World Book Day; Joyland by Stephen King

In case you weren’t aware, today (March 7th 2019) is World book day. A day where we actively promote reading and really push literature. Children get to dress up as their favourite fictional characters and tell each other about their favourite stories and adults…well, should attempt to read at least one book. But life is hectic and finding time to sit down to do so is hard. You REALLY have to consciously make the effort. Even I struggled to read as much as I wanted to. But what I DO want to do is tell you all about MY favourite book. So if you struggle to delve into a book today, read this instead! It’s practically the same thing…honest!

Joyland (The Plot)

This story takes place in an amusement park in North Carolina at the beginning of the 1970s. Our hero of the book is Devin Jones, a young teen who lands a summer job as ‘carny’ at Joyland (the name of the amusement park) The person that interviewed him happens to be a fortune teller. She tells him that he will meet two children that summer. One is a girl with a red hat. The other is a boy with a dog. Both will play an integral role in his time there.

As stated, he lands the role and finds a place to stay close by. He also makes 2 new friends who are also there for the summer (Tom & Erin) the role in question is being the boy behind the mask (or costume in this instance) of the park mascot; Howie. He also works with longtime park employee Lane Hardy. Another key character in this intriguing story.

One day, while dressed as Howie, Devin saves a young girls life. She happens to be wearing a red hat. This gives the park some much needed positive publicity and also gives Devin the trust and appreciation of the park owner Mr Easterbrook.

As the story unfolds, so does the mystery of Joyland. Devin and co learn that, years prior, a girl had been murdered in the haunted house and her ghost is said to still haunt the ride today. Devin’s friend, Tom, sees the ghost, but Devin doesn’t, but he does become interested in the murder. He teams up with Erin who shows him pictures and articles, proving that it was in fact only one of many unsolved murders. Murders which had never been connected together by the police

Despite the summer being over with, Devin decides to take a year off from school and stay at the park during the offseason. During this time he becomes close to a woman (Annie) and her sick son (Mike) who he passes by daily on the beach…they also have a pet dog! Mike tells Devin that he too has seen the ghost which prompts Devin to realize that Mike is the second child in the fortune teller’s prediction. Devin convinces Mr Eastbrook to let Mike have a private tour of the park as he feels it will give it some more much-needed publicity. It also helps that he is on good books too.

During this tour…well, I really don’t want to continue! The final part of the book is SO good, and I really couldn’t do it justice. It’s got a nice twist to it, it delves in deep to the backstory of a character, there’s action… it’s genuinely a phenomenal read. It might not be what you think when you think of Stephen King, but trust me, its some of his best work (in my opinion) you really won’t be disappointed.

If you do end up reading it, let me know, of love to hear what you think of it. And if you have read it already, and can suggest a similar story for me to look at, please let me know!

Until next year!

Jo

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