Elevation by Stephen King – A Review


Elevation by Stephen King
Published by Scribner
Released October 30, 2018
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_1_star

First of all, Elevation won the 2018 Goodreads Choice Awards in the horror category, and I have no idea how. This is most definitely not a horror book.

Second, this book is godawful.

I grew up reading Stephen King’s books, as my parents had plenty of his novels on our living room bookshelf for me to choose from. As I got older, King’s earlier novels, such as The Shining, Tommyknockers, Pet Semetaryand others became easy favorites for me.

King’s post-apocalyptic novel, The Standis one of my favorite books of all time.

Suffice it to say, I’m a Stephen King fan. Usually.

Elevation is a very short book, and I finished it in a single day. The hardcover edition has just 146 pages. Its shortness is the only reason I finished reading it.

This novel has four characters: Scott Carey, a single, middle-aged web-developer; Dr. Bob Ellis, Scott’s friend, and a retired physician; and a lesbian couple new to town who own a vegetarian restaurant, Deirdre McComb and Missy Donaldson.

Scott has a mysterious infliction. He’s losing weight at a rate of a couple of pounds each day, but he doesn’t get any thinner. Also, he weighs the same on a scale with and without his clothes on. Seeing as this is a little bit strange, he seeks out the advice of Dr. Bob, although Scott also decides not to go to an actual hospital.

While Scott and Dr. Bob are watching the numbers on Scott’s scale dwindle away to nothing, Scott becomes obsessed with befriending his lesbian neighbors, who don’t want anything to do with him.

That’s the whole book. The end.

Literally, that’s it. It’s a very shallow novel.

I suppose the theme of the novel is getting along with people who have different lifestyles from you. Maybe? Most of the plot revolves around Scott trying to befriend and stick up for the lesbian couple while the rest of the townspeople shun them. Which is all well and good – it’s a great message in theory.

Then again, I didn’t enjoy the fact that the couple needed the white, middle-aged man to help them to succeed. Scott was the predictable and unwelcome hero of the story.

The characters were stereotypes, the story was bland, the plot was light, and the ending was ridiculous.

I will not be rereading this novel.

Have you read Elevation? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.

Don’t forget to follow me on social media:


If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!

October TBR

It’s finally October! I love this month so much. Pumpkin everything, the leaves changing color, spooky stuff everywhere, cooler weather… there’s just so much to love. The fall is a time when I always feel rejuvenated and at my happiest.

Since it’s the first day of the month, that means it’s time to put together my TBR list for the month. I doubt I’m going to be able to get through everything on the list, but I am certainly going to try! I also have a habit of picking up books on a whim, so expect this list to change a little.

Currently Reading:

Want to Read:

And then also, a healthy dose of Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft.

What are you planning on reading this month?

Penny is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Header image thanks to Elke Bürgin on Unsplash

Banned Books, Part Four

September 23-29 is Banned Books Week, a week that promotes the freedom to read. Every day this week, I’ll be sharing three banned books that you should add to your TBR lists.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three



Carrie by Stephen King

Stephen King’s first published novel, Carrie was banned in some places due to people believing it to be anti-religious, as well as it’s violence and sexual content.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

This incredible graphic novel received a great deal of praise when it was released, but it was also banned and challenged in places around the US, including Illinois, Oregon, and California. The schools and teachers who banned the book cited its graphic language, its depiction of violence, that it was inappropriate for the intended age group and scenes of torture.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Due to its Netflix adaptation, this book has been widely discussed lately. Some schools decided that since they weren’t sure of how students would be affected by its themes of bullying and suicide, that it should be banned or restricted in their libraries.

Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts?

Read part five
Read part six
Read Part Seven

10 Picks from the Great American Read

PBS is hosting a new series centered around the 100 most-loved American novels, The Great American Read. The first episode is already available, and it’s running through October 23rd. The list is full of different genres, and everyone will be able to find some books on here that they’ll love. Here are my top 10 picks from the list, followed by 5 I’m immediately adding to my TBR list.

My 10 Top Picks

While it was extremely hard to limit this list down to only 10, some of my favorite books of all time are here.

  • I can’t remember who first introduced me to Douglas Adams, but I’ve read and re-read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy so many times I’ve lost count. Every single time I read it, it leaves me laughing so hard that I’m in tears. All of Adams’ books are incredible, but this will always be my favorite. Bonus: it contains some of my favorite quotes from any book that I’ve read:
    • “It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.”
    • “The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.”
    • “He was staring at the instruments with the air of one who is trying to convert Fahrenheit to centigrade in his head while his house is burning down.”
    • “It is a well known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”
  • A dear friend of mine, Kathleen, gave me a copy of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale years ago. As I read it for the first time, it terrified me, because none of it seemed far-fetched. Keep in mind, this was almost ten years ago, so now it’s even more relatable, which is something no one should be proud of. I hope this book is required reading in all high schools.
  • I hated F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby when I read it in the 10th grade. Like, really, really, really hated it. I thought all of the characters were silly and unrelatable, and the book itself bored me to tears. Last year I was at the library and came across a copy, and since it’s a very short novel, I decided I’d give it a second chance. I’m so glad I did. There’s so much going on with this novel, and it paints the 1920s in such a vivid way. Fun fact: I used to work at The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC, where Fitzgerald lived and worked for a while. It’s a beautiful place with a view that is unbelievably inspiring. I can’t blame him a bit for wanting to write from there.
  • Everyone has seen the movie by now (I hope), but I still recommend reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. As detailed as the films were, there was so much that they had to leave out. Tolkien was a master of world-building, and was also a linguist who put great effort into creating his fictional languages. For Christmas one year, I received a cloth-bound box set of The Lord of the Rings, with illustrations by Alan Lee, one of my favorite artists. It was my most-cherished possession until my family’s home burnt down a couple of years later, and I’ve been looking for that exact copy ever since with no luck.
  • I was 10 years old when J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone came out. I literally grew up with the books, and was borderline obsessed with them. When the fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, was released, I read the entire book in one sitting because I was so eager to find out what happened next.
  • Stephen King books were everywhere when I was growing up, as both of my parents like his books. The Stand is my absolute favorite. In fact, I would say it’s my second favorite book of all time, coming in just behind Cormac McCarthy’s The RoadMy genre-of-choice is post-apocalyptic, and King just knocked it out of the park with this novel. I do recommend reading the Complete and Uncut edition of the book, which adds over 500 pages that were edited out of the first release. It’s massive but well worth the effort.
  • My mother had a paperback set of C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia books, and I read and re-read them so often that, by the time I entered high school, some of the pages were falling out and the spines were completely cracked. It was one of the first fantasy novels I read as a kid (aside from The Hobbit), and I was immersed in the world. I’m planning on re-reading it soon, and I’m looking forward to it so much.
  • Like so many others, I first read George Orwell’s 1984 in high school, right after finishing Animal Farm. I loved both, and I’ve re-read both several times, but 1984 strikes me as something that isn’t that farfetched (much in the same way as The Handmaid’s Tale). With privacy being stripped from us more and more as our technology increases, I think this is an incredibly relevant book.
  • While A Farewell to Arms is my favorite Ernest Hemingway book, The Sun Also Rises is right behind it, along with The Old Man and the Sea (click for my review).  Hemingway can be a polarizing writer, but he has a very unique, straight-forward style that I really appreciate. I also find myself feeling so much empathy for his characters.
  • Finally, we come to Andy Weir’s The Martian, which is a spectacular work of science fiction, both in print and on film. I’m a science geek, and I appreciated how much science Weir worked into the story. We don’t just read about what Mark Watney is doing, he explains to us why he’s doing it. It’s also just a well-written and fast-paced novel.  If you’re a fan of Star Trek, you’d love this book.

Again, there were so many other books on the list that are amazing, but those are my 10 favorites. Tomorrow, I’ll post a follow-up entry listing the five books that I’m most excited about reading from this list, as well as a few books that I think should be omitted from the list.  So, if you enjoyed this post, be sure to subscribe and check back for a more critical look at some of the books from the list.

Click here to read part two of this post.