Tag Archives: john green

The Book Chat {Vol 6}

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Linking up over at Sweet Green Tangerine for The Book Chat!

Today’s question: Let’s talk about endings…. Sad/Happy/Cliffhangers/Quotes

I’ve been really excited to answer this question because, let’s face it, who doesn’t have a favorite ending, or an ending that literally left your jaw hanging open and had you thinking about it for 2 straight weeks? Because I have.

Here are a few of my all-time favorites:

Favorite ending to a series

1. The Death Cure by James Dashner 
I was SO happy with the way he ended his trilogy. It made all three books even BETTER!

2. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows
As much as I was disappointed in JK Rowling for a long time for “selling out” I don’t think I could have handled a NON happy ending. I needed her to end the series off the way she did.

Favorite ending in contemporary fiction

1.Looking for Alaska by John Green 
This book has one of the most memorable endings for me- in fact, I don’t remember how any of his other books end except this one. I like that the end is hopeful, beautiful, and doesn’t give anything away about the rest of the book. It’s just so freaking perfect!

2. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
Another all time favorite of mine; although I don’t remember the exact details I know that I loved the way this story wrapped up. Heck, this entire book was amazing!

Favorite cliffhanger(s)

Can I make a list? I’m going to make a list.
1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
2. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
3. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
4. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
5. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness 

All of the above make me want to read the next in the series RIGHT THIS MINUTE. I felt the same way about Catching Fire, so let’s hope the next book in all the other series don’t disappoint as much as Mockingjay did. Also, number five on this list surprised even me because it took me a LONG time to enjoy that book. The ending was worth the whole thing though, I want to pick up book two soon!

—–

Overall, I think it’s really difficult for author’s to end a book off the RIGHT way. When they get it right, I’m always ecstatic, and it makes me love their book a LOT more. I am not easily impressed with endings– I am actually very judgmental of them, and had to go through my entire Goodreads to get this list. I know there are a BUNCH more books I really enjoyed the endings to, but these are some that have really stood out for me in the last couple years, although most of these were much more recent.

I think especially when it comes to writing a series, an author has to know exactly what kind of cliffhanger is GOOD and what kind is NOT. There has to be a balance between details in one book and in the next, and the books should be easily distinguishable one from the other. I hate when a book ends REALLY well only to get extremely disappointed by the next one in a series. Likewise, I hate enjoying a book the whole way through and being upset by the very end. One particular author that I loved for a long time was Dean Koontz, but I quickly began to realize that he ruined all his greatest novels because of his crap endings (sorry Dean, it’s the truth! The Husband? Remember that one? Disappointing.)

What are some of your favorite and least favorite book endings? 

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The Book Chat {Vol. 5}

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As always, Thursdays are book chat days! You can link up over at Sweet Green Tangerine today & join the good book chat times we’ve been having for the last month.

Today’s question: What is the funniest book or character you’ve read?

This one was a bit tough for me because I LOVE reading funny books so I kind of have a lot of choices. I think I read an equal amount of serious characters VS more funny ones, but I couldn’t decide which ones characterized as actually FUNNY rather than just humorous for me to read. If that makes any sense.

Anyways. Since this is meant to be a more fun, lighthearted book chat, I thought I’d share my FIVE  favorites! These are all books that I enjoyed reading because they were either written funny/quirky or because the main character was that way.

The Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella

Growing up, I read these religiously. Now? They’re definitely more of a guilty pleasure. They’ve been re-read a couple times, too, because Becky Bloomwood happens to be one of my favorite guilty pleasure characters.

This is actually one of the few books that I adored that I never even bothered to see the movie of… I just realized that! But honestly, I’ve loved almost everything Sophie Kinsella has written. She’s always had a knack to make me laugh with her British humor- I love British humor!

The Jessica Darling Series by Megan McCafferty

I’ve written about these before so I won’t dwell on them too much, but I loved the first book, Sloppy Firsts, almost immediately because of the humor. Jessica Darling is such a quirky character from the get-go I couldn’t help but totally relate to her and laugh at the ridiculous things she does… Mostly because it’s what I’d be doing in her situation too!

Abundance of Katherines by John Green

I don’t know if this book was meant to be funny or not, but it REALLY was to me. It’s not secret that John Green is one of my favorite authors (ever) and I absolutely loved this more lighthearted novel of his. Not only is the main character, Colin, totally awesome in his own quirky way, but his best friend Hassan is equally as hilarious. I love the way this book was written with footnotes and I love the plot behind the book, which is totally hilarious in it’s own way.

Plot: Colin has a special type of girl he dates. Girls named Katherine, spelled specifically in that exact way. Exactly 19 Katherine’s have broken up with him and he is on a mission to find out why on earth he gets broken up with so much. He is also a child prodigy and can anagram anything you give him. 

Anything written by Maureen Johnson

Can I just preface this by saying that I adore Maureen Johnson? Not only is she hilarious in her writing, but her books have such awesome plots and ideas. I think 13 Little Blue Envelopes has become one of my favorite books because it is so perfectly balanced between sad and hilarious. I’ve breezed through every single MJ book I’ve ever read because they’re so fun and yet so intriguing at the same time. I highly recommend any of her novels. I haven’t read them all, but I definitely plan on picking a couple more up when I get the chance.

The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan

This is a bit of a younger series of books (9-12 years old) but I can’t tell you how much I loved it anyway. I wasn’t sure at first if I’d like it or not, but it is SO funny and so educational all wrapped into one. I just have the last book in the series to read and I have no idea why I’ve been putting it off for so long! Anything RR is a guaranteed good read, but I’ve just really grown attached to Percy over the last 4 books. He’s one hilariously well written kid. 🙂

*As a side note, I think Percy Jackson was one of my LEAST FAVORITE book-to-movie adaptations… EVER. They ruined this book in the movie. I was so disappointed. READ THE BOOK!

I don’t think there’s anything better than kicking back with a funny book. Any time I’ve been in a reading rut, it’s books like these that have pulled me right out of it and reminded me why I love reading SO much.

What are your favorite funny reads? Your favorite funny/quirky characters? I love recommendations! 

Book Review: The Fault in our Stars by John Green

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Book: The Fault in our Stars

Author: John Green

Type: YA Contemporary

Release Date: January 10th 2012

Publisher: Penguin Group USA

The Fault in our Stars is a story about many, many things. First, it is the story of a girl named Hazel Grace Lancaster and a boy named Augustus Waters. The two meet at cancer support group- Hazel’s tumors have shrunk considerably and are kept at bay with a ton of medication, while Augustus is currently in remission from a very rare form of the disease.

Together, they examine the very meaning of life and how it is possible to do great things when you don’t know how much longer you have left in the world. It is a story about love, loss, life, death, and everything in between.

I’d love to say more about the story, but even 4 days after reading it, I’m still having trouble coming up with the right words (and not saying TOO much)

What I think about the book

I don’t even know where to start with this one. I mean, I’ve been following the progress of it’s publication since John Green announced that he was coming out with a new book. I was so incredibly attached to everything this story was and would become, I just couldn’t help it. Because of that, I was worried about being let down or paying too much attention to the hype and letting it get to me.

Let me assure you all… That was not the case in the LEAST. Even though I was expecting great things from this story, it STILL blew me away in ways I don’t know how to describe. You may have noticed this if you follow me on Twitter, because I tweeted incessantly things like this:

While I reading this book I laughed, I cried, and then I laughed some more. Then I cried some more. John Green is not only incredibly witty, but you can sense the importance that exists in each and every single word that is in this novel. Every sentence is weighted, every conversation makes you stop and think.

My favorite things about the book:

I think the character development was spot on. Hazel and Augustus continue to grow and evolve from the first page to the very last. They have quirks, life stories, and such incredibly distinct personalities- you just can’t help but get attached. The secondary characters play a fair role in the story as well: Augustus’ best friend Isaac is a great supporting character that provides a different perspective on living the life that’s given to you. The one character I wasn’t *sure* about was Hazel’s friend, Kaitlyn. I thought she was really funny and interesting, and I understand that she was really just playing the role of the necessary “high school friend that Hazel can’t relate to anymore” but I still wondered why she was the ONLY friend that was ever mentioned on Hazel’s side when she states that she can only handle her in small doses.

John Green tackles life issues that are at once controversial but SO necessary to discuss. This is the kind of story that anyone can read and relate to. Everyone knows someone who knows someone that’s affected by cancer. Not only does he really get into the mind of cancer patients, but he gives readers this completely different view of what life is like when you’re not privileged to breathe on your own or have your five senses. He writes about teenagers who are STRUGGLING to get through every single DAY and still manage to think of people other than themselves. It’s SO hard to get into the mind of teenagers- I mean really, who knows what they’re thinking?! But he does it so well. Hazel is brilliant and strong for herself AND her parents, but she is still a sixteen year old battling a disease that will one day take her life. She is this completely multi-faceted character who encompasses the very essence of what this story is about. How do you come to terms at just 16 with the idea that you may not live to see another day?

The story between Augustus and Hazel is incredibly well developed. This isn’t one of those books that plays games with romance. It is an honest and truthful portrayal of two kids whose lives become intertwined because of this fate that was handed down to them. Their relationship has its ups and downs, and in my opinion is probably something that a lot of teenagers- despite their health- can relate to in one way or another.

My absolute favorite part?

I don’t think I could pick just one to be honest, but I think a big part of this book for me was the very way it was written. It’s so rare for me to have to STOP after reading a particular sentence to just let it sink in and to just actually understand it. I even wrote sentences DOWN. I never do that. I’m already ready to re-read the book (as you may have seen above in my tweets) and that is so completely unlike me.

I don’t want to over-hype this book or anything, but if you’re reading this review you need to read the book too. It’s so worth it and the amount of work that was put into it is immediately noticeable. Literally, the very first chapter you’re like “wow, how amazing is this?”

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Currently… #2

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I did a post like this once before, you can read it here!

Reading

1) The Fault in our Stars by John Green. I literally just finished it, and all I can say is prepare yourselves for a review in the near future.

2) Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

3) Next up is The Marriage Plot for #twookclub… I can’t wait!

Listening

Snow Patrol. I’ve been listening to their albums on repeat for the last 2 days since I found out that THEY’RE COMING TO MONTREAL IN APRIL. Yes I already bought my ticket. YES I’m incredibly excited to be seeing them again after 2 years!


I can’t wait! 

Watching

1) Grey’s Anatomy is back and I’m still so in love with that show. I am in LOVE with this season, even though it breaks my heart into millions of pieces every Thursday night.

2) One Tree Hill is starting back up TONIGHT. It’s the final season and I just know I’m going to cry after like every single episode.

Needing

In my last ‘Currently’ post, I listed 4 things that I was really needing, and as I look over them I realize that I don’t need ANY of those things anymore because I took care of it all. THAT, feels amazing.

1) Right now, all I’m needing (or rather wishing that I had) is a little extra money. I want to travel this summer but I don’t feel like I’m paying off my debt and saving up fast enough. I’m working a lot these days though, so hopefully it pays off!


I’m hoping to end up here in June with my brother’s family & my mom!

2) A little extra time to meal plan for a week of vegetarianism coming up WAY too soon. I need to make it happen, and I keep forgetting to do it!

Avoiding

1) Getting ready for class, I need to leave in less than 2 hours but I practically just woke up! So weird.

2) Blogging, I feel like I haven’t written anything good in quite a while.

Loving

1) Harry Potter humor that is just so accurate accurate

2) John Green’s newest video about his newest book

3) I need new blogs to read. Leave me links to your favorites in the comments!

What are you currently up to?!

The Best Books of 2011

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As 2012 gets closer, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of my favorite things of the year. In the next few days I’m going to look at the best of 2011- I’m excited to see what kind of things you can all add to my lists! Oh and if you’re wondering, that is the current state of my ‘to-read’ bookshelf. I have an illness, you guys. A book-buying ILLNESS.

Today I’m going to look back at my top ten favorite reads of 2011. I tried as much as possible to keep these in 2011 because I read way too many good books this year, but I have to say that my absolute favorites of 2011 were not written this year. I’m also going to look at a few books that DID come out this year that I’m still excited to actually start reading but haven’t had the chance to yet.

So here we go.

The Top Ten

#10 Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
Released: June 2011
Publisher: Random House

Why: I LOVED the entire Sisterhood series growing up, and after re-reading them in the early summer I fell right into the story of this one. I was back in love with the four girls, and I am back in love with Ann Brashares’ writing. She has matured so much as a writer, and although that book DEVASTATED me it was beautiful at the same time.

#9 The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Released: April 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group

Why: It took me a little while to get into this one, but as soon as I did I just couldn’t put it down. I was completely in love with the characters and the story. Immediate classic.

#8 Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Released: February 2011
Publisher: Harpercollins

Why: When I first heard about the story line behind this book (love as a disease) I was intrigued. The book did not let me down in the least and I can’t WAIT for book two!

#7 Divergent by Veronica Roth
Released: May 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins

Why: I was completely captivated by this book from start to finish. Love the dystopian aspect to this book, it reminds me of all my favorite parts of every other dystopian novel I love.

#6 Room by Emma Donoghue
Released: June 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins

Why: I don’t usually pursue a book that doesn’t immediately attract my attention, and this one took a good 25-30% of the story before I realized how good it actually was. It was one of those books that I read while I ate, while I got ready to go out, and basically any free moment I had until it was done.

#5 Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
Released: April 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins

Why: I read the first book in this series soon after coming home from Greece, and this book brought me right back to Europe and everything I loved about it. I immediately picked up the second book and was so happy with the way the story turned out! I was really glad to hear that there was a second book because I definitely didn’t have enough after ’13 Little Blue Envelopes’

#4 The Death Cure by James Dashner
Released: October 2011
Publisher: Random House

Why: If you haven’t read The Maze Runner (book one in the trilogy) then you SHOULD BE. One of my favorite YA series right now. This was an amazing ending to it. There were some points that I felt the book was a little bit too apocalyptic, but the ending? Wow. Just, wow.

#3 My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares
Released: June 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group

Why: I’m not a huge fan of romance novel, but this one? I am in LOVE with this love story. Once again, Ann Brashares writes a beautiful, believable and fantastical story that had me literally ignoring my friends during the last hundred or so pages. LOVE. Can’t wait for book two!

#2 Looking for Alaska by John Green
Released: September 2008
Publisher: Pengruin Group

Why: I went through a crazy John Green phase at the beginning of the year, but Looking for Alaska was the first book I read by him and has remained my favorite. I love the way he writes, and I love the quirky behaviors that each of his characters has.

#1 The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Released: September 2007
Publisher: Random House

Why: This book was just amazing. One of the bigger novels I’ve ever read, but probably changed my life. I need to re-read this in the New Year. And if you haven’t read it? It is the most beautifully written story from World War II that I have ever read. Ever.

On the ‘To-Read’ Shelf’ Published in 2011

#6 The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

#5 The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

#4 Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (paperback)

#3 The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

#2 Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

#1 Matched by Ally Condie

Most Anticipated Reads in 2012 (so far)

#5 Insurgent by Veronica Roth

#4 City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

#3 Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

#2 The Kill Order by James Dashner

#1 The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I’ve come to an important conclusion. 2011 was the year that I realized how much I adore young adult literature. Seriously, I read SO much more of it now than I read adult books, and as I browsed the upcoming adult books, there are almost none that interested me. Ha! I mean, I have a few of my favorite adult authors, but otherwise I read the bestsellers and just teen books.

What were your favorites of the year? What about your most anticipated? Which books did I miss this year? 

Sunday Inspiration & Links v.6

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Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend! Here are a few things I’ve been loving this week.

-This weekend, YouTube has been hosting something really awesome and special called ‘The Project For Awesome’ which is basically a time for people to create videos supporting their favorite charities and collecting money from donations via YouTube. There are SO MANY amazing charities out there. I donated 30$ through www.dftba.com. If you’re a John Green fan, he’s selling off all the sharpies that he used to sign the 150 000 copies of his latest book with a signed letter of authenticity, and like every year he’s writing a novella on zombies, all proceeds going to the Project For Awesome as well.

You can learn more at:

www.projectforawesome.com 

And also check out John Green’s website HERE where he continuously posts amazing videos created for the project.

– I’ve recently joined Pinterest (thanks again for the invite, San!) You can add me as a friend HERE. I don’t have much yet, but I plan on fixing that very soon. So far I had a lot of fun going through Harry Potter tags. 🙂

7 snacks that heal. Love this.

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself. Nice little pep talk, that’s for sure!

– One of my all time favorite Albus Dumbledore quotes. Thank you Pinterest!

– Thank you Erin for this picture and quote. I think you took it from someone’s Etsy, and I took it from you. I love Conan and I love this quote:

– One of my new favorite things to read are Jen’s ‘Scarlet Guides’ on her blog. One of my current favorites? Scarlet’s Guide To… What Not To Do in Dubai. Hilarious stuff!

Leave me links in the comments to your favorite must-read blogs. My Google Reader is feeling really empty these days and I need some new great reads. Leave me your link or your faves and I’ll be sure to check them all out! 

Happy Sunday! What’s inspiring you today on the internet?

The Christmas Wish List

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Christmas is just TWENTY days away and I’m getting more and more excited as the decorations start being put up in my home and, of course, as the end of my semester (from hell) comes to an end. I’ve never been a big *Christmas list* maker, but who doesn’t like making a list of (reasonable) things they want as gifts? I haven’t bought myself anything in MONTHS because of my tight budget, so I thought I’d have a little bit of fun and make one now.

Plus, I do love making lists. This works out well.

1- The Limited Edition audiobook of ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ by John Green. It’s the one that he reads. Even though it COULD potentially be awkward that he’s the one reading it, I still think it’s awesome that he took the time to do this. And it’s limited and I want it.

2- I’m not a huge DVD collector, but I do love having my favorites. Currently missing from my collection? Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part Two!

3- I never have enough books, but here are a few of the ones that I’d really love right now:

   

4- I love gift cards, especially at a time in my life where I can no longer afford to support my addiction to shopping. Favorite stores?
– HMV (music)
– Starbucks
– Dynamite
– Bench
– Chapters & Indigo (no one ever buys me this one! I am such a book nerd, I have no idea why.)
-Amazon (for my Kindle)
– Concert ticket website (admission.ca is one of them)

5- A new American Apparel hoodie! I have two currently, but I wear them SO often that it’s time I get another one. I’d love the red next, I think.

6- A new pair of TOMS. I adore my black ones, I wear them all the time. I’d love another pair of black, or maybe one of these:


and maybe especially these… Not sure why I just love them:

I wear size 9 😉

7- I’m going to bring up Harry Potter for a third time. I want the HP Scene It game. I want to win at it.

8- Other random things I love to receive?
– Socks. I love getting socks, and my mom always indulges this strange love of mine.
– Fun, cheap, accessory-like jewelry. I love long necklaces, and fun rings especially!

9- This one is for the benefit of my friend Jenia. We agreed at work today that we REALLY need to go to the spa. A spa gift certificate for a massage? That is JUST what I need right now. Plus I’ve never been and reallyreallyreally want to try it!

I think that about covers it, really. Although I’m not opposed to receiving money for gifts, I love when people put a little thought into the things I love. There are probably a million other tiny things that I’d be incredibly happy to receive… These are just a few of the things that I’ve been wanting lately!

What’s on your wish list this year?