I absolutely adore reading - my love for books has had a huge impact on my life! I'm going to grad school to be a children's/YA librarian.
This book was okay. I should probably start by saying that this is NOT a book that I would typically pick up off the shelf, so if you're a person who typically likes suspenseful/scary/horror novels, please disregard this review, because it will probably not reflect your views.
I read this book for my book club. If it hadn't been for that, I definitely would not have read it - I'm more of a classics, historical fiction, and chick-lit person. But, in my book club, our rule is that we'll at least TRY any book that the club decides to read, and I really like that rule because it exposes us to literature that we wouldn't have otherwise read - such as this book, for me.
This book is so disturbing. Which is to be expected. I read it without ever having seen the movie or really knowing ANYTHING about the plot, except for the fact that there's a crazy character named Norman Bates and there's a scary shower scene that everyone talks about. So I knew that this would be a creepy read. I was not really prepared for the extent of how creepy things would get - that's all I'm going to say without giving things away.
There are good things. The book is really interesting to read - I think that's the best way to put it. Bloch does a good job of getting the reader inside Norman's head (which frankly is not a very pleasant place to be). It's written in a way that really keeps the reader's attention. There are some really brilliant plot twists - disturbingly brilliant, but brilliant nonetheless. There's a mystery to it and I wasn't really expecting that, so that was cool. And, I have to say, it's a really creative story. Again, not creativity that I personally would encourage, but you can't say that this book is unoriginal.
For my personal use, I'd rate this book as a 1.5 or a 2. I really did not enjoy reading it, it freaked me out, but it was well-written and honestly, as much as it scared me, I couldn't put it down. I gave it three stars because even though I did not enjoy the book, it is a good book. I didn't like it, but for this genre, this is a really, really good book. So if you like scary/disturbing books, I would definitely recommend reading this one. Then again, if you're like me and you're skittish and you have an incredibly vivid imagination, stay away. Or at the very least, don't read this one before bed - or before taking a shower or staying in a motel.