Every once in a while I read a book that hits me so hard it knocks the breath out of me. This was one of those books. It took me some time to collectEvery once in a while I read a book that hits me so hard it knocks the breath out of me. This was one of those books. It took me some time to collect myself enough to sit down and write this review, because John Greene is simply a genius, and I can only hope to do his book justice with these few paragraphs.
Sixteen year old Hazel Grace, because of a miracle drug, has been able to fight cancer and live longer than anyone expected her to. She lives day in and day out with the knowledge and the fear that her condition could worsen and cut her life short. She’s also not a regular teenager since her normal routine consists of medical treatments and attending a cancer support group. It is at this support group that she meets Augustus Waters. Augustus is immediately smitten with her and the two of them start a friendship that throughout the story blooms into a romance.
Augustus Waters also has cancer, although he has been “NEC” (No Evidence of Cancer) for a few years now. As a side effect of his ailment, he lost part of one leg and now walks with a prosthetic. As a former basketball player and as a result of his charismatic personality, Augustus has no trouble making friends and being liked. Although it’s apparent that Hazel and Augustus very much like each other, Hazel is cautious about not starting a relationship with him. Since she considers herself to be sicker than him, she doesn’t want to be the “grenade” that explodes and leaves shattered hearts on everyone that loves her. As a result of a chain of events in this story, Hazel and Augustus end up traveling together to Amsterdam to meet the author of a book that Hazel idolizes. During this trip their relationship begins to transform as the harsh reality of their condition begins to hit them head-on.
I recommend that you read this book with a box of tissues in hand, because not only will you will fall in love with the characters and will suffer with them through their hardships, but you will also fall in love with their love. The level of emotion that this book brings out is very deep. You do not have to be a cancer victim, survivor, or even to have known someone with cancer to understand and feel what they are going through. It is painfully realistic and delightfully uplifting at the same time. A combination that in this case is pure gold. 5 stars all the way.
As the much anticipated sequel to Shatter Me, Unravel Me picks up where its predecessor left off and takes us through the struggles Juliette faces nowAs the much anticipated sequel to Shatter Me, Unravel Me picks up where its predecessor left off and takes us through the struggles Juliette faces now that she’s a part of the resistance at Omega Point. Not feeling quite like she fits in, Juliette holds on to the fact that she can be with Adam, that is until Adam’s supposed immunity to Juliette’s lethal touch starts to fail and he begins experiencing the pain associated with coming in contact with her skin. This revelation prompts a breakup that is too much for Adam to accept, even knowing deep down that it’s for his own protection.
Throughout the book we are taken through Juliette’s emotional roller coaster. Her highs and lows as she learns more about the extent of her powers and how she has now become an integral part of the resistance. Our loyalties are put into doubt as we see a side or Warner that we had never seen before, a side that he only shows when he’s around Juliette. He is truly in love with her and will do anything to be with her, but he’s also the same evil guy we read about in Shatter Me who has done unspeakable things. I found myself thinking that maybe Warner was just a victim of his circumstances and that with the right motivation, maybe Juliette’s love, he could change. On the flip side, I was brought back to Adam and what a wonderful guy he has been the whole time and I’m torn all over again.
A lot is revealed in this book about the different abilities and weaknesses the characters have. We find out why Adam all of a sudden is hurt by Juliette’s touch, we find out why it is that Warner is able to touch her, and we find out what exactly is Kenji’s power. We also find out that what we know so far about Juliette’s powers is just barely touching the tip of iceberg and that there’s a lot of work to be done on her part to explore these abilities, that is if Juliette can stop feeling sorry for herself and works up the courage. Like in Shatter Me, there’s a lot of Juliette self-pity in this book. I’m hoping that by book #3, Juliette has found her worth and her voice.
As always, Tahereh Mafi’s writing is deliciously poetic. She never fails to deliver a story that will tug at your heartstrings and make you fall deeply for not just the main characters, but all the supporting characters as well. There was a lot of buzz online regarding chapter 62 in the book, which I can confirm contains a very passionate love scene while still keeping it YA acceptable. This book is a very worthy sequel and set up for the conclusion of the trilogy. As with anything that Tahereh writes, this a must-read.
When I read the synopsis of this book my first thought was that this was just another book about witches and warlocks with some deeply hidden family mWhen I read the synopsis of this book my first thought was that this was just another book about witches and warlocks with some deeply hidden family mystery. Well, I was right, but what I didn't know was that I was going to enjoy this book as much as I did. I loved the characters, I loved the writing style, and more importantly, I loved the story.
Penelope is not just your run-of-the-mill witch. She’s a witch without powers that can only perform magic when her family is around her to let her “borrow” it. She lost her power when she was very little and attacked by a demon who stole her powers from her. This event in her life, along with the tragic loss of her parents, becomes a very strong motivator for her to become an enforcer (an elite group of witches that fight to protect humans from demons). The problem with this scenario is that she must prove herself worthy of this title by completing a series of tests, the last of which includes performing magic, a task she cannot complete unless she has her sister (or someone from her family) very nearby.
This greatly complicates things for her, until she meets Carter, whom she discovers she can also borrow magic from, although she has no idea why. The magic she borrows from Carter is not like the magic she borrows from her family, it is way more powerful and dangerous than she realizes. She grows very close to Carter and he is very interested in her, but the skeletons in her family’s closet inhibit her from being completely open with him and she suspects he’s not being completely honest with her either.
The premise of this book is not one I had read about before which immediately caught my attention. Not only is the main character different, but she’s also very funny, opinionated, determined, and sarcastic. I guess I’m a fan of snark because I’m a fan of Penelope and she has lots of it. There’s a lot of funny remarks, demon-fighting action, and swoony moments. It’s the full package. I am definitely happy I picked up this book....more