The Heart-Shaped Box by Joe HillMy rating: 4 stars
I thought this was an interesting read and I found myself a bit surprised how much I enjoyed it. It was a mix of mystery and horror which I thought worked really well. I listened to the audiobook and really thought the narrator did a fantastic job! I really came to know and understand all of the characters in a way that I don't expect from this genre. There was something quite real about all of them - Hill isn't afraid to show the ugly side of the characters which I appreciated.
There were certainly flaws - such as Hill's use of the same phrases over and over. I don't think it ultimately took away from the book but I thought I'd mention it. I felt the pace was good - I was intrigued throughout the book, eager to find out what might come next. The writing was fine - not excellent but good. There were certain areas that I wish had been explored more and a few areas I wish had been explored a bit less but overall I thought it was a well done book.
I will warn you that there is some intense sexual content and the language is also very adult. Those things didn't bother me but I thought I should mention it.
There is a darkness to the book and there were moments when the story did indeed freak me out. But, I wouldn't call it scary overall - just moments of creepiness. I believe this is a first novel and I think its a good one. I suspect that Joe Hill will only get better with time ...