Saturday, 3 November 2012

Book Review 3 - Looking for Alaska by John Green

Miles “Pudge” Halter, is a fifteen-year-old “good kid”. Up until now, Pudge has been going day by day without really living his life, and he is ready for that to change. With his love for last words, his favorite being those of French poet Francois Rabelais - “I go to seek a Great Perhaps”, Pudge moves to the sometimes unstable, highly erratic, and anything-but-ordinary life of Culver Creek Boarding School. He is setting off on a new journey, ready to find his own Great Perhaps. He quickly befriends his roommate and a few other classmates, including, most importantly, one Alaska Young. Alaska Young is the beautiful, eccentric, spontaneous, self-destructive, screwed-up, and endlessly fascinating girl down the hall that pulls Pudge headfirst into her world of pranks, smoking, good music, love and alcohol. Almost instantly, Pudge’s heart is stolen and his life is turned upside down.

         Looking For Alaska is a remarkable coming-of-age novel that dives into the never ending perks and struggles of being a teenager. It is a character-driven novel of such outstanding talent that will leave you finding pieces of yourself within Pudge and Alaska. Looking For Alaska changed my life completely, quite similar to how Alaska changed Pudge’s. I was picked up and dropped head first into the controversial lives of all the student’s lives at Culver Creek Boarding. I pictured myself lingering at their side as they walked down the dorm halls, sat at the smoking pit, and planned pranks at the swing set. With its penetrating writing and vivid, dynamic characters, Looking For Alaska will always be the book you compare every following book to. Personally, I would recommend this near flawless read to matured teens and young adult readers of both genders who are craving an addictive read you won’t be able to put down. Although it still stands as one of my all-time favourite reads, I did find some petite snippets of the novel to drag on and become a slight bore at times. Other than that, it was a near flawless read. Looking For Alaska is heart touching, eccentric, and will leave you speechless.

Book Review 2 - The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Ever since she was young, Isabel “Belly” Conklin has always spent her summers with the same two boys, Conrad and Jeremiah Fisher. Through her preteen years, Belly carried around a helpless crush on the older, brooding, abysmal brother, Conrad. Now, several Conrad-obsessed years later, Belly is set and overly tenacious on making this the summer everything changes. This will be the summer Belly transforms from her younger, naive self to the new and improved 15 year-old girl Conrad will finally fall in love with. The Summer I Turned Pretty is told from the perspective of high-school student Belly as she falls headfirst into the sometimes crazy and anything but ordinary summer she finally turns pretty.
The Summer I Turned Pretty’s addictive plot and vivid characters left me lying awake at night, bringing it with me wherever I went, and wishing it would never end. With her infiltrating writing, Jenna Han illustrates a near flawless portrait of what it’s like to endure in the never-ending struggles and perks of being a teenage girl. I found myself in a world of my own as I was reading this novel, sinking down into the story, and thinking as if I was Belly herself. The Summer I Turned Pretty is full of dynamic, stock and static characters that will leave you finding pieces of yourself within them. At times, the plot is a little impractical, so I would recommend this novel to female readers of all ages that love romance and are in the mood for a light read. Both adult and teen readers will find themselves wishing they were Belly and falling into her shoes as she partakes in this summer of a lifetime. The Summer I Turned Pretty is a heart-wrenching and bittersweet novel filled with teenage love, family struggles, and realizing the importance of growing up. With all of its laughs, tears and smiles, The Summer I Turned Pretty will leave you wanting to raise a glass and cheers to the teenage years.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

My "Litspiration" Challenge.

Here is my personal book list of my favourite "coming of age" novels, with my favourite quotation from each of them. 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky

“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.” 

The Summer I Turned Pretty (series) - Jenny Han

“Moments, when lost, can't be found again. They're just gone.” 

The Last Song - Nicholas Sparks

“Sometimes you have to be apart from people you love, but that doesn't make you love them any less. Sometimes you love them more.” 

Looking For Alaska - John Green 

“I wanted so badly to lie down next to her on the couch, to wrap my arms around her and sleep. Not f**k, like in those movies. Not even have sex. Just sleep together in the most innocent sense of the phrase. But I lacked the courage and she had a boyfriend and I was gawky and she was gorgeous and I was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating. So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was hurricane.” 

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret - Judy Blume

“We must, we must, we must increase our bust.” 

Forever - Judy Blume

“I made promises to you that I'm not sure I can keep. None of it has anything to do with you. It's just that I don't know what to do now. You must be thinking what a rotten person I am. Well, believe me, I'm thinking the same thing. I don't know how this happened or why. Maybe I can get over it. Do you think you can wait—because I don't want you to stop loving me. I keep remembering us and how it was. I don't want to hurt you … not ever …” 

Dear John - Nicholas Sparks

“And when her lips met mine, I knew that I could live to be a hundred and visit every country in the world, but nothing would ever compare to that single moment when I first kissed the girl of my dreams and knew that my love would last forever.” 

The Fantastic Flying Books or Mr. Morris Lessmore

In class this week, we watched and analyzed this Oscar and Academy Award winning short film. I highly recommend everyone to sit back and enjoy :)

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Book Review 1 - Why We Broke

The contrasting, intelligent, and completely unlike your typical teenage girl, Minerva Green, is breaking up with Ed Slaterton, the math-loving and irresistible co-captain of the basketball team. Why We Broke Up is told from the perspective of high-school student ‘Min’ as she writes Ed a bittersweet letter. The letter weaves you through the controversial relationship of ‘Min’ and Ed, explaining, in rich detail, every little thing that went wrong in their relationship, and especially what went right. Inside the box she is dumping on her ex-boyfriend’s doorstep is a series of items that played their own personal role, big or small, in the tragic ending to their unforgettable love. Why We Broke Up is a poignant tale of first love, loss, and facing reality.
David Handler uses his penetrating writing to weave through the heartbreaking, bittersweet, and compelling romance of two utterly opposite and love-struck teenagers, and why they broke up. Why We Broke Up is a character-driven novel of such remarkable talent that it makes you feel for the characters, drop into their skin and walk around in their shoes. Handler pulls you right into the controversial lives of the 'Min' and Ed. Written with such an emotional depth that allows both adult and teen readers to revisit memories of heartbreak and find pieces of themselves in Min, and maybe even Ed, Why We Broke Up will leave you wondering how Handler knows exactly what it's like to be a teenage girl in love. This novel can’t help but make you recall your own past, first “loves”, stupidity, mistakes, and school traumas. Why We Broke Up will make you laugh, cry, and smile. 

Monday, 17 September 2012

" I can feel infinitely alive curled up on the sofa reading a book. "

- Benedict Cumberbatch