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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Book Review: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Title: Looking for Alaska

Author: John Green

Publisher:
Speak

Publication date: December, 2006

Softcover: 256 pages

Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone

How I got this book: Bought



Why I chose this book: I absolutely love John Green’s books.  Surprisingly, the only book of his I had yet to read was the first one he had ever written, Looking for Alaska.  It’s been sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read, and I finally decided to pick it up.

Synopsis:
 
Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy 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. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . .

After. Nothing is ever the same.

Review:

Did I mention that John Green is amazing?

Now, I’ve read all his other books, and while this one isn’t my favorite out of all of them, it was still an incredible and touching read.  I don’t know how Green manages to take these words and form them into perfectly complicated and compelling sentences, but he does. 

One of the great things about Looking for Alaska, is that the characters are so real.  Miles, Alaska, the Colonel, they are all just regular people, who are imperfect.  They have problems that are so palpable you can see them and think about them and know exactly how they effect someone.  And still, there is mystery to his characters.  They are so real, but you don’t completely know them. 

Green also has the ability to write with the voice that speaks to everyone of all ages, even though he is older than most of his teenage audience.  This is a great skill, because it is so easy to see through when a writer is off the mark on how it is to be of this age. 

What’s also good is that this story has basis of truth and actual events from Green’s life.  I think some of the best stories to read and write are those that have that truth in them, it just makes the story that much more compelling.

Overall, another great novel by John Green.  I would recommend it to anyone and everyone.

If you’re still debating with whether you should read this book or not, I will leave you with this one line from the book: “You can’t catch the motherfucking fox!”

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Blog Tour: Belonging by Karen Ann Hopkins

Title: Belonging

Author: Karen Ann Hopkins

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Publication date: April, 2013

Softcover: 416 pages

Stand Alone or Series: Series–this is the second installment in a series.

How I got this book: Galley from Harlequin Teen





Why I chose this book: I previously read the first installment, Temptation, and absolutely loved it.  I couldn’t wait to get to the rest of the story.

Synopsis: 

I left everything I knew behind.
 But it was worth it. He was worth it.

No one thought an ordinary girl like me would last two minutes living with the Amish, not even me. There are a lot more rules and a lot less freedom, and I miss my family and the life I once had. Worst of all, Noah and I aren’t even allowed to see each other. Not until I’ve proven myself.

If I can find a way to make it work, we’ll be Noah & Rose together forever.

But not everybody believes this is where I belong.


Review:

I was really pleased when I began reading this book.  I was afraid that it would jump a few months or longer in between books, as some authors like to do, but instead it started right where it let off in the previous book.

I like how realistic this book is.  The protagonists aren’t all knowing, they don’t always correctly know right from wrong.  You can easily see where they are making faults, but it isn’t explicitly known by the characters.  And this is a great thing, because nobody is all-knowing and making the right decisions at all times, especially teenagers.

This story had a full plot, one that kept me riveted for the long-stretch.  The middle of the book plateaued for a while, while Rose was trying to be Amish and the plot wasn’t moving much, but it started to pick up again when problems and tensions started to arise.

All of the characters in this book are full of life, and it’s great to see multiple points of views, especially in the type of book where thoughts and emotions can vary quite greatly.  I wouldn’t be surprised if I met one of these characters walking down the street one day.

I would definitely recommend this book, or this entire series.  Especially with how the second installment ended, there’s no turning back now.  I have to know how Noah and Rose’s story ends.

About Karen Ann Hopkins

 

A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community. Her unique perspective became the inspiration for the story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tending to a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel.





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