Life is too short to read mediocre books. But sometimes the hype is real and you might be wondering if it’s worth the time investment or better to get spoiled and move on. Here are three major book spoilers to lighten your to-be-read pile. Be warned, some spoilers might ruin the book for you.
The Silent Patient
A good thriller is made by the quality of the twists and turns the plot takes, shocking some readers or satisfying amateur sleuths who deduced the big reveal. While some twists make the page count worth it, others seem like a cop-out, rely on tired tropes of the genre, or are so convoluted it would be impossible to see it coming.
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides was the Goodreads Choice Winner in 2019, and has been hyped as thriller gold, up there with the likes of Gone Girl. If you don’t have the time, we’ll make it easy for you. After being convicted of murdering her husband, Alicia Berenson ends up in a mental institution and won’t speak a word. Her psychotherapist, Theo Farber, is borderline obsessed with her case and applied for the job specifically to treat her. The main twist? Alicia’s husband had an affair with her psychotherapist’s wife. Theo snuck into their house to confront both Alicia and her husband to out the affair, which triggered a long-dormant trauma from Alicia’s childhood and led her to pull a gun on her husband.
Even better news? You can always just wait for the movie adaptation to get the full effect, which might be less cringey than reading overly detailed diary entries that serve as the deus ex machina for the entire resolution.
Stephen King’s The Stand has inspired a lot of modern-day storytelling in the dark fantasy genre and is also connected to other books of his, including the Dark Tower series, IT, and The Shining. If you’re a fan of King’s work and used to his frequent flop endings, it might be worth reading the 823-page first edition or even the 1,153-page uncut version. If you’re not a huge fan, it might be more difficult to justify the time commitment for a cop-out ending.
If you fall into the latter category, we’ll summarize it for you – a post-apocalyptic telling of the epic final confrontation between good and evil, The Stand follows several characters as they try to survive in a world decimated by an illness, each connected through shared dreams of the proverbial devil and angel on a person’s shoulder. The final “stand” takes place when three of the good guys confront the primary manifestation of evil and his entire city of goonies in Las Vegas.
Fortunately for the other good guys, it turns out team evil has been playing with nuclear weapons, and a character known as the Trashcan Man delivers an atomic blast during the standoff, obliterating the entire city and sacrificing our two remaining heroes along with all the baddies. Stranded Stu, who broke his leg enroute to the final battle, is within sight distance of the blast and finds his way home to report what happened to the rest of the good guys.
Author Stephen Chbosky is best known for his cult favorite The Perks of Being a Wallflower. When he announced his sophomore novel, Imaginary Friend, two decades later, fans were excited. Unfortunately, the book is over 700 pages. And while it is pretty freaky and well written, it’s so long the spooky scenes start to get repetitive. If it had been half the length, the book might be worth the read. But it’s not, and it isn’t worth it after the 400-page mark.
The book is a psychological horror following 7-year-old Christopher, who disappears for 6 days and returns with an imaginary friend and sudden intelligence. The first thing his imaginary friend, taking the form of a plastic bag, tasks him with is building a treehouse that gives Christopher access to the imaginary world. Each visit to the imaginary world seems to give Christopher more mind powers, which he uses to fend off bullies, help his mom win the lottery, and uncover the body of a missing boy from the town’s past.
Oh, also his imaginary friend is the devil. But don’t worry, the power of love saves the day.
Looking for something else to do besides reading overhyped books? Find ideas that really rock at the Olympus Stone Glen blog.