Tag Archives: teens

Review The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now. 

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. 

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

Genre: YA Fiction
Publisher: Dutton Books
Release Date: January 10, 2012
Page Count: 313
Source: My copy.
Rating: 5/5

This has been my second experience with this book. My first, was in Target’s limited YA section, at which time I discovered John Green. I have since read Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, and Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and while they have been all at once wonderful and funny and touching, they have not been life changing. They have not altered my perceptions of the world.

The Fault in Our Stars has.

I didn’t write a review the first time. I just didn’t know what to say. I’m not even sure I know what to say now, with tears drying on my cheeks.

I don’t cry for books. Movies, yes, a tear may fall (most recently with Remember Me), but books don’t make me cry. And I’m not a stranger to crying, either. I actually cry about everything. But books – I guess they would have to really shock me with their sadness to make me shed a tear for their characters. And I don’t really remember if I cried the first time, but I can say with definitiveness (?) that, while reading this book, I cried for a solid fifty pages. I never stopped reading – this was not an option – but I cried for so, so long. And I sniveled. It was all very pathetic. So much so that my husband stopped me.

“Baby. BABY!-” when I refused to look up- “I love you.”

“I love you too.”

I have said nothing about the book. Absolutely nothing.

I read The Fault in Our Stars the second time around to underline my favorite quotes of the book, because there are so many. I have never done this before. Written in books. But I did it in pencil, so it’s sort of okay. Anyway. In my opinion, The Fault in Our Stars is the most quotable book. And so, I have underlined approximately 39 passages in a 313-page book.

And maybe it’s not about the books. Maybe it never was. John Green once said “Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than about the stories and people we’re quoting.” And I think that’s true. I think it’s the way in which the books make us feel, is what really counts. And I think this book makes me feel really sad, but also really real. It makes me feel like fearing something like oblivion or even death is sort of a normal thing – not really that crazy – and yes, we leave behind scars, not legacies, but those scars are remembered and that lets us be true to ourselves even in death because the scars don’t lie. They can’t. They just are. The people we truly love carry those around with them until they die and when it’s over it’s okay because we have lived on vicariously through the people we love. Love… has granted us remembrance.

So, yeah, I like this book. I do agree that John Green is one of the best writers alive and I want to meet him someday. Mostly, though, I want more books like it. More intelligent YA novels that delve into the human condition and electrify our very souls. But that’s just it, I guess. There is no book like it.

I’m in love with you,” he said quietly.

“Augustus,” I said.

“I am,” he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. “I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”


Review What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton

 

How can you talk about something you can’t remember?

Before the ski trip, sixteen-year-old Cassidy “Sid” Murphy was a cheerleader (at the bottom of the pyramid, but still…), a straight-A student, and a member of a solid trio of best friends. When she ends up on a ski lift next to handsome local college boy, Dax Windsor, she’s thrilled; but Dax takes everything from Sid—including a lock of her perfect red curls—and she can’t remember any of it.

Back home and unable to relate to her old friends, Sid drops her college prep classes and takes up residence in the A/V room with only Corey “The Living Stoner” Livingston for company. But as she gets to know Corey (slacker, baker, total dreamboat), Sid finds someone who truly makes her happy. Now, if she can just shake the nightmares and those few extra pounds, everything will be perfect… or so she thinks.

Witty and poignant, Colleen Clayton’s stunning debut is a story about moving on after the unthinkable happens.

Genre: YA Fiction
Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Page Count: 320
Source: My copy.
Rating: 4/5

Looking back, I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about rape. This book was spot on, I think: raw, emotional, and heartbreaking.

Sid doesn’t handle her experience in the best way. But, really, what is the right way to deal with something so horrible? Especially for a teen girl who feels that she is completely alone? Needless to say, Sid goes in a downward spiral shedding her of her friends, her weight, and her dignity.

That is, until she meets Corey. Of course, just meeting him wasn’t enough. Hanging on to her reckless ways, she meets him, and she falls in love with him. It takes his concern and his love to help her realize that she is taking the wrong path. Really, she knew it all along, but it takes Corey’s support for her to do something about it.

And Corey really is wonderful. I think Clayton has succeeded in creating the sweetest teenage boy I have ever encountered. He is genuine and true, loving, honest, and supportive – all the traits we, as girls, hope to find in a boy that age.

I thought, at times, the story was rushed. I felt that the book could have gone more into detail with certain scenes, rather than rushing over everything. Sometimes I felt like I was reading bullet points. The ending was rushed too.

Other than that, the author took a trying experience for a young girl and weaved it into a very real account that I felt I could relate to. This book gives hope to those people affected by its subject matter, and I think every teen should read it.