Sunday, October 9, 2016

Joyland by Stephen King

Author: Stephen King
Publisher: Hard Case Crimes
Date of publication: July 2013

College student Devin Jones took the summer job at Joyland hoping to forget the girl who broke his heart. But he wound up facing something far more terrible: the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and dark truths about life—and what comes after—that would change his world forever. 

A riveting story about love and loss, about growing up and growing old—and about those who don't get to do either because death comes for them before their time—Joyland is Stephen King at the peak of his storytelling powers. With all of the emotional impact of King masterpieces such as The Green Mile and The Shawshank RedemptionJoyland is at once a mystery, a horror story, and a bittersweet coming-of-age novel, one that will leave even the most hard-boiled reader profoundly moved.

After not loving the last few Stephen King books, I reluctantly gave Joyland a try when it popped up on my Overdrive site.  I'm sorry that I waited to so long to read it!  I was pleasantly surprised at how much I ended up liking this coming of age story.  It reminded me of the gift that this author has for the written word.  It was magical and I was quickly caught up in Devin's tale of a summer and fall working at Joyland before he finished college.

This book isn't a horror story, but that was OK.  It's really a story about a teenager who tries to get over a broken heart by taking a summer job at an amusement park.  There he makes new friends, gains confidence, and really begins to become a man.  There are elements of paranormal and a mystery as well, but they aren't the central focus of the book.  I just loved the ending, it was so bittersweet.  I definitely recommend this one if you haven't tried it out yet.

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