Author: Chet Williamson
Published: April 12, 2016
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
The original Psycho novel by Robert Bloch was published in 1959 and became an instant hit, leading to the smash movie only a year later, which brought Norman Bates’s terrifying story into the public consciousness, where it still remains (proven by the success of the tv series, Bates Motel). It took Bloch 23 years to write another Psycho novel, revealing that Norman had been in a mental institution the entire time. In that sequel, Norman quickly escapes the sanitarium and goes on a killing spree in Hollywood.
But what happened in that asylum during those two decades? Until now, no one has known.
It’s 1960. Norman Bates is in the State Hospital for the Criminally Insane and it’s up to Dr. Felix Reed to bring him out of his catatonic state.
But Norman and Dr. Reed have obstacles in twisted fellow patients and staff members who think of the institution as a prison rather than a place of healing. And the greatest obstacle is the building itself, once a private sanitarium, rumored to be haunted. A wild card appears in the persona of Robert Newman, Norman’s twin brother, taken away at birth after the attending doctor pronounced him brain damaged. As Robert and Norman grow to know each other, Norman senses a darkness in Robert, even deeper than that which has lurked in Norman himself.
Soon, murders begin to occur and a shocking chain of events plunge us even deeper into the deranged madness inside the walls of Psycho: Sanitarium.
Another mental asylum! I’m all over that! I bought this book for Ivan two Christmases ago but naturally he would rather watch horror than read it. What are ya gonna do? So I decided to read it. Worth it! I was on the hook the entire book and don’t actually figure anything out until it was spelled out for me! I can’t tell if that means these books keep getting better or I’m just getting dumber … neither would surprise me! Lol
This books shows the fascinating differences between Norman Bates and his mother. There’s also a different treatment theory given that I’d never seen before. Overall, this was a unique and intriguing read that I would recommend to any fan of Psycho! In fact, I’d recommend this book to just about any adult reader! Really good!
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde & The Body Snatcher
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Illustrator: Robert Smith
Published: May 1, 2016
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
The dark tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson was first published in 1886. The novella went on to become one of the most well-known horror stories of all time and has been adapted for numerous film, TV and stage productions. Here it is retold in graphic format through Robert Smiths visually arresting illustrations.
Also included is the short story The Body Snatcher, a fictionalised account of the exploits of Mr Burke and Mr Hare, two real-life grave-robbers who operated in Edinburgh in 1828.
Anyone who hasn’t read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde needs to drop what they’re doing and go read it right now! It’s a classic tale of horror and the duality of man. Does a man have both angel and demon living within him? Do the actions of his inner demon define him? Obviously, the best is the original short story, but this graphic novel is a pretty good substitute. Normally I don’t like graphic novels, but I decided to give this one a try. I enjoyed it. The art is not Michelangelo by any means, but it’s engaging and colorful and conveys the plot nicely. The Body Snatcher story is also a good one and doesn’t take long. Both stories are creepy and perfect for a quick horror fix. Overall, this book is a good one for those who like graphic novel adaptations!
Author: Kristin Hannah
Published: February 5, 2008
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
In the turbulent summer of 1974, Kate Mularkey has accepted her place at the bottom of the eighth-grade social food chain. Then, to her amazement, the “coolest girl in the world” moves in across the street and wants to be her friend. Tully Hart seems to have it all—beauty, brains, ambition. On the surface they are as opposite as two people can be: Kate, doomed to be forever uncool, with a loving family who mortifies her at every turn. Tully, steeped in glamour and mystery, but with a secret that is destroying her. They make a pact to be best friends forever; by summer’s end they’ve become TullyandKate. Inseparable.
So begins Kristin Hannah’s magnificent new novel. Spanning more than three decades and playing out across the ever-changing face of the Pacific Northwest, Firefly Lane is the poignant, powerful story of two women and the friendship that becomes the bulkhead of their lives.
From the beginning, Tully is desperate to prove her worth to the world. Abandoned by her mother at an early age, she longs to be loved unconditionally. In the glittering, big-hair era of the eighties, she looks to men to fill the void in her soul. But in the buttoned-down nineties, it is television news that captivates her. She will follow her own blind ambition to New York and around the globe, finding fame and success . . . and loneliness.
Kate knows early on that her life will be nothing special. Throughout college, she pretends to be driven by a need for success, but all she really wants is to fall in love and have children and live an ordinary life. In her own quiet way, Kate is as driven as Tully. What she doesn’t know is how being a wife and mother will change her . . . how she’ll lose sight of who she once was, and what she once wanted. And how much she’ll envy her famous best friend. . . .
For thirty years, Tully and Kate buoy each other through life, weathering the storms of friendship—jealousy, anger, hurt, resentment. They think they’ve survived it all until a single act of betrayal tears them apart . . . and puts their courage and friendship to the ultimate test.
Firefly Lane is for anyone who ever drank Boone’s Farm apple wine while listening to Abba or Fleetwood Mac. More than a coming-of-age novel, it’s the story of a generation of women who were both blessed and cursed by choices. It’s about promises and secrets and betrayals. And ultimately, about the one person who really, truly knows you—and knows what has the power to hurt you . . . and heal you. Firefly Lane is a story you’ll never forget . . . one you’ll want to pass on to your best friend.
Welp, it made me ugly cry and poor Ivan had to deal with me. It was a quick read and kept me engaged and entertained. The story was filled with crazy ups and downs and just when I thought I knew what was going to happen, I didn’t and something else happened. I decided to give 4 stars since I did enjoy reading the book and I’m glad I read it.
However, I will say that I severely disliked most of the characters in this book. Tully was insufferable from the beginning. I hated the way she bullied everyone into giving her whatever she wanted and then dared to play the victim. She also completely ignored Kate’s authority as mother when dealing with Kate’s kids. Kate thankfully wasn’t quite as bad and I identified with her more. She was Tully’s shadow and support and spent her life knowing she was just second best. But she spent a lot of that time just being a doormat.
How Hannah wrote an entire book based on such a toxic relationship, I’ll never know. I also disliked how we never saw certain portions of their lives. It’s like Hannah got tired of writing so she just put “a few years later …” and then left it at that. Overall, I’m glad I read Firefly Lane, I actually enjoyed it … but if I ever meet women like Tully and Kate, I’m running the other way!!