Gwendy’s Button Box #BookReview

Stephen King & Richard Chizmar | May 2017

Summary from GoodReads:

The little town of Castle Rock, Maine has witnessed some strange events and unusual visitors over the years, but there is one story that has never been told… until now.

There are three ways up to Castle View from the town of Castle Rock: Route 117, Pleasant Road, and the Suicide Stairs. Every day in the summer of 1974 twelve-year-old Gwendy Peterson has taken the stairs, which are held by strong (if time-rusted) iron bolts and zig-zag up the cliffside.

At the top of the stairs, Gwendy catches her breath and listens to the shouts of the kids on the playground. From a bit farther away comes the chink of an aluminum bat hitting a baseball as the Senior League kids practice for the Labor Day charity game.

One day, a stranger calls to Gwendy: “Hey, girl. Come on over here for a bit. We ought to palaver, you and me.”

On a bench in the shade sits a man in black jeans, a black coat like for a suit, and a white shirt unbuttoned at the top. On his head is a small neat black hat. The time will come when Gwendy has nightmares about that hat…

My Review

I thought this book was such a treat! I ‘picked up’ the audiobook from my local library using the Libby app. If you have an active Public Library card, Libby will allow you to request books, manage your requests and to be read lists, borrow hardcopy, digital or audio books for up to 21 days, and track your reading. Anyway, I’m sure you folks already know that, I’m bit late to the party.

Gwendy is a teenage girl living in Castle Rock, Maine, Stephen Kings fictional hometown where everything is possible and anything happens. Gwendy, the books protagonist and narrator, is described as a below average teenager: unpopular, overweight, pimple faced, awkward, poor grades and overall just barely surviving high school. She, of course, has dreams of being the popular girl with great grades, dating the popular guy.

One day, while struggling to complete her exercise on the communities suicide stairs, she meets a man in a black hat. He offers to change her life forever, and does. Pretty much overnight, she becomes the smart, attractive, popular girl the popular guy is interested in.

The story ultimately doesn’t have a good ending because, as any Constant Reader can tell you, all magic comes at a price. Gwendy will have to pay her pound of flesh for the magic she’s used.

Pros: Quick story, great audio story telling. I enjoyed the character of Gwendy because I thought the character was written realistically. We get to follow her through her transformation of ugly duckling to prom queen. Her first interaction with toxic masculinity and chivalry. All tied up with a weird Stephen King twist.

Cons: A little bit of a slow start and though the story didn’t drag, the climax felt like a longtime coming and was over rather quickly.

Again, #Goodbook overall and very easy listening. I think this book begins a mini run on books that I listened too. I definitely recommend them to folks especially while performing tedious or mindless tasks…like cleaning guests rooms. 🤷🏾‍♀️ ✅ Book 5 of 42.

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