I’ve always been a huge fan of Stephen King. The horror genre is my absolute favorite, whether it’s movies, books or TV shows. I’m super excited to go see IT, although I’ll probably have to see it by myself since NONE of my friends are interested… That could make for an interesting movie experience!
So, in honor of the release of IT, here are 7 Stephen King books I have read ranked from least favorite to absolute favorite!
This is definitely my least favorite of the bunch, but the story concept is something I definitely got on board for. A strange cell phone signal is sent out all over the globe, and anyone who answers their phone turns into a mindless, zombie-like killer. The characters were okay in this story, but the idea that cell phones turn their users into killers is so intriguing and very relevant in our tech-savvy society! Grade: C+
Under the Dome
This one was turned into a TV series that didn’t stay true to the book. An impenetrable, invisible barrier drops down along the borders of a small Maine town, and King uses multiple character views to tell the story. The ending was unexpected, but what these characters do to each other is where the real story is. Isolation really brings out the worst in certain people, but it also brought out the best in others. Definitely worth the read, but I would stay away from the TV show beforehand. Grade: B-
Doctor Sleep is technically a sequel to The Shining, with Danny Torrance now a middle-aged man who still has ‘the shining.’ He is being chased by a group who collect people with the shining, and Danny helps others fight them off. I love that we got to revisit one of the most well-known child characters of King’s collection, but it doesn’t hold a candle to The Shining. Read it for yourself, just not before The Shining! Grade: B
This is one book that I really loved the movie version as well. A young girl is suppressed and sheltered at home by her religious mother and bullied at school. She discovers she has telekinetic powers and slowly realizes how she can use them against those who hurt her. Excellent story and completely relatable. Bullying was extremely prevalent in my own childhood, so I can totally get on Carrie’s side here. Awesome read! Grade: B+
The book that has inspired TWO remakes! The one thing I remember most about this novel is how LONG it is! It was terrifying and, at times, heartwarming as well. Pennywise the Clown has been terrorizing children in a small Maine town, with many of them going missing. One group of misfit children chooses to fight back and end the horror. Pennywise, although he is a clown in form, is a representation of fear. This is why he only shows himself to children: they are the most susceptible to their fears. So, essentially, these kids are fighting their fears. This book gave me chills, so I definitely recommend it! Grade: A
There’s nothing more eerie than a Native American burial ground-turned-pet cemetery that brings the pets back to life after they’re buried. Excellent book, great scares but also a little sad in the end. This book is definitely Stephen King at his finest, at least in my opinion. I even enjoyed the movie version! Thinking about it STILL gives me chills! Grade: A
I remember exactly where I was when I read this book: sitting at home on Labor Day weekend alone at night. That being said, I still remember the feeling of complete fright I felt while reading The Shining. What an excellent story! And it’s probably the ONLY movie that excels just as much if not more than the book. I love that King really brought out some serious themes all while creating a terrifying story of ghosts and a haunted hotel. As King’s most well-known novel, it is required reading for all King fans and horror enthusiasts! Grade: A+
Are you excited for the new It movie? What are some of your favorite Stephen King books? Happy Haunting!