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Book Review – Looking For Alaska

looking-for-alaska

Title: Looking For Alaska

Author: John Green

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Length: 271

Rating: 3 (3.5) Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter’s whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the “Great Perhaps” (François Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I have to say, I am not following this John Green banned wagon that everyone else besides me seems to be partying on. Besides The Fault In Our Stars, I have not really liked any of his books that I have read. I did round this book up to a 4 star but upon further reflection put it down to a 3 because I have read better things on the 4 scale. I hold up in hope though that when I get to Paper Towns I feel some of the love again.

This review will contain spoilers.

I like the overall plot of this book. We meet this whirlwind of a girl, Alaska, and get swept up in her just over-the-top behaviour and then she dies in a car crash and people are left remember. Our main character Pudge is then left to deal with his feelings for her which never went anywhere other than one stolen kiss the night before she dies. Because in his mind he had built her up to this wonderful goddess like creature, and then after her death he realises she was not as perfect as he was making her out to be.

This is the part I like. The dealing with the realistic aspects of human nature, how we are generally not all good and bad, and just because you may love someone, or that someone has died, doesn’t change those things and we need to remember and love them despite those aspects. The parts of the plot which were very generic and cliché to ‘how teenagers act out’ were less than desired though.

I think my biggest issue with this story was the fact that I didn’t connect with any of the characters. Don’t get me wrong, around the middle of the book I was really feeling for them and connect with the struggles they were having, but it was the same kind of feeling that get when I hear a news story about something bad has happened to people I don’t know. It doesn’t last.

For me the writing style was fine. It wasn’t great and it wasn’t so bad I wanted to claw my eyes out either. There were a few things I would call ‘try hard’ where they seemed to be through in there just to try and force the story to be more exciting or edgy and ended up failing. But I did like the last sentence thing that popped up throughout the book. I don’t know if any of them were actually true, but those kind of things I find interesting anyway so I liked the way they were weaved in to help tell the story.

This is the second book from a males perspective that I have read of John Green’s work, and thus far I don’t think I like the male perspectives from him. I loved TFIOS, but I hated An Abundance of Katherines, and this fell in the middle. Does he have more books from a girls perspective? I would like to pick one of those up next if he does to see if that makes a difference, or if TFIOS is just on its own.

I would recommend this book to people who have read other John Green books and have liked them so that they can see where he has come from, because I believe this was his first book, correct me if I am wrong though. If you have read a few Green books though and haven’t really been interested in what was going on I would give this book a miss.

 

Till Next Time…

 

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Book Review – An Abundance of Katherines

an abundance of katherines

Title: An Abundance of Katherines

Author: John Green

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Length: 213

Rating: 2 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a blood-thirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun – bit no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I am going to keep this review rather short and to the point, because I really don’t have that much to say about it.

I really didn’t like this book, and after all the good things I hear about John Greens writing and the fact that I really rather enjoyed TFIOS, this book was a huge disappointment.

There are a couple of things that kept this book from being dropped to a 1 star for me. The first one is that there were a few moments that made me laugh out loud, and I really liked the relationship between Colin and his one and only friend Hassan. They had a really easy and relaxed back and forth that made me believe they have been friends since the moment they met, and together they were really quite funny and nice to read about. This is where my enjoyment ended sadly.

I hated Colin as a character. Everytime he opened his mouth he was complaining about something. He reeked of self loathing that came from no where and had no justifiable to be crying like a little ****. It was just self pity. He had no real troubles. He is probably one of the most annoying characters I have ever read about. If I was a girl dating a guy like that and he just blurted out all that rubbish all the time but then didn’t make any effort to fix any of his so cold problems or seek help for his apparent issues, like Colin, I would leave him too! The rest of the characters I never really formed any kind of attachment to. Hassan was probably the character I liked the most, because he was just so happy most of the time. Great balance to Colin.

The plot line of the story could have been a great kinda easy ready story. You got dumped buddy? Ok then lets go on an epic road trip and hook you up with some randoms! Thats like a summer romance kinda story, and I like good summer romance stories. We didn’t get this though. We just got a lot of math. So much math. We had the road trip adventure story was floating around in the background, but everytime I was actually getting into the story Colin would be like I HAVE TO WORK OUT LOVE WITH MATH. I have to do a math graph for every one of my failed relationships. I have to create a formula that works out when a relationship will end because they all will! It was completely disorientating and just plain not interesting.

I am going to end this here because if I talk about anything else or let myself go on more, it would just be ranting. I already deleted some rants that were not needed. Encase it wasn’t obvious, I do not recommend this book, even if you have liked other John Green books. I feel there are far better ones to try.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – The Fault In Our Stars

9781742535203

Title: The Fault In Our Stars

Author: John Green

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Length: 206

Rating: 4 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

If you don’t want spoilers for this book, I suggest you move on because there will be spoilers here.

Now I think most of you in bookland have read this book already and there isn’t really much else anyone can say about it because its been talked about alot and there is even a movie coming out soon, but I’m going to talk about it anyway because I want to give me two-cents!

I had to wait a rather long time after finishing this book to be able to start the review. I didn’t really have any words that made sense. I still don’t really have any words that make sense but here it goes.

This book was really heartbreaking. This book had me on the brink of tears multiple times. Then at the end I cried. This book was really quite heart breaking.

I go into this story knowing its about a girl who is dying of cancer. So in my mind the entire time I’m thinking its going to end with her dying because I have not read/listened/watched any reviews about the book cause I knew I was going to get to it eventually. So I was completely devastated that the person I thought was going to die the entire time is still alive by the end of the book and one of the only healthy people you meet at the beginning, my favourite character, the one most filled with life, dies instead. You also know that our main character is still going to die at some point probably not that long after the book ends.

Hazel is a pretty good character. I can’t even begin to think about what its like knowing that your life has an expiration date that is years before most people an having to live with things constantly helping you breathe. Im sure that would make you grow up faster than most people, and make her kind of harsh and disconnected from everyone. She was the character I was suspecting and welcomed for this kind of story. The only thing I didn’t really like about her or the other child/teen characters is that they seemed a bit too wise at times. Just because they are dying doesn’t make them wise…

I loved Augustus so so so much. He is really what made the book for me despite the fact I think his name is ridiculous. Pretty much all the lines that I highlighted in my kindle were from him and because I loved them. I think my favourite section of the whole book was when he was describing the swing set.

“I must see this old swing set of tears immediately.”

“That is one sad goddamned swing set.”

“We gotta do something about this frigging swing set,” he said. “I’m telling you, it’s ninety percept of the problem.”

I also loved the fact that they gave it to the person they gave it to because he said I just want them to go outside when he was talking about his children. And the book is full of funny lines like that which kind of makes it more heart breaking. Damn you good writing and characters, why must you be in such a sad book? My hear broken when I heard that Augustus was going to die.

After I read the book I went straight away to go watched the trailer. I can’t believe how good it looks, I am so excited! I will read this book again and I plan on buying a paper version of this book so I can proudly display it on my shelf.