Saturday, April 20, 2013

Review: The Fault in Our Stars

Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Series: --
Published: 2012 by Dutton Books
Version: Hardcover
Obtained: Gift :)

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.




First Sentence:

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.”

This book is incredible.

It’s really hard to describe how incredible it is, so you’ll just have to trust me and read it.

This is the story of Hazel Grace Lancaster who has terminal cancer but is currently on a special treatment which is extending her life. She is in love with a book called An Imperial Affliction, which she reads over and over again. Her only social environment is a Cancer Kid Support Club, where she has one sort-of-friend, Isaac. One meeting, Isaac brings his friend Augustus Waters, who had cancer a year ago.

John Green’s writing is beautiful. So many sentences/paragraphs were written so well, I just stopped for a moment to admire them. It is written so intelligently! Hazel and Augustus speak in a way I wish I was smart enough to. They have highly intelligent conversation and engage in witty banter. I loved it.

I still feel so much emotion for this story, and I read it about two months ago. I can’t go too much into plot, or it will ruin the story (I knew next to nothing going in). But the story is inspiring and beautiful. It’s definitely not the typical “cancer book.” It didn’t just play with my emotions to make me say it’s a good book. It was genuinely well-written and emotional. I feel like my entire view on grief and pain is altered. And that’s a good feeling to know that a book changed my thinking.

I haven’t read anything else by John Green, but I definitely will now. I look forward to more intellectually stimulating and beautifully emotional stories.

Content Warning: Teenage sex, kissing, some language.

5 Pigs

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (3)–School Spirits

School Spirits
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: School Spirits #1
Publish Date: May 14, 2013

Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy’s older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy's mom decides they need to take a break.
Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it’s not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who's always been on her own, it’s strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush.
Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt? 

So this looks so good! I loved the Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins, and so I was thrilled to find out she was having a spin-off book (maybe a series?). It focuses on Izzy, who is a minor character in the Hex Hall trilogy, but whom I found compelling even in her limited scenes. Thankfully, I do not have long to wait, as it comes out in about a month!

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Monday, April 15, 2013

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week? This is a weekly event to list the books completed last week, the books currently being reading, and the books to be finish this week. It is hosted by Sheila from One Person’s Journey Through a World of Books.

Books Finished Last Week:
I finished The Diviners by Libba Bray a few days ago.
Last night I finished Requiem by Lauren Oliver (Review is forthcoming).

Currently Reading:
The Raven Boys – Maggie Stiefvater
Matched – Allie Condie
Mansfield Park – Jane Austen
Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

Books I Hope To Start Reading This Week:
I hope to actually get into The Raven Boys and read more of Mansfield Park.


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Review: The Diviners

Title: The Diviners
Author: Libba Bray
Series: The Diviners #1
Published: 2012 by Little, Brown Books
Version: Hardcover
Obtained: Library

Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfield girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her Uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.
Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened. . .

First Sentence:
In a town house at a fashionable address on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, every lamp blazes.”

Oh. My. Gosh.

Guys, this book is incredible. Now, the last Libba Bray book I read was Beauty Queens, which I didn’t like at all (My review). So I was really hoping that with this one, she could revert the genius that created The Gemma Doyle Trilogy. And she did.

In this gigantic, amazing book (over 500 pages), we read the stories of multiple characters. Evie has been “banished” to New York City to live with her uncle, and she couldn’t be happier. She’s reunited with her best friend, Mabel. They meet a girl named Theta who is a glamorous chorus girl. Mabel has a crush on Jericho, Uncle Will’s assistant, who is trying to hide his biggest secret. There is also a young man named Sam, who is trying to find something very important. Memphis is another young man who wants to write poetry, but has to support his brother. All these young people are trying to navigate the glitter and glam of the twenties lifestyle. The narrative mostly focuses on Evie and her discovery of the full power of her supernatural talent.

Evie and her uncle Will try to help the police figure out who is murdering people and leaving them in strange positions with occult symbols on the bodies. As she helps him with the research, she realizes that her gift could be the best tool for finding the elusive killer.

This book was like a horror movie. But obviously better. Every time someone got killed, you saw it happen and it was the creepiest thing ever. Seriously. And the ending…holy crap. It was a complete rush. I love it! The entire concept behind it, with all the occult mutterings and strange symbols added a whole other level of creepiness to the mystery.

All the background information that was put into this book is mind-blowing. Libba Bray created so many amazing details, I almost forgot that a good bit of them were fictional. I haven’t read many books which take place in the Twenties, but let me just say that Libba COMMITED to the time period. The slang and the culture in general were perfect. The slang was so twenties that sometimes I wasn’t really sure what they were saying (But I loved it).  And all of these “Diviners” are shaping up to be really interesting in the next books.

Speaking of future books, I can’t wait to see what happens in this series. All of the characters have so much to tell each other and so much to figure out. I need to learn more about the young man introduced at the end. As for all the romantic relationships…..I definitely hope some different things happen in the second one.

Libba Bray has come back with a wonderful beginning to a promising series! The Diviners will be incredible, and I cannot wait until the others come out.

Content Warning:
Some language and kissing. General creepiness. Typical Libba Bray attempts to step on toes. :)

5 Pigs

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (2)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share one of two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Currently Reading
My Teaser:

He takes a single step backward and just that, that little movement, makes the bear tense up in a crouch, baring its teeth, which glisten bone white in the moonlight.

- pg. 26, Requiem by Lauren Oliver


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