As it turns out, It has an unearned reputation. Pennywise the Clown is not the scary part of the book. Maybe he’s scary in the film, I don’t know, but in the book he’s only a symbol for a much bigger evil. It the creature is a glimmer or a spectre—she (yup) can change into whatever form she needs to, and Pennywise is her friendly shape, to lure children to her den. So let’s start there—clowns have been destroyed forever thanks to Stephen King. I’m okay with that because honestly, they weren’t doing themselves any favors before Pennywise. Clowns can rot, but I do want more people to read It.
Pennywise is arguably not even what the book is about. The heart and soul of It is the found family created by the Loser’s Club—a group of exhaustingly brave kids. By the end of their journey together, they’re bonded in more ways than one.
Without spoiling a major emotional event of the book, I will say I read the end of It through uncontrollable tears. Movies and television shows pull at my heart strings pretty easily, but I don’t remember the last time a BOOK had me in tears. Probably The Fault in Our Stars, which was about four or five years ago now, and nowhere near as powerful.
Spoilers ahead, though it’s not a play-by-play of the book.