C is for Charlie

Hello, and welcome to Blogging A to Z 2017! Thanks for stopping by.

My theme this month is 26 of the Best Characters in Fiction.

IMG_8313Charlene “Charlie” McGee is a little girl with pyrokinesis in Stephen King’s Firestarter.

I read this book for the first time as a teenager, and it’s still one of my favorite Stephen King books.

First off, I love the idea of a kid who can create fire with her mind. Maybe one or two people have accused me of being a bit of a pyromaniac. I can’t help it! I love candles and fires.

Second, I love child protagonists in horror. Kids don’t react the same way as adults, and it’s interesting to see what they do. They’re more likely to believe in the unbelievable. Plus, people often underestimate kids. This kid is a force to be reckoned with.

Third, I almost never do this, but I associate her with the movie version of her, a young Drew Barrymore. I love Drew Barrymore, and I have to admit that probably is part of the reason for my love of this book. When I picture the character, I picture her.

Charlie is one of those characters who’s stayed with me. She was put in a bunch of horrible situations, but she kept moving forward, and she survived. At any point, she could have just quit, but that never happened. I’m sure the adult version of her would have scars, but I’d like to think she would still be doing her best to live and love.

Stephen King could have written her as unfeeling or numb to her situation, but even at the end of the book, she’s still got a wealth of empathy, even if she’s no longer emotionally a little girl anymore.

Are you a horror fan? If so, what’s your Stephen King book?

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The Santa Clarita Diet, A Breath of Freshly (Decaying) Air

img_7547You know, I don’t get tired of zombie stories. When it’s one I’ve seen before, then of course it’s less interesting. But when it brings something new and fun, I’m all in.

I’ve already binge-watched the entire 10 episodes of the Santa Clarita Diet, on Netflix. We intended to watch a couple episodes, but before we knew it, they were all gone. Like potato chips, I couldn’t have just one.

On the gore-o-meter, I suppose it’s pretty high. It didn’t even give me a twinge (I have a really strong stomach), but my husband got a little queasy after the fact. There is a lot of blood. And vomit. And dead bodies. And body parts. If you’re into horror movies and The Walking Dead, it probably won’t bother you. If not… maybe you don’t want to watch it while eating anything with tomato sauce.

I love anything with Drew Barrymore, and she brings her goofy brand of humor to this family sitcom. Timothy Olyphant pretty great too. In fact, I loved everyone on the show. I really thought that Skyler Gisondo as the geek next door stole the show. Maybe it’s because I’ve always loved geeks, and he’s awkward and lovable.

When she first becomes a zombie, Sheila (Drew Barrymore) is completely controlled by her id. Since she was so uptight when she was alive, everyone notices the difference. She went from stereotypical suburban mom to giving out advice on fulfilling your desires. And taking no crap from anyone. Yeah, she needs to eat, but the show doesn’t just focus on her quest for human flesh (though there is that), but also on her trying to navigate the world she lives in with very little impulse control.

The writers don’t tell us how Sheila contracted her zombie-ism. She quips that it might be because of bad clams, but there’s no “real” speculation. I’m hoping that we find out, but for right now, I’m just along for the ride.

It’s too early to tell if there’s going to be a Season 2, but I certainly hope so.

Have you seen it yet? What did you think?

Firestarter- A Review

th-1On Throwback Thursdays, I highlight a book that’s been around for awhile, and I tell you why you should read it now.

Firestarter by Stephen King, is a fascinating book, full of great characters, and still one of the scariest books/ movies ever.  It doesn’t rely on blood, gore, or non-human monsters.  The “monsters” are the humans, and a little girl is put into a position of having to be someone she doesn’t want to be, in order to survive.

I don’t know which came first for me: the book or movie.  I’ve always been a Drew Barrymore fan, and I’ve always been a Stephen King fan, so it really could have gone either way.

I love this book from beginning to end.  Charlie is born to parents who participated in an experiment in college.  Both Charlie’s parents got an extra ability from the experiment, but Charlie is pyrokinetic, and because she’s a kid.  A government agency is after both of them, but mostly Charlie, because they want to study them and their abilities.

If you like horror with a strong plot and interesting characters, this is a must read.

Little Girl Lost- Book Review

Little Girl Lost, released in 1990, is the memoir of 15 year old Drew Barrymore, who had, quite frankly, lived more than most of us ever will.  Written by Drew Barrymore along with Todd Gold, it’s her story of how she rose to fame and began struggling with drug addiction.

Even working in the field, it’s hard for me to come to terms with many of the things she writes in the book.  She had her first drink at 9 years old, started smoking marijuana at age 10, and used cocaine at 12.  It would be easy to blame her parents or her Hollywood lifestyle, but she does neither.  She admits that work was her salvation, and the problem was that she never felt good enough, something many children struggle with.

So why do some kids turn to drugs and alcohol while others don’t?  I think that we all find our answers in something, and sometimes those answers are healthy, while other times, they’re not.  More often though, they’re a combination of both.  None of us get a manual for living, and to be honest, how many of us would follow it even if it were given?  I wouldn’t have at that age.

This book is over 20 years old, but I think it’s still worth reading if you’re interested in the path of addiction in adolescents.  I think it’s an honest, raw account; it brought tears to my eyes at times.  Even though the book ends on a less than upbeat note, we can all see that Drew Barrymore eventually found more stable footing, and while not perfect, is living her life in a way that seems to suit her.