Genre: Supernatural/ Horror/ Coming of age
Trigger Warnings: Everything. Literally everything.
A stifling shroud of evil surrounds the small town of Derry Maine, whose history is steeped in prejudice and murder. When a series of child murders springs up, seven children make a pact to get to the bottom of the cause and destroy it forever. They spend their summer being haunted by a supernatural evil which can take the form of anything you fear, and possess any person with a predisposition for being an asshole. It entices children into the sewers under the guise of a clown with a bunch of balloons, claiming ‘we all float down here’….
The narrative is split between the seven kids as children in 1958 and them as adults in 1985 when they are called back to Derry to finish the task they had started 27 years before. As adults they have completely forgotten about that summer in Derry when they tried to take IT down, but the closer they get to Derry, the more they remember and the more they want to turn back.
One of Kings greatest attributes is his amazing ability to create vivid and real characters and towns with the smallest amount of words, and he does it spectacularly in ‘IT’. The 7 kids are all believable and completely different from each other. They are real kids with real problems- Bill with his stutter and silent almost catatonic family from the death of his brother- Eddie, with his asthma and his overbearingly protective mother- Richie, with his hyperactivity, wisecracking voices that get him in trouble and his glasses- Ben, an architecturally clever overweight kid with an overbearing crush on Beverly- Mike, an intelligent history nerd and a black kid in a racist era- Stan, a nervous well-kept Jew who spends most of his spare time birdwatching- and Beverly, living in almost poverty with an abusive father and constantly scratched up knees.
Being so big (we’re talking 1,000+ pages), this book covers a lot of topics- fear, the power of imagination, the supernatural, childhood, the things you lose when you grow up, belief, faith, love, anger, revenge, sex, abuse, suicide, bullying, pain, nostalgia, nightmares…. The list goes on. With this book you will pass through every emotion on the spectrum and it has one of the most bizarre endings of any book I’ve ever read. It is creepy and terrifying, but also loving and thoughtful. It’s worth the amount of time it’ll take to read it, but prepare to be more scared than you’ve ever been before.
“For a moment he felt a wild hope: perhaps this really was a nightmare. Perhaps he would awake in his own bed, bathed in sweat, shaking, maybe even crying … but alive. Safe. Then he pushed the thought away. Its charm was deadly, its comfort fatal.”
Words by Lissa