YVO’S SHORTIES #35 – Misery & Kids Of Appetite

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! Another round of backlist titles, and two completely different genres and age groups at that. I’ve been meaning to read Misery for years and I already had an idea what it was about… I’m definitely glad I finally did so. It’s not my all time favorite Stephen King, but without doubt a great read. Kids Of Appetite I picked up on a whim browsing my kindle, and I had high hopes because I adored David Arnold’s other book Mosquitoland. Sadly, this story just didn’t work for me.


Title: Misery
Author: Stephen King

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Horror
First published: 1987
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Finished reading: July 27th 2018
Pages: 369

“He felt as he always did when he finished a book — queerly empty, let down, aware that for each little success he had paid a toll of absurdity.”


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I’ve read quite a few Stephen King books over the years, but somehow I never actually picked up Misery until now. Of course I have heard lots of things about the plot, so I had a general idea what the story was about… And I have to say the actual story definitely lived up to expectations. It’s not my absolute favorite King, but there is no doubt that this is one of his better books I’ve read to this date. Misery is more psychological horror than bloody horror in general, although it has a few select scenes that won’t go well with those with a weak stomach. Strong writing… Check. Well developed, disturbing and creepy characters… Check. A healthy dose of suspense… Check. Plot twists… Check. A little torture and blood here and there… Check. I definitely had a great time reading Misery, although it doesn’t feel the right word for a story this creepy. I liked the Misery chapters in between the actual plot, as it added another level and more dept to the plot itself. And I wouldn’t wish Annie upon my worst enemy! Boy, she is a true nutter… Writers, beware. She is stuff nightmares are made of. If you enjoy reading his work, Misery should definitely be on your reading list as well.


Title: Kids Of Appetite
Author: David Arnold

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
First published: September 20th 2016
Publisher: Viking Books For Young Readers
Finished reading: July 29th 2018
Pages: 352

“The kids were more than just a gaggle. They were puzzle pieces, a well-packed trunk, as improbably organized as the improbable shelves in their improbable habitat.”


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I absolutely adored Mosquitoland last year, so I had high hopes for Kids Of Appetite as well. It took me longer than expected to finally get to it… And sadly it wasn’t the experience I was hoping for. I’m actually still surprised and I bit shocked by my reaction to be honest… Because I have to be sincere here and I’m not sure how I made it past the 20% without giving in to the urge to DNF. Do I feel sad? Yes. But unfortunately Kids Of Appetite just wasn’t for me. I have seen this story has pretty extreme reactions, people either loving or strongly disliking it, so definitely don’t give up on it yet if you enjoy stories with unique characters and writing style. Because that’s the main struggle here: the writing. While unique and original, it is something that either works for you and makes you want to sing out loud, OR makes you want to throw things at the wall in frustration. Not that my singing would actually make anyone happy in the first place, but sadly my walls might have taken a hit or two here. I personally really struggled with it all and this made it just really hard both to get a proper feel for things and understand what is exactly going on in the first place. David Arnold is a master in greating unique characters though. Kuddos to him for introducing us to Victor and giving Moebius a spotlight; the other characters definitely weren’t bland either. I’m not sure everything in the plot was actually credible though. In short, Kids Of Appetite is a book of extremes and therefore will provoke strong emotions… So even though this book didn’t work for me, you might just love it instead.


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BOOK REVIEW: Hot Ice – by Nora Roberts

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Title: Hot Ice
Author: Nora Roberts
Genre: Romance, Fiction, Suspense
First published: 1987
Finished reading: November 2nd 2014
Pages: 280
Rating 3

“You’re a first-class bastard, Doug.” This time he grinned because he’d heard the light trace of respect. “I like first class, Whitney. I’m going to live there the rest of my life.”

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I have to admit I mostly picked up a copy of this novel because I had to read a book with ‘Ice‘, ‘Frost‘ or ‘Snow‘ in the title for the Bookish Bingo: Holiday Edition challenge, and the only title I could find a copy of easily was Hot Ice. The story and characters were on the cheesy/cliche limit of my tolerance, but in general it was an easy and entertaining read. The two main characters Whitney and Douglas are a case of ‘opposites attract’. They end up stuck together chasing a treasure and also being chased down by Douglas’ former employer; and sooner or later they end up together. SO cliche! Le sigh. But the treasure hunt and their adventures in Madagascar are interesting to read and the novel keeps a fast pace. All in all an ok read if you don’t expect too much of it… Combined with a cold drink next to the pool or a steaming cup of coffee inside, it will give you a few entertaining reading hours.

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Whitney has everything most women dream of; as the heiress of an ice cream imperium she has access to all the money she wants and on top of that she is a classic beauty. But she has a mayor problem; she is easily bored and always looking for action. When one day by chance Douglas enters her car, she suddenly is in the middle of more action than she could have hoped for. Douglas is a shady figure and he is currently being chased by his former employer. Reason? He was asked to steal some very valuable documents leading to a treasure, but when he found out his boss would kill him anyway, he decided to keep the documents. Whitney’s crazy driving skills take them safely to her flat, but the bad guys are not far away… And soon Whitney has to flee with Douglas in order to stay alive.

Whitney has an advantage: she has cash and connections. Soon they are off to Europe and later to Madagascar, although the bad guys are never far away. Whitney and Douglas made a deal to share the treasure; a business proposition since Whitney has the cash and Douglas the documents. But neither trust each other… Not to mention the small problem of the mutual physical attraction. They soon have to travel by foot and car through the middle of the jungle while trying to shake of the men that are determined to take back the documents. The treasure is not far away if only they could reach that town somewhere in Madagascar…

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Like I said before, Hot Ice has an interesting plot and a lot of cliche moments, but the story in general does deliver. It is an easy read with a fast pace and Nora Roberts is able to make you want to continue reading in order to find out if they are able to find the treasure on time. So I guess that if you need something easy, cheesy and entertaining, reading Hot Ice would be a good choice!