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

 

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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.

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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To Heaven or Hell With Them (Marked – A Book Review)

Marked (Servants of Fate #1)
Author: Sarah Fine
Published: 2015

On Goodreads

Marked

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt Half bolt

13/25

 

In post-apocalyptic Boston,

Supernatural factions battle

For human souls.

 In a world that’s been swamped by environmental collapse—coasts have flooded, countries have gone dry or iced over, and disease has spread—Boston paramedic and heiress, Cacia-Cacy-Ferry risks her life on the front lines in the dangerous city. What most don’t know is that she also ferries those who die on to the afterlife. That’s right, she goes into limbo to make sure souls go where they need to go, whether to heaven or to the fiery depths of hell.

Enter, new transfer and partner to Cacy, Eli Margolis, who has a past of his own, and who’s only concerned with making sure his sister is safe. Though wary of the Ferry family, Eli finds himself attracted to Cacy. Cacy isn’t sure about jumping into a relationship, but she can’t stay away from Eli either. But, when he’s marked for death, Cacy will do whatever it takes to save him, even risk her future, and he’ll do whatever it takes to protect her and his sister.

This book marks 13 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. Every once in a while…okay a little more than that, I will pluck a book at random to give myself a chance to read something new. This is one of them.

A death rocks the Ferry family and Cacy won’t stop until she finds out who did it. She blames the Ker-vicious, sharp toothed, red eyed, greedy creatures that mark people for death, much like the fates. The Ferry an Ker factions are close to war and Eli has no idea just how in the middle of it he and his sister are. And let me just say, I wish I knew more about these factions. There wasn’t enough information on them at the start. It was about halfway through the novel that I had a hook on them and how they worked.

This book was intense, steamy, and supernatural. I was just hanging on for dear life as Cacy’s and Eli’s lives collided. This was so action packed whether from heart pumping danger or seriously sexy moments that were breath stealing. I really enjoyed it. This was certainly one of those stories filled with drama, romance, and everything else under the sun. It’s fantastic and shock worthy! There was a lot I didn’t see coming.

Side note: This isn’t YA. It contains mature language and sexual content. However, that’s not to say young adults can’t it shouldn’t read it. They’ll read whatever they please. This is just a warning that it actually doesn’t fall into that genre.

I get really into world-building and this one was really interesting. Our planet is in a bit of a rough spot as it is with climate change and pollution, so Fine’s creation/morph of the world in her book is nice! She captured future in which the world rages back against humanity incredibly and realistically. A third of the world was wiped out from disease and from there everything else just collapsed. People are stealing organs like plucking apples from a tree, and technology has advanced so that vehicles can drive right on to the water and medical supplies It’s so creative, yet a great way to play on the real world. This alone really got me interested in reading this.

Marked

The chemistry between Cacy and Eli was electrifying! They’re hot and cold and HOT! It’s gasp worthy. They connected instantly and I couldn’t get enough. The build-up was enough to make me pop.

I loved that they both had a story and that they collided. They’re incredible together—a wildfire blazing in a dark world. Eli doesn’t come off as a hot shot nor an overly broody man. The way that Cacy is so straightforward, knowing what she wants, and she’s strong is powerful and endearing. I love a female character like this, especially because she kicks ass and takes names. Both she and Eli propel into danger for those they care about. That trait is always one that sweeps me off my feet.

Dead of Winter

Fine’s writing was incredible. It was entertaining and gripping. I couldn’t put this book down! My heart skipped beats. My pulse was racing. The supernatural element was fresh and original. However, I did find it a little confusing every once in a while. I wish the way the way Cacy’s supernatural ability worked was more accessible. Every once in a while, it just didn’t get through to me or was a little repetitive. I did think it was interesting, how dark and light intermingled with how heaven and hell were described by Cacy. I just wish the imagery had been stronger with limbo, the marked, the coin that moved the dead to their afterlives, and the Ker.

Overall, this was a pretty good book. This wasn’t a what I consider a literary piece, but it was a fun ride! There many parts I reread because I couldn’t get enough. I hope to find the second book sometime in the future. For those of you that enjoy really in depth, supernaturally original. Oh, and this is totally not YA.

Quotables:

“Life isn’t fair, Cacy, and neither is death.” (Dec to Cacy, p. 58)

“I’m on your side, Eli. There is more going on here than you understand, but there one thing you can count on. She. Is. Yours.” (Moros to Eli, p. 210)

“I see you better than you see yourself.” (Cacy to Eli, p. 283)

“I don’t believe in deserving. You haven’t deserved most of what has happened to you. But it happened anyway. So did we.” (Cacy to Eli, p. 285)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Trouble by Natalia Kills.

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Coming Home to the Circus (Water For Elephants – A Book Review)

Water for Elephants
Author: Sara Gruen
Published: 2006

On Goodreads

Water For Elephants

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt Half bolt

 

So long ago. So long. But still it haunts me.

After losing his parents in a car accident, Jacob Jankowski discovers that his parents weren’t as well off as they said. A student at Cornell, studying veterinarian sciences, Jacob is on the verge of graduating when he takes to the railroad tracks, lost and alone.

One night, a whistle sounds in the distance and a train, home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth and Jacob jumps aboard, joining the circus as the vet. It’s the early part of the Great Depression and this circus quickly becomes his salvation and hell. When he met Marlena, the performer in the pink sequin number with the horses and married to August, animal tamer, it all becomes worth it. And then there’s Rosie, the beautiful, gray elephant that changed the show. The bond between this trio becomes one of hope, love, and survival.

 

Jacob Jankowski was bold and honest and filled with such wonder and love. Caring not only for animals, but people as well. Now, ninety, or maybe ninety-three, he recalls his times under the big top for the first time in a very long time.

 

I can’t believe it took me so long to finally read this book. So many people recommended it to me, and I am really glad I got to read this. It was a really good book. The circus isn’t usually my thing—clowns ya’ll—but this, tied alongside the Great Depression, was moving. There was a sparkle of joy mixed into such sadness and desperation. Gruen truly encompassed the era and showed what it was to not watch the circus as part of the audience, but be a part of it.

The storytelling was magical. Running away with the circus is what we only talk about or dream about, and here, it happened for Jacob. Filled with hard work and danger, it was filled with adventure and vibrant life. As much as it opened my eyes, leaving in me enchanted, this book was also romantic and emotional.

I really couldn’t get enough of this book. The characters thrived vibrantly. If I had to pick a favorite It would be Rosie. The elephant was one so funny and delightful and my heart went out to her. She was funny and sweet, and really loved lemonade.

In comparison to the 2011 film based on the novel, there many bits that I wish would’ve been featured in the movie. Half of this novel takes place in a nursing home. Hell, the whole thing does because Jacob is telling the story. His nurse, Rosemary wasn’t even involved which was a darn shame since she treated him mighty well. However, Uncle Al being omitted was totally okay with me. He was creeeeepy. These were only the major things that topped my list. Loved Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson for the leading characters. Phenomenal.

water for elephants

 

A wonderful book and a great summer read.

 

Quotables:

“I don’t talk much about those days. Never did. I don’t know why—I worked on circuses for nearly seven years, and if that isn’t fodder for conversation, I don’t know what is.” (Jacob, p. 6)

“Sometimes when you get older—and I’m not talking about you, I’m talking generally, because everyone ages differently—things you think on and wish on start to seem real.” (Rosemary to Jacob, p. 227)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Good to You by Marianas Trench.

 

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Destiny Strikes More Than Once ( Lightning – A Book Review)

Lightning
Author: Dean R. Koontz
Published: 1988

On Goodreads

Lightning

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

11/25

Destiny struggles to reassert the pattern that was meant to be.

A storm struck and lightning streaked the sky the nigh that Laura Shane was born. There was something strange about it that people would remember for a long time. The blond-haired stranger that came out of nowhere and saved her from a fatal delivery was even more mysterious. He shows again years later, and again later, saving her over and over.

Laura believes she has a guardian angel that watches over her. But as tragedies strike, she begins to questions whether this blond-haired stranger is a guardian, but rather a devil? Why is he watching out for her? Why mess with her life, her fate?

This book marks 11 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. Over and over, I’ve been told how great Dean Koontz is so I was amped to put him on the list and finally start reading some of his works.

Laura led a complex life, but with her guardian angel that’s protected her since birth it’s a little better, a little more hopeful. When she finally gets a moment to talk to him and ask him why he’s chosen her to watch over the answer stuns her, changing her life forever. He’s in love with her.

My mom recommended this book to me and as my first Dean Koontz book, I liked it. This is her favorite by him. She does nothing but gush about it. I also have an obsession with lightning so I was excited to read this book on just those two principles. LOL.

The characters were so beautiful. I was really taken with them. My heart went out to Laura who went through some really tough and dark times as she grew up, and survived them. My heart just dropped right out my chest and into La La Land for Stefan (that blond hair and blue eyes *sigh*). I couldn’t stop laughing at Laura’s best friend, Thelma, and Laura’s son, Chris because they were just too damn funny. What each of these characters brought to the book really rounded it all out.

The element of time travel was so eloquently done with how Stefan shows up periodically throughout Laura’s life. Very creative with the lightning; using it to travel was really unique and breathtaking. Lightning is such a powerful source. It can kill a person and bring them back to life. It’s impossible to control and one of nature’s most splendid forces. I was super intrigued by it!

Lighting

The writing really just pulled me along. It was done in two parts, which basically follow Laura as she grows up and then goes on to follow her and Stefan when they finally come together. Filled with romance, action, and suspense, this book was filled with entertainment from beginning to the end. Definitely one of those ones that’ll have you going, “Well, that escalated.” as well as have you feeling moved beyond words.

I may not have loved this book as much as my mom, but I certainly enjoyed it. This book left me with that sweet long feeling that leaves your heart feeling heavy and full. The ending was sweet and tender. Laura and Stefan were such amazing characters that swept me away. Both of them are strong with such big hearts.

Just a side question: Why hasn’t a movie been made based on this book?

Quotables:

“Eliot wrote: ‘Saints and martyrs rule from the tombs.’” (Stefan to Viktor, p. 29)

“Life is serious and a joke at the same time.” (Laura, p. 81)

“Adversity breeds toughness, and the tough succeed. And survive.” (Laura, p. 148)

More to come soon…

–K.

P.S. Song today? Sick Cycle Carousel by Lifehouse.

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