The Stephen King one was exactly what I like to read from him: basic suspenseful-and-somewhat-supernatural storytelling, without the need to repeat nonsense words over and over in parentheses and/or italics to try to make them creepy. Or rather, only a LITTLE of that. (I never did find "Jimla" a creepy word, despite his efforts. It felt to me like he didn't find it very creepy either.)
It's a time-travel/do-over book, which I like. If someone described the plot to me, though, I'd feel a little pre-bored: someone goes back in time to stop Kennedy from being shot. The Kennedy assassination is a good event to try to stop because it's so classic---but because it's so classic, I'm tired of thinking/talking/hearing about it. That faded quickly as I started reading, because the book isn't really about the event he's trying to stop, it's about everything else involved in trying to live in a different time (he has to go back 5 years before the assassination), and it's about the various issues involved in trying to change the past. There are only a couple of yucky/scary scenes, and they're typical of a scary murder mystery or something (and you pretty much know how it's going to go, so you can skim without missing important things), not the Horrible Horrifying Horror I might be already dreading when I start an S.K. book (not like I could complain if I found some, considering it is A STEPHEN KING).
As usual, it could have used someone to go in and take out two to three hundred pages, but it's not like my skimmers are broken. I wondered why the narrator kept agitating about leaving Lee Harvey Oswald's kids fatherless if he (the narrator) killed him (L.H.O.), since if he (the narrator) DIDN'T kill him (L.H.O.), he (L.H.O.) was going to get killed shortly afterward anyway. I objected a bit to the love interest, a 6'2", 150-pound charmingly klutzy blonde virgin with huge tracts of land, who loves! sex! as soon as our narrator introduces her to it, and keeps referring to herself in the third person. I never felt like she was real or that I could see what was special about her. I felt the same about the narrator, though: he seemed like an idealized version of
So. I liked it. I thought the ending was good and made sense. I even recommended the book to BOTH my parents, and I would never recommend "a Stephen King book" to them.
Ready Player One, on the other hand, I recommended to Paul, and to 7th-grade Rob. I think the only reason it's not on the Young Adult shelf is that most of the references are to 1980s stuff. It's for people who grew up in the '80s---but it's a young-adult fantasy (high school students are awesome! and smarter than adults! and fully able to take care of themselves! and they know what's wrong with the world!) so I thought geek-in-training Rob would like it.
The plot is set in an impoverished future, when guys born in the 1970s are in their sixties and starting to die off. One of them is a Bill Gates / Steve Jobs type but way less socially functional, a multi-billionaire who dies leaving his entire estate to whoever finds an Easter egg (a little surprise hidden in the software) in his giant virtual world. The whole world looks for it, and five years later no one has even solved the first clue. We tune in just in time for a high school student to find the first one, and to watch him and his friends fight a huge band of grown-ups trying to cheat their way into finding it first.
I liked it fine, but I did a lot of skimming: if we'd been talking about Benetton Colors and slouch socks, it would have been more the '80s I remembered; Atari games and D&D are not tune-in points for me. And the young adult shelf is not part of my usual prowl, so I was rolling my eyes at the dialogue. But I still thought it was good, and I think it would be AMAZING for someone who got the video game / D&D stuff, and/or for anyone who likes young adult dystopian fiction.