Category: Romance

Apr 18

All You Need Is Love… And Warm Bodies (by Isaac Marion)

Coming of Age, Frightening, Humor, Romance, Supernatural, Zombies 26

Braaaaaaaaains… I mean, Bookworms.

Sorry about that, guys. I just finished reading Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion and I’m still recovering. It’s an uplifting zombie novel with heart (beating and otherwise…) It’s not often I get to use the word “uplifting” in conjunction with “zombie,” but Warm Bodies is a rare novel.

warm bodies

We start off in an airport that is no longer functioning. It’s home to “R” and countless other zombies. R is a bit of an enigma. He cannot remember his former life, and all he can recall about his name is that it began with an R.  Oh yes, he also lusts after human brains. BUT. He can hold conversations. As long as they’re in sentences of 4 syllables or less. His best friend “M” retains an echo of his former life, and something approaching a sense of humor. R amuses himself by riding the escalators up and down when the generators periodically kick on. One day he grunts to a lady zombie. They make a pilgrimage to another portion of the airport and are married, zombie style.

WHAT?! I know, right? Not only is this book written from the perspective of a zombie, the zombies in question are ORGANIZED. They have something approaching a religion, which is manned by skeleton priests. They bring food back from hunting trips for the child zombies. They hold “school” during which they teach the zombie children how to go for the jugular. Big departure from traditional zombie lore! However, they fact that THEY WANT TO EAT YOU ALIVE remains. They TOTALLY want to eat you alive. Your brain especially, because they can relive bits an pieces of your life by digesting your brain… Like a little movie montage…

brain

I love how the clip art brain has “thinking” lines. Zombies are particularly fond of the little zaps.

One day, R and his compadres go on a hunting trip. They set upon a group of unsuspecting teenagers on a salvage expedition. While R is devouring a particularly tasty brain, he starts to FEEL his victims feelings more intensely than he ever has before. R notices a girl he recognizes as “Julie” (thanks to his delicious snack) and has an uncontrollable urge to protect her. He smears her with stinky dead blood and hauls her back to his home sweet home- his own personal 747. How’s THAT for creepy? Kidnapped by a zombie?!

Julie has a peculiar effect on R. He is suddenly capable of speaking in longer sentences. He resists the urge to gnaw human flesh. He begins to feel and care and be more aware than he can ever recall being. Julie does a remarkable job of not freaking the frick out. I guess that comes from living in a cramped stadium with what’s left of humanity while fighting off things that want to eat you. Julie and R bond over music, of all things. Julie loves the Beatles (and while “All You Need Is Love” isn’t specifically referenced in the book, it’s clear to ME that’s our theme song here) while R prefers the soothing sounds of vintage Frank Sinatra on vinyl.

John, Paul, George, and Ringo may just have saved the world.

John, Paul, George, and Ringo may just have saved the world.

R’s zombiness thaws the more time he spends with Julie. Needless to say, much like the Capulets and Montagues, neither the zombies or the humans are too keen on this little romance. I won’t be the queen of spoilers… Who are we kidding? Yes I will. Let’s just say this has a much happier ending than Romeo & Juliet. HA!!!!! I just got that! “R” as in Romeo and Julie, like Juliet! You are one clever fellow, Isaac Marion. Ahhh good times. It’s a refreshing departure from the doom and gloom of the zombie genre. The message of hope is one we could use more of these days.

I have NOT seen the movie version of this, but I’ve heard great things. I don’t think I’d be too disappointed by major plot changes- the girl-meets-zombie-from-the-wrong-side-of-the-tracks premise is enough to keep me entertained! What do you think, Bookworms? Anybody read this? Seen the movie? What do you think?

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Apr 15

Get Swept Up In The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway

Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance, Supernatural, Time Travel 41

Salutations, Bookworms!

I’ve been a book blogger for a while now, 8 months or so. I’m still not entirely sure what I’m doing, but I’m pretty sure I’m doing something RIGHT, because I recently got an email from a publisher offering me a free book! Now, this is not the first time I’ve been offered a book, but it IS the first time I’ve accepted one, since time constraints and/or lack of interest have prevented me from taking them in the past. You’re supposed to be VERY CLEAR AND UP FRONT when you review a book you’ve gotten for free. HEY INTERNET! I GOT THIS BOOK FOR FREE!

Now that we have the formalities out of the way… I got an email offering me a copy of The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway. I was intrigued because the email claimed that fans of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander would like this book. I was intrigued, but also a little wary. I mean, was I in for a poorly executed copy of Gabaldon’s awesomeness? I’m not very nice when that happens…

rivernoreturn

I needn’t have worried. This book had elements I’ve seen in other places, but they were woven together into something completely original and enthralling. If you took the time travel romance element of Outlander and combined it with the conspiracy theory aspect of, say, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, added a some of the magical bits from The Night Circus, and put it in a blender with a chocolate milkshake, you’d get close to The River of No Return. It’s delicious.

Without getting super spoiler-happy, I’ll give you the lowdown. Nick Falcott is a Georgian-era English aristocrat who decides to fight in the Napoleonic wars. Just as he’s about to be done in by a Frenchman, he vanishes into thin air and re-materializes in 2003. Oops. He’s rescued by a mysterious group known as “The Guild” who locate accidental time travelers and help them re-acclimate to the time they’ve jumped into. The Guild provides the unwitting time travelers with money and sets up new lives for them in new countries. They also force them to learn medieval Finnish. (A secret society has got to have SOME quirks, right? They can’t ALL speak Latin, for heaven’s sake.) Anywho, Nick gets all situated with his indoor plumbing and his blue jeans and indulges his affinity for homemade stinky cheeses and beautiful women for a good 10 years. All is well until he receives a summons from The Guild…

Meanwhile, in 1815, Julia Percy is super sad because her grandpa kicks the bucket and she’s stuck with her douchey cousin as heir to the manor (or castle. They call it a castle, but as there are no crowns involved, I don’t think it counts.) Julia doesn’t realize her grandfather’s gift of freezing time is anything more than a strange game the two played. Of course she realizes it’s not NORMAL to go around stopping time, but she has no idea just how important she will be to The Guild, their enemies, and Nick (bow chicka bow wow).

I imagined nick looked rather like Hugh Dancy in period costumes. You know, plus the appropriate scars and whatnot.

I imagined nick looked rather like Hugh Dancy in period costumes. You know, plus the appropriate scars and whatnot.

Okay. I need to stop talking before the spoilers happen. Here’s some stuff I loved. First, there were some seriously funny one-liners in this book. I laughed out loud several times (particularly when Nick pondered his existence as “just a dude.”) Second, despite having a very science-y twist with the time travel, it was very accessible to me. The idea that time travel was facilitated by feelings and the flow of human history rather than, like, equations and black holes made me really happy. Third, time travel brings all sorts of fun colorful characters together who wouldn’t normally get to hang out. Gender bending teen from the 80s is like BFF with a medieval Swedish turnip farmer? It’s awesome.

My only complaint, if I can even call it that, is that the book left a lot of unfinished business. I assume (and hope… nay DEMAND!) that this is the first in a series of novels, because if it isn’t, I might cry. The concepts aren’t new, but the take is fresh and FUN. If you liked Outlander or Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore or The Night Circus or just generally enjoy books that don’t suck? Check out The River of No Return. Bee Ridgway, you’ve got yourself an admirer right here.

Alright, Bookworms. Since we’re talking time travel here, if you could go back to any point in history, where would you go? Why? Would you try to smuggle in deodorant, toilet paper, and contact lenses? (Because I totally would…)

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Apr 04

Eleanor & Park: It'll Take You Back Faster Than a Whiff of Unwashed Gym Suit.

Blogging, Family, Humor, Personal, Romance, Young Adult Fiction 64

Sup Bookworms?!

I say “sup” because that was the thing to say when I was in high school. During high school,  I absolutely refused to use the term on the grounds that contractions should use apostrophes. I also wrote song lyrics out on the backs of all the notes I passed between classes and pasted magazine photo collages of grunge rockers onto my notebooks. (A 16 year old girl is a 16 year old girl, no matter her taste in music.)

I know what you’re thinking. “Yes, Katie. We KNOW you were a cantankerous teenager. You wrote about it once, plus, you’re a blogger. An awkward adolescence is a prerequisite, right?” I swear I have a point. The point is, I just read Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell and it took me back to high school faster than whiff of unwashed gym suit.

eleanor & parkHere’s the deal. It’s 1986. Eleanor is the new girl in school. She’s on the curvy side and has wild red hair. Her first day of school, she is denied a seat on the bus by everyone (in a move of calculated cruelty that is innate to the teenage of the species) EXCEPT a half Korean kid named Park. Eleanor and Park don’t fall in love immediately. In fact, they don’t even speak. They only begin to break the ice when Park notices that Eleanor has been reading his comic books out of the corner of her eye.

Eleanor’s got a whole lot of crap going on in her home life. She and her 4 siblings live in squalor with their abusive stepfather and their once vibrant mother (who like many abused women has become a shell of her former self.) Eleanor is in no position to be starting a relationship, but as she and Park progress from friendship to hand holding, she knows she’s a goner.

THIS BOOK! It does for YA novels what Freaks and Geeks did for high school on television. My high school experience was not Gossip Girl or Friday Night Lights. My high school experience was a whirlwind of awkward encounters and intense relationships that never materialized. Where hand holding could be MAJOR. It was so refreshing to read about an imperfect heroine who wasn’t conventionally beautiful. Sure, Eleanor has her good features, but she’s not a girl who is drop-dead-gorgeous without realizing it (cough, cough, Bella Swan.) And Park? Park is a short Asian kid who experiments with guy-liner. I challenge you to find me another YA leading man who is 5’4. Even Harry Potter was tall!

No, I didn’t listen to The Cure on my walkman on the bus, mostly because I didn’t go to high school in 1986. (I listened to The Counting Crows on my discman. Very skippy, the discman.) Even though my gym suit was definitely less horrifying than Eleanor’s polyester onesie, I dreaded gym class. My junior year, I was hit in the head with EVERY SINGLE BALL we used. I only wish I were exaggerating. I was beaned with a soccer ball, basketball, volleyball, hockey puck, tennis ball, football, softball, and the absolute pinnacle of my humiliation? Badminton birdie. I wasn’t subject to intense bullying (although I still do not have good thoughts about that girl with the slicked back ponytail and sinister eyeliner who always laughed at magnetic melon…) I didn’t have a messy home life either, but this book isn’t about winning the screwed up teen experience award. This book is about capturing the essence of being 16. It’s about first love and identity crises and confusion and the occasional glimmer greatness beneath the awkward.

I chewed through this book in two days and had to let it marinate in my brain juices before I could form coherent thoughts. Katie + Eleanor & Park = Love. The soundtracks may change, but high school will always be the same. Rainbow Rowell gets that, and for that, I salute her. (Insert well timed slow clap.)

Alright bookworms. Please tell me I’m not alone here. Let’s take this opportunity to share our most horrifying gym class experiences. It’ll be like group therapy. Ready? Go!

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Mar 26

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Recommended Books

Frightening, Historical Fiction, Romance, Tear Jerkers, Top Ten Tuesday 72

Greetings, Bookworms!

It’s Tuesday, and you know what THAT means. No, no, it is not time for tacos. (But dangit, now I want tacos!) It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday with The Broke and The Bookish! Today they’ve asked me to list out the ten books I recommend most often. So. Without further ado…

toptentuesday

1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I have foisted this series upon countless friends. I love to recommend it because it’s got a little bit of something for everyone. It’s one of those rare finds where I’m confident most of my pals will enjoy it. There are few things as awkward as giving someone a book and hearing they hated it, you know? Outlander has a little sci fi, some historical fiction, a touch of steamy romance novel, and, well, Jamie Fraser. (Siiiigh)

2. Harry Potter by JK Rowling. This is kind of a throwaway answer because it’s not like it’s possible for someone to have never heard of Harry Potter. However. Anyone who seems skeptical about the series? I implore them to read it. Like… I’m sincerely concerned about people who don’t enjoy HP. How can you not like MAGIC and WHIMSY and AWESOMENESS?!

My patronus is a penguin. Demetors don't stand a CHANCE against the impossible cutness... And pecking.

My patronus is a penguin. Demetors don’t stand a CHANCE against the impossible cutness… And pecking.

3. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. This book is amazing and I think everyone should read it. Everyone. I’ve loaned out my copy on multiple occasions. It’s a cautionary tale for the ages, my friends.

4. Pope Joan by Diana Woolfolk Cross. Some of the best historical fiction I’ve ever read. It’s about an accidental lady Pope. Timely, what with a new Pope being elected and all.

5. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. Occasionally, people will ask me for recommendations on classics I really enjoyed. I won’t lie, it’s a long ass book, but it’s totally worth the read. If you’re familiar with the musical already, it gives you a great back story on Fantine, which is fabulous. Oh and did you know that Gavroche and Eponine are siblings? I know. I. KNOW! Crazy right? You need to read this.

les-miserables-176x300

Cosette is still little more than a plot catalyst, though.

6. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I try to get people to read this all the time. It’s another one of those that I’ve found is almost universally appealing. This one, of course, requires you to have an entire box of tissues on hand as you engage in the catharsis of bawling your eyes out. Worth it.

7. Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. This book tells the most incredible love story. Miller did such a great job of drawing her characters’ personalities that you get completely engrossed in their love story. You follow Achilles and Patroclus from childhood and watch their relationship grow and mature. Just beautiful. And yeah. It’s about two dudes. Which is a nice change of pace from what I normally read, you know? (You probably need tissues for this one too.)

8. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. It’s just really well drawn historical fiction. I love it to pieces. It’s another chunkster, but it moves fast. Don’t be intimidated by its length, you’ll enjoy yourself! (And then you’ll be really grateful that you have indoor plumbing and floors that aren’t dirt and stuff, because the Middle Ages were DIRTY, y’all.)

Starz did a mini series based on the book. Eddie Redmayne played Jack. You're welcome. (Image from Oprah.com)

Starz did a mini series based on the book. Eddie Redmayne played Jack. You’re welcome. (Image from Oprah.com)

9. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell. No, having seen the movie is NOT the same thing. Not at all. It leaves out Scarlett’s first two children, for heaven’s sake! (That’s really not a spoiler, they aren’t major plot points, and the fact that they aren’t makes Scarlett all the more Scarlett-y.)

10. World War Z by Max Brooks. I don’t read a whole lot of zombie literature, but I thought this book rocked in a big way. I’m a huge fan of The Walking Dead (TV series, I haven’t read the comics) so the zombie lore intrigues me. I thought this book gave an awesome and realistic account of how a zombie apocalypse might go down. You’ll probably have nightmares. Fair warning.

There we are- ten books I recommend to people on the regular. What are some of your favorite titles to pass around?

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Mar 01

Crossed by Ally Condie: Simpsons Did It!

Coming of Age, Dystopian, Romance 26

Top O’ The Morning, Bookworms!

You knew I couldn’t read just one book of a trilogy, right? Even if it wasn’t my favorite? Sooo… Let’s talk about Crossed!

crossed

At the end of Matched, Ky is shipped off to the Outer Provinces, Cassia’s family is relocated, and Xander is left at the homestead being all brokenhearted and whatnot. Cassia finagles her way into a work camp. Her plan is to hunt Ky down in the Outer Provinces. Because, you know. Putting your life on the line for a boy you’ve kissed once is a BRILLIANT idea. (Sorry. Angry feminist moment. I’m just really OVER young girls doing stupid things for “love.”)

Persons unknown are trying to blow up The Society. Whoever this enemy is, they’ve already killed off all the real inhabitants of the Outer Provinces, and The Society is trying to pretend they’ve got a disposable population. Ky is sent here and realizes what’s going on. Fortunately, he grew up in the area and manages to escape with two compadres.

Cassia shows up in Ky’s village a few days after he’s disappeared. Not to be outdone in the “I can survive in the wild” contest, Cassia takes her new pal Indie (who seems to have developed a major crush on Xander, despite never having met him) and runs off into some geologic oddity (they refer to it as “the carving.”) Y’all remember in Son, the final book of The Giver series where Claire spends a crap ton of time scaling a cliff? Yeah. They do that too. Anyway, they all wander around and the groups connect and everybody learns a lot about The Rising (AKA The Society’s opposition.) After a lot of walking and talking and theorizing, we finally meet some members of The Rising. The reader is left to ponder whether The Rising is really any better than The Society. Dun dun dun!!!

Are any of you South Park fans? I won’t judge you one way or the other. I don’t watch regularly, but there’s an episode of South Park where every time a new plot point is introduced, someone pops up and yells, “Simpsons did it!” The whole time I was reading this I kept thinking, “The Giver did it! The Hunger Games did it!”

I’m probably being too hard on this series. It’s hard to find something truly original anymore, especially in such a prolific genre. I was chatting with my pal June about this, and we agreed that the society in Matched is a whole lot more believable than many that have been described before. Aside from having limited choices, being in the Society is pretty sweet. You get all of your meals delivered to you. You don’t have to worry about what you want to be when you grow up. You don’t even have to worry about finding the love of your life because the Match program sounds pretty doggone successful at putting together happy marriages. It’s a lot more believable that people would submit to this sort of a society and not riot constantly than it is to believe in a society where an oppressive regime starves its citizens and forces their children to fight to the death for sport…

What do you think, Bookworms? Am I being to much of a curmudgeon, or should I cut this series some slack?

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Feb 01

Complaints and Compliments on An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Coming of Age, Humor, Romance, Young Adult Fiction 31

Happy Friday, Bookworms!

A few weeks back I wrote about how much I loved The Fault in Our Stars so I decided to pick up another John Green novel. I settled on An Abundance of Katherines for a couple of reasons. First, it was the only John Green book available from the library for my kindle. Second, I’m very self involved. Fun fact! Did you know “Katie” is short for “Kathryn?” I know you’re shocked. Kathryn with a “y” and Katie with an “ie”?! I know. Sadly, I had no part in naming myself, so I couldn’t prevent this travesty. However. Since the main character in this book had a fixation with “Katherines” I thought I’d get a little ego boost for my awesomeness of name. Sadly, this was not to be…

AbundanceKatherines

Complaint #1: Early in the book our “hero” Colin explains that he only likes K-A-T-H-E-R-I-N-E-S. No Katies, Kates, Kathryns, Catherines, Kathys, Kats, or Katrinas will do. This revelation started Colin and I off on the wrong foot, and I’m afraid we never got quite onto the right one. Colin is a “prodigy.” He’s got a super sharp brain and he is fluent in 11 languages. Now, I really like nerds. I like awkward folks. I root for the underdog. But…

Complaint #2: Colin is not likable AT ALL. He’s a smug little jerk. He’s whiny and his teen angst lacks the charm of, say, a Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower type character. Maybe I’m just jealous. I’m sure that plays a part in my distaste. I would love to be brilliant, but I know deep down that at best I’m an A minus student. I knew kids who memorized digits of pi for fun, but I liked them better than I liked Colin. I suppose they were more humble because they weren’t brought up as prodigies? Who knows. And why isn’t Colin seeing a therapist? I mean, really? The kid is obsessed with girls named Katherine. That isn’t healthy. Which brings me to…

Complaint #3: How did Colin get 17 (yeah, he dated one Katherine twice) girls to agree to go out with him? I was a much more likable child/adolescent/teen! He got more dates than I did in high school, and THAT IS NOT FAIR! Ugh.

Complaint #4: Colin and his buddy said “fug” all the time. Now, I’m not one to go around dropping F-bombs like they’re hot, but it annoyed me. I know, I KNOW it was in homage to Norman Mailer, but still. If you want to say the F-word, just say it. If you want to avoid saying it, come up with a more amusing alternative. I enjoy “frick” or “flim-flamming” myself. “Fizzing Whizbees” anyone?

jobs

Colin is obsessed with his “Eureka” moment in which he can move from being a prodigy to being a genius. Not everyone can be a genius, Colin, but everyone needs a doctor. That’s a noble profession. GO SAVE LIVES!

I know, I’m being hard on this book. It’s just tough to appreciate something when you spend most of your time wanting to shake some sense into the main character. I hate to be totally negative on a Friday, so I’ll discuss a few of the things I liked.

Compliment #1: Colin’s BFF Hassaan was pretty cool. What’s not to like about a Muslim kid who embraces his chubby physique and has an unhealthy obsession with Judge Judy?! 

Compliment #2: Even though the premise of Colin and Hassaan ending up in Gutshot, Tennessee was ludicrous, I liked the idea of a small town kept afloat by a tampon string factory. And the lengths the factory would go to in order to keep supporting their retirees.

Compliment #3: Lindsey hangs out with old people. I like that John Green makes it seem cool to chill with the old folks. Everyone, go call a grandparent right now! (If you’re lacking in the grandparent department, send a greeting card to Great Aunt Shirley or something. It’s good karma.)

Compliment #4: The title of this book gets “27 Jennifers” by Mike Doughty stuck in my head, and you just don’t hear that song enough these days.

judge judy

She’s got to self promote. Syndication deals aren’t what they used to be.

Have any of you bookworms read much John Green? Do you think I should give him another shot or cut my losses? If you have no opinions on John Green, you certainly have an opinion on the color green. Tell me about that. (The correct opinion on the color green is that it is the AWESOMEST COLOR IN THE RAINBOW. I’m open to your varying levels of incorrectness, however.)

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Jan 03

A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows by Diana FREAKING Gabaldon!

Historical Fiction, Romance, Supernatural, World War II 18

Have I not sufficiently expressed my adoration for Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series?! Because OMG I love it so much. My Aunt told my mom that she absolutely had to read these books (Hi Margie!) I borrowed the books from my mom. They are super awesome. Anyways, Diana Gabaldon recently published a novella explaining the mysteries surrounding the demise of Roger’s parents. If you’re not already familiar with this series, this review is going to sound completely insane and screwy. You’re just going to have to take my word for it. This series is addictive, brilliant, and wonderful. Otherwise I wouldn’t have read this little tidbit of side story novella. Oh, this review is super full of spoilers because I cannot keep my mouth shut. Sorry.

The Outlander Series has been Certified Awesome by me.

The Outlander Series has been Certified Awesome by me.

A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows tells this story. As you may recall, the story of Roger’s parents is that his father was killed while flying a mission in WWII and his mother was killed trying to protect him from a bomb raid in a London tube station. It was alluded to that the story wasn’t quite so cut and dried, so I was really curious as to what might have happened.

Roger inherited the time travel gene (I guess we can call it a gene, right? I mean, it’s a family tradition basically) because of his long twisty relation to the crazy witchy lady from book 1. She wasn’t a witch in any sense of the word, REALLY. She just happened to come from the future and the story suggests she contracted syphilis and went off her damn rocker in some of the later novels. I’d buy that. She was a free love type from the 60s, but she had no penicillin because she went back in time. No prophalactics either, but I digress.

allhallows

We start off meeting the famous Jeremiah (who goes by Jerry, which is funny because Roger’s kid who is named for his dad goes by Jemmy, and for some reason even with all the names and nicknames floating around in these books there isn’t a single Jim or Jimmy. That amuses me, because our family has 5…) Jerry meets an MI6 agent, who, regrettably, isn’t James Bond. He’s Captain Frank Randall! Yes! Claire’s first husband! Oh the twisted web we weave! Anyway, Jerry apparently has picked up some conversational Polish and is commissioned to fly over Nazi concentration camps in Poland to get pictures. They’re hoping his smattering of Polish will keep him from getting killed if he crashes and needs to get out of the country, but he’s as good as told it’s going to be a suicide mission. He gets a trip home to visit with his wife and young son, Roger.

He goes back to the base camp thingie where they keep the planes and stuff and is sent out on a practice mission- flying over Northumbria. Right. So major premise of these books is that the standing stone circles that dot northern England and Scotland mark places of power- where people with the right genetic code sometimes accidentally slip through time 200 years one direction or the other. When they locate the wreckage of Jerry’s plane, there’s no body inside… BECAUSE HE’S BEEN SUCKED BACK IN TIME!!!!!! Dun dun dun!

Anyway, at some point he runs into his own grown up son and his random ancestor who are also traipsing through time and Roger helps his dad get home (some two years after he left.) Jerry slips back through time, makes it back to London, and my some weird cosmic twist of fate, into the tube tunnel where Marjorie and Roger are hiding from the bombs. They’re hit and in a moment of recognition, Marjorie passes Roger off to Jerry as she’s being blown up or smushed or whatever. Then Jerry falls on the tracks and cracks his head open. So they’re both still dead, but they BOTH had a hand in saving Roger.

Yeah. So. I wasn’t totally thrilled by this little bit of book. I mean, I love the characters I love the story… It just wasn’t a very strong piece. I’d hoped that there would be something more juicy, perhaps that Jerry was waiting to meet Roger back in time and have significant interaction, or he’d secreted Marjorie away from danger somehow, but no. Jerry just sort of took a time travel vacation and then died. Woops. I guess I can’t fault Gabaldon, she’s already got approximately 8 zillion characters and storylines she’s got to keep afloat. I’m just jonesing for the new book so badly that this didn’t satisfy the itch.

So, Bookworms. Any Outlander fans out there? How stoked are we for the supposed 2013 release of Written In My Heart’s Own Blood?!

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Jan 02

The Fault In Our Stars (Is That We Haven't Enough Tissues) by John Green

Coming of Age, Family, Psychological, Romance, Tear Jerkers, Young Adult Fiction 33

Good Day My Dear Bookworms,

I typically don’t read a ton of young adult literature, but I’m beginning to branch out into the genre more and more. There’s some amazing stuff out there geared toward teens these days. After seeing this book on a crap ton of “Best  Books of 2012” lists, I decided to read The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.

I started reading this at 11 pm one night. I stopped reading this at 3 am that same night/morning. Why did I stop reading? Because the book was over. Quick synopsis: girl meets boy… At cancer support group meeting. Love blossoms amid oxygen tanks and prosthetic legs. They love books together and music together and fight cancer together… Even when cancer wins. So. Spoiler alert. Have like 10 boxes of tissues on hand. Seriously. I cried through 40% of this book, then I had dreams about my friends getting cancer and sleep cried. I woke up looking God-awful. Yay for vacation days! (No, I didn’t TAKE a vacation day because I looked terrible, I was already on vacation. I wouldn’t have started a book at 11 pm on a work night anyway. It’s past my bedtime, y’all!)

Star crossed teen lovers, and yet, original.

Star crossed teen lovers, and yet, original.

This was a fabulous book, but I have a couple of teeny tiny bones to pick with it. First. When I was in grade school, I went through a Lurlene McDaniel phase. In the mid nineties, Lurlene McDaniel was a staple of the school book order list. All of her books were about terminally ill teenagers. Do you know what happens to a kid who reads too many novels about terminally ill teenagers? She thinks every ache and pain is a tumor. True story. You know what freaked me out even more? The fact that I was taken for head x-rays a couple of years before the McDaniel phase. It occurred to me that they were looking for brain tumors! (Turns out the headaches were sinus headaches, but I really felt like I’d dodged a bullet there.) I am slightly concerned for impressionable young minds with higher than age appropriate reading abilities having their psyches damaged by this book. Who am I kidding? I just wanted to share that story about my hypochondria and Lurlene McDaniel. Because how often do you get to type out Lurlene? Not often enough, in my opinion.

Second bone to pick! This is a legit bone. The dialogue was witty, fast paced, and used astoundingly good vocabulary. Teenagers DO NOT talk like this. Not even the exceptionally smart ones. I was in nerd classes, I was pals with some of the exceptionally smart kids. You know what they did? They drew comics about tapeworms and wrote out song lyrics on the backs of their notebooks. They were infinitely more concerned with the art of the mix tape than with the brilliance of their favorite author. True, none of them were terminally ill, but nobody banters like the kids in this book. Nobody. However, nobody realistically banters like the characters on Gilmore Girls did, but that didn’t stop me from loving them like crazy!

If you plan to read this, have tissues on hand.

If you plan to read this, have tissues on hand.

This was truly a great read. If you are in need of a tear jerker, skip the Lifetime Original Movie and dig into this book. The dialogue, while unrealistic, is charming as heck. You’ll get attached to Hazel and Augustus and Isaac. It’s a delight. A heart-wrenching, tear-jerking delight. Read it!

Maybe it’s a girl thing, but tear jerkers… Why are they so wonderful? What about you, bookworms? Do you enjoy the occasional tear jerker, or do you hate them? Tell me about it. Let’s all gather around the box of kleenex and have us a good share session.

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