Book Review: Joyland

Stephen King
Crime Mystery with paranormal elements
Publisher: Hard Case Crime
Published: 2013

College student Devin Jones took the summer job at Joyland hoping to forget the girl who broke his heart. But he wound up facing something far more terrible; the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child and dark truths about life – and what comes after – that would change his world forever.
A riveting story about love and loss, about growing up and growing old – and about those who don’t get to do either because death comes for them before their time- JOYLAND is Stephen King at the peak of his storytelling powers. With all the emotional impact of King masterpieces such as ‘The Green Mile’ and ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, JOYLAND is at once a mystery, a horror story, and a bittersweet coming-of-age novel, one that will leave even the most hard-boiled reader profoundly moved.



Joyland with its attention grabbing pulp cover and Stephen King’s name stamped on the cover it’s no wonder that so many people have taken this book home.  I absolutely love the cover, I think it’s fantastically fun, gorgeous and would make a great print, and the woman on the cover almost appears to be a pin up girl, she is exactly as I picture one of the characters in the novel to look.  This is honestly one of my favorite covers, I don’t know if I have ever found one that I find so enjoyable.
Joyland is told from the perspective of an older Devin looking back to his year at an amusement park in North Carolina in the year 1973. Devin’s a likeable character, with a well-developed personality complete with all the right flaws and the right amount of heartbreak.
The Ghost story is not over stated in the novel and actually takes almost a secondary seat to the heartbreak story line. Devin seems to use the mystery of the girl in the blue skirt that died in the house of horror as something to think about other than the recent heartbreak of his first love. I thought Stephen King did a great job blending both plot lines together and wove them with a fluid grace that I do not believe many authors have managed to staple down quite yet.
The Story progresses nicely and although it’s not action packed it moves quickly and you don’t find yourself getting bored. The Secondary characters make up for what could have potentially been a slow storyline. They’re all vastly different and all who you would assume would be ‘lifelong carnies’.
This book demonstrates exactly how diverse Stephen King is in his writing, he is brilliant and deserves all the fame he has gotten over the years. He is legendary and Joyland is a must read, a highly recommend read for your first Stephen King novel.
If you have read Joyland let me know what you think!


3 thoughts on “Book Review: Joyland

  1. Hi Kristen, I’m new to your blog and share your obsession with books, complete with wanting a library in my house :). I came close to that when my hubby built me 40 feet of bookshelves along one wall in my basement, and every time I walk downstairs I sigh in happiness. People thought I would never fill them, but of course they are almost full. I read Joyland a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it. I’ve always been a Stephen King fan and can’t wait for his next book, Doctor Sleep, to come out. Imagine, after all these years, a sequel to The Shining!!

  2. Awesome review! You inspired me to get this book and I did! You’re right—something about the cover just…really makes me to want to read what it’s about.

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