Year’s Resolution, but it’s also one that everyone in high school has read. Everyone but me. I read The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and lots of William Shakespeare.

 

Devoured
Author: Amanda Marrone

Devoured

Getting haunted by your twin!? I’m in!

 

 

Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline

Ready Player One

I have been trying to get to this since long before the movie touch downed in the theaters…and failed miserably. But I’m getting to it now!! I really want to watch the movie!

 

Currently…

Unbreakable yes

 

Bazaar of Bad Dreams
Author: Stephen King

Bazaar of Bad Dreams

 

Christopher’s Diary: Secrets of Foxworth
Author: V.C. Andrews

CD Secrets of Foxworth

 

Christopher’s Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger
Author: V.C. Andrews

CD Echoes of Dollanganger

 

Up for Review…

Midnight tease II - giphy

 

House of Shadows
Author: Robert Liparulo

House of Dark Shadows

 

Watcher in the Woods
Author: Robert Liparulo

Watcher in the Woods - Scholastic

 

Norse Mythology
Author: Neil Gaiman

Norse Mythology

 

Willow
Author: V.C. Andrews

Willow

 

A few well-knowns mixed with a few not-well-knowns. I’m excited about the authors I haven’t read from yet. It gives me a chance to really get engulfed in something new. New writer and new book. It opens me up to new experiences and possibly new favorite writer and books.

Read on bookworms!

 

More to comes soon…

-K.

 

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Thoughts? Tell me in the comments below.