Shine-along Wrap Up!

I absolutely LOVED rereading The Shining! It was such a good idea to do the Shinealong and I am so happy that Tif and Charleen hosted this readalong.

I forgot to check-in to discuss chapters 17-33 (oops!) but I do recall that was when things seriously heated up and when I started to get freaked out reading it while Bear was at work.

The final wrap-up is to discuss 34 to the end. Dun dun dun. The biggest thing I noticed while finishing up the book was that it is glaringly different from the movie. I read the book a long long long time ago, but I've seen the movie a million times, so of course that was right in the back of my mind while reading. I vividly remember the REDRUM scene from the movie, but was disappointed to see it wasn't actually in the book. I forgot that! However, there was just so much more in the book. Wendy's battle with Jack was much more epic as King described it in the story. I felt terrified for her. When Danny and Jack came head to head, I loved the way that Danny approached his father and stopped the madness. The description of Jack in those ending scenes were incredibly dramatic and so much more fulfilling than in the movie. It seemed to make so much more sense. The description of Hallorann watching the explosion was almost poetic- it was a beautiful demise.
Overall, I am really pleased with the book- I was glad to reread it as an adult because I think I understood a lot more this time around. Like Tif said, the connections between King's other writings are always fascinating. I would love to make some huge flow chart of all those connections... and understand WHY. Hmmm.. if only there was a memoir... ("On Writing" totally doesn't count- I want the nitty gritty!).

So... how is everyone else feeling about The Shining? Did you love it or did you hate it? Annnddd... who is joining in for the Doctor Sleep readalong?! Yep- that is right... Doctor Sleep is officially out and I am beyond excited to read all about little Danny Torrance all grown up. Tif and Charleen are hosting the Sleepalong- we're starting on Monday, so there is plenty of time to grab a copy and join in... so go sign-up and join in the fun!

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


Shinealong check-in!

It's Monday the 9th, and that means it is time to check-in with our mid-way post for The Shining Read-along!
Tif and Charleen broke their check point posts down by characters and their thoughts overall. In keeping with this group RAL, I'm going to post my thoughts the same way!

So far, I really enjoy being inside Danny's mind. He is a dynamic little kiddo and has some pretty interesting thoughts. Seeing how he shines from his point of view is neat, especially when compared to the movie. King gives so much more background information then what was gleamed from the movie and I am thoroughly enjoying it when it comes to Danny. I certainly agree with Tif that Danny is definitely growing up too fast- he is a product of his environment (alcoholism, an instance of abuse, and his ability to shine) and as you read the novel you get to really see how this has changed how his little 5 year old mind thinks.

Oh Jack... you are so out of control and you don't even realize it. He seems like he is trying and he seems like he has control, but as we got close to The Shining's midway point, it became glaringly obvious that Jack isn't in control. His alcoholism seemed to have exacerbated the issues pertaining to his anger and inability to control himself, but even though he is dry now, those cracks are still there, just under the surface. Since I know what Jack gets up to, it is hard for me to really like him, even in these early stages of the book where he appears to be doing his best. Again, King provides some great back-story for Jack and I feel like all of those tidbits of information paint a very clear picture of the man he was and the man he is becoming.

I think I am happiest with the information King provides for Wendy. The movie didn't give much background for her life story. Now that I am forming a picture of her in my mind thanks to the character development, I am finding myself much more invested in her then I ever was in the movie. Her history is helpful in forming a connection to her in the novel. I am annoyed at all her back and forth in her head over Jack.... it is as though she has a gut feeling about the future with Jack but just can't seem to leave.

Other thoughts
I am really enjoying The Shining. Like I said in my sign-up post, I read this one back in high school but don't really remember it. Now as I am re-reading, some of the details are coming back to me. The novel is certainly better than the movie (duh) and it is holding my attention like crazy. I actually put the book away in a drawer so I didn't read past ch16 for today's check-in!!
King's writing in this novel seems to just flow. The pacing is great and all the little creepy moments tucked in throughout are excellent for keeping the reader engaged, even when most of the beginning two sections are pretty much all back-story.

So, there ya have it folks... my thoughts on The Shining thus far. Can't wait to hear your thoughts! Go check out the linky over on Tif's blog to see what others are saying!

On a side note, my copy of The Shining is pretty cool. I have a 1978 Signet version of the book- it is a very cool cover.

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


Star Wars: Jedi Academy

If you know me or follow me on Pinterest (especially this board) or Instagram, you know how much I love Star Wars. My love for Star Wars began many moons ago, and I am now proudly passing that on to Madeline.
Whenever I see new titles that are Star Wars spin-offs, I just have to get my hands on them! I especially love Star Wars literature geared towards kids- what better way to share the geeky love??
Of course, when Scholastic handed out egalleys of Star Wars: Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown I was eager to get my hands on one.

About the book:
Scholastic // 8.27.13
This incredible, original story captures all of the humor, awkwardness, fun, and frustrations of middle school--all told through one boy's comics, journal entries, letters, doodles, and newspaper clippings. The setting? A galaxy far, far away...
Roan's one dream is to leave home and attend Pilot Academy like his older brother, father, and grandfather. But just as Roan is mysteriously denied entrance to Pilot School, he is invited to attend Jedi Academy--a school that he didn't apply to and only recruits children when they are just a few years old. That is, until now...

This inventive novel follows Roan's first year at Jedi Academy where, under the tutelage of Master Yoda, he learns that he possesses more strength and potential than he could have ever dreamed. Oh, and he learns other important things too--like how to make a baking soda volcano, fence with a lightsaber, slow dance with a girl, and lift boulders with the Force.

My thoughts:
This story was completely charming. I adored Roan and the entire cast of characters was wonderful. Brown included Master Yoda and lots of other fun characters based on classic Star Wars. There were lightsaber duels, force lifting, science fair experiments, a school dance, and field trips... all set on a backdrop of a Jedi boarding school. The plot was cute and included all the things kid lit needs right now: bullies, disappointments, hope, awkward boy-girl moments, and trials in friendships. It was also written in a way which is appealing... it included journal entries, comic strips, posters, detailed guides, report cards, letters, doodles, snapshots, and newspaper clippings. All of those made this a fun and delightful read without ever feeling stagnant. I think that kids will like the format and keep interested while the story moves along. This is a book I certainly will recommend to my colleagues with younger students and will definitely be sharing with Madeline at some point. It was a fun read and the ending leaves it open for subsequent books to follow Roan through the rest of his Jedi training. All the young Padawan's should read this one!

About the author:
Jeffrey Brown is the bestselling author/illustrator of Darth Vader and Son and Vader’s Little Princess, both which imagine what it would have been like if Darth Vader had raised a young Luke and Leia.

Jeffrey is a lifelong Star Wars fan, but despite his best efforts, has been unable to use the Force. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Jennifer, and his two sons.

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

FTC: I received an egalley of this novel from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Book summary and author information from Amazon.com



This year I debated whether or not to include The Shinning in my RIPVIII stack.... I read it so long ago I've since forgotten the details and have been looking for a reason to reread. Well, I was loving on Tif's instagram pic of her RIPVIII book stack and mentioned how I'd enjoy reading The Shining... and then she told me that she is hosting a Shinealong! Obviously I have to join in the fun!!! While I'm at it, I gotta get back to actual blogging for FUN. If I was actually blogging and not just reviewing, I'd have known about the Shinealong! Ugh. Silly me.

Anywho.... the deets:

The Shining Read-along is hoested by Tif at Tif Talks Books and Charleen from Cheap Thrills.

It runs from Sept 2 - 23 with the following checkpoints:

- September 2: KICKOFF!
- September 9: Discussion through chapter 16
- September 16: Discussion through chapter 33
- September 23: Wrap-up

For the kick-off, a few introductory questions have been posed to us shinealong-ers.

1. Will this be a reread or a first-time read?
This is a reread for me, but like Tif, I read this ages ago so I am a bit fuzzy on the details. I remember the big stuff, but I read this back in high school and pretty much everything else is foggy.

2. Have you seen the movies?
I have seen both... Stanley Kubrick is amazing and The Shinning is one of my favorite movies to date. The made-for-TV version was enjoyable, and I would love to get my hands on it to watch again... anyone know where to find it?

3. What are your thoughts from your previous reads/watches?
No thoughts from my first read, since I can't recall much. I do know that I enjoyed it and liked it much more than other King novels (I went through a hardcore King phase in high school where that was pretty much all I read).
Like I said above, The Shining is one of my favorite movies. It is such a classic. I own it and have watched it countless times.

4. Why are you joining the readalong and what do you hope to get out of it?
I'm joining because I haven't revisisted The Shining in over 10 years. It also falls at a perfect time of year, both seasonally (yay Fall!) and during RIPVIII. Plus, with a huge stack of books to read, joining in readalongs help me to stay on track with my reading goals!
Also, I totally love the hashtag #shinealong -- that's reason enough, right?

So what are you waiting for?! Go grab your copy of The Shining and join in the fun!

ps: Doctor Sleep comes out September 24th, so immediately following The Shinealong, join in the Sleepalong and read the sequel together!! Eeeps!

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow