11/22/63 by Stephen King Publication: Gallery Books Publication Date: 7/24/12
GoodReads Synopsis: Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away…but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke… Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten…and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful.
Review: If you had the power to go back and change a monumental event in American History, would you do it?
This is one of those rare instances where I watched the show, 11/22/63, on Hulu before I read the book. After binging the show, I knew I had to get my hands on the book. 11/22/63 is the second book I’ve read from Stephen King. When I first bought the book, I’m not going to lie that I was intimidated by it’s 800+ pages. What I found the most fascinating is that the premise focuses more on time travel, JFK’s assassination, and wasn’t as horror heavy as I anticipated. The strength that lies within the story that Stephen King executes well is ethical questions and the butterfly effect.
After reading the book and the TV show, I have to say that I liked the TV show much more which is super rare. As much as I loved the premise of the novel, I found the characters to be much more likable and to have more of a human element in the TV show. In the book, the characters, especially Jake, came off crass. However, I did find that I liked the explanation of time travel in the book which I felt the show rushed it a bit. I thought that the book could have been reduced by 300-400 pages as there were some scenes that seemed to ramble on and were unnecessary. I liked that the TV show cut to the point. I highly recommend reading the book and watching the show if you’re into time travel elements.
Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore Publication: Flatiron Books Publication Date: 2/25/2020
Disclaimer: I received a free advanced listening copy of this book from LibroFM, MacMillan Audio, and Flatiron Books in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.
GoodReads Synopsis: Just because life may be out of order, doesn’t mean it’s broken. It’s New Year’s Eve 1982, and Oona Lockhart has her whole life before her. At the stroke of midnight she will turn nineteen, and the year ahead promises to be one of consequence. Should she go to London to study economics, or remain at home in Brooklyn to pursue her passion for music and be with her boyfriend? As the countdown to the New Year begins, Oona faints and awakens thirty-two years in the future in her fifty-one-year-old body. Greeted by a friendly stranger in a beautiful house she’s told is her own, Oona learns that with each passing year she will leap to another age at random. And so begins Oona Out of Order… Hopping through decades, pop culture fads, and much-needed stock tips, Oona is still a young woman on the inside but ever changing on the outside. Who will she be next year? Philanthropist? Club Kid? World traveler? Wife to a man she’s never met? Oona Out of Order is a remarkably inventive novel that explores what it means to live a life fully in the moment, even if those moments are out of sequence. Surprising, magical, and heart-wrenching, Montimore has crafted an unforgettable story about the burdens of time, the endurance of love, and the power of family.
Review: Oona Out of Order is the first book I’ve read from Margarita Montimore. When I first came across this book, I thought that the storyline seemed intriguing, but I wasn’t sure if I’d like it since the genres this book are under are sci-fi and magic realism which are out of my comfort zone. Overall, I found this to be a solid 4 star read. I was drawn to the author’s writing style. I liked how each year was a different phase in life and how all the parts eventually came together. There were a few twists I didn’t see coming. I realized that I ended up liking the second half of the book more than the first half (I’m thinking it may have to do with Oona becoming more mature). The book ended up being deeper than I thought and loved that the overall message. I’d recommend picking this up if you like the concept of time travel.
Disclaimer: I received a free advanced reader copy of this book from Crown Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review or rating.
Review: Blake Crouch’s newest novel, Recursion, is the second novel I’ve read from him. This sci-fi thriller follows NYC Detective Barry Sutton who is investigating a mysterious disease called False memory Syndrome which drives victims to insanity with memories of a life that they never lived. As Barry learns more about the mysterious disease, he ultimately faces Helena Smith, a neuroscientist who invented the device which changed the world. I don’t typically read sci-fi books, but I loved Dark Matter so I had to get my hands on this one. Blake Crouch blew it out of the water with Recursion. Not only is the premise intriguing, but you are kept on the edge of seat throughout the story. I loved the alternating perspectives of Barry Sutton and Helena Smith. Blake Crouch did an amazing job shifting through the times without making it too confusing, but also crafting it in a way which made sense and kept the reader wondering what would happen next. Themes of memories, happiness, difficult choices, and society can be found in this sci-fi thriller. I really found the perspectives of the power of memory to be quite fascinating in this novel. This is definitely one of those books where after you’re done reading, you’ll think about the subject matter for a while. I highly recommend reading this novel if you loved Dark Matter and/or if you love thrillers. You won’t regret it!