Monday, June 28, 2010

Carrie by Stephen King

Stephen King is known as a creepy horror writer and while this novel is eerie, I'd say it's more sad than scary. It is, though, a great story with a necessary lesson for teens to learn.

Carrie White is a teenager who never fit in. Her mother is devoutly religious and expects her daughter to behave the same way, which makes Carrie stand out in school. After an torturous and embarrassing incident in the girls' locker room, Carrie slowly begins to realize she has telekinesis - the power to move things with her mind. As she secretly builds her powers, one of the girls punished for the locker room incident - Chris - begins to plot revenge against Carrie with the help of her boyfriend. At the same time, another student - Sue Snell - begins to feel remorse for the incident and insists her boyfriend take Carrie to prom in hopes that a little kindness will break Carrie out of her shell. Come prom night her powers are full blown and "explode" when Chris's prank happens. Disaster and doom then follow in a worst case scenario of what happens when people's jokes go too far.

One thing that's interesting about this novel is that amidst the story, there are excerpts from other books related to telekinesis and the "Carrie White incident" that make it seem like this actually happened. There are even parts from a book Sue Snell wrote. It was a nice touch, although at times I wished to just get on with the story. While I think the odds of this honestly happening are slim to none, I think that this is a book with a great lesson. All of this could have been avoided if people had been nicer to Carrie. If Chris hadn't pulled her prank and sought revenge, Carrie wouldn't probably wouldn't have "exploded." Overall it's just a lesson of treating others they way you want to be treated. Setting this novel in a high school makes it a great teen book that I think many can relate to - when you look past the telekinesis. Even today - if you think about it - the treatment Carrie received are often times the catalyst for school shootings.

This book really impressed me. It wasn't scary like I was expecting but the degree that teens can relate to it and learn from this novel really took me by surprise. Here's hoping that we never have to experience a "Carrie White incident," especially to the proportion of this novel.

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