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Tag Archives: John Green

Which means, I totally should, right?

If you’re a reader, then you’ve probably come across that book that stays with you and leaves you unable to think but you want to rant and/or rave about it to the closest person. I’ve come across three such books that rendered me useless afterwards. I refuse to review them because I couldn’t do a proper job of it. I refuse to read them again because that’s a scary idea. Maybe after I’ve rambled at you, dear reader, you can help me find my courage to do so. These books are definitely worth a second read.

a conspiracy of kings

Title: A Conspiracy of Kings
Author: Megan Whalen Turner
On Goodreads, I rated it: 4/5 stars

Megan Whalen Turner is a fantastic author!! I discovered her back in seventh grade and like many other fans, I’ve been waiting for her next book to release after this one. This one, it just, was everything and nothing of what I expected. I WANTED MORE GEN. I got Sophos. Who is a very endearing character but GEN. After my *extreme* initial disappointment I enjoyed the story completely, especially towards the end because while it had a few cliffhanger strings to keep us wanting, it was a stand alone by (I love those books that can be part of a series but are completely satisfying without needing a sequel) so more GEN. I mean SOPHOS. I became attached to this young king. So read it. All of the books from Megan Whalen Turner are satisfying, brilliant, page-turners.
mockingjayTitle: Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins
On Goodreads, I rated it: 3/5 stars
Mockingjay, Mockingjay, how shall I put this? I loved you, I hated you, I fear you. Emotionally it was everything I could have expected but plot-wise it was a bit lack luster. Going at a neck-breaking pace I fear I felt detached from most of the characters for the most part. I’ve not yet resigned myself to some of the fates of these much loved characters. I had a love/hate relationship with the ending. Collins is a brilliant author though and I absolutely loved her previous series, The Underland Chronicles. So I’m definitely eagerly awaiting her next book series.
the fault in our starsTitle: The Fault In Our Stars
Author: John Green
On Goodreads, I rated it: 3/5 stars
A friend highly recommended this and my curiousity got the best of me so I picked up Mr. Green’s book not too long ago. I’d read Paper Towns (one of Rosey’s favorite reads!) a while ago and while it was stirring, I can’t say contemporary is my thing. Sadly such was the case with this book. I had a hard time liking Hazel and I found it quite predictable but I’d be heartless if I said it didn’t twist my heartstrings a little. Augustus and Isaac were more likeable and I appreciate the very real take on terminal illness that didn’t pull back at all with its punches. With a lot of touching moments at the end of the book, I can say this is worth going to sleep at 4am. Great book, easy to recommend.

I was recently mopping my floors and staring at my bookshelf (because what else would you do while cleaning) and realized that I haven’t actually reviewed all the books on my favorites shelf. I’m not talking my mental “favorites” shelf, which is about a gagillion books long, but the physical shelf where I put my favorite books. Being a book blogger and moreover a book lover, I have my own unique system for organizing my books (mostly so I can find my way to whichever book I want in the vast ocean of literary works I own). It involves a single shelf dedicated to my favorite books in order of preference and merit (but also organized by author because I can’t not organize my books by author), excluding dystopian series because then it wouldn’t fit on a single bookshelf. Anyway, I decided that this would never do and that I’d better review these books quick. Also, I saw a chance to make a graphic. I like that (though I’m not very good at it).

Here is a picture of said bookshelf, but look, it’s mysteriously blurred out (insert chance to make a graphic here).


Can you guess which book I’m reviewing today? The one in focus, perhaps?

I’m going to forgo my usual header because there’s no use to giving these books a rating. This review is for The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I don’t EVER talk about this book in public and try to avoid the subject because I love this book so much (as does most of the reading world). It ended up on Tally’s Three Books I Cannot Review list (coming up later this week) and I, similarly, have avoided reviewing it for various mental health reasons. Maybe this is bad for our readers because we don’t review those books we love the most (a lot of the books you’ll read about being on my favorites shelf I haven’t previously reviewed for this reason), so I’m going to attempt to review them here, but give me some slack on these reviews because these will be the hardest books for me to talk about publicly. Maybe I’ll devote a later post (I haven’t written the Tuesday post for next week yet so maybe you’ll see it then) to why we (I) refuse to talk about some books, but for now we’ll focus on this book in particular.

My favorite John Green book is Paper Towns, but The Fault in Our Stars is the first book on my favorites shelf because it hit me so hard in the emotional stomach that I just felt it deserved that first place spot. Because it got that first place spot, the next four books on my shelf are also by John Green because as previously mentioned I can’t bear to break up an author in my organization system (you should see my Scott Westerfeld section). First, a (hopefully spoiler free) summary:

Hazel Grace Lancaster has lived on borrowed time for a great part of her life, thanks to miracle cancer-slowing drug Phalanxifor. There is no knowledge as to when this time will run out, but Hazel has accepted that and would be pretty okay with staying home and watching America’s Next Top Model for the rest of her undetermined lifetime. In spite of Hazel’s wishes, her mom insists that she attend Cancer Kid Support Group, which Hazel thinks is kind of ridiculous.

Then Hazel meets the least ridiculous thing about support group: Augustus Waters. Extreme fan of metaphor and drama, Augustus attempts to sweep the usually unsweepable Hazel off her feet, and in the process gets swept off of his one foot at least several times. The result is everyone lying on the floor, in every array of emotion possible.

When I say everyone lying on the floor I mean that metaphorically but also quite literally in that I was lying in a sort of puddle-heap hybrid by the end of this book. It (metaphorically) killed me emotionally, though a tiny bit of that might’ve been because I read TFiOS in one sitting starting at like eight o’ clock the night I bought it so I was sitting there having my feelings ripped out at approximately five a.m., but it was also a really emotionally difficult (but great!) book. Everyone (meaning one person) I’ve ever talked to about it also says they suffered a mental breakdown while and after reading the last chapters, and that is in agreement with every online discussion of the book I’ve ever read.

I don’t want to say too much more about TFiOS because I don’t want to risk ANY spoilers, but just know that it really is really truly really worth a read. It didn’t make it to the tippy top of the NY Times bestseller list for no reason.

The author, John Green, does other things besides write books, including running a vlog with his brother, Hank, and generally building and sustaining an awesome online community that has been helping to decrease worldsuck (aka do good things for the world) for years, as well as providing a ton of fuel for intelligent discussion (we like that here at Bookmarks) and the increasing of knowledge. You should go check him out.

Can you guess which book I’m reviewing next? (Here’s a hint: it’s the one not blurred out all the way.)

Happy Tuesday and hope you’re warm,

We here at Bookmarks appreciate a good series, especially a YA one. But, once the trilogy has ended, the writers don’t just disappear. Many of the authors I’ve grown to love and posted about on the blog are working on new books or new projects that we sometimes forget to look up.

John Green recently rented Carnegie Hall for the one-year anniversary of his #1 bestselling book The Fault in Our Stars. He’s also expecting a second child, and yesterday got to interview the President, who chose not to comment on the debate between naming his new daughter Eleanor or Alice. He also continues to vlog on a variety of channels, most notably his Vlogbrothers channel. In fact, he vlogs so many places that I had to make continues a link. That’s saying something.

Peg Kehret is writing another book (no title released yet, but here’s a picture of her editing). She also continues to win awards left and right while supporting her two major causes, animal rights and the fight against polio. She also posts amusing and good-hearted stories on Facebook pretty much daily.

Addison Moore is close to releasing Ethereal Knights, well-known Ethereal told from the other two points of the love triangle. She’s also gearing up for a spring release of the last Ethereal book, Elysian, as well as the second Countenance book, Evanescent. Busy girl! She continues to blog about her books and her experiences while writing them.

Jessica Therrien has had her new baby, Matthew, for about three weeks! Huge congratulations to her! She’s also pretty close to the release of the second book in her Children of the Gods series, Uprising. She also blogs about life as an author and now life as a mom.

Maggie Steifvater‘s new book, The Dream Thieves, is in the works, to be released September 17, 2013, following a successful release of the first in the four-book series, The Raven Boys. She’s joining a middle-grade series (something like 39 Clues, where multiple authors work to make them string together in some way), so look for reviews in the distantish future. She’s also wildly hilarious and blogs on various platforms, and says funny things on Facebook.

Finally, Suzanne Collins is releasing a new kids picture book, Year of the Jungle, about her experience when her father went to war. Scholastic says it should be out in Fall 2013.

Congrats to all the fabulous authors, and happy Friday,

For my post today I bring you a topic many have struggled with in their lives: the required (or suggested) reading for honors, AP and IB classes. When I get my list of books to buy every quarter, I always look at it excitedly – and then sigh, because it’s titled “American Lit Books.” One, what a stupid name, and two, another ‘great classics of Amurrica’ reading list? Some of the books on this list are good, most of them actually, but are we so arrogant that we won’t teach anything but American literature and Shakespeare in high schools? Because that’s ridiculous. There are people and stories from all over the world, and even if you don’t live in ‘the chosen land,’ you can still be a writer. This coming from a girl who just wanted to read Anna Karenina this semester.

Also, none of the books we’re supposed to read have been published even close to recently. I mean, yes, The Scarlet Letter is an awesome book, but it is not the most modern book out there, and doesn’t really deal with issues particularly close to (most) teenager’s hearts. We could take school reading as an opportunity to show students how others of the same age are feeling, by reading books like Hold Still by Nina LaCour or Metamorphosis: Junior Year by the Francos. Or we could even entertain people and make reading a fun activity for people who don’t like it much. In short, just because these old books are good doesn’t instantly make them the ones most worth our time, and school would be much more fun if teachers revised their reading lists a bit. So today I bring you the suggested reading list for the Bookmarks School of Important Knowledge. Read on.

Looking For Alaska by John Green

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen Degeneres

Perhaps I’ll add onto this list, but for now, turn to page 495 in your textbook and let’s begin.

Happy Wednesday,

As many bloggers of the world, I am a Nerdfighter (if you don’t know what that is, look here.). If you do know what that is, you should probably already know what I’m talking about. But I will post the video in question anyway:

If your computer (or your brain) has decided not to play youtube videos, basically it’s a book recommendation situation made in “If you liked ___, then read/give ___.”

I wholeheartedly agree with everything John says, but I have a few things to add:

If you liked The Hunger Games, then read/give The Gone Series by Michael Grant

If you liked Looking For Alaska (the no spoilers part), then read/give Hold Still by Nina LaCour. (Maybe soon I’ll write a post about my experience with this book)

If you’re looking for something more festive, then read/give Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances by Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle and John Green (yes I realize it’s another John Green novel but it’s also my favorite older middle grade Christmas/Holiday book and an excellent example of another awesome Jubilee in literature (if you don’t know why I care, go here.))

If you’re looking for something a bit whovianesque (a word? Definitely.), then read/give The Art of Destruction by yes, Stephen Cole. Possibly the best novelization ever.

If you’re into Sherlock and have already read everything Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has ever written, then read/give Ten Little Indians by Agatha Christie (and all the other Agatha Christie books out there, too).

Hoping that this gives you some gift (and self-gift) ideas, and that you are now a Nerdfighter,

So after an absolutely awful day like this particular Wednesday, I go home and I read my favorite books. Today I’ve selected five of my favorite books that already had bookmarks in them, opened to the marked page, and picked my favorite parts.

Also, many of these books I’ve already reviewed on Bookmarks. That is because they are my favorite books of all time.

From Jellicoe Road (also called On The Jellicoe Road in Australia and other better-than-America places) by Melina Marchetta:

“If this backfires, there’ll be a war,” I [Taylor] say.
“There already is a war. I think you forget that at times” (185). [Jonah Griggs]

From Looking For Alaska by John Green:

“We had [a pop quiz] that Wednesday morning: Share an example of a Buddhist koan. A koan is like a riddle that’s supposed to help you toward enlightenment in Zen Buddhism. For my answer, I wrote about this guy Banzan. He was walking through the market one day when he overheard someone ask a butcher for his best piece of meat. The butcher answered, “Everything in my shop is the best. You cannot find a piece of meat that is not the best.” Upon hearing this, Banzan realized that there is no best and no worst, that those judgements have no real meaning because there is only what is, and poof, he reached enlightenment. Reading it the night before, I’d wondered if it would be like that for me – if in one moment, I would finally understand her [Alaska], know her, and understand the role I’d played in her dying. But I wasn’t convinced enlightenment struck like lightning” (195).

From The Fault in Our Stars, also by John Green:

“Are you currently at your house?” he [Augustus] asked.
“Um, no,” I [Hazel] said.
“That was a trick question. I knew the answer, because I am currently at your house.”
“Oh. Um. Well, we are on our way, I guess?”
“Awesome. See you soon” (82).

From Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater:

“Sam and I were like horses on a merry-go-round. We followed the same track again and again – home, school, home, school, bookstore, home, school, home, etc. – but really, we were circling the big issue withot ever getting any closer to it. The real heart of it: Winter. Cold. Loss” (250).

From Peeps by Scott Westerfeld:

I headed for the door.
“Meow,” Cornelius [the cat] cried. He was lying in my way.
“Sorry, Corny. Can’t stay” (246).

Just a bit to lighten up your day,