Reviewed by Melanie on August 14, 2017
Gwendy, preparing for a new start in middle school, is trying to lose weight. She’s been running up the town’s Suicide Stairs so that her “Goodyear” nickname doesn’t follow her. It is at the top of the stairs that she meets Mr. Farris and receives her Button Box. The box, with a button for each continent and a red and black button, also has two levers. One which produces amazing chocolate treats, and one that produces a very rare silver box. With this special box comes a great power and a very big responsibility for such a young girl. The book follows Gwendy through her life as the keeper of the box.
We were at the library for the Summer Reading Program and the librarian asked if I saw the new Stephen King book. She knows I’m a huge fan. I had seen the book on the new release shelf, while it had caught my eye, I didn’t realize that it was Stephen King. The librarian grabbed it and checked it out to me. Once home I sat down to start and finished in less than two hours.
As always with books by Stephen King the writing is incredible. The story grabbed me as soon as Mr. Farris appeared. I’m convinced he’s from Mid-World (the Dark Tower’s realm). The book reminded me of 11/22/63 as well, the way that the story was told and came together, and it wrapped up in a great way.
The plot of the book is easy to follow even though it frequently jumps forward in time. While I would like to know more about the Button Box, like where it came from and why Mr. Farris doesn’t take care of it himself, the story is satisfying and ends well.
There were many twists throughout the book, things I wasn’t expecting that kept me wanting to move forward. Gwendy is not the most developed character, she’s selfish and very self centered, even when we first meet her. While she feels guilty for using he box, her heart was, surprisingly, in the right place with the last two uses.
The illustrations throughout are few and far between but add an extra level of depth that I love in Stephen King books. Their simplicity adds to the story and doesn’t detract from the reading experience.
Overall I really enjoyed the book and would put it in my top ten Stephen King books. As a short novel I appreciated how quickly it pulled me in.