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Confessions of a Bibliophile

An aspiring writer and bookstore employee with an incredibly bad book-buying habit... I'll read just about anything (so long as it will appeal to my interests in some way), but my main loves are YA and sci-fi/fantasy. I also like quirky history and science books and will book nerd. A lot. Currently in the process of weeding out my personal library. Find me on Twitter @princess_starr or check out my YA book, Snowfall, on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240027

Full Dark, No Stars

Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King This has become one of my constant recommendations at work, given my fondness for psychological horror/thrillers and just how good a writer King is. Aside from the one story (which I’ll detail below), this collection showcases the depths King is capable of; plus, this has the only Stephen King story that disturbed me so much I had to put the book down before I could keep reading it.1922: Absolutely blends reality and madness. Wilf’s story and his motivations behind killing his wife should make him reprehensible to the reader, but it’s the growing realization of his sins and the karmic retaliation that makes me sympathize with him a little. And added to the litany of punishments, there’s also the growing horror of the rats seemingly out to get Wilf, with a nicely amibigous ending. It’s a standard King story, but I love the flits between the reality and what Wilf’s really seeing.Big Driver: The aforementioned story that disturbed me so much. This is a greatly triggering story, with the honest depiction of Tess’s rape and near murder. But I really liked this, mostly because King gets into the survivor mindset, of Tess being ashamed and degraded for what happened to her and her refusal to admit that she’s been raped. I’ve said that King doesn’t always write women well; this is a perfect example of him getting into that mindset and doing it fantastically. If there’s any downsides to the story, I don’t like part of the motivations of one character (which directly lead to Tess’s rape) and the kind of statistical dump at the end about violence against women feels a little preachy. Otherwise, it’s a brutally stark story that refuses to draw the curtain to spare the reader.Fair Extension: My glowing recommendation of this book usually focuses on that nearly every story plays on more realistic horror than relying on supernatural methods. This is the one exception, and also the one story I have mixed feelings on. Mostly because I don’t like the tone of it—it’s a very over-the-top style that King writes with. On some level it works—the main character watching his best friend’s perfect life being shattered, the tone gives it the level of black humor this story needs—but there’s something…off… about this story. I’m also really not a fan of the random pop culture references that are constantly thrown in. Most of them don’t make sense for the characters to be talking about (they bring up Chris Brown and Rihanna…why exactly?), and there’s one or two references that feel too obvious. A Good Marriage: This is the most horrifying story in the whole book, no question. It’s a situation I think a lot of people don’t ever want to encounter (and very rarely do) and I like that we’re just as conflicted as Darcy is about what to do. It’s also a perfect portrait of a sociopath; some of the descriptions of Bob’s backstory and the way he talks about these incidents is downright disturbing. This is also the best story overall- it hits all those notes between terror and horror and works well on the cerebral level.