Tag Archives: John Green

Book Review: An Abundance of Katherines (3/5)

14 May

After enjoying two John Green books and somewhat liking a third, I figured I might as well read through all of his books. I’m getting there, really. This is one I was given by a friend preening her bookshelves but I eventually read the ebook so I could get to it sooner.

Cover image via Goodreads

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Other books by John Green reviewed on this blog:

Looking for Alaska
Paper Towns

Summary from Goodreads:

Katherine V thought boys were gross
Katherine X just wanted to be friends
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail
K-19 broke his heart

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun–but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.

Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

There were parts of this book I really enjoyed. There were also parts that annoyed me a lot. It started out with annoyance. I felt the whole premise of going on a road trip at the drop of a hat and staying with complete strangers was a bit too far-fetched. Colin’s parents seemed to keep a close eye on him so when he was able to go off with no destination without much debate, my eyebrows went up. When they were offered a job and a place to stay for the summer without much trouble, I cocked an eyebrow. There were points from then on that were fun and that I thought were well written, but I was already soured to the book and it wasn’t a great way to start. I also felt like a lot of the ending was missing. A bunch of loose threads were left untied and I kept thinking there was another chapter hidden later in the book.

One thing you can never say is that Green doesn’t understand teenagers. He understands them so well that it’s scary. Colin doesn’t care about college, he’s worried about his girlfriend (short-term) and mattering in the universe (very long-term). He doesn’t see the next five years. Lindsey and Hassan are afraid of change and having to be adults. They’re very typical and remind me of myself at their ages. Hollis seemed like an odd character to me but, in classic YA fashion, the adults don’t really matter so it wasn’t something I got hung up on.

I liked Lindsey a lot. She was happy in her small town and happy with her mother and her friends. But really, she’s scared of anything changing. She seems to have gone through a lot of change in her life with her father leaving and wants to stay where she is. But she’s also open to change that does come her way, though it takes some time for her to realize she needs it. Even if she and Colin break up, he helped her see the world outside of Gunshot and realize that she can move on.

I remember having big questions about what I would do and how important I would be when I was Colin’s age. Granted, I wasn’t a prodigy, but I still wondered. I was also afraid of change. I went out-of-state for college and didn’t know anyone when I got there. It was a bit terrifying! I could relate to Hassan’s fear of going to school, knowing that everything would change. I can understand why Lindsey didn’t want to leave Gunshot. Major changes can be terrifying and I understand the fear of finishing high school and having to make a decision about what comes next.

John Green
Image via PRH Speakers

I liked the plotline about the factory a lot. This could be a spoiler so skip to the next paragraph if you haven’t read this yet. I wondered about Hollis’s motivation behind the interviews so I wasn’t really surprised that it wasn’t 100% positive but I didn’t see it coming. I know what Hollis is doing is completely counter to all business logic but it matters that she’s doing it. It matters that she’s supporting her neighbors and friends. It’s one of those sticky ethics questions and I wish that plotline had been wrapped up better.

The boar hunting scene was a bit odd for me. I didn’t understand the point of it. It seemed like its only purpose was to get Colin and Hassan at a point where they could find TOC and Katrina. Granted, that scene was hilarious. However, all the detail about boars and the wasps seemed unnecessary and didn’t move Colin’s plot forward much. I could have done without it.

Colin was stuck in a rut. It was an odd rut about girls named Katherine, but it was still a rut. So was Hassan, Lindsey, Katrina, Hollis, and almost every character in the book. Getting out of a rut is hard because it’s so comfortable there. These characters helped shake up each other’s worlds long enough to climb out of their ruts and I thought the book showed that well. It wasn’t a very eventful summer, but it mattered enough to all of them.

Writer’s Takeaway: The footnotes in this one were really awkward in an ebook so that’s something to consider in writing a book. I liked how they showed Colin’s personality, but I didn’t think it was worth it. As much as I liked the teen characters, there were some jumps in logic I couldn’t get past and would even classify as plot holes. I wish Green had been a little more conscious of things that seemed out of character, especially for the parents. I get annoyed with YA books where all of the parents are stupid. I was hoping this wouldn’t be one.

An enjoyable book, but it didn’t blow me away. Three out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green | The Bookgasm
John Green- An Abundance of Katherines | Fyrefly’s Book Blog
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green | What She’s Reading
An Abundance of Katherines – John Green | Clare’s Bookshelf

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WWW Wednesday, 9-May-2018

9 May

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I’m enjoying Mister Monkey by Francine Prose and I think I’ll have it finished by next week. The audiobook is well done and I’ve started doing my long runs so I get through audiobooks on my phone fairly quickly. I like finding the connections between the plot lines and I’ve had fun guessing who the next narrator will be.
I’m not too far into The World’s Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne but it’s a joy so far. Hanagarne is able to make fun of himself and his childhood and at the same time convey how hard it is to live with Tourette’s. I’m enjoying the tone he picked for the book and I’m excited to keep reading.
My next ebook is The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver. I added it to my list after I enjoyed another Shriver book. I’m a bit too early in this one to tell how I feel about it and I’m not reading it quickly so expect this one to linger here for a while.
Over the weekend, I started a new physical book with The Sellout by Paul Beatty. I almost read this about a year ago but was going to miss the book club meeting so I decided not to read it and now I get a second chance! Again, early in, but so far soon good!

Recently finished: I was able to wrap up An Abundance of Katherines by John Green late last week. It’s not my favorite Green by any means, but it was still enjoyable. I’ll have a review up next week so I can go into some more detail on it.
I sped through What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self by Ellyn Spragins. The letters were all really short so I’d binge-read five or so at a time and got through the book really fast. I’ll have a review for this one up next week, also. I’m catching up on reviews!

A few reviews as well! I posted about my feelings on Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs last Thursday. I love this author and I gave him a glowing review. He always makes me laugh. I gave him 5 out of 5 Stars.
I also wrote about The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro earlier this week. I’ve liked Ishiguro in the past, but this book was not for me. Please check out my review for more details, but still read Never Let Me Go! I gave the book 2 out of 5 stars.

Reading Next: I’m trying to keep ahead of my book club picks so I can lazily pick up my own books. The next one I’ll grab will be Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson. I’m worried the audiobook I have is abridged because it’s only 2 hours and 30 minutes long! If you’ve read this before, does that seem right? It looks like the book is about 200 pages so I’m surprised it would be so short.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 2-May-2018

2 May

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: I’m still moving forward at a fair pace in An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. It’s fun for me but I think it started off with some large stretches of the imagination so it’s hard for me to enjoy it even though the rest has been really great.
So many new books now! I did start Mister Monkey by Francine Prose like I’d hoped to. The preface threw me off a lot and I’m still deciding how I felt about the book. It’s a lot different from the premise and I think I’ll like it. I’ll have a much better idea next week.
I also got my copy of What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self by Ellyn Spragins through inter-library loan. It came in just as I was about to finish my previous book so it’s beyond perfect! It’s a bit shorter than I thought so I’m being hopeful that I can power through this one and keep scaling Mt. TBR!
I grabbed a copy of The World’s Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne on CD at the library. I got this book at an awesome bookstore in Cincinnati a few years ago and I’m excited to finally enjoy it!

Recently finished: So many to report! The end of The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah had me crying while I was working out and it made push-ups a lot harder! I enjoyed the book a lot and posted my review of it yesterday. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.
I finished Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs Friday. I flew through it and loved every minute. Jacobs is one of my favorite writers. I have only one of his books still to read and I want to get to it right away, but he doesn’t publish very often so I also want to pace myself. I’ll have a review up tomorrow and I’m excited to gush about this book.
I also finished The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. I had to pick my husband up late Friday night and I finished it waiting for him in the car. I think him being out of town for the week helped me finish so many books this week! I’ll post a review sometime next week.

Reading Next: Being at the beginning of so many, it seems a bit presumptuous to put anything here. However, my book club met on Monday and our next selection is The Sellout by Paul Beatty. My other book club read this when I thought I was going to be out of town so I missed it. I’m excited to get another chance at this book! I’m curious about a Man Booker winner from America!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 25-April-2018

25 Apr

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: Lots of driving for work and the emergence of spring means that I’ve made significant progress on The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. The book’s really good and I found myself moved near to tears at one point (no, I wasn’t chopping onions). I know the big question is if the older woman in the 1990s timeline is one of the sisters or not and I keep changing my guess. Please, no one tell me!
I’m getting there on The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. It’s still slow for me. This part of the book has been jumping around in time and character and I’m not enjoying it at all. I often find myself confused about who’s talking and if it’s in the timeline or a flashback. I’ll be glad to finish this one.
I’ve made some fair progress on An Abundance of Katherines by John Green but not too much. It’s enjoyable still but not sucking me in yet. John Green tends to suck me in late so I’m waiting for it.
I was able to start Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs and I’m already over half way through it. I adore Jacobs’ writing voice and I’m also a big fan of all the health tips and tricks I’m picking up along the way! I bet this one is off this list by next week. Seriously.

Recently finished: I finally finished Harry Potter y las Reliquias de la Muerte by J.K. Rowling! It was great to finish this one up after so long at it. There’s my Spanish book for the year. Phew. I posted my review of the book yesterday so please check that out when you get a minute. It’s not my traditional review, but I’m guessing if you wanted to read it, you probably have by now. Or at least saw the movie. Either way, you likely know the plot by now and I’m not going to say anything new original that you haven’t heard or thought before. It’s pretty much me gushing, I’ll be honest. Oh well.

Reading Next: I hope to finally start Mister Monkey by Francine Prose soon. I’m getting close to the end of Nightingale so it shouldn’t be far off. I still have no idea what this book is about, but I’m looking forward to finding out!
In my efforts to tackle Mt. TBR, I’ve requested an inter-library loan of the book currently sitting on the top, What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self by Ellyn Spragins. It’s a collection of letters and life advice from successful women in various fields. I think it will be a good pick-me-up as I struggle through finals and get ready to head into an accelerated summer class. At least I hope it is.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 18-April-2018

18 Apr

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: I’m. So. Close! I’m on the last chapter of Harry Potter y las Reliquias de la Muerte by J.K. Rowling but my week has been just nuts and I haven’t had a lot of time to read it at night. I swear I’ll get to it by next week, promise!
The Midwestern weather has been terrible so I haven’t done much running and thus not much listening to The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I’m still enjoying the story and hoping something radical happens so I can see why people loved this one more than other WWII fiction. I’m still a bit neutral on it.
To be honest, I’m not enjoying The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro much at all. I know his books keep something hidden from the reader, but I’m lost and confused at this point and I’d really like a clue as to where this one is going. Maybe it will recover, but I’m not counting on it. I’m just trying to finish this one.
I haven’t gotten through much of An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. It’s a rather short book so it shouldn’t take too much longer but I haven’t had lunches to read during. My crazy week involves work and working through lunch. Yuck.

Recently finished: I’m sad to say I have none to report! With two wrapping up last week, it’s not a huge surprise. I’m feeling good about having some for next week, though. Positive thoughts.

I was able to post one review for The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp. It went up last Thursday and I gave the book 4 out of 5 Stars.

Reading Next: I’ll start Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs as soon as I finish Potter. I’m looking forward to a fun read!
Once I finish The Nightingale, I have another book club pick to enjoy as an audiobook. The next one is Mister Monkey by Francine Prose. I know nothing about this one and I’m excited to go into it blind! That’s honestly my favorite way to enjoy a book.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 11-April-2018

11 Apr

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: Slow going but I’m still making my way through the end of Harry Potter y las Reliquias de la Muerte by J.K. Rowling. I’m at Snape’s flashbacks now so not too much more to go!
I’m still enjoying The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah though nothing has happened that’s particularly stuck out to me yet. I’m hoping something unique happens so I can keep this one separate from other WWII books in my head, but it’s still reminding me a lot of Sarah’s Key.
I’m still a little wary of The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. It’s a lot more fictionalized than I’d planned on reading and I’m losing focus from time to time. I hope to power through this one because I don’t think it’s going to be a favorite.
I started An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. I have to say, so far this is my least favorite Green book. It still has plenty of time to win me over, but so far, I’m not impressed. I hope this will be a quick one and I won’t be reading it forever, as is my ebook custom.

Recently finished: I powered through and finished The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp on Friday. It picked up and got me interested really quickly so I was reading it on my phone every free second I had. When I had twenty minutes to finish it, I pulled the paper book off my shelf and read the last three chapters like that. It’s refreshing to read YA when you haven’t in a long time!

A few reviews that I’ve caught up on, too! First is The Circle by Dave Eggers which I posted Monday. I enjoyed the book and I’ve since watched the movie so I’ll have some opinions on that coming soon. I gave it 4 out of 5 Stars.
The second one is History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund. My book club met to talk about this Monday so I’ll have a book club reflection coming your way soon, too! Look for it next week (probably). I gave this 4 out of 5 Stars as well. That’s been a pretty common rating for me lately. I guess that’s a good sign!

Reading Next: I’ve still got Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs lined up as my next physical read. I keep hoping I’ll finish up Potter and pick this up, but it’s taking me just a bit longer than anticipated. I forgot how slow I read in Spanish!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Friday Book Memes, 6-March-2015

6 Mar

Welcome to the ‘frigid cold’ edition of Book Blogger Hop, Book Beginnings and The Friday 56 hosted by Coffee Addicted WriterRose City Reader and Freda on Freda’s Voice. Head on over there and check out the other participating blogs.

Book Blogger Hop

This is my first Book Blogger Hop and I plan to make this a recurring thing (as long as I like the questions!). This week’s question is,

Do you think a book’s title is important?

Yes! Even more so than the cover, I think a title is what gets me to pick up a book. It’s how we tell our friends about books, how we share them. When a friend tells me about a book, she doesn’t describe the plot or the cover first, she tells me the title! It’s like the importance of a name for a character; it tells us all we need to know about the book in a quick summary.


 

I haven’t grabbed a new book since last week, so I’ll be featuring a book I read a long time ago, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I listened to this book originally on audio so when I saw a copy for $1 at the library used book sale, I snagged it!

BB.Button

Book Beginnings is all about that very important opening sentence (or two) that us writers are always worrying about! Green introduces us to Hazel with this,

Late in the winter of y 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 free time to thinking about death.

This is a great summary of Hazel. It doesn’t tell us about her illness because it doesn’t define her and Green doesn’t want us to think of her that way right off the bat. It also gives us a glimmer of a preview into An Imperial Affliction which fans know will become a pivotal plot element soon after. Bravo, Mr. Green.


 

Friday 56

The way this meme works is pretty simple. If you want to join in, head over to Freda’s blog and add your link.

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book (I grab the one I’m currently reading)
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.

Flipping through this book makes me want to sit down and read the whole thing! Here’s a winning quote from page 56:

Girls think they’re only allowed to wear dresses on formal occasions, but I like a woman who says, you know, I’m going over to see a boy who is having a nervous breakdown, a boy whose connection to the sense of sight itself is tenuous, and gosh dang it, I am going to wear a dress for him.

This wonderful quote comes to us from the eloquent Gus. Like many things he says, he’s complimenting Hazel in some way while also trying to cheer up Isaac. I love Green’s characters for the things they say and this is a great example. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend picking up a copy!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 31-December-2014

31 Dec

Time for MizB’s WWW meme yet again! Everyone getting ready for that new year? I’ve got progress and it’s looking like a good push into 2015.

www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading:  No progress on The Domesday Book by Connie Willis. On hold.
The audiobook on my phone is still California by Eden Lepucki. I made a small bit of progress on this but I think I’m going to put it aside for the audiobook I checked out from the library. It’s really failed to grab my attention.
My husband and I started listening to The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway during our car trip, but we had so much to talk about that we didn’t even get through the third disk. I’m thinking this one might take a while.
I got a new phone-book as well, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. This has been the top book on my TBR for a long time so I was excited to snag it, but the first few pages haven’t grabbed my attention yet. I’m without a physical book at the moment so I might invest some time in this to see how I like it.

Recently finished: Would you even believe I finished three books this week?! Yes! Three. I’m so proud of myself. I finished Ready Player One by Earnest Cline on Christmas Eve before leaving for my in-laws. I was so geeked to finish this one, I really enjoyed it. I also finished The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. I sneaked away to finish this Christmas day, more to get it over with than anything. Because I was so excited to start Attachments by Rainbow Rowell which I finished yesterday. What a great week for reading!

And reviews! I’ve posted a review for John Green’s Paper Towns so check that out, too!

Reading Next:  My hold for The Diviners by Libba Bray came in and it’s in my car. If I’m ever driving alone I’ll start it, but that might not happen before I go back to work!
The book for my next ‘Read Along With Me’ has been chosen! We’ll be reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. If you’re interested in reading this book along with an on-line book club, send me an email and I’ll count you in! You can read more about my Read Alongs here. We’ll start in early January.
I’m deciding if I want to pick the next book off of my pile. It’s in Spanish and will take me a while to get through, but I think it will be worth it. It’s La Sombra del Viento by Carlos Luiz Zafon (The Shadow of the Wind) which I’ve heard wonderful things about. Let’s see if I’m brave enough!

I’ve got half a week left of vacation and I wonder if I’ll get through anything else. How is your WWW? Leave a comment and let me know and check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: Paper Towns by John Green (3/5)

29 Dec

So this is my third John Green book and with each one, I’m giving a lower rating. 5 for TFiOS, 4 for ‘Alaska,’ and now 3 for this title. This is nothing against Green as a writer. I think he develops very rich characters and I think they capture the essence of being a teenager. But I disagree with his message on this one. I don’t think it sent a positive message to kids and I felt like the heroine didn’t deserve to be worshiped. She really bugged me.

Cover image via Goodreads.com

Cover image via Goodreads.com

Paper Towns by John Green

Summary from Goodreads:

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew…

I never liked Margo, throughout this whole book and I think that ruined it for me. She frustrated me and seemed very self-centered and I didn’t want Q to like her. She wasn’t worth his time in my view. So I was frustrated during the whole book while these awesome characters spent their time and effort looking for a not-very-awesome character.

John Green writes an amazing teenage character. In all his books, it’s the characters that always stand out to me, much more than the story. His adult characters still hold merit, which is good in a YA novel, but don’t hold a candle to his teenagers. I wish I knew the secret to holding on to youth enough to write a teenager this well!

Ben in particular was a stand-out character. I’m not sure he had the most favorable growth or went about it in the most healthy way, but he was able to maintain his identity and personality while becoming a person he wanted to be. I didn’t like how he started (heavily) drinking to fit in with Lacey’s friends but I liked that he remained tight with Q and Radar and was still himself after it all. He could have easily ditched Q and the Quest for Margo to be with his new friends, but he stuck with them the whole time. A great character all around.

I related to Ben, Radar, and Q’s struggle to be happy and fit in during high school. I was perfectly happy with my friends, but it sometimes bothered me that we weren’t the popular kids. What was wrong with us that not everyone liked us? We were pretty awesome, if I don’t say so myself. But we didn’t want to change who we were to fit in with the ‘popular’ kids. It’s a weird middle to be stuck in and it was cool to see Q and the guys in the same place.

The banter between the characters was my favorite part of the book. John Green does teenage dialogue better than anyone else, hands down. Hearing Ben and Radar rag on Q or vice verse was great and it helped take me back to when I was 17. Bravo, Mr. Green.

Image via mental_floss

Image via mental_floss

I hated the ending. I thought it was a terrible message of ‘You can run away from your problems if you want to’ and I think that’s a terrible thing to say, especially to teenagers. I think Margo was idolized and ended up being incredibly self-centered, making me really hate her. I wish Q had been more upset with her in the end because I felt as if she betrayed him. He deserved better.

The audiobook I listened to was narrated by Dan John Miller. I think he did a wonderful job. His inflections helped me understand who was speaking in a conversation and his inflection when the characters spoke was spot on with a teenager speaker. I liked how he did the IM conversations by using the screen names of the characters as it was in the book. it reminded me of high school.

Wow, a theme for this book? The things you’re looking for are not always worth being found? Sometimes it’s best to leave someone alone? I’m not really sure where to go with this one but I didn’t like the themes. Margo was (legally) an adult. She was allowed to mess up and ruin things for herself and no one let her go along with that. It’s her call if she wants to leave everyone and go away and I wish Q was able to go along with his life without having to know where she was. I felt bad for him.

Writer’s Takeaway: It can’t be said enough: dialogue and teen characters are superb in this novel. No one can do it better than John Green. I think this is a great study of how complex a character can be and how much back story you can put into them without bogging down a story. Because if I say ‘World’s Largest Collection of Black Santas’ and  you’ve read this novel, I’m going to bet you smile. But if not, you’ll be lost because it has nothing to do with the plot. It’s all back story and  you love the characters more because of it without feeling dragged down with their minutiae.

Not that great of a plot, but well written. Three out of Five Stars.

This book fulfills ‘Florida’ for the Where Are You Reading? Challenge.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Review: Paper Towns by John Green | Bookish at Heart
Book Review: Paper Towns (John Green) | Architect of Fate
Review: Paper Towns by John Green | She blogs about books

WWW Wednesday, 17-December-2014

17 Dec

Time for MizB’s WWW meme yet again! My book finishing rush is continuing with TWO again this week! Woosh.

www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading:  My ebook is still The Domesday Book by Connie Willis. It’s still on hold… and will be for a while… so…
I checked out another one, Ready Player One by Earnest Cline. So far, so good. I’m only a bit into it, but I’m enjoying the story a lot.
One audiobook on my phone is California by Eden Lepucki and I’m back to it with a vengeance, trying to get it done this year. I should be able to, especially with all the time I spend cooking/listening to audio this time of the year.
I’ve just started The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce which is a book club selection for January. I’ve heard good things but I don’t have really high expectations.

Recently finished: Two! Last night I finished The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and man, was it engrossing. I’m really glad I got to read this book and I’m looking forward to the discussion.
I finished Paper Towns by John Green while making cookies on Tuesday and I’m sad to say it wasn’t for me. I’ve read two of John Green’s other books (TFiOS and Alaska) and this one just didn’t cut it for me. Look for a review soon.

I’ve been able to put up a review of The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver so please check that out and let me know what you thought of the book.

Reading Next:  I’m waiting for the work book club selection, Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. I should have it over Christmas to devour it.
I also have a new audiobook on hold at the library, The Diviners by Libba Bray. My book-club moderator recommended this to me about a year ago and I’m excited to finally get my hands on it.
There’s one more book, TBD, that I’ll be reading soon with my on-line Read-Along book club. We’re currently picking a book to read next. If you want to join in, send me an email and vote below for the book we’ll read!

I can see the finish line of the year and it looks like a pile of books. How is your WWW? Leave a comment and let me know and check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!