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.
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.
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.)
So, instead of doing a post per book I’ve read I’m going to COMBO UP some of the young adult stuff because I don’t want to bore my own pants off writing about books I read what feels like a million years ago. SO HERE WE GO. YA PARADE: JOHN GREEN VERSION.
My first foray into John Green novels:
Title: Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Authors: John Green and David Levithan
So this book is about two dudes named Will Grayson (one gay, one not; both in various stages of heartbreak/love-sickness throughout) who meet each other by chance and become kind of friends. It’s pretty good. John Green’s parts are HILARIOUS whereas David Levithan’s are super depressing but also pretty good. Lots of quirkiness!
I liked it enough to buy Looking for Alaska, because Katie said it was super good and also because it wasn’t available in any of the ebook libraries available to me. (Four ebook libraries, by the way. In case you were curious how many libraries I belong to, the answer to that is three, but hopefully soon four. AND THEN FIVE EBOOK LIBRARIES OMG.) Anyway, so I bought it and it was pretty good also.
Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: Just John Green this time, you guys.
In this more depressing book, Miles meets hot crazy babe, Alaska, when he transfers into a boarding school and his once-boring life becomes super exciting and adventurous. Thanks, hot crazy babe! Miles is obsessed with last words, which is pretty great. Anyway, THEN SOMETHING TERRIBLE HAPPENS and Miles and his roomie, The Colonel, try to figure it out, and it’s all coming-of-agey and sad and really good.
Next, because it was available on the KINDLE FROM LIBRARIES HOW EXCITING, I read An Abundance of Katherines.
Title: An Abundance of Katherines
Author: John Green again, surprise!
This one is about socially-weird dude, Colin, and all the chicks named Katherine that he dated. (He only dates Katherines, in fact.) The most recent Katherine (#19) has dumped him and he’s super sad about it because quirky sad boys are John Green’s thing, so he and his BFF Hassan go road-tripping to feel better. They meet a hot babe named Lindsay (THAT’S MY NAME) (ETA: Actually, her name is Lindsey with an E which is lamer.) and Colin’s life is changed FOREVER. This is the weakest of the three I’ve read, I think, because it is just quirk-ville and the characters are less believable but it’s still 4 stars good, so read it anyway.
John Green is a pretty cool dude, you guys! Read his books! (I guess I will round out his books by reading Paper Towns, also.)
P.S. The cover images might be weird/low quality. I’m not sure what’s going on with WordPress image uploader, if anything. Might just be my internet. Anyway, sorry if it looks gross!