Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

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I’ve had this book for a few years now and it’s been sitting quite patiently in my TBR pile waiting for me to pick it up, muttering “to hell with it”, and get on reading. The fact that I’ve got books dating back to Christmas 2013 in the TBR pile is a fact I haven’t really accepted as wrong yet. I’ve got this theory that some books you’re just not ready for. Canterbury Tales? Not there yet. War & Peace? My stamina is not yet that advanced. Count of Monte Cristo? Auntie DeeDee: I will read it.

I’ll get there; I am still a young Padawan.

Anywhoo.

So Eleanor & Park has been quite patient with me and I final read it. My reluctance came from trying to juggle my study schedule, and then going through a phase of feeling I was too grown and stuck up to read such mere teen novels, then my best friend read it and hated it and so its been neglected. Apologies Rainbow. Also I read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, which everyone seemed to love and constantly rave about, but I just didn’t think it was all that, so I worried that Eleanor & Park, which is always raved about, wouldn’t live up to its ravings. Add some more reluctance into the equation.

BUT I READ IT.

It was so so good.

After reading Gulliver’s Travels, this was a breath of fresh air to relax the mind and just get lost in a swirly curly romance. Now I know I’m only 18 and probably haven’t got a clue what I’m saying most of the time but this one reminded me what is was like to be young and in luuuuurve. (I can hear you adults yelling from the distance “You are still young!” Away wit ye; I am being an angsty teen.) But the simple bursting with excitement because ohmygod-he’s-holding-my-hand, and the absolute amazement of how such a simple gesture could be transformed into something magical by that special person was just fantastic to remember. It was so innocent and new and nostalgic back to the love-of-my-teen-life and it was gooey and fluttery and something to relax the mind.

“I just want to break that song into pieces, and love them all to death.”

It also brought to light all the social issues we realize as teens from our body image to racism to tackling stereotypes and abuse. I’m thanking Rowell for this little gem where I felt she was actually writing about real people, not superficial characters which happen just by chance to be petite and perfectly built. It was nice for a curvy girl who doesn’t fit in and a boy who wears makeup to be our protagonists and for both of them to not pretend they’re normal. They aren’t; they’re cool with it and so is the reader.

There is so much discovery explored in this book, which essentially defines our actions as teenagers finding out who we are and want to be.

“She never looked nice, she looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”

Rowell, I’ll give you this one.

“…and his eyes were so green they could turn carbon dioxide into oxygen.”

I have no idea why I love this quote!

Me Before You & After You by Jojo Moyes: This Ain’t A Love Song

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Since these books have been in the spotlight for the last few months, what with the motion picture for Me Before You releasing in June; I wanted to talk about this book for a little bit; everyone else seems to be.

My interest in Me Before You started off through the film when I was scrolling through YouTube one night and had somehow ventured over to the trailers of films yet to be released. As a Khaleesi and Finnick fan (if you know, you know), I couldn’t resist peeking at the trailer. I was in tears at around:

“You can’t change who people are.”

“Then what can you do?”

“You love them.”

I bought the book off Amazon not long after.

But I’m not writing this post to gush about how hard it made me cry and how I fell in love with the characters (I did cry absolutely disgustingly, though) as there’s more to this story than what meets the mainstream media eye, so I wanted to share my take on what these books were trying to say and what the film didn’t.

Louisa Clark is portrayed to be quite the nobody, this is the role we as the reader are encouraged to see her. She gets a job (because she just needs the money; not in a selfish way, but because her family is dependent on her) working as a carer and companion for Will Traynor, a 30-something gorgeous lad who was tragically hit by a motorcycle and left a quadriplegic. Before his accident, Will was an adrenaline junkie; the type of guy who jumped off cliffs and all sorts. As the story comes along we learn that Will is a bit of an arse, quite snobbish and angry, and Lou is the one to bring him down off his high horse, with what can only be judged as her “commonness” and simplistic ideals. Will is astounded that she has never watched a film with subtitles and starts on the road to making her more cultured, in his words; “You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.”

In the midst of all that; Louisa is trying to make his life a bit happier as we discover he is depressed and has attempted to commit suicide in the past. Will is trying to teach this girl about all the living she could do. We find out that Will has been in contact with Dignitas, the assisted suicide establishment in Switzerland, and that he wants to end his own life. Full stop. From here, Louisa sets into action a plan to show him all the best parts of living and fun things to do, to change his mind.

Now, in the film, that is essential the plot of the story and the heartbreaking event is that they fall in love along the way. But the book, I feel, tells an entirely different story. Whilst I was reading I was overwhelmed by the idea that, contrary to popular belief; this was not a love story. Films and books nowadays have the very untidy habit of categorizing too easily as either Romance or Not Romance, as if thats all the matters in the world and there are no other important story arcs to be explored.

I feel this book tells a story of awareness more than it does of romance.

Whilst on her mission, Louisa takes them horse-racing through which they struggle to find parking; and when they do there is little access, not a place to eat almost privately as Will can not feed himself, as well as the general treatment of the disabled.

When it comes to the British, we seem to find it difficult to get over our bewildered embarrassment of not knowing how to act, what to talk about and how to conduct oneself around disability not to mention how to deal with the challenges that the disabled community are faced with. In Me Before You, we are enlightened on the struggles of everyday life; wheelchair access being an everyday task; the lack of support through activities and social life, leading to a very lonely existence; like Will. I’m not saying this is the case for every member of the disabled community, but simply that it does happen and surely we’re a bunch of clever enough people to do something about it, right?

For myself, that increasing awareness has opened my mind that little bit more to a society within our own,  pushed into the corner of the room like a broken toy we don’t know how to fix and so is forgotten.

I feel that this message was lost in the film portrayal; the idea of fluffy romance masking a much more thoughtful perspective. However, the case of disability awareness was not the only lost cause in the film and frankly. I feel this one was blocked out intentionally. Putting it lightly, I’m not a happy bunny at all (pokes tongue out with a frown).

Probably the most heart wrenching part in Me Before You is when we find out, on one of their adventures that takes them to the maze by the castle nearby, that a younger, live-life-to-the-full Louisa was raped by a boy. This traumatic experience made Louisa lose confidence in herself; she no longer wants to go off into the world, but would rather stay at home to what she knows. Our initial interpretation of Louisa being a simple girl: obliterated. No woman who has been violated to that extent could be thought as straightforward.

Simple. As. That.

I think that really hits home with the whole life lesson of:”don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.” In this case, a woman.

Now in the film; not a blip of this was mentioned. This made me quite annoyed at how we as the audience were now being suggested to view the duo. Tragic Will, who lived so much, explored and conquered the world; never again. Sweet, simple Louisa, who liked crazy clothes and makes a banging cup of tea, enchanted by our much lived and cultured Will. Nothing about how Louisa had all means of exploring the world, nor how safety and security was taken away from her in her own skin. Why wasn’t this message screamed loud and clear?

We live in a generation where we are standing up as individuals for our voices to be heard and because we believe that it will make a difference. We’ve seen it happen; gay marriage being legalized in the United States, and we’re seeing it now through #BlackLivesMatter which is taking social media by storm.

I just felt like we were being coaxed into this adoration of Will and that Lou, and whichever achievements she conquered herself, could never compare to Will, that this idea of worship and oggling of him is encouraged.

A slap in the face for equality. *Bravo*

Rant over.

 

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

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“I’m starting to think you like prisons,” he says, idling knocking his knuckles against the wall. “And that you have the worst taste in men.”

I’ve been really excited about talking about this one!

SPOILERS AHEAD.

Back in June, I read the first installation to this series Red Queen, following my intense AS level exams which I proceeded to fail. Nevertheless, really enjoyed this book and said I would definitely be reading the second installment, also stating I was poor and couldn’t afford to buy books.

Well, I bought the book and still poor.

And Glass Sword… woah.

Prior to reading this I skimmed through some goodreads reviews and upon meeting numerous negative takes, was preparing for an O K A Y read.

Well, I loved it.

It was different and everything I wanted from the series (if not enough when it came to the finale WHAT THE HELL GUYS HOW COULD YOU DO THAT VICKY?), was fluffy and nerve wracking and overtime they went into a city my fingers were gripping the pages praying that nobody died.

Mare’s character has really come along way since when we met her at the beginning of Red Queen, a focus which grows through the book as we watch Mare, frankly get darker and darker until we don’t trust her.

I don’t trust her.

I was a tad disappointed with the simple lack of attention to poor Kilorn and I’m sure he feels the same.

The “romance” if you can even call it that, between Cal and Mare was frustrating. Mostly because its difficult to see a future for them where they are set on equal ground. I love Cal, probably my favorite character of the whole series and I just felt so so so sorry for him this entire book.

Damn, if Mare doesn’t want him; I’ll happily relieve that burden from her shoulders.

Hated Maven, but that’s standard.

CAN NOT BELIEVE SHE KILLED SHADE.

HOW DARE SHE.

MY JAW HIT THE BLOODY BASEMENT FLOOR. (not that I have a basement)

And Farley is defo preggo right guys?

Need the next book now.

No joke.

I am going to end up homeless on the street living in a book igloo.

“Every single thing I did, you stood behind me,” I say. “If I’m turning into a monster, then so are you.”
“Love blinds.”

 

Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

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This book is literally The Fault in Our Stars meets Looking For Alaska ALL OVER.

Reading this was like a blast from my very angsty past, with slamming doors after breakups and Facebook posts I would have fangirled over it in my early tweens.

For a young reader, full of angst (its okay!) this is your ticket out of here.

An easy read which I started and finished today, as a means of escape (ANGST), this book was great. The story was and interesting twist on two ideas merging together.

The plot, at times, felt patchy and the ending gave me the impression of trying to be like so many other teen novels… I was upset by the lack of closure; with little positivity and a bucket full of hormone filled, almost epiphany quotes to sum it up. I wanted to know how our characters ended up. Also, wanted to know more about their backstories with lead them to their fates.

An okay read.

Neh.

 

Girl With A Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

 

I have a few confessions to make.

Confession #1: This was my first historical fiction read.

Confession #2: I kind of loved it.

Wow! As a teen, saying the words “historical fiction”simply sounds like social suicide, but I really wanted to give the book a chance. It just sounded so intriguing.

I was intrigued.

Throughout this one, there is just so much feeling between unspoken words and wordless looks; its truly magical how Chevalier was able to capture complex characters and their quirks and unique traits without wasting words.

Chevalier doesn’t waste her words; she is precise and well thought through and precise.

I’ll definitely be reading more of Chevalier.

 

Confession #3: Chevalier is kind of my grandmother’s neighbour in London…

 

Hello signed copy.

🙂

Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan

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When I started reading this book this morning, I had to Google the word “Tristesse”; I never took French at school or ever in my life. So yay, I learnt something new today. It means “a state of melancholy sadness”, by the way, which sums this very short novel up quite suitably. With my copy only owning 108 pages to its name; I got through this spot of literature quite quickly on the train. Also, why does train station coffee just taste of cardboard?

Bonjour Tristesse was a very interesting short read; absolutely perfect for a train ride to Brighton, actually; just in case you were heading that way!

I find it always challenging reading a translated novel and on more than one occasion feel like I’m missing out on the real essence of the literary talent being expressed; as if I’ve walked into a room just as the punchline of a really funny joke is being told and I’m trying to laugh along. And so, I’m sad I won’t be able to read this with all the rights it deserves; sometimes language barriers do that; and as much as a translation may try, at times there simply isn’t a word which is the absolute equivalent to another in a different language.

The story was a interesting take on the mind of a 17 year old girl, who’s idea of love, passion and physical desire were extremely unconventional of its time; the mid 1950’s. This story is definitely a prime example of glorious Freud’s Oedipus complex, so lover’s of all things Freud (and frankly messed up), this is the book for you! Wracked with tragic selfish, jealously and a bitter desire for instant gratification; the reader is able to jump inside of the mind of Cécile, and watch any and every temptation rule her entirely.

To be fair, Cécile is exactly who my parents brought me up not to be.

However, I can related to Cécile from the view point of always separated parents and the prospect of many step-parents through both of my parents various relationships. I have been put in the same boat of Cécile and whilst reading Bonjour Tristesse I couldn’t help but form a kinship with our narrator; but by no means does that entail I have to like her.

I’ll give it to Françoise Sagan, who was only 18 at the time she wrote and published this novel: talent.

To add, this book is a train wreck for feminism with phrases such as “find you a good husband who will treat you well” which are almost accepted; and only occasionally challenged in Cécile’s whimsical persona; half hearted and exploratory.

An interesting read!

“I was nailed to the sand by all the forces of summer.”

A brief spread on Shatter Me & Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

I have mixed feels for these books; the characters and style of writing. I believe it is creative, new and young. Different, we’ll say.

Hmm… Where to begin?

I’ll start with some of the shocking lines from Shatter Me, a book which to be fair, I pretty much hated and couldn’t wait to finish. My face throughout the whole experience was something close to what Ron Wealsey’s face looked like when they follow the spiders in Chamber of Secrets.

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Yeah; it was that bad.

I always wonder about raindrops.

I wonder about how they’re always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end. It’s like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn’t seem to care where the contents fall, doesn’t seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors.

I am a raindrop.

My parents emptied their pockets of me and left me to evaporate on a concrete slab.

Yeah… that’s called raining.

I AM A RAINDROP.

Sorry.

I am nothing but novocaine. I am numb, a world of nothing, all feeling and emotion gone forever.
I am a whisper that never was.

Aha…

(*coughs*dramaticmuch?*coughs*)

He leans back against the couch. Runs a free hand over his face. Seasons change. Stars explode. Someone is walking on the moon.

Just… what? Who’s walking where? I thought he just sat down?

METAPHOR OVERLOAD.

Now I could have accepted the odd burst of fantastical creativity through literary license; the main character Juliette is in an asylum and slowly losing her mind, but the extent of the crossing out and the repetition, frankly drags. I kind of just want to bellow at Mafi “WE GET IT; YOU’RE CREATIVE.” 

But I won’t be too harsh on her; this author isn’t even 30 so I guess she’s still finding herself, right?

 

Shatter Me was just a bit of a disaster; a little bit of this and oh I’m in love with him, ooh raindrops oh no he’s dying cry cry cry oh I saved him and now I’m wearing a purple suit and all I want to do is make out with my weird ass boyfriend (who either has the personality capacity of a spoon or cardboard box; I haven’t decided yet) and mope around with my feelings ooh my feelings.

So yeah.

But I’ll give the girl some credit; Unravel Me is BETTER.

Yeah, at times I just want to kill Juliette (sorry), but it feels like we’re finally getting somewhere with Mafi’s writing! There is more of a story present and plot twists that actually came out of bloody nowhere and I LIKED IT. There were still some questionable choices though;

I want to study the secrets tucked between his elbows and the whispers caught between his knees.

Okay; I’m sorry but who whispers between people’s knees? Gynecologists? This is a dude who’s elbows have secrets…

Just… why?

Actually every time I read this line I burst out laughing.

But then Mafi’s creativeness really does pay off through Unravel Me at times.

“So much of it was like seeing myself on paper,” he whispers. “Like reading all the things I never knew how to say.”

I’ll give her that one. It was gooey and I liked it; don’t fault me, I am still young.

It’s the kind of face no one believes in anymore. 

Ahh…

Terror waves hello to me.

See! Now that last one gave me shivers and it was clever without trying too hard.

There is so much sexual tension in Unravel Me to the point I felt abused just reading it literally; WHOA I thought this was fluffy innocence and cheesy romance? I have to say I’ve got a problem with how Juliette sudden (SO GODDAMN SUDDENLY) falls in love with the man/boy who tortured her and her friends and kills for fun in the first book. Just what? I feel like Mafi had a change of heart on who she wanted as a villain and expected the reader to just go along with it. Don’t get me wrong; all the romantic stuff was good, but I felt it was so uncalled for.

Also damn her; I’ve now added a psychotic killing machine (who’s broken inside; go figure) to my list of ever growing fictional boyfriends.

I didn’t love this; I really didn’t. But it’s getting better and I always loved reading authors who grow with me (occasionally on me); so I’ll be finishing this book series out of curiosity as well as the books looking so pretty on my bookshelf; I mean cover artist: you da bomb.

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

6/10

Before I read this bright book, I had been bathed in many praises of the novel from online Bookstagrammers, and the cover kept popping up all over my feed. So I read a little bit about it; seeming like a typical YA read, marking similarities to John Green who I hold in high praises. But the cover was pretty; I could’ve done with an easy read so I dove into my poor student pockets once again. *sighs*

I read this ultimately summer novel back in November (yeah), and I promise you, I was engrossed by around page 3. I’d like to appreciate this book not just as a piece of writing but as such a creative piece visually. I mean, look at those pages!

Instantly liking both Noah and Jude, as they turn from the innocent kids you just want to protect and watch live a happy life, into dark and twisty teenagers who are just so lost and who you want to save. There is an certain theme of mystery against the storyline, where our narrators lie to each other and even to the reader; so that the most heartfelt betrayal is felt by both the characters and readers.

No, seriously; there’s a part where I gasped and yelled into my empty bedroom: “WHAT?! NO! HOW COULD YOU?” It’s brutal, trust me.

There are so many characters in this novel; few, if any, being truly happy. All of our characters have issues; big, oh-that’s-so-tragic issues. I’ll Give You The Sun is about broken people who when together can survive. Yes, yes cheesy I know; but true.

*Rendition of High School Musical’s ‘We’re All In This Together’

I’ve veered, a little.

This book fascinated me on a personal level as well; in regards to twins. I’ve always wanted a twin; being an only child for 11 years, and my mum being half a set of twin. I’ve always been in close proximity to them and the frankly weird crap that goes on between twins. Jude and Noah would give each other a piece of the world; for example; “I’ll trade you the moon and stars for the ocean.” They owned the world in their minds; hence the title I’ll Give You The Sun.

“”I love you“, I say to him, only it comes out “hey.”

So damn much,”he says back, only it comes out “dude.””

My favorite quotes from this book go on forever.

“This is what I want: I want to grab my brother’s hand and run back through time, losing years like coats falling from our shoulders.”

I don’t feel I’ve given our author enough credit here. This book is beautifully written with metaphors and similes which stopped me in my reading tracks to actually think about them and smile. This book, I felt, was a little young for me and would have rocked my 13 year old world; but still; effective none the less.

“”He has a very strange face; I don’t know if you notice. God was very drunk when he made him. A little bit of this. A little bit of that. Brown eye. Green eye. Crooked nose, crooked mouth. Lunatic smile. Chipped tooth. Scar here, scar there. It is a puzzle.””

I enjoyed this one; I really did. There was a questionable decision at the end but I can overlook it if I try hard enough.

Reading this felt like what I imagined being in the mind of a stoned artist would feel like.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

 

Ahoy, SPOILERS AHEAD.

So, I’ve read the much-read Red Queen and… it really was quite enjoyable for a wind down read after probably the most intense set of exams I’ve had. It was simple and gripping and easy YA reading.( How much red and read can I get into this?)

At first I was ready to accept a classic romance story much along the lines of Cinderella, I had written it off already, accepted it; but boy, was I pleasantly surprised.

IT WAS SO MUCH MORE.

This needs to be said:

This may contain romantic notions but by no means is this a romance novel.

And it was savage at times, to be fair. A lot of hardcore killing what with the last lines of the book being “I will kill him.” Very cheerful. Altogether not a bad read. I knew I would love Cal from the moment he said “Thief” with surprise. And I just knew we couldn’t trust Maven. I just knew it in my gut.

I found myself finding symbols which represent other dystopian novels, and honestly; this is like a really funky fanfiction of them all. Which is enjoyable if you’re not looking for a serious read.

So, yes I will be investing in book two; Glass Sword. Another author I shall now damn for raiding my poor student pockets of funds. (Help me buy books; I’m poor. 😦 ).

Oh, and I’ve just discovered a few novellas. Double damn you, Aveyard.

I was team Cal from the beginning and I hope that picks up again and at the end, her and Cal live happily ever after. Here’s hoping.

But I hope we get some more Kilorn action out here. And I am literally a representation of Mare’s (who’s name I want spelled Maree) geeky friend who’s got a mega crush on her big brother, Shade. I like Shade. Shade hasn’t done much except exist but I like Shade; Shade’s good. Looking forward to some more Shade action.

Seeing as this isn’t Game of Thrones and I can’t ship incest to ship Maree and Shade… although there was a book or two between the Mortal Instruments Series in which we did ship Clace when they were brother and sister…well.

Definitely Team Cal up in the house.

6/10

I’m Ed’s Grateful Ex: The Twilight Saga

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Seeing as there is a new Twilight book out, it only seems fair that I give the series a little credit. Twilight for me opened the doors to Young Adult and even when I look back on it now and cringe a little, I still can’t bring myself to hate it. My copies are mismatched, missing dust covers and the spines are broken fatally. I read this series continuously and I really should pick it up again one day….

In the very, very distant future.

HOWEVER.

The saga is everything I aspire NOT to be. The saga represents EVERYTHING a young teenage girl should not want from a relationship and the limits of her abilities.

Let me explain.

I got into Twilight through the film franchise- yes I know; very cliche; I’ve heard it all. But I did. I was 11 years old. I watched it once… and I then turned it back on and watched it again. I then read the book, followed by many companion reads which I donated happily to the charity shop as soon as I could.

When we meet Edward in the first book, all the mysterious oo-aaah, and bronze-orange-gold-amazing-caramel hair/eyes captivated me (I WAS 11!). For me at that age, all the mystery and romance was great.

I fell in love with the idea of Twilight and Edward Cullen especially, like any other 11 year old girl I knew. And throughout the years I read all of the books a few times over, and by the time the last film was released it had fallen out of fashion for me; I was over Edward Cullen and Twilight.

It’s only been in the last couple of years that I’ve realised just how unhealthy the saga was. Edward leaves his obviously unstable girlfriend- like what the hell Bella, you are literally the Overly-Attached Girlfriend meme- to then go and attempt to commit suicide following her presumed death. Unstable much?

But my main issue with Twilight is not with the men of this saga, but with Bella; our protagonist who really is more our antagonist.

I have a few points.

  • Loses the will to live after being rejected and left by Edward, entering a stupor for a good 6 months, only to be awakened by having hallucinations of seeing him which she achieves by putting herself in dangerous situations. For example; getting on the back of a random rough biker’s motorcycle (yes that actually happened) and jumping off cliffs (yes that happened, as well). There was also a pretty crazy storm going on.
  • Chooses her boyfriend over family; on multiple occasions. (“Oh, but Edward…”)
  • Agrees to marry Edward on the condition that they have sex after they get married.
  • Abandons all plans (and doesn’t really want it, anyway) to go to university.
  • Instead has a baby, almost killing herself in the process to become a vampire; which is all she wanted in the first place (to never grow old; she’s got issues with her age- SHE TURNS 18).

Yes, this is Bella.

LIKE. 

UGH.

As much as these things do happen in ‘real life’, (except the vampires)  I don’t believe that they should be encouraged and represented as positive motifs of love through a Young Adult novel straight into the mind of a young girl, which is where Twilight was aimed at. The morals on which happiness lies with a beautiful boyfriend is not the strong willed voice of women that our society wants to solidify.  In heavy contrast against Hermione Granger; Bella is everything we shouldn’t be. Twilight was two steps back for feminism and equality.

I thought we lived for educated and career driven women? Why couldn’t Bella do both? And why, if Twilight couldn’t promote that message, was it one of the biggest fandoms with so much praise? Are we moving forward or backwards here?

I want nothing more than a strong career and a comforting family. Its possible. So why didn’t it happen?

So, yes. I’m over Edward; I’m over Twilight. And I’ll read it again in a few years, probably sometime after I graduate Medical School. It opened my mind back then, I’m glad it did; so I can aspire to be everything Bella wasn’t. I don’t hate Twilight, I don’t love it. It was a learning curve.

 

 

 

 

John Green Collection

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I made it my mission to collect all of John Green’s books and it even ended up on my bucket list! Safe to say, I ticked it off!
My TFIOS copy is so beat up, I’m surprised the pages aren’t falling out like leaves, but I guess that’s what to be expected after reading it so many times. I absolutely love John Green’s TFIOS. 7/10

I loved Paper Towns and it really got me into contemporary genre that I hadn’t touched on yet, now I love it. 7/10.

I enjoyed immensely, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, it’s such an interesting idea that I feel really promoted gay equality at that time. I recommend it. I give it 6/10.

Let it Snow is not a book I would have picked up if John Green’s name wasn’t tacked onto the bottom of it, now I know that’s biased but nobody’s perfect. I enjoyed it nonetheless and it made me feel quite happy about Christmas time, I’m quite soppy when it comes to all that. I give it 5/10.
But, I can’t say I loved Looking for Alaska, at that I can almost here the gasps of horror for this much loved novel but, I have to be honest! It just didn’t jump out at me as much as Paper Towns or The Fault in Our Stars did. Most of the characters annoyed me and I didn’t really relate to the book. Don’t get me wrong, it had some great quotes but I just didn’t love it.  I feel like I might have enjoyed it more if I had read it before Paper Towns which it is very similar to; but Paper Towns trumps this.I give it 5/10.
And to finish, An Abundance of Katherines. Hands down, I disliked this book. I was very excited to read it and I was throughly disappointed. The main character made me want to scream and think “WHO WOULD DATE THIS GUY ONCE LET ALONE 19 TIMES?” and the abundance (see what I did there?) of math just bored me. Honestly, I would have preferred to have read the book from his best friend’s perspective. 4/10
JOHN GREEN IS A GENIUS THOUGH. I HAVE AN ABUNDANCE OF LOVE FOR JOHN GREEN.

I feel like John Green is such a human author. He writes about real humans with real flaws and real problems and is probably to me, THE ULTIMATE Young Adult writer around at the moment if not in history. Whilst reading these books in my mid-teens I just felt like John Green got me.

So thanks dude, you’re cool.

Also his brother is an absolute babe for his FANTASTIC Biology videos on YouTube. Thanks Hank!

http://johngreenbooks.com

 

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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8/10
I was really excited to read this book. I bought it before entering hardcore study mode for my IGCSE’s and was counting down the days until exams finished and I could delve into my books again and this was at the top of the pile.
What a lovely read.

Jennifer Niven has really captured the personalities of her characters superbly and on more than one occasion, as usual; I was reduced to tears. I fell in love with Finch. I literally FELL IN LOVE. You get connected and the first lines he speaks are such different ones compared to the usual dramatic stuff, his lines captured me.
I was hooked, and I mean, HOOKED by around page 5, at which I was curled up on the sofa and shouted to my mum in the kitchen:

“MUM THIS BOOK IS GONNA BE SO GOOD. LISTENTOTHISPART.”
I have recommended this book over and over again to anyone who will sit next to me long enough and have marked it as a book I intend to keep forever. I find it hard to hate any characters here.

“The future can be uncertain, but that can be a good thing.”

is my Instagram bio and stolen easy from this book.
BUT MY FAVORITE QUOTE
GOSH.

Has to be this one because after I read it I stopped, smiled, read it again, then wrote it on my wall.

“He doesn’t look up, just reaches for my hand and keeps reading. I can feel the apology in his fingers.”

FEEL THE GODDAMN APOLOGY IN HIS GODDAMN FINGERS.
By The Angel…
I loved this book! Go and read! I’m not asking; I’m using a bloody imperative sentence mood! GO AND READ THIS.

I feel like this book is infinitely important to our society and the growing awareness of mental health issues which in the past have been disregarded and thrown to the side with the label ‘crazy’. The fact this is classed as Young Adult, opens up doors to a new generation, one I feel; more aware of our identities than the previous generation.

I write this in the light of Niven releasing her second novel Holding Up The Universe in October later this year, which is on my to-buy list; from her writing in All The Bright Places I’ll definitely be investing more into her writing.

http://www.jenniferniven.com