Books of April

I’m halfway through my third book so I didn’t meet my goal, but I struggled to finish my first book of the month so I’ll call it a victory.

Unknown.jpeg Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King – I had finished several books in Hawaii and wanted something entertaining for the plane ride home so this was a spontaneously iBooks choice. The first 100 pages had me interested; the premise being that someone in a Mercedes plowed into a huge crowd of people, killed several, and got away with it. After the killer was never caught and the case died down, he wrote a letter to a retired detective and a whole cat-and-mouse story started. But seriously, this book was 400 pages too long, and kind of offensive. After proclaiming my love to Joe Goldberg in You, I obviously don’t have a problem connecting with a murderer, but in Mercedes, the writing felt so heavy-handed and didactic. The detective was a cliche: bored, fat, and missing the action. The killer was equally cliche: emotionless techy with a thing for his mom. I won’t get into the details (because there were so so so many completely pointless and redundant ones) but I couldn’t wait for this book to be over.

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Room by Emma Donoghue – Meanwhile, I couldn’t put this book down! I purposely didn’t see the movie or read reviews so that I could read the book first – and I’m so glad I was patient. You’ve got a young mother and her five year old son imprisoned in a garden shed by a stranger…for years. But rather than exploit the horrific physical and mental abuse that Joy (the mother) experiences, the story is told from the point of view of her five year old son, Jack. While sometimes he is scared, he is more curious and excited because Joy creates a world of safety in Room.

It’s a great story of survival and bravery, and unique in the way it’s told.

I watched the movie, which followed the book extremely closely. The book was a page turner, and the movie was just as gripping (hel-lo Brie Larson won the Oscar). Everything was just as I had pictured it. But I won’t lie and say it was easy to read or watch – it’s a story that sticks with you for some pretty dark reasons.

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