Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A GIF Journey Through TFiOS

Allow me to present you with...

My Journey Through The Fault in Our Stars

When my collector's edition of TFiOS came in the mail:

Reading first few pages on the subway:

(#truestory... unfortunately)

Which quickly changed to:

Nicely put, John Green. You make a good point. Never saw it like that before.
Please have my babies, etc.

Followed by:





And all I can do to KEEP ON LIVING IS

And think...

But it doesn't matter because by the end of the book:

/ the end /

Check out my review of the book here!

But seriously. Nothing I can say will adequately express the SHEER EPICNESS of this book, other than: GO READ IT. NOW.

Review: The Fault in Our Stars

Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Part of a series? Nope
Publisher: Dutton Books
Release Date: January 10th, 2012
Length: 313 pgs (hardcover)
Genre: YA contemporary
Source: Limited Collector's Edition (purchased with own money)

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

Opening Line:

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. 

That sentence is SO Hazel. Green nailed her voice perfectly. And right off the bat, I know what kind of a girl she is: sarcastic, funny, and rather mature for her age.

SQUEE-worthy: Let's see... where do I start!? When a book is centered around teens dealing with cancer (or as Hazel would call it, "a cancer book about cancer kids"), you expect a lot of maudlin moments, tearjerky stuff, etc. But this book... Oh, it was so much more. It was full of humor, heart, and a profundity that was both deep yet somehow flawed -- which really made it seem all the more believable that a teenager, albeit a smart one, is narrating the story. And that's another thing: the narrator. Hazel. But not just her either: Augustus, Peter Van Houten, even Lidewij Vliegenthart! All the characters BURST with life! Never mind leaping off the page; it was like they were literally in the room with me, sulking and frolicking and bantering and flooring me with their all-consuming AWESOMENESS. In just 313 pages, John Green managed to make me feel emotionally and personally invested in his characters, and that's really saying something. Only J.K. Rowling has managed to do that for me in the past, and she had a lot more pages to work with.

"Meh" Moments: There were none. Even during the most mundane scene (e.g. Hazel watching TV), I am totally engrossed as the reader (which is kind of weird now that I think about it. I mean, how does John Green manage to make a fictional character watching bad television INTERESTING??) Bottom line: Not a single dull moment in this entire book. There will, however, be plenty of LOL and gut-wrenching Kleenex moments, so be prepared.

For fans of: John Green, Sarah Dessen, Jay Asher, and Sara Zarr.

Buy or Borrow? If there's one book you should buy this year, it's this one. Buy it HERE, or HERE, or HERE if you want the limited collector's edition -- which I recommend because it includes a Q&A with John Green and a snazzy silver cover.

Let's chat!

Have you read John Green's The Fault in Our Stars? (If yes, nerdfighter or casual reader? If not, what are you waiting for?? Go out there and get this book!!)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Review: The Book of Blood and Shadow

Title: The Book of Blood and Shadow
Author: Robin Wasserman
Part of a series? Nope
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Release Date: April 10th, 2012
Length: 432 pgs (hardcover)
Genre: YA suspense/thriller
Source: Library e-book

It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up.  When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love.  When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark. But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead.  His girlfriend Adriane, Nora's best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora's sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer.

Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.

Opening Line:

I should probably start with the blood. 

Automatically I'm thinking, "BLOOD?! NOICE. Do tell!"

SQUEE-worthy: Some call this The Da Vinci Code for the YA set, and I have to say I agree. It's definitely got a Dan Brown vibe to it, but maybe more Angels and Demons than Da Vinci to me. It's got secret societies, mysterious artifacts, murder, and the use of history and Christianity as motifs--PLUS, Latin and inarguably hot guys thrown into the mix. (That last component is a REAL nice perk!) Seriously, how can you go wrong with so much awesomeness?? Also, the TWISTS. Oooohhh, the plot twists. It was definitely equal parts suspenseful and mysterious. I was kept guessing the whole time, which is no easy feat for a paranoid reader like me.

"Meh" Moments: I honestly cannot think of a moment where I was like, "Meh, I'm bored." This book seriously sucked me in and didn't let go until the last page. Granted, I do admit that it does have a slightly slower pace than most YA suspense/thrillers, but I liked that Wasserman provided enough backstory and rich detail to make the tale feel complete by the end of the novel. I mean, it is a standalone novel after all, and I think Wasserman did an excellent job weaving everything together: from the backstory, to the historical elements, to the atmospheric detail, to the high-stakes, action-driven scenes.

For fans of: Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons.

Buy or Borrow? I borrowed the eBook version from the library, but this book is DEFINITELY on my To-Buy list, if only for the cover alone. (#coverslut)

Let's chat!

Since this book takes place mostly in Prague (one of my dream destinations!), what are YOUR dream book destinations?