Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They've been best friends almost as long - at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD in the mail,his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn't been invented yet. And they're looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.

By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they're forced to confront what they're doing right - and wrong - in the present.

Okay, it's been a while since I read this book, but I had to really think on it to know how I felt.
And the more and more I think about it, the more annoyed I get. Jay Asher wrote one of the most serious young adult books that we have, and it was heartbreaking, and then he comes back with something humorous? I'm not saying that genre-switching is bad, it's the way that this thing tried to be funny, and all the humor was just like. Ha. Ha. That's almost funny. Jay...why?

I'm not going to say anything about Mackler, because I've never read her other books.

This book was just soooo shallow! There are a MILLION things you should do when you can find out what happens in the future besides finding out who your future mate is and then trying to change it! Why, why, why?
And please, look at the cover and tell me that doesn't scream action-packed sci-fi. This is HUMOR, although it's not well done.
Other than that, it's okay...but, wow.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Guest Post on JR Wagner's blog

Hey, guys, I recently wrote an article on what it's like to be a teen writer in todays world for JR Wagner, author of the upcoming book Exiled. You should check it out, and also just check out the rest of his blog because it's really cool. Here's a link to my post.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

My Review: John Green strikes again with this amazingly humorous and somehow still heartbreaking tale of Hazel Grace Lancaster. The characters, namely Hazel and Augustus, are brilliantly created. They are much like Green's other characters (that's a good thing) in that their thought processes are very clever. I mean, Green's characters are the kind of characters that you actually give a shit what happens to them. That's what makes his books so amazing, above all of the other reasons, like the perfect prose and hilarious jokes. You really can't let this up-and-coming author get past you, because I honestly can't tell you how much I love his books. And I mean, that cover is awesome. I love it. I read this book in as close to one setting as you can while still eating and sleeping. I have a very short attention span, so that's saying something. Readitreaditreadit. Go. Now. I have nothing bad to say about this amazing book.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Why Cafe by John P. Strelecky

In a small cafe at a location so remote it sits in the middle of the middle of nowhere, John--a man in a hurry--is at a crossroads. Intent only on refueling before moving along on his road trip, he finds sustenance of an entirely different kind. In addition to the specials of the day, the cafe menu lists three questions all diners are encourage to consider.  Why are you here? Do you fear death? Are you fulfilled. With this food for thought and the guidance of three people he meets at the cafe, John embarks on a journey of self-discovery that takes him from the executive suites of the advertising world to the surf of Hawaii's coastline. Along the way he discovers a new way to look at life, himself, and just how much you can learn from a green sea turtle. 

I really went back and forth on whether or not I liked this book...the writing is not bad, and it's a very slender volume that, if you wanted to, you could easily read in one setting, but I did not do this. I don't feel like this was a failure on my part as a reader. The book was by no means riveting...it was one of those books that makes you think you should feel good about yourself, but the real problem I had with it was the plot...it just wasn't interesting, and that was because once the main character is at the cafe, all that really happens is he gets asked those three questions that are on the back of the book. There's no real conflict, I mean he gets confused about the questions, but I don't really count that as conflict, and then there's this really out there magic element that I'll let you see for yourself, but it wasn't quite explained in the book. That was because the character wasn't supposed to know, but come on, you can't just have characters read other character's mind and the other character is only minorly weirded out by it, and just takes it with a grain of salt...Right? I mean, if somebody READ YOUR FREAKING MIND, you wouldn't just be like what??? Oh well. No, you'd be like What the FUCK? Did you just read my MIND? You can't just throw that in there and then never say anything about it again! Sorry, that bothers me sooo much. I really wanted to looooove this book, but at the end, it's just another book that I didn't love, but I didn't hate. It was just 'meh'.

And maybe this simply isn't my kind of book, because I seem to be in the minority here. But this is my honest opinion.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

From GR:  Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him -- something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn't she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd's gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

Upon finishing this book, I asked myself two questions.

Luckily, 1. I did get around to reading it, and 2. I read it now, and last week I found the second book used but in perfect condition in Joplin for 4 bucks. Yeah. I'm a beast.

I don't want to overexplain this book. All that I can tell you is that I just sat down in a chair and read the last 200 or so pages and when I was done I was like oh...three hours just passed? Huh.
And you know, it was worth it.

Read this book. It's exciting, interesting, creepy, heartbreaking, and altogether amazing. Just...read it. Don't let thiis one pass you by. I'm serious. It's worth every penny.