Saturday, February 13, 2010

Paper Towns by John Green

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This is a novel about two teens, Quentin "Q" Jacobsen and Margo Roth Spiegelman. They've known each other since they were children and Q is rather in love with this Margo who he has known for so long, yet knows nothing about. 

Although neighbors and almost lifetime aquaintances, Q and Margo never really hung out. Until one night when Margo appears at Q's window and takes him on a night of adventure full of revenge that Q will never forget. Upon parting each other, Q is left with the hope that they can finally be real friends. But the next day, Margo isn't at school. Or the next. Or the next. Margo disappearing was not anything new -- she was a very adventurous person who has many stories of just leaving. But her disappearance left Q uneasy. Why would she spend that night with him and not tell him she planned on leaving? Although she was adventerous, she didn't just up and leave. She made plans. She always leaves a trail.

This time, she left a trail for Q to follow.

Q enrolls his friends Radar and Ben and together, they try to piece together the clues. Q believes that Margo wanted to be found especially by him. And this thought left him with so much hope. So much hope.

This was my first book by John Green though I've heard good things about his other novel, Looking for Alaska (review soon). I found this to be incredibly interesting and it kept me captivated page after page. It was a very fast read and I'm rather certain I will read it again in the future -- and I'm not usually one to re-read books.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This is a story about Susie Salmon, a 14 year old girl who one day takes a short cut home only to be lured into a secret place (built by a neighbor), raped and then murdered. This is what we learn in the beginning. The rest of the novel shows us what happens after her death -- in her "life" and those of hers around here.

Susie is stuck in what is coined as the "inbetween", coined justly due to the fact that it is in between earth and heaven. Some of the novel tells us what happens to Susie while in the inbetween. She describes the world in which she now lives, the people she meets, how she is able to get whatever she could ever want. The other part is informing us what happens to her friends and to her family after her passing. She even keeps us updated on the life of her killer.

This was an amazingly touching and moving story. When I first started it, I found myself not wanting to put it down. But (without discussing specific events) I lost interest. I found myself forcing my way through some of the chapters. Some of the things were just too...odd to be believed. Some of the things were just too much to read. 

Overall, though, I found the story to be interesting, just too long. Too much padding almost yet not enough information at the exact same time.

I did go see the movie directed by Peter Jackson. And I must say I did not find it enjoyable. He made quite a few changes -- understandably -- but I found it not making sense. And a lot of the relationships that developed that were such a big deal in the novel were either nonexistent or barely touched upon. And honestly, the parts about the building relationships were what I found so interesting.

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

This is the first installment of the book series the HBO television series "True Blood" is based upon. The first book introduces us to Sookie Stackhouse, a southern girl with what she coins a "disability". Sookie lives in a Bon Temps, Louisiana in a time where vampires have finally decided to "come out of the coffin". When Sookie finally meets (and saves) a vampire, Bill, her entire world begins to change. Vampires. Murder. Mystery. What isn't there to enjoy?

Quite a bit, actually.
I watched the first season and the majority of the second season of "True Blood" long before I picked up this novel. I started reading it once in Books-a-Million but found the writing style to be horrendous and lost interest in it. Though, seeing the writing style, it made me realize that the television show -- which also has horrendous writing -- didn't butcher the novel(s) as I had originally thought.

Once you look past the writing, whether in book or novel form, the story is at least interesting. The show gets rather ridiculous fast, which makes me wonder if I'll ever bother with the rest of the written series, but it sucks you in completely. This is a vampire soap opera -- that's the best way I can explain it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Note

I've completed 7 books thus far this year but have no reviews to show for it. This is my fault; I let school get in the way of this project. And I fear now that I've let too much time pass to give good reviews to the books I've read. I have a couple handwritten that I will type up soon. The others will remain review-less.

I'm going to get on the ball with this, though, and make sure I at least write a review out by hand the day of completion. I finished a novel this morning. I plan on working on the review after I knock out an hour or two of homework.
I think I'm just nervous for I've never written a book review before. And when I'm nervous or uncertain about something -- especially a new adventure, like this -- I tend to let other things take its place of importance. I won't be doing that anymore, though.

By Saturday, I will have reviews posted. Or this blog (and therefore goal) is just pointless.