The Stephen King Novel Every Writer Should Read

I finished my first Stephen King novel this past week.


Novelist Paul Sheldon has plans to make the difficult transition from writing historical romances featuring heroine Misery Chastain to publishing literary fiction. Annie Wilkes, Sheldon’s number one fan, rescues the author from the scene of a car accident. The former nurse takes care of him in her remote house, but becomes irate when she discovers that the author has killed Misery off in his latest book. Annie keeps Sheldon prisoner while forcing him to write a book that brings Misery back to life.

-synopsis from

While at Barnes & Noble, looking through so many of King’s books, trying to choose one to take home with me, I decided on Misery because I enjoyed the movie. I had no other reason.

I’ve been blogging since 2009 but 2017 was the official start to my very small writing career. Misery will forever be a novel that impacted my writer’s heart.

It was amazing.

Terrifying? Yes.

Gory? You bet.

Physiologically Disturbing? Uh-Huh.

But, amazing.

It made me cry.

My tears weren’t shed because anyone died or was badly hurt.

No, it was because (in the alternate ending) the writer found his art again, like a lost love who comes back to stay. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but every single writer should read this book. Underneath the torture and insanity, there is this beautiful story about a writer and his craft.

If you’re not a writer, trust me, the story is so intriguing and “oh gosh I want to look away but can’t” that you’ll enjoy it immensely.

With every book I read this year, I am diving into my love for the theatre, and will be dressing up as a character or two (my own interpretation) for a photo(s) to go within these posts.

For Misery, as much as I can’t stand her and somehow still feel pity for her, I chose Annie Wilkes and the fictional (fiction within fiction) character she is so obsessed with, Misery Chastain.

I like the contrast between Annie and Misery in these photos. If you read the book, I hope you can appreciate my interpretation here. I didn’t have an ax to hold and so the knife was fitting. A knife plays a role in the book. Also, I put bobby pins in my hair to hold it back for Annie’s photo. Bobby Pins are important in the book too. For Misery, I changed my eye color (mine are green) because in the novel, Geoffrey describes her eyes as cornflower blue. I chose Misery’s expression here because this is a woman who has been through a lot and has two men who love her madly. She is also declared dead, is buried and brought back to life…read the book to find out how. 😉

ROSE RATING: I give this book 4/5 roses. (my own version of stars) I took a rose away because the violence is intense and honestly, I hated the ending.

MATURITY RATING: R. for some language and violence. I wasn’t too taken back by any of the language honestly. It felt fitting for what the character was going through and is only used here and there. I gave the rating R mostly because of the violence. 

I will definitely be reading another King novel. I am hooked.

I’ll leave you with one my favorite quotes from the book.

“A little talent is a nice thing to have if you want to be a writer, but the only real requirement is that ability to remember the story of every scar. Art consists of the persistence of memory.” -Misery pg.244

Let me know if you read the book. I’d love to know your thoughts.






  1. Jessica | 12th Feb 18

    Spooky! I don’t think I have ever read a Steven King novel but I know a few people who swear by them. Maybe I should finally check them out!

    • Jillian | 13th Feb 18

      lol, definitely scary!!! Check back in if you end up reading something of his.

  2. Jakub | 12th Feb 18

    I have read some of King’s work but it’s honestly too hard to keep up – he is so prolific! I have never heard of Misery, might have to check it out!

    • Jillian | 13th Feb 18

      Yea, let me know if you do!

  3. Angela | 12th Feb 18

    I am determined to read at least one Stephen King novel this yea but haven’t had luck finding one I could stand past the first 50 pages. I will have to check this one out. I love your pictures and am so curious to see how the fit in with the story.

    • Jillian | 13th Feb 18

      I totally understand. The violence was pretty intense. Let me know if you read this one or find another novel of his that you get through. 🙂

  4. Kate Werthmann | 13th Feb 18

    What did you think of the shining? I base whether or not ill be into a king novrl based on reactions to that one!

    • Jillian | 13th Feb 18

      I have only seen the movie and honestly, it wasn’t my favorite. I’ll never choose to watch it again. There were elements in it that just weren’t my thing, not that the violence in Misery is my thing. lol. But being a mother, the whole family dynamic in the Shining bothered me. That’d be my honest review but again, I am only basing that off the movie.

  5. Stephanie | 13th Feb 18

    I’ve never read a King novel, and have only seen a couple of the movies based on his books. I prefer something lighter as I usually read right before bed. But how fun to dress up as a character or two from the books to really help understand them.

    • Jillian | 13th Feb 18

      yes, this was definitely not a book I read right before bed. lol. xoxo

  6. Candace | 13th Feb 18

    I’ve been looking to get back into reading like I was back in highschool. I lived and breathed books. I’ve seen several Stephen King movies that I have been impressed with so I would like to give this book a shot! Thanks for the review!

    • Jillian | 13th Feb 18

      Candace, let me know if you pick up a new novel. 🙂

  7. April | 14th Feb 18

    I need to add this to my reading list. Thanks for the recommendation!


  8. Arielle Joy | 14th Feb 18

    I’ve never read anything by King but I don’t think I’d be able to handle it!

  9. Lauren | 14th Feb 18

    Ahhhhh!! hahah I’m such a big chicken… I don’t know if I could get through one of his books but this really does so sound interesting. You may have convinced me….

  10. sonali jain | 14th Feb 18

    I have never heard of this before but it looks really interesting, Will definitely read more about this .Thanks for sharing!

  11. Holly | 15th Feb 18

    I haven’t tried this one. I love Stephen King, but sometimes I have to put the book down because its just too much!!

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