Thursday, July 16, 2020

2 Bloggers 1 Book - Stephen King ALMOST Made Me Cry!

Stormi and I chose a fairly recent book by a famous author for this month's pick.  Stormi read the audiobook and I grabbed a physical copy.   So read on for my thoughts and then go check out Stormi's at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!

TITLE: The Institute
AUTHOR: Stephen King
PUBLISHING DATE: September 10, 2019


In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.” 

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.

Considering I'm pretty sure I preordered the copy, I would say it's about time I picked it up.  And I can honestly say, it redeemed the reading experience I had last month with The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.

In The Institute, a bunch of kids with special talents are kidnapped and taken to a facility in Maine to hone their skills.  While there, they are often subjected to cruel tests, a huge lack of compassion and moved to different levels with the final one being, well final.  Alex is not as talented as the other kids, but he does have an extremely high IQ and he isn't ready to go down without a fight.

I have to say in the beginning I wasn't sure where this story was headed.  In true King fashion, he took some time character building and introducing the reader to some people that seemed they didn't belong, just to tie them all together in dramatic fashion in the end.  And in my opinion, The Institute is full of some great characters.  I really loved Tim, the night knocker, as well as Alex and another little boy being held at the facility named Avery.  Annie was a lot of fun and played a big role in the end and also had a pretty happy ending when she thought she might never get one.  But don't get me wrong, there are still plenty of "monsters" to hate.

The best thing about this book was probably how the kids banded together and looked out for each other. They became an extremely likable group of misfits and all I will say is that rarely has a King book temped me to cry but there was one scene in this one that about did me in!

I think this is a perfect book to read if you are new to King and especially if horror isn't your favorite genre.  It's really more suspenseful than scary and I'm pretty sure it's only categorized as horror because of the famous author and his past works.  I'm so glad I loved this book and I can't wait to pick up another King tale soon!



  1. Wow, I may have to look into this one. The only King book to make me cry was 11/22/63 and that one is one of my favorites.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed this. I definitely have a lot of Stephen King catching up to do😁

  3. i am on the waiting list from the library. we have the slowest readers!!!! after reading your review i am even more eager to get my hands on it
    sherry @ fundinmental

  4. I always like the kids in King's books. I definitely will be reading this one! :D

  5. Ugh, my library loan expired before I could get this one read. Why is this my life now?!

  6. This sounds really good. I love Stephen King's books but I haven't read one in a long time.

  7. I haven't read a Stephen King book since I quit Joyland. I do like the idea of this one but I'm reluctant to commit to these big books now as authors tend to pad out the story in them and King was always a bit guilty of that! I'm glad you enjoyed the book and continue to enjoy his work.

  8. I really enjoyed The Institute too, the kids were awesome.