October 29, 2012

Book Reviews: Looking for Alaska & The Fault in our Stars!

Oh yah, double John Green awesomeness! Here are reviews for two of his books: his first one, and then his latest one.

Author: John Green (obviously)

Pages: 221

Year Published: 2005

My Rating: 4/ 5 stars!

Quick Synopsis from Goodreads:
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. Then 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.

Brilliant. Simply Brilliant.

From Alaska to bufriedos to Takumi's rapping. I savored every word written in the book. I guess the only reason I didn't give this a five stars is that sometimes I got a little bored. But don't get me wrong, this story is so hilarious and heart-breaking and thoughtful that you just can't help but love it.

Here is a little taste of the main characters, with a little snippet of their rapping as accompaniment:


Pudge: "Um, we're sitting in a barm and the sun's going down/ when I was a kid at Burger King I wore a crown"
So, you can tell right off the bat that Miles "Pudge" is a little socially awkward (that might be an understatement). But he always has the right intentions, and he is very good-hearted. He can also be kind of self-conscious, and doesn't have a lot of will to actually reply something of evil nature.

Alaska: "Oh shit did you just diss the feminine gender/ I'll pummel your ass then stick it in a blender"
'Nuff said. Well, maybe not. Apart from being a pretty *cough* aggresive women's right activist, Alaska is also a book lover, a drinker, has a strong field of knowledge in anything related to sex, and is very moody. She is also incredibly intelligent, and can whip up some serious kick-ass pranks. (As demonstrated later in the book)

Takumi: "I drop bombs like Hiroshima, or better yet Nagasaki/ when girls hear me flow they think I'm Rocky/ to represent my homeland I still drink sake/ the kids don't get my rhymin' so sometimes the mock me"
Takumi, Takumi. I didn't think he'd be much of a supporting character, but he does play quite an important role at the end.

Looking for Alaska was so funny. Yet it was a kind of painful humor. I found myself laughing my head off in a lot of the scenes, but there was this layer of teenage angst or dark humor right underneath the funny parts. It kind of made me uneasy, but it made the book so much more realistic.

John Green perfectly portrays the feelings and emotions of teenagers in this book. He didn't make them perfect, or give them unrealistic features. Looking for Alaska truly delivers the in form of grittiness and realism.

I think I might have to read this book a couple more times to actually settle down on a final rating. This book is just so complex, as the plot contains so much depth and character. It might be on my "read" list, but I know that one day, Looking for Alaska and I will meet again, and I will unbark on yet another tumultuous, eventful journey.



Author: I wonder who...

Pages: 198

Year Published: 2012

My Rating: 4.5/ 5 stars!

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.

After finishing this book, my thoughts for this book were close to: Hmm... There wasn't really anything special about it... It's just another one of those special love stories featuring two teenagers.

But then, after a few hours or more, I picked up this book again, and I kind of skimmed through the pages.

And as I was re-reading random paragraphs and conversations from the book, I came to a realization...

This book is a genius on itself! It's superb! It's fantastic! (And etc.)

The Fault in our Stars might not of have the most eye-catching or eventful of plots, but it had a strong one. The characters were well developed and contained a lot of depth, and the ideas that supported the story weren't all mixed and jumbled together. Hence, the plot had a strong "foundation". Any book needs a storyline that is greatly written, along with events that move smoothly between each other, to avoid a collapsing "building". The Fault in our Stars had that. And honestly, I think the conclusion is what shapes a book, a building. And the ending of this book was sweet and mellow and so perfectly thought-out.

You know, I don't think this book deserves to be called Young-Adult. It deserves much more than it. The writing was impeccable. I bet you could find one sentence worth quoting on each page. The main characters, Hazel and Augustus, were mature (maybe a little too much...?) yet still possessed a thirst to discover more about the world, and themselves. They had their own voices, yet they never made it seem like their experiences with cancer should be worshiped by everyone.

I didn't cry at the end, like so many others did, but I do know that this book possesses quite a force of nature. It is powerful, yet in a more subtle, quiet way. This is the kind of books that are worth reading, and re-reading, and make you feel grateful that you have the ability to read. John Green's latest book should be on everyone's to-read list.

P.S. If ever John Green (or anyone else for that matter) decides to actually write An Imperial Affliction, could someone please notify me? I know that the whole plot was basically revealed in The Fault in our Stars, but seriously, it looks so darn brilliant!

10 comments:

  1. I actually like the way he writes but I didn't like The Fault in Our Stars. I didn't like the story withing the story, that is, of the book and the character, Ana I think it was? But he is a wonderful writer!

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    1. Hm, well everybody have different tastes :) But yes, he is indeed a fantastic writer!

      Thank you for commenting, Lectus!

      -Grace :)

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  2. I have never read any of Green's books but I REALLY want to! Your reviewmakes me want to read his books even more ^^ Wish I was as good as a reviewer as you :)

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    1. Aw, thank you Lottie! Just give yourself some time, and you will see that with every review that you write, you will only get better :)

      And you should definitely read his books, they are really thought-provoking and wonderfully written. They are so hard to find at my library, because they are just so popular, so when Looking for Alaska was on one of the shelves, I literally pounced for it and held like it was a diamond, lol ^-^

      -Grace :)

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  3. I need to read one of his books!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, you should definitely do so!

      -Grace :)

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  4. His Books are AMAZING! great post :))

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  5. I LOVE John Green! And I loved both books (although I personally thought The Fault in Our Stars was better, it's one of my favorites!).
    Great reviews :]

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    1. Thanks Sena! Glad you liked my reviews!

      -Grace :)

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Hi! If you are here, I'm assuming that you've just read my post. If yes, don't hesitate on leaving a quick comment, I truly do appreciate each and every single one of them!

-Grace :)

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