Friday, 15 November 2013

Paper Towns Review

I’m apologising in advanced here: I have recently decided to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), despite the fact that it is already halfway through the month. This means I have to write about 3,000 words a day if I want to complete it on time. This also means that my very minimal free time that I had before will now be gone until the end of the month. This includes my blog. There is a huge chance that I will not be able to get reviews up for the next couple of weeks so, to my very few and very amazing readers, I am sorry. But I will complete NaNoWriMo this year! (heh, as if that will actually happen…)

Anyhoo, this week I read yet another John Green book. I have to say, I’m getting addicted. This one was Paper Towns, a book that personally is currently one of my favourites. In a very short summary, this book is about a girl named Margo who disappears after the narrator Quentin spends a night running around the town with her doing crazy stuff. Quentin becomes obsessed with trying to find her and follows a bunch of clues, trying to piece together the story. It was very fast paced, not at all boring, and the ending was probably one of his more satisfying ones.

First off, I have to say that the age group for this book is slightly more mature, I can say that about most John Green books, but this one in particular sounds most like an average teenager. And by that, I mean that there is cussing and explicit mentions (or joking from the character’s perspectives) of sex. So if you’re a teenager, I’d say great! Go on and read! But if you’re one of the more sensitive types, you might want to avoid the book.

That being said, I feel like this is one of Green’s most realistic teenage-perspective books. They character’s aren’t over or under done, and to be honest, I found the characters saying things my friends or I would probably say. There were also a few references to things that made me flail around happily at the fact that I understood the reference (such as to Harry Potter, which was, in fact, mentioned). I could relate to bits of this book on a level that I normally can’t with most books, so I have to say I was quite impressed.

The point of this book was for there to be character development – specifically for the character Margo. So much of the plot was based off of that, and John Green did a very good job. It was a risky thing to do in a book, basing a plot fully on how much you learn about a character, but he implicated perfectly.

Overall, I’d give Paper Towns a five out of five. It easily made my top five books, probably above his Fault in Our Stars. The book was very well written, well thought out (unlike this review), and well detailed. I honestly don’t think that there was anything I didn’t like about it. I would recommend to anyone who wants to read a very teenager-ish, mystery-ish bo

Friday, 8 November 2013

The Eye of Minds Review

After waiting weeks, I finally managed to get James Dashner’s new book. I was really excited to get it. I enjoyed The Maze Runner and I was hoping that this book would be just as good.

It was better.

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner is the first book in the new series The Mortality Doctrine. The second book is planned to be released in autumn of next year (Pulling a Rick Riordan, are you Mr. Dashner?). The book takes place in a sort-of futuristic setting where people are spending more time in the virtual work, VirtNet, instead of the real world. It’s one of those books that takes place mostly in a digital world where there is somebody hacking the system of harming people. I have seen this before, at least twice (though I can’t remember the first time I saw this per say), the second being in the Pendragon book The Reality Bug). But even though I have seen this type of setting, this book felt different to read.

Well, the book started off fairly regular. Somebody spending time in the VirtNet, except something weird happens. It’s the type of formula that has been seen before multiple times in multiple books. The book seemed fairly average until about halfway through, when things started to get good. I can’t say what happened because of spoilers, but things got dark and crazy and the book ended with a twist that had me wishing autumn 2014 would come a lot sooner.

Honestly, I just need to talk about the setting of this book. I feel like that is a huge part about what made this book what it was. It was brilliantly done, what with the line between what was fiction and reality. That line being a very, very thin line at times. The way that Dashner talked about the VirtNet made it feel like it could almost be real – like I could go to the corner of the room and there would be my “coffin” (a sort of container-type thing where a person laid while they accessed the VirtNet) waiting for me. And while sometimes the virtual world felt realistic, other times it was written to be very clearly digital. It was brilliantly done, and the book itself kept you, as the reader, guessing as to what was going on.

It wasn't very difficult book to read. Between books that I've been reading for school and some books I've been reading for fun that were a little more on the complex side, this book was an enormous relief for my mind. No, the plot was not obvious nor was it not complex, but there were no crazy symbolisms and there was no fancy language that was akin to Shakespeare. I managed to finish in only a few hours, which is something I haven’t been able to do with a book for a long while. And it was interesting enough to keep my undivided attention for said hours.

Overall, I’d give this book a four out of five. It was very well written, very interesting, and overall just a good read. I’d recommend this book to people who want a break from extreme fantasy or crazy sci-fi. This book is a bit of a cross between those genres, while keeping a very realistic element to it. Like I mentioned before, it isn't a very difficult book to read, but I wouldn't recommend giving it to someone under the age of 12. There are some dark elements that had even me slinking under my blankets once I turned out the lights.

Friday, 1 November 2013

The Fault in Our Stars Review

It’s really quite amazing how a book can change ones view of the world and, more often than not, make them feel pretty damn insignificant. This is how I felt after reading the infamous The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.
' Sobre Café E Livros: Por Que Ler A Culpa é Das Estrelas, De John Green (com Fan Arts!). N.d. Photograph. ' Sobre Café E Livros: Por Que Ler A Culpa é Das Estrelas, De John Green (com Fan Arts!). Web. 01 Nov. 2013. <>

I don’t like most books about cancer. A lot of the time, they’re unrealistic or about those few who did something really brilliant. TFIOS was different. This book is about a teenager named Hazel who, if you couldn't guess, has cancer. The book basically sums up the hell that she has to go through because of cancer – including her love life. I don’t often cry for books, but by the end of this one, I was brought almost to tears (the reason I probably didn't cry was because I was too emotionally tired from starting the book a few hours prior and reading it all over a short amount of time).

Besides the realistic-ness of the book, symbolism plays a huge part in the book as well. Not symbolism like in The Great Gatsby where the reader has to find out about it themselves, but symbolism that is very clearly put in almost bold letters I am a symbol. It adds both a bit of deeper meaning to the text as well as give the bluntness of the average teenager. Especially a dying one. There’s also a lot of emotion behind these symbols. The word “okay” holds more meaning than the word “always” means to Potterheads, which is saying quite a bit.

I know that I say this about almost every book I've reviewed on here, but this book had dynamic characters. Hazel grew emotionally stronger and her view of the world did change, Augustus… Well, let’s actually not talk about him right now. I honestly didn't think there be so much development in a book about cancer, I’m not quite sure why, but this book completely changed that. Especially because she [Hazel] didn't act like the stereotypical cancer kid.

The writing style of this book was very John Green. It was sarcastic, joking, and made references to a book that to my knowledge doesn't actually exist throughout the book. Despite not being a teenager, he has definitely succeeded in sounding like one, where many authors have failed (yes, I am looking at some popular YA authors). At times, it seems to be a little overdone, but it only adds to the lighter tones of the book. But as a general rule, the narrator acting like a teenager really helps to connect to the readers. I can see why so many people like the book.

Overall, I’d give the book a five out of five. This book easily made it into my top five favourite books (place number one still goes to Anthony Horowitz’s Oblivion). It’s deep, funny, light-hearted, depressing, and everything in between. It plays with your emotions so much throughout the book. You, as the reader, actually almost feel like you’re in the book. I would recommend this book to everyone. I repeat; everyone. It is a book that, within the time that I spent reading it, completely changed my view on the world. There isn't one person who shouldn't read this book, no matter the age.