Tag Archive | Jay Asher

YA Parade: Depressing Teens Edition

Because who doesn’t love books involving suicide, social isolation, and serial runaways?

Title: Thirteen Reasons Why

Author: Jay Asher

Maybe some of you (all you readers who don’t exist) remember that I read the facebook book a few months ago, half by Jay Asher. I decided I liked that enough to read Thirteen Reasons Why, and also this book is kind of a big deal so there’s that, too.

Anyway, the book is about Hannah Baker, or rather, about the tapes she left for certain people to hear after she committed suicide. Heavy stuff, guys. The tapes are basically about what and who made Hannah want to kill herself, and they’re to be heard by all the people who are to blame, and also Clay Jensen, poor dude. Of course he’s full of guilt as he listens to all the tapes before he is to send them on and none of this book is a happy story.

But you know what? Way better than the facebook book and even though I find the idea that someone would be angry enough to leave suicide tapes behind really really disturbing, the concept is way more believable and way better executed. (Sorry, Jay Asher, but I couldn’t really get behind FACEBOOKFUTUREBOOK.) Also, good things for kids in schools to think about: small actions make a big difference. (HEY THAT WAS FACEBOOK BOOK’S MESSAGE, TOO.) Not my favorite book in the world because I didn’t find it super compelling (like I said, same message as about a million other books), but I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads, because it’s well written and one of those books that’s obviously going to be a big deal to teens.

Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Author: Stephen Chbosky

So I read this book because I have a girl crush on Emma Watson and she’s in the movie adaptation. I have to say, guys, I have no idea how they are going to make this into a movie I like because honestly, this book was not very good.

This book is all about social outcast Charlie who somehow finds his way into a “cool” crowd of kids and all his (mis)adventures. I’m a be real, though, it was way Catcher in the Rye except only the bad parts, like how the narrator is really obnoxious about not understanding anything, except this book is even worse about that because this kid does not understand anything at all even more than Holden didn’t. But somehow this group he falls into of seniors (while he’s a freshman) thinks he’s the bee’s knees and get him all sorts of drugged up and girlfriend-ed and it’s weird you guys, it makes no sense. 

Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand why teen readers are into this. It’s all growing-up-y and it’s great if you’re a social outcast and you’re like If Charlie can get friends and he is SO WEIRD AND CRIES ALL THE TIME totally I can get friends too. But if you have even a little post-teen perspective the whole thing just seems shallow and try-too-hard and frankly disturbing, because these seniors hanging out with Charlie do a lot of questionable things to a boy who is so socially stunted.

2 stars, Goodreads. Because ugh.

So, uh… good luck, movie industry. I will probably (totally legally) stream this on the internet after it comes out just to see if Emma Watson can save it.

Title: Paper Towns

Author: John Green

I also decided to finally finish my John Green reading before the next book comes out, which roommate Katie is totally pumped about and pre-ordered, so I’ll probably borrow her copy because I’m cheap. (Run-on sentences are fun.)

So here’s another quirky-girl gives boy-who-would-probably-not-attract-quirky-girl-in-real-life the run-around book. Don’t get me wrong, it’s entertaining, and I like it, but John Green, this girl does not exist in real life, and if she does, she does not function socially very well. She could not manage to be super popular like Margo, and probably no one would go looking for her, because boy-who-would-not-attract-her also wouldn’t be into her, because he’d see that she’s kind of a mess, you know?

So anyway, Margo kidnaps Quentin (Q) in the night to go mess with a bunch of people who messed with her, and then she runs away and Quentin and friends try to find her because she always leaves clues. And it’s super entertaining, and it’s got endearing characters (even if they aren’t quite real and are very derivative of his past books), and if you like John Green, obviously you’ll like this because it’s quintessentially John Green. Quirk, romance, mystery, funny, and smart, while just barely missing the mark on being deep and profound because you can’t get over the characters-who-don’t-exist, so you can’t really get into their problems.

I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads because I like John Green, despite his flaws. But if you don’t, this is probably not for you.

That’s it for now you guys but guess what. I’m reading TWO BOOKS FOR GROWN-UPS right now. So I promise it won’t always be this ridiculous shower of young adult books. (Sry.)

What I Read: The Future of Us

Read this a while ago, but I’ma try to remember enough about it to say some sensible things. I’ve been kind of putting of blogging about it because it was kind of bleh but now here it comes, blog, The Future of Us, another free Penguin ARC.

Title: The Future of Us

Authors: Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

Release Date: November 21, 2011

So here’s the scoop, kids. It’s 1996. Emma and Josh used to be BFFs but then Josh messed everything up by trying to kiss Emma and Emma messed everything up by not being into it. But Josh’s household got an AOL CD-ROM for FREE INTERNETS YAY and his parents are all EW INTERNET NO WAY and so Josh’s mom makes Josh take the CD-ROM over to Emma who is their neighbor and who is like OKAY MY DAD GOT ME A GUILT-PRESENT-COMPUTER FOR GETTING REMARRIED AND MOVING TO FLORIDA WITHOUT ME THANKS.

So then she puts in the CD and in her internet favorites is some weird site called Facebook and she’s like Whaaaaaat???? and she looks at it and it shows her FIFTEEN YEARS IN THE FUTURE and stuff. And Josh’s fb is there, too, along with a bunch of their friends’, so they check stuff out, and Josh’s future is supposed to be AWESOME and Emma’s is just kind of whatever, and they find out that the future changes based on their actions in the present and some shenanigans follow.

Here’s the deal, though, readers. This book really isn’t all that interesting. The premise is okay. As I read it, it hit some nostalgic bits of me and I had to wonder about that–this book is aimed at kids younger than I am, kids who might not remember AOL CD-ROMs and the Macarena and beepers and VHS tapes. Why is a book aimed at a younger audience hitting nostalgic bits of an older audience?

And then I was like, AND WHAT HAPPENS WHEN FB IS GONE? Because obviously Facebook won’t be around forever. And anyway, the way Facebook is described might be totally inaccurate in a few years; Facebook is changing how it looks all the time.

On top of that, the story was kind of boring. Most of it revolved around a computer, and how exciting can you really make surfing the web, even if it is surfing the web for YOUR FUTURE OMG. The most exciting part about the book is that opening and weak premise, and then after that it just skips along through the YA Wonderland of hormones and crushes and boring characters. (Emma was more interesting than Josh, who was so super boring.)

I gave it 3 stars, though, on Goodreads. It was kind of entertaining, and I liked it alright. It’s apparently going to be a movie. Hopefully the movie is more interesting and has less sitting-on-the-computer time to it.

Go read it, I guess! When it comes out, anyway.