Devin Jones’ college girlfriend has taken a summer job that will have them spending the break away from each other, so Devin decides to apply for a job at an amusement park called Joyland in North Carolina. Little does Devin know this will be the summer that changes his life forever. He will find lifelong friends, suffer his first heartbreak, discover love in many different forms and be haunted by an unsolved murder that took place on Joyland’s grounds.
If I pretend for one moment I had never heard of Stephen King, I still would have wanted to read this novel. I mean, look at that cover art! Like a moth to a flame, I was immediately drawn in. Of course, I HAVE heard of King and, like so many others, have read almost everything he’s written. I loved the question marks I had when starting this one. Here’s the master of horror writing a story about a ghost, yet it has a bright yellow “crime” label on the front and old Dewey Decimal has it filed under “mystery”. Oh how I love a book that’s so schizophrenic it cannot be categorized.
I also love when Stephen King just tells me a good story. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate the terror of “It” or the epic saga of “The Stand”, but King is magic when he gives us something like “The Shawshank Redemption” or “The Body”. I’m sure it has a lot to do with the fact that it’s so unexpected, but now that his son has taken the reins and become a fabulous horror writer himself, I hope to see even more like this.
Per usual, I solved the mystery when the first clue was given. The good news is, it didn’t bother me one little bit. I was so wrapped up in Devin’s coming of age story and completely in love with all the characters that the murder was just a tiny blip on the radar.