Posts Tagged ‘John Green’

I read five books and a novella this month, which isn’t too bad considering how much time I spent reading blogs instead of books. (And I’m still behind! How is that even possible?) Anyway, here they are:

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt (reread)

Wildwood by Colin Meloy

We, Robots by Sue Lange

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Good Enough to Eat by Stacey Ballis

The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht

Miscellaneous stats:  I borrowed four of the six books from the library, purchased one, and one was a gift.  Two were ebooks, and one of the ebooks was a library book – yay for OverDrive!  My one reread was The Wednesday Wars, which I read for the 5th-8th grade book club I run at the library. (The book club has been a blast; remind me to tell you more about it sometime.)  Feel free to check out my Goodreads bookshelves if you’d like to see how I rated these books.

And now for some Random Awards:

Best Poorly Written Book Award: Good Enough to Eat. The characters are rather unoriginal, the love story is bland, and the writing is full of run-on sentences (and I thought I was bad!). It is, however, a great portrayal of the difficulties faced by people trying to lose, and keep off, weight. For that reason alone I gave this book three stars instead of two.

Most Casually Graphic Book Award: The Tiger’s Wife. I discovered very quickly that this was not a book I could read while eating. There are quite a few stomach-churning scenes in the novel, but none of them are done for sensation’s sake. They are just part of the story. (All the hype is true, by the way. This is a fantastic book.)

Weepiest Review Award: The Fault in Our Stars. I made it through the book just fine, but when I sat down to write the review I completely fell apart. Did anyone  manage to write their review without crying?  Kudos to you if you did.

I can’t believe it’s February already!  I’m in the middle of two books and a third is patiently waiting for me on the coffee table. What are you up to?

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The Fault in Our Stars

by John Green

Dutton Books, 2012

Source: purchased from

Read it because . . . see lengthy explanation below

I almost didn’t read this book.

First of all, I completely forgot that I had pre-ordered it. When I got an email from telling me that my order had shipped, I had a minor panic attack. Last June I had to get a new debit card because in the wee hours of the morning someone tried to use it in California and Michigan simultaneously. (I was not in either one of those places. I here, asleep.) So my first thought was, Oh, &$@%, not again! Then I saw John Green’s name and remembered that I had impulsively pre-ordered it when I learned he was autographing all advance purchase copies. Oh. Whew.

But before I could read it, before it even arrived on my doorstep, I saw the word “cancer” in connection with this book, and suddenly I wanted nothing to do with it. 2011 began and ended with cancer: in January two of the people I love were fighting breast cancer and in December someone else I care about was dealing with the return of her cancer. Read a book about cancer? No. Absolutely not. I had enough cancer grief on my shoulders. I didn’t want any more.

When the book arrived I did my best to ignore it, but in the end, I caved in. I felt like I had to read it, because not only had I purchased it new, (I rarely buy new books for myself), I had pre-ordered it. Plus it’s John Green and I maybe sorta have a tiny book crush on him. (Who doesn’t?) So I read it. Even though I knew it would break my heart.

It did break my heart, but not in the typical tugging-on-the-old-heartstrings-YA-issue-novel sort of way. And not because it was a Book About Cancer and Cancer is Sad, or because it reminded me that while lots of amazing, wonderful things happened in 2011, it was also a year punctuated with grief. It broke my heart because the dialogue was sharp and smart, the characters quirky and flawed, the emotion raw and honest. It broke my heart because it was funny. It broke my heart because it was just a story about love and all that is amazing and beautiful in this world and all that makes life worth living and because it wasn’t trying to do all that, it just did.

And so. So because I am now a weepy mess I have to stop.  But before I do I just want to say thank you, John Green, for writing this.

Other reviews: books i done read, Book Monkey, The Bluestocking Society, Capricious Reader, Fyrefly’s Book Blog, things mean a lot

Did you write a review?  Let me know and I’ll add it to the list!

Additional John Green reviews on The Alcove: An Abundance of Katherines

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An Abundance of Katherines
by John Green
Dutton Books, 2006
Source: public library

It was after reading the second review of Will Grayson, Will Grayson (first Birdbrain(ed) Booksreview and then Ana and Renay’s joint review on Subverting the Text) that I decided to stop wondering who this John Green guy was (and why every mention of him was accompanied by gushing) and read one of his books already.  The sample of Will Grayson, Will Grayson I read failed to captivate me so I went an earlier work, An Abundance of Katherines.

I understand the gushing now.

An Abundance of Katherines stars Colin Singleton, the biggest nerd on the planet.  (And I mean that in the nicest way possible.)  He has strange quirks, like his ability to anagram everything and his inability to whisper, and is a cornucopia of random information.  He’s also dated, and been dumped by, nineteen Katherines.

What I loved about the book (in no particular order):

  • Colin’s never-ending supply of facts (which meant I learned lots of useless information that promptly went in one ear and out the other).
  • the footnotes.  After reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, I fell in love with footnotes in fiction.  When I saw that An Abundance of Katherines contained footnotes – and that they were just as entertaining and wonderful as Susanna Clarke’s – I wanted to hug John Green. 
  • Colin’s best friend, Hassan.  That guy is fugging hilarious.  He’s not just an amusing sidekick, though, which I really loved.  There’s more depth to Hassan’s character than you see in most best-friend-to-the-main-character characters.
  • Colin’s declaration that love is graphable.  I nearly fell off the bed, I was laughing so hard.  This declaration was followed by pages upon pages of him attempting to graph, and create a formula for, all of his Katherine relationships.  (And yes, the graphs and formulas were included in the novel.)
  • the dialogue.  Green’s dialogue not only sounded realistic, but revealed more about his characters’ personalities than pages of description and back history ever could.
In short: better than I expected.  It’s definitely one I would read again, if only to re-experience the dialogue and graphs.  So tell me, John Green fans, how do his other books measure up?

Other reviews:

Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog

things mean a lot

Did I miss your review?  Let me know and I’ll add it to the list!

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