From Book Reviews

Book Reviews made by Taylor Pratt – creator of “A Novel Idea – Kanab” bookclub

Book Review – Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay


“There’s nothing wrong with me, Merry. Only my bones want to grow through my skin like the growing things and pierce the world.” 

14 year old Marjorie is possessed… or so her father and his bishop think. The story is told from the point of view of Merry; Marjorie’s 8 year old sister. However – it’s not happening real time; the story is being told by an adult Merry to an author writing about the experience. We switch between reading the conversation between the author (Rachel) and Merry, Merry as a child reliving the experiences and a blogger picking apart what really happened. All parts are equally important and give a good insight to what is actually happening in the book. 

Marjorie and Merry start of as regular 8 and 14 year old girls. Marjorie is the light of Merry’s life, and she adores her older sister. 

“Because I was convinced that I was going to grow up to be exactly like Marjorie, entering her room was like discovering a living, breathing map of my future.” 

The book continues with Merry realizing something is wrong. Her father sinks deeper into a religious frame of mind, and her mother takes up more smoking and drinking. Marjorie changes, getting darker and meaner. After a particularly dark incident, the priest that Merry’s father has been talking to decides to contact the media, and a TV show about Marjorie and her family starts. 

As things get more dramatic and dark, we start to see that maybe it isn’t Marjorie that is possessed. 

The culmination of the book leaves with a twist that no one saw coming; and when I finished my jaw basically hit the floor. 

I loved this book. I think it takes a good hard look at mental health, media influence and how much we can put on a show for those we love. 

My friend who recommended it said: 

“I think it was a good narrative of where we are at as a society. Sweeping mental health issues under the table and playing on our spectator nature.” 

There were points in reading where I had to set the book down and take a break from it (definitely the sign of a good book.) It’s emotionally moving, and you can’t help but feel for each of the characters. 

Speaking of characters, all are well written, three dimensional and feel like real people. 

I loved this book, and highly recommend reading it to anyone.

Book Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane


The Ocean at the End of the Lane  
by  Neil Gaiman is a great book. It takes us back to how magical childhood can seem, and how our brains work in childhood versus adulthood.

This book is the story of a man.. but when he was a boy. He returns to this place and starts remembering all these things that happened to him as a child when he looks at the pond on his friend Lettie’s Farm. 

This story is one of growing up, magic, friendship, love and the secrets of the universe. It’s amazing how easily the little boy (not named) forgets what happened to him every time he leaves the Hempstock farm growing up.

Each page I read was an adventure. Whether the narrator (whom I adore… reading is the best past time and his thoughts about books are so similar to mine that is crazy) was reading, describing his cats, or on an adventure with Lettie – the words worked. I could picture everything that was happening perfectly in my minds eye. The descriptions were hauntingly beautiful – and I know it sounds crazy but I sort of see a blue tint over the world Mr Gaiman described. 

The characters are all well written, seeming like real people. Lettie, Ginnie, Old Mrs Hempstock. They are all characters that I would happily spend time around, no matter what form they decided to take. 

Mr Gaiman also wrote the protagonists well. Ursula was a complete.. well. beast… and the dad was definitely not my favorite character.

This is a good book that had a great storyline, enthralled throughout and made me wish there was a sequel. I definitely recommend this for lovers of fantasy and magic

Book Review: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven: (Or, How I Made Peace with the Paranormal and Stigmatized Zealots and Cynics in the Process) By Corey Taylor

I’m going to start by saying Slipknot and Stone Sour are both in my list of Favorite Bands.

I’ve seen slipknot twice and both times I was in awe. They played amazing music and were cool to watch! However, the lead singer Corey Taylor stood out.

He has great vocals – not to mention great dance moves! One of the first things he did on stage was start dancing.

As soon as the concert was over I went on a Googling Rampage of all of the band members, and that’s how I found Corey’s books.

The first book I read by “The Neck” was “You’re Making Me Hate You: A Cantankerous Look at the Common Misconception That Humans Have Any Common Sense Left.

I loved both of these books. I love Corey’s writing style. His personality shines through his writing so much that you can almost hear him telling you the stories. (I recently found out that he narrates all of his books on Amazon Audible – and I WILL own them!

I love his take on the paranormal and religion alike. He explains his thoughts and beliefs with science – and though I was a little lost it all made sense in the end. Instead of just saying “I believe this and I’m right” he went out of his way to explain why he thinks (and I think honestly) he is right, and I really appreciate that in a person.

His brilliance and humor shine through for sure in his anecdotes! From the Mansion to the Ghost Kids (that’s the most I’m giving away) he paints a picture with each story. Reading it felt like living it. He’s great at sharing his experiences – you almost feel like you are sitting next to him, sipping some coffee and swapping ghost stories.

This book is an awesome read for people who love ghost stories. I recommend it (and his other books) highly!  You can pick up a copy for a great price on Amazon!