I guess I would say that it's a book that pulls you into its world right alongside the protagonist and when you finish reading it you feel like you're still there - and you want to go back. As with most Stephen King books the characters were so good in this book. This was an intimate book. You're very much with the main character the whole time. It's told in first person of course which lends itself to this kind of coming of age story. In a lot of ways this story can be described like many other stories, but it was much different than anything I've read before. It was slow moving in a way, but never boring. I was always enjoying what was going on in the book even when it was just the character getting a job at the theme park and finding a place to live. There weren't that many locations in the book either, but that was a cool part of the story. You got to know these places. Joyland is the obvious one, but I felt like I was sitting at the window looking out at the water on the second story in the little room with the main character when he pondered on his life. I could hear the ocean when he walked along the shoreline. I could smell the park Joyland as the character walked down it's decorative streets.
This was a really well told story with characters I loved, locations I grew to love, and a main character I really enjoyed hanging out with. Devin is one cool dude.