Thursday, December 12, 2013

Teen Review: Mystery (and a little Horror)

Joyland
by Stephen King
288 pages
Mystery / Horror
Not part of a series
Recommended for 14 and up
Reviewed by Anonymous, 9th grade

S Y N O P S I S
The novel is set in early 1970s North Carolina at Joyland, a local amusement park. Devin Jones is a college student who takes a summer job at Joyland. Devin finds out about a murder that took place at Joyland several years prior, and becomes fascinated by and entangled in the unsolved murder. The story's twists and turns have you guessing "whodunit?!" right up until the end. The "whodunit" encompasses a dying boy who has visions of the future, as well as ghostly encounters by several of the characters.

R E V I E W
Joyland is quite the thriller. The writing is so genuine and real that it is hard not to become engrossed. The beginning of the book is a tad lengthy, because of the additional background information, such as time, date, place, and history of the characters. Devin Jones, the main character, is a seemingly nice, good guy who recently got his heart broken. His bravery and innocence make him irresistible and make you want to root for him. The book inspired me to investigate the "little things" more. If something doesn't feel, seem, or look right, take a second look!

The best part of the book, for me, was the ending. It kept me anxious and on the edge of my seat until the big reveal of the murderer. This book is enticing! King's writing is captivating and alluring and makes you want to read more. I would recommend this book to the young detective, although I would say it is best suited for ages 14 and up, due to some mature content. This is a great read for anyone who is looking for a fresh take on suspense! RATING: 4.

Editor's note: This is from a publishing imprint called Hard Case Crime, and I thought it was so fun that even though it was written recently, the publisher gave it a cover that looks like it really was published in the 1970s noir murder mystery genre.

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