4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Fiction, K, RATING, Read in 2015, Read-a-Long

2015.18 REVIEW – Misery by Stephen King

by Stephen King

Copyright: 1987
Pages: 356
Rating: 4/5
Read: June 1 – June 17, 2015
Challenge: #MiseryRAL
Yearly count: 18
Format: E-Book
Source: Purchased
Series: N/A

 Misery Chastain was dead. Paul Sheldon had just killed her – with relief, with joy. Misery had made him rich; she was the heroine of a string of bestsellers. And now he wanted to get on to some real writing.

That’s when the car accident happens, and he wakes up in pain in a strange bed. But it isn’t hospital. Annie Wilkes has pulled him from the wreck, brought him to her remote mountain home, splinted and set his mangled legs.

The good news is that Annie was a nurse and has pain-killing drugs. The bad news is that she has long been Paul’s Number One Fan. And when she finds out what Paul has done to Misery, she doesn’t like it. She doesn’t like it at all.

And now he has to bring Misery back to life. Or else…

Review: When I first saw a read-along mentioned on Twitter for Misery I was intrigued. I had skipped over the few King read-alongs there have been in the past. Mainly because I’m not very social on Twitter. However, I’m trying to change that and I had been kicking around the idea of re-reading some of the old Stephen King books that I fell in love with. So I figured now was as good a time as any to join in on the read-along fun.

As I said at one point on Twitter … Annie is bat-shit crazy! Sometimes all I can do is just shake my head at what Mr. King has come up with for his books. I mean, you pretty much get the idea that Annie has to be crazy just by the book blurb, but you really don’t have any idea just how psycho she is until you get into this book. She’s really creepy psycho. And it makes for some great reading!

For the first time, clearly, the thought surfaced in Paul Sheldon’s mind: I am in trouble here. This woman is not right. (p. 14)

Oh, Paul … you really had no idea just how “not right” Annie truly was. You were her number one fan, you know. Creepy, right? I shudder just at the thought of everything that Paul went through with Annie.

I felt sorry for Paul. Annie really does a number on him psychologically and physically. She breaks him down. She makes him completely dependent on her and the drugs she has. But little by little he brings himself up out of the fog he’s in and it really begins to become a game of wits between the two. That’s when the book starts to get really good!

If he meant to get out of this, he would have to kill her.

Yes. That’s the answer – the only one there is, I think. So it’s that same old game again, isn’t it? Paulie … Can You? 

He answered with no hesitation at all. Yes, I can. (p. 201)

There’s not much I can say in this review that hasn’t been said a million times before. Personally, I enjoyed this book. However, I don’t think it would be at the very top of my list of favorite Stephen King books. It wasn’t scary to me … it was just downright creepy. And kind of gross in some places (okay … very gross!)

My copy had 356 pages. That’s relatively short for a Stephen King book. And it reads quickly (I would have finished it a lot sooner had I not spent a week dealing with Katelyn’s surgery and recovery). So I would definitely recommend picking it up if you’ve never read Mr. King and you’re intimidated by the size of most of his books.

Highly recommended.

Harry Potter

HP Read-a-Long Post #4

Okay, so having finished Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (and not really reviewing the book, sorry, but I just didn’t have any words for the book), I have been pondering the discussion question …..

What is one memory you have, happy enough to conjure a full-formed Patronus? And what form do you think yours would take?

I’m just slightly stumped on this question.

First of all, I can immediately tell you what the happy memory would be: it would be my wedding day. I had never been so happy/nervous/excited/terrified all at the same time, and I haven’t felt that way since either. It’s such a happy memory for me. We had a small ceremony at the MGM Grand Hostel in Las Vegas, with only our immediate families. We then took lots and lots of pictures, it was like a photo shoot and I loved it! Then we had a great dinner with all of our guests at the Italian restaurant in the hotel. It was a wonderful day (if a little hot!) and I will never forget it. Oh and I have to brag a little bit about our honeymoon suite: this thing was the size of an apartment! There’s a neat little story behind how we scored such an awesome room. The week that we got married was the same week that the Academy of Country Music Awards were in town and at the MGM. For whatever reason, someone failed to check out of the suite we were supposed to get. So, we got an upgrade! And wowzers, was it amazing!! Oh, and the best man and maid of honor got their picture taken with Taylor Swift … I didn’t get any pictures, but I did ride in the same elevator as Bucky Covington. So yeah, it was a pretty memorable wedding week 🙂

So the part of the question that has me stumped is really what form my Patronus would take. I’m just not sure. I can’t answer that part for whatever reason.

5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, Harry Potter, Harry Potter, R, RATING, Read in 2011, Read-a-Long, SERIES

2011.53 REVIEW – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
by J.K. Rowling

Copyright: 1999
Pages: 435
Rating: 5/5
Read: Sept. 8– Sept. 12, 2011
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly Count: 53
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy

Blurb: For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort. Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter’s defeat of You-Know-Who was Black’s downfall as well. And the Azkaban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, “He’s at Hogwarts … he’s at Hogwarts.” Harry Potter isn’t safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.

Review: Harry Potter, oh how I love you! In my own opinion, the latter books are definitely better than the earlier ones. So I’m definitely excited that we’re getting to this point in the read-a-long! (Because we’re getting closer to my personal favorite in the serie: Book 5!!).

I don’t really feel as if I need to “review” these books. But if I must ……

I love them. Everyone should read them.

End of review. 🙂

Harry Potter, Read-a-Long

HP Read-a-Long Post #3

Okay, so I’m a few days late posting my response. Oops. Having successfully finished reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, here’s the discussion question:

If you could drink Polyjuice Potion and turn into anyone, living, dead, or even fictional, who would it be?

Okay first of all, I cringe just thinking about what’s actually in the potion and having to actually consume it. *Yuck* I suppose if I could get past that tiny little detail, there are three people on my list, two real, one fiction.

  1. Jackie Kennedy. I would love to walk in Jackie Kennedy’s shoes for a few hours. In the pictures and videos that I have seen of her she has always seemed so regal. The whole idea of the Kennedy family and the whole Camelot aspect of the family … yeah, the Kennedy’s in the 1960s were like royalty in the United States. I would love to experience her life for a little bit.
  2. Princess Diana. Come on, she was a Princess! Real royalty! And she was loved by soooooo many people! She was beautiful, shy, and did I mention royalty? I think I could be princess for a day 🙂 And if I can’t have that, I would definitely go with whoever Prince Harry is dating at the moment – he’s so hot!
  3. Neville Longbottom. This might seem like an odd choice at first, but seriously. That dude was awesome in my opinion. He’s your typical dork who ends up being a cool dude. On a side note, I’d also like to be Matthew Lewis’s (the guy who played Neville in the movies) girlfriend for a day … I crush on him just a little bit 🙂

So there’s my answers. I’m definitely looking forward to getting into book #3: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, Harry Potter, Harry Potter, R, RATING, Read in 2011, Read-a-Long, READING CHALLENGES 2011, SERIES

2011.48 REVIEW – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
by J.K. Rowling

Copyright: 1998
Pages: 341
Rating: 5/5
Read: Aug 22 – Aug. 27, 2011
Challenge: TwentyEleven Challenge
Yearly Count: 48
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy

Blurb: The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizadry. But just as he’s packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike. And strike it does. For in Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart; a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls’ bathroom; and the unwanted attention of Ron Weasley’s younger sister, Ginny. But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone – or something – starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects … Harry Potter himself!

Review: When can you go wrong with Harry Potter? And how can you critique these books? If anyone can answer those two questions, please let me know! Personally, I think this installment is better than the first one. But I think that I feel that way simply because the first one tends to read a little childish (my opinion only). We get to see inside Dumbledore in this book more than in the first one, and anyone who’s read this series, knows just how important Dumbledore is to Harry. Although I am re-reading this series, the books feel brand spanking new to me. Maybe it’s because it’s been so long since I’ve read the earlier books. Either way, it’s definitely got me read to move on to the third book!!

I just want to share a quick passage that made me laugh out loud. From page 341:

“Your aunt and uncle will be proud, though, won’t they?” said Hermoine as they got off the train and joined the crowd thronging toward the enchanted barrier. “When they hear what you did this year?”

“Proud?” said Harry. “Are you crazy? All those times I could’ve died, and I didn’t manage it? They’ll be furious…”

Harry Potter, Read-a-Long

HP Read-a-Long Post #2

So by now we’ve all (hopefully) read or re-read the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I’m not a re-reader as a general rule, but I think I could read this series every year and never get sick of it.

For this post, the question posed to us is this:

What images would you see if you stumbled upon the Mirror of Erised whilst creeping the halls of Hogwarts after curfew?

So we all know that Harry saw his parents. Ron saw himself not being overshadowed by his older brothers. So what would I see? At this point in my life, I’m pretty sure that if I was to look into the Mirror of Erised I would see me in a hospital bed with a just-born baby on my chest with my husband and both of our families surrounding me. Right now I think that’s my greatest desire in life.

5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, Harry Potter, Harry Potter, R, RATING, Read in 2011, Read-a-Long, SERIES

2011.44 REVIEW – Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone
by J.K. Rowling

Copyright: 1997
Pages: 309
Rating: 5/5
Read: Aug 12 – Aug. 14, 2011
Challenge: TwentyEleven Challenge
Yearly Count: 44
Format: Print
Source: Personal copy

Blurb: Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility. All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley – a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry’s room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in eleven years. But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry – and anyone who reads about him – will find unforgettable. For it’s there that he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic in everything from classes to meals, but a great destiny that’s been waiting for him … if Harry can survive the encounter.

Review: This is the third time that I have read this book, it never ceases to amaze me. I am re-reading the series all over again as part of the Harry Potter Read-a-Long hosted by Pretty Deadly Reviews. In this first installment Harry finds out he’s a wizard. He has always known that he’s a little bit different from everyone else, strange things tend to happen around him when he gets angry. His early years have not been easy on him. His home life is about one step above abuse/neglect. He lives in a closet. His cousin is horrible to him. His aunt and uncle treat him like he’s such a burden. He never gets anything except Dudley’s hand-me-downs. He doesn’t have any friends. But all of this changes when he gets that invitation to study at Hogwarts. Suddenly, he has friends and is having the time of his life. But trouble always seems to find Harry, no matter where he goes, and it will be up to him and his new best friends, Ron and Hermoine, to keep a very valuable thing out of the wrong hands. I love this series and I’m so glad to be starting all over again!

Harry Potter, Read-a-Long

HP Read-a-Long Mini Challenge 1

Okay. For our first mini challenge, it only made sense for us to be sorted into our houses! I was actually surprised by the house I got sorted into, I’m not sure I really knew which house I would get, but I’m pleased with being placed in ……

Which Hogwarts house will you be sorted into?

Your in-depth results are:

Hufflepuff – 17
Ravenclaw – 12
Gryffindor – 9
Slytherin – 7

So I haven’t officially started (re)-reading book number 1 yet. I am in the middle of another book that I have to finish up and mail it out to a friend as part of a multiple book trade I’ve got going.  I wouldn’t feel so pressured to get it finished immediately, except I received an email today from her saying that she had mailed my books today. Have to get this trade out of here! I figure it will be a couple of days before I can get into the Harry Potter book.

For those of you still interested, I’m sure there’s still plenty of time to sign up for the read-a-along!!

FYI: Read-a-Long host: Pretty Deadly Reviews

Harry Potter, Read-a-Long

I just signed up for my first Read-a-Long!

I’ve seen a lot of people participate in these all over the blog-o-sphere, but I’ve never joined in mainly because the books involved have never appealed to me all that much. That changed tonight when I saw the Harry Potter Read-a-Long come through my Google Reader!! Hosted by Pretty Deadly Reviews it starts tomorrow! The seven books are going to be read in order, with each book getting 2 weeks to read. Hop on over and join in if this interests you as much as it does me 🙂

P.S. – There’s a super duper awesome Potter-themed prize at stake here people! Check it out here!!!