Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

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Swan Song by Robert McCammon

When tensions between the world powers boil over, the world is made into a complete wasteland when nuclear devices are deployed.  Sister, a New York city bag lady, finds an amazing piece of glass in the rubble that has strange and wonderful powers. Joshua, a wrestler on the pro circuit who happened to be stopped at a mid western country gas station when the bombs fall, comes to the aid of Swan, a young girl with special powers. As the survivors struggle to make their way in this bleak new landscape, they find themselves caught in the final battle between good and evil.

As a long time fan of Mr. McCammon’s books, I was overjoyed to see Swan Song on the top 100 list for The Great American Read. But I had never read it – maybe the sheer size of the book? I decided to make it one of my summer reads, and boy, am I glad I did! Honestly, this book has everything you want in a good story – relatable characters, fast pace, adventure, a mission, redemption, love – and so much more! Don’t let the page count scare you away from this book. Trust me, you’ll enjoy each and every one. Sorry, Mr. McCammon, for waiting so long to read your book. And thank you for writing it.


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Sarah Winchester’s (Helen Mirren) house has been under construction for years. Night and day construction crews are building and rebuilding parts of the house. She is 51% stockholder for the Winchester company and the board wants her deemed unfit. Enter Dr. Eric Price (Jason Clarke). He is to stay at the house with her and evaluate her condition. But he has his own demons and soon starts to see ghosts around the house. Are they real or has he gone crazy?

This was just okay for me. It was kind of boring. This is based on a true story and I would have liked to see more of the crazy house.  Rated PG-13

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Keep Watching

The Mitchell family has just come back from vacation. As they are settling in for the night, the electricity goes out. Unknown to them, someone is watching.  There are cameras planted throughout the house watching their every move. As the dad goes to investigate, he is attacked. Now it is up to the stepmom, the teenage daughter, and young son to find away to escape. They soon realize the outside of the house has been re-enforced and they are locked in. They will have to try and outwit these intruders to try and make it out alive.

This was a pretty good horror movie. I jumped a couple of times. It was a good storyline with a twisty ending. Starring, Bella Thorne, Ioan Grufford, Chandler Riggs, and Natalie Martinez. Rated R

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Kill Creek by Scott Thomas

Finch House sits abandoned, off of a long country road in the Kansas prairie. No one has lived there for years, and the stories about the horrible things that happened there seem to be enough to keep most people away.

Best-selling horror author Sam McGarver is asked for an interview. It will take place at Finch House as part of a Halloween publicity stunt, staged by a popular web entrepreneur. Joined by 3 other best-selling authors, each with their own reasons for agreeing to the deal, the group heads off to the house. No one is prepared for what happens next.

I can’t tell you much more than that, because I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but I will say that if you love horror, you need to read this book. It has everything you want in a good book – a well rounded cast of characters, a compelling plot, and a perfectly paced journey into the terror that resides within the wall of Finch House.

Nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel, Kill Creek puts Thomas in league with Stephen King, Peter Straub, Paul Tremblay, Joe Hill, and Josh Malerman, and I for one, can’t wait to see what he has in store for us next.


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Wish Upon

Clare’s dad, Jonathon (Ryan Phillippe), finds a box with Chinese writing on it. He thinks Clare (Joey King) will like it and gives it to her on her birthday. Clare and her two friends are always getting bullied at school, especially by the most popular girl, Darcie. Frustrated one night, Clara is holding the box and wishes that Darcie would rot. The next day, she finds out that Darcie is in the hospital actually rotting. Clare thinks it is a coincidence and keeps making wishes. But every time she makes a wish, someone she knows dies. Now Clare has to find out how to break the curse before it is too late.

I actually really liked this movie. It had a good concept and it kept me wondering what was going to happen next. And if you are a Stranger Things fan, Barb is in it! Rated PG-13

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Happy Death Day

A sorority girl wakes up in the college dorm of a nerdy kid and can’t remember what happened the night before. She goes about her day (and she isn’t a very nice person, by the way). Although it happens to be her birthday, this is not a day she wishes to celebrate, as this is also the birthday of her mother, who died a few years earlier. At the end of the day, she is murdered, but she doesn’t know by who.

The next day, she wakes up in the same dorm room, and it’s the same day, and again she gets killed by the end. She keeps having the same nightmare of a day (Groundhog Day style) but is determined to find out who her killer is, and she learns a little bit about herself along the way.

You’ll find Happy Death Day to be not overly gory but still contains an intriguing premise for a horror flick. I also enjoyed the elements of mystery and humor. Rated PG-13

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Better Watch Out

Seventeen-year old Ashley shows up to babysit twelve-year old Luke one more time before she moves. His parents are out at a Christmas party, and Luke has a plan to capture Ashley’s attention. He has been in love with her for some time, and tonight he will make his move. However, everything goes awry when they are confronted by a break-in and need to find a way to escape.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so that’s all I am going to say. This might have been a straight to DVD type movie, but it actually was a decent horror flick. Not too gory with a good twist viewers won’t see coming.

Also, if you are a fan of Stranger Things, be on the lookout for a small role from Dacre Montgomery who plays Billy Hargrove in Season 2 of ST. Rated R.