Elevation by Stephen King – Book Review

Elevation by Stephen King – Book Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.
  • Fiction
  • “Horror”
  • Fantasy
  • Paperback
  • 192 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 3.67

Oh boy, did I have high expectations for this one. My very first Stephen King novel! I picked Elevation because I came across it at a bookstore once and it looked interesting. Also it was the shortest Stephen King novel I had come across so far. I have wanted to read Stephen King for ever, but the books are so ridiculously big (IT by Stephen King is 1116 pages, just to name one) that I was just kind of scared to. So when I came across this one, I figured: it couldn’t hurt to start with this one, right? Before I share my thoughts on this book, I’ll give you a short summary of the plot.

Scott Carey has been losing weight steadily for the past few weeks. He was delighted at first, only he doesn’t look any different than he did 30 pounds ago. And then there’s something else. When he steps onto the scale while holding all sorts of heavy things, he weighs exactly the same as he does naked. Scott consults with his best friend Bob Ellis, who is a retired doctor. As Scott keeps losing weight, he wonders what will happen when he reaches zero pounds..

So let’s begin by discussing the fact that this book won the 2018 Goodreads Choice Awards for the category horror. I’m sorry, but this is not a horror story. Mystery, okay. Sci-fi, sure, a little. Even fantasy is more believable, but please. Calling this a horror story, is an insult to actual horror stories.

Elevation only has a few characters that are introduced throughout the book, which makes sense since there aren’t enough pages to introduce any more. If you ask me, the story could’ve been a little longer. The story wasn’t at all bad, but the characters were extremely flat. There’s a lesbian couple who owns a restaurant that is going bankrupt because the whole town consists of Trumpies, so nobody wants to eat there. The couple’s dogs shit on Scott’s lawn and every time he tries to confront them about it, they tell him he just hates them, because they’re a same-sex couple. Extremely flat and uninspired. I’m not denying there are still (sadly) plenty of people who think like that, but this is just a very bad stereotype. Of course all the other characters are rich, middle-aged white guys and white church-going housewives.

The part that bothered me most, though, was the fact that you don’t get any explanation as to what caused Scott’s condition. If something weird is happening to your body, you want to know why, right? I would! But Scott just accepts that he is probably going to float away when he reaches zero and that’s that. The ending was probably the most disappointing part of the whole book to me.

The keyword in this review is obviously “disappointed”. This story could’ve been epic, if King had put in a little effort. Honestly, it feels like he had a deadline to make and he had something laying on a shelf somewhere and decided to just hand that to his publisher without even looking at it. There’s Stephen King on the front cover, so people will read it anyway, right? I could see that his writing is amazing, or at least could be amazing. I’m still planning on reading more Stephen King novels (I’ve got Misery and 11.22.63 waiting on my bookshelf), but I might wait a little bit.

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My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

  • Fiction
  • Thriller/mystery
  • Humor
  • Paperback
  • 226 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 3.72

Rating: 4 out of 5.

“It takes a whole lot longer to dispose of a body than to dispose of a soul, especially if you don’t want to leave any evidence of foul play.”

Oyinkan Braithwaite, My Sister, the Serial Killer

Korede’s sister Ayoola is the favourite child, the most beautiful of the two and possibly a little sociopathic. Two of Ayoola’s boyfriends have mysteriously died before and now her third boyfriend is dead. Self-defence, apparently. It is also the third mess that Ayoola has left for Korede to clean up. Korede takes the burden of cleaning up the blood, getting rid of the body and stopping Ayoola from posting Instagram pictures while she should be mourning her “missing” boyfriend. After all, to Korede family always comes first. Until Ayoola starts dating the handsome doctor that Korede has been in love with for years. Korede is faced with the question how far she would go to protect her sister.

I enjoyed this book a lot. It had been on my shelf for years before I decided to pick it up, mostly because I thought it was a completely different kind of book. I finally picked it up after I coincidentally came across a review of the book somewhere and I realised it wasn’t at all the kind of book I thought it was. Why did I buy a book without reading the summary and then put it on my shelf for two years because I didn’t like the kind of book I thought it was, you ask? Well, I never said I was perfect.

“I dare you to find a flaw in her beauty; or to bring forth a woman who can stand beside her without wilting.”

Oyinkan Braithwaite, My Sister, the Serial Killer

I adored the characters in this book. They were hilarious and vibrant and there really wasn’t a dull moment. The book is written from Korede’s point of view, so you don’t really know what is going on in Ayoola’s head, but not knowing what she is thinking is a large part of the fun, otherwise it wouldn’t be a mystery. It was kind of a cliché that Korede is the “ugly duckling” and her sister is the beautiful, but naive one and that kind of bothered me a few times throughout the book, but I guess it also adds an extra dimension and I can’t really think of a different relationship that would add the same dimension to their interactions. So I guess I forgive her for the cliché.

The book was very accessible. The chapters were short and sweet, it wasn’t too difficult to read, the writing is smooth and witty and I went through it quickly, which made it very enjoyable. I hate mystery novels or thrillers where you have to wait endlessly for a clue or for someone to solve the mystery while the narrator takes it upon themselves to describe where a character got their completely unrelated and irrelevant dog Fluffy or the EXACT colour of the leaves on an even more irrelevant tree (I’m looking at you, George R.R. Martin). This is definitely not that kind of book. My Sister, the Serial Killer is fast-paced while always making you want to keep reading and if you love reading a book in one session, you’ll adore this book.

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