Posts Tagged ‘john green’

Random Book Reviews #1

Sometimes I am too lazy to write full reviews.

This is what happens.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson – John Green & David Levithan

Two boys, one name. Also romance and friendship and extraordinary musicals.

I enjoyed it – of course I enjoyed it, I love John Green and David Levithan is amazing. However, I didn’t come away from it thinking anything other than that was fun. The writing was gorgeous. The characters were solid (if not a little predictable). Not life-changing, but definitely not bad.

4 shuriken stars.

Paper Towns – John Green

Boy likes girl. Girl disappears. Boy searches for girl. Road trip = fun times.

Loved this one. It grew on me as I thought about it, and I learnt a lot from it. Fun characters, fun times. However do I love it as much as TFIOS? That’s hard.

5 shuriken stars.

Out of the Easy – Ruta Sepetys

Girl’s mum is a prostitute. Also it’s set in the 50’s which makes it extra fun to read.

Loved the setting, loved Josie, loved loved loved the writing. Especially loved Willie. However, some of the characters were a little under-developed with such a short book and I didn’t feel like it came to much conclusion by the end (also, the twists were kind of predictable, though not bad twists at all).

4 1/2 shuriken stars.

Beautiful Creatures – Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Boy meets girl. Girl has supernatural powers. They fall in love.

Expectations were way too high going in.

Forgot that I was reading a high school paranormal romance until it got to the book and then I went “Oh. Right. This again.” The characters were fun (though the emphasis on Lena being such a special snowflake because she wasn’t a ‘slut’ or ‘fake’ grated on my nerves, and – though I wouldn’t know from any personal experience – there seemed to be a lot of negative southern stereotyping), plot was a little dense and hard to follow, and I admit that I wasn’t paying much attention while reading, but the book held my attention.

3 1/2 shuriken stars.

Mark of Athena – Rick Riordan

The demigods meet, but unfortunately, it’s not like the Avengers.

Kind of disappointing, to be honest. The initial interactions were very mild and friendly, which was a little boring. I was looking forward to some complex characterisation and relationships, but everyone was pretty content with each other. (Except Leo and Frank, whose tension was more annoying than interesting. The love triangle amongst all the other love triangles was just one too many, I’m afraid.) Also, there wasn’t much character development, but I always enjoy seeing my favourite characters, and the plot is beginning to gain pace.

4 shuriken stars.

Looking for Alaska – John Green

Why do I feel so… Underwhelmed?

So, I read The Fault in Our Stars, and completely loved it. I really did. It was so awesome. And my friends (and Goodreads) told me that this was way better. This was THE BEST BOOK BY JOHN GREEN. Or something like that.

And what did I think after I was done.

Eh.

I didn’t even feel anything when I was done. No sad, empty feeling which is kind of satisfied but so distraught that it had to come to an end. It did not leave me with that empty Oh-my-god-why-would-you-end-it-there-where-is-the-next-page-because-it-can’t-be-over, type of book.

I can’t even really remember what happens in it.

So here’s a summary.

Summary

Miles moves to a new school. He makes friends. He meets Alaska Young, who is crazy, beautiful, clever, messed up… And then stuff happens. Well, actually only one thing really happens. But that’s the big plot twist. So, no, not telling you.

Cons

My expectations were way too high for this book. I was expecting to have a whirlwind of emotions like a hormonal, pregnant woman. But no. I just didn’t care for any of the characters. Alaska was interesting, but she didn’t make me love her. She was far too crazy and eccentric for me to really connect to her, and see what Miles was seeing. And I really see how he was so in love with this girl, when he was making out with Lara, and doing all sorts of stuff with her (trying to keep this review PG right now). He seemed more like it was lust, than him actually being in love with her. He even asked Alaska for advice for how to do all this stuff with Lara, and both don’t really seem to care.

And Alaska just treated him like something to play with when she got bored. She only seemed to care about him like a friend. And then, just when I thought the plot was picking up a bit more and we would see some more character development, the big twist happened, which doesn’t leave anymore room for her character development.

I think it was because the book was too short. I feel like it would have been a lot better if it were twice as long. The Fault in Our Stars is pretty massive, compared to Looking For Alaska, which may be because this was John Green’s first book. And though it sounds like I’m being really mean about it, I’m really not. You’ll see.

Pros

Though the Cons were pretty annoying, let’s be honest. John Green is a pretty phenomenal writer. His writing style is so awesome. His dialogue is hilarious but so natural and flowing. All of his characters feel so real (no matter how much they annoy me), and all the tiny details he adds in his books just enhance the entire feeling. Everything feels so original, even though the premise of the book, minus the big twist, is pretty average (main character has no friends, moves school, makes awesome friends and meets amazingly beautiful and clever love interest.), but he makes it so interesting and plain awesome.

I mean, Alaska really is an awesome character, even though she irritated me, though that’s because she was so fascinating. We really never got to find out what caused her to be so messed up, and with so many mood swings, but she was a great character. I would have liked to have known more about her so maybe then I would have been able to connect with her, but the book was short, as I’ve said before, so we never got to discover her.

And his books are always bursting with awesome quotes. For example:

Quotes:

  • I wanted to be one of those people who have streaks to maintain, who scorch the ground with their intensity. But for now, at least I knew such people, and they needed me, just like comets need tails.
  • And in my classes, I will talk most of the time, and you will listen most of the time. Because you may be smart, but I’ve been smart longer.
  • If people were like rain, I was like drizzle and she was a hurricane.
  • What the hell is instant? Nothing is instant. Instant rice takes five minutes, instant pudding an hour. I doubt that an instant of blinding pain feels particularly instantaneous.

Overall

Extremely torn over this one. Because it was a great book, but not that great, but it was John Green. Erm… I don’t know…

Ok, let’s just go with 4 shuriken stars, because I feel like that’s a good-ish place for it to go. It was better than The Host, but not as good as The Hunger Games. And yes, I would recommend it, but only if you don’t care about a lot of swearing. And some scenes which would definitely not classify as PG. Or 12. Or even 15, if they want to show everything.

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

This is the first book by John Green that I’ve ever read, and now I’m definitely excited and interested in reading the rest of his books. I’ve heard that other people have compared it to his other books and said that he repeated things, or used clichés, but I have nothing to compare it to apart form the only other cancer books I’ve read.

And of the ones that I have read (which is not many), Iprefer “The Fault in Our Stars” by far! Because it’s the funniest yet also the most heartbreaking.

Summary
Hazel has lung cancer. She meets Augustus in a cancer help group. Awesomeness.

 

Pros.

Hazel was awesome. Augustus was awesome. Isaac was awesome. All the other characters were also awesome. I just loved them all, maybe because they were so well developed, and I just loved the tone and humour of the book. An example would be the opening lines of the book.

“Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.
Whenever you read a cancer booklet or website or whatever, they always list depression among the side effects of cancer. But, in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying. (Cancer is also a side effect of dying. Almost everything is, really.)”

I loved her dry sense of humour, and blunt look at life. How she was so interesting and outspoken. There are so many things that I want to quote her on, but I’ll leave those for later. I just love Hazel, and I love Augustus for having the same way of thinking that she does. And so does Issac, in a way, which is probably why they all get on so well together. The plot was great, and all the conversations were perfect. I loved all the dialogue and all the scenes. There was never one part of the book where I felt that it could have been left out or improved. I just loved every single part.

Cons

Well… Man…

I can’t think of any.

This is weird.

I would probably have some criticisms if I’d read other John Green books, but I haven’t.

Actually, I do have one criticism. I wish the book was way longer. Like maybe a few more hundred pages, just because I loved it so much and wanted to find out what happened to everyone.  I got so emotionally invested that when it just ended, I felt so empty inside. I wanted to know so badly what happened.

Quotes

Aw, man, this is going to be so hard. There are literally so many quotes I want here. This is like the opposite of what happened to me in the Host, I just want to include 50 quotes, each of them about a page. Hmmmm… Let’s see…

Oh god, there are too many! HOW DO I DECIDE?!?!??!

(oh, to understand this, you have to know that Augustus also has cancer, and Isaac goes blind) Ok, here we go.

  • “I told Augustus the broad outline of my miracle: diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer when I was thirteen. (I didn’t tell him that the diagnosis came three months after I got my first period. Like: Congratulations! You’re a woman. Now die.)”
  • “It’s just that most really good-looking people are stupid, so I exceed expectations.’
    ‘Right, it’s primarily his hotness,’ I said.
    ‘It can be sort of blinding,’ he said.
    ‘It actually did blind our friend Isaac,’ I said.
    ‘Terrible tragedy, that. But can I help my own deadly beauty?’
    ‘You cannot.’
    ‘It is my burden, this beautiful face.’
    ‘Not to mention your body.’
    ‘Seriously, don’t even get me started on my hot bod. You don’t want to see me naked, Dave. Seeing me naked actually took Hazel Grace’s breath away,’ he said, nodding toward the oxygen tank.
  • “I’ve gotten really hot since you went blind.”
  • “My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.”

And of course there is the one where Augustus wanted to see what his funeral would be like if he died. This one is probably my favourite. (This might be a slight spoiler)

  • “Augustus Waters was a self-aggrandizing bastard. But we forgive him. We forgive him not because he had a heart as figuratively good as his literal one sucked, or because he knew more about how to hold a cigarette than any nonsmoker in history, or because he got eighteen years when he should’ve gotten more.
    ”Seventeen,’ Gus corrected.
    ‘I’m assuming you’ve got some time, you interrupting bastard.
    ‘I’m telling you,’ Isaac continued, ‘Augustus Waters talked so much that he’d interrupt you at his own funeral. And he was pretentious: Sweet Jesus Christ, that kid never took a piss without pondering the abundant metaphorical resonances of human waste production. And he was vain: I do not believe I have ever met a more physically attractive person who was more acutely aware of his own physical attractiveness.
    ‘But I will say this: When the scientists of the future show up at my house with robot eyes and they tell me to try them on, I will tell the scientists to screw off, because I do not want to see a world without him.’ “

Overall
So, a definite 5 shuriken stars. It’s not for those who want a constant, moving, fast-paced fantasy or science fiction plot. The book isn’t fast paced, but it always keeps you interested and reading as you become so attached to the characters and the fantastic narrative and dialogue just keeps your eyes glued to the page.