Paper Towns was great. It is my third John Green novel, and while it’s my least favorite of the three, I still enjoyed it. I love how the author creat...morePaper Towns was great. It is my third John Green novel, and while it’s my least favorite of the three, I still enjoyed it. I love how the author creates such fun and quirky teenagers who are also smart and deep. His characters have so much hope. He captures all that it is to be a teen when your entire future is ahead of you. Who you are, who you will be, and the people that will stay with you through it all hang in the balance when you're 16 or 17. We adults so often see the immature teens or the ones who don’t care about their future at all, but we forget about the ones who do care. John Green’s books remind me of me when I was that age, so full of hope and love, almost overwhelmed by all my possibilities.
Q, Ben, and Radar were awesome characters. They were pretty realistic and hilarious and were the main reason the novel was so entertaining. Q was the main character and he had a crush on his next door neighbor and popular girl, Margo Roth Spiegelman. I loved the way he looked at her. She wasn’t one of those popular girls who are shallow or vapid. Instead, Margo was an enigma, full of mystery. I never understood what it was that made Q continue to care about her even after they stopped talking as kids, but he still liked her through all those years.
Out of the blue, Margo enlisted Q’s help to take revenge on her so-called friends. I have to admit, this was the most epic part of the book. The entire night and Margo’s insane and yet brilliant ideas were hilarious and entertaining. While I’ve never done anything quite so crazy, I still felt like I could relate in some ways to their epic night. Breaking the mold, taking chances, doing something a little crazy were all things we did as teens. We bonded with people over it and we grew up, changed perspectives, or just simply had fun. And that’s what happened to Q.
Q thought of all the possibilities after that night, but things didn’t quite go as he planned. Margo, ever the mystery, left strange clues and Q had to figure them out to get to her. The part of the book directly after the epic night was also enjoyable. I got to spend time with Q’s friends, Ben and Radar, as they helped Q figure out the clues. All of the clues were crazy and led up to an epic road trip to find Margo in a paper town. I loved the way the friends bonded, especially during the road trip.
Paper Towns captured a lot about adolescence, people, and selfishness. It talked about the way people expect or see other people differently than they really are. It wasn’t just about people we liked or had crushes on, but our friends, too. Accepting people for who they are and genuinely listening to them and helping them with their problems is easier said than done. I love the way poetry played a role in the book, especially given that any poem can mean different things to different people and mean different things as a whole versus sections of it. I’ve always been intrigued by how people can read the same thing and take totally different meanings from it. In a sense, people are the same way. We view others and interpret their actions differently than how they may have meant them to be interpreted.
Some reviews mention that the book is essentially the same as Looking For Alaska in many ways. I saw these reviews before I started, so I was actively trying to sense similarities, but I don’t think they are the same. Besides the quirky characters and the out-of-your-league aloof love interest, I didn’t see a lot of similarities.
The ending of Paper Towns was both awesome and horrible. It couldn’t have ended any other way, but it was also disappointing at the same time. I absolutely think it was right and I wouldn’t have necessarily wanted another ending, but I couldn’t help but feel a little… eh. If you read the book, you’ll know what I mean. It’s tough to explain without spoilers. I definitely still recommend the novel. I am a fan of John Green. While I haven't read everything of his, I like his style a lot.
When I read The Mortal Instruments series, I stopped at City of Glass because I was satisfied with the ending. I had City of Fallen Angels and City of...moreWhen I read The Mortal Instruments series, I stopped at City of Glass because I was satisfied with the ending. I had City of Fallen Angels and City of Lost Souls on my shelf, but I let them sit until the final book released. I knew that if the endings were anything like that of City of Bones or City of Ashes, I’d go insane waiting. City of Glass ended well (and was supposed to be the ending of the entire series at one point), so I thought it was safe to stop there. I say all this because I think it’s best to know that the final three books are sort of afterthoughts to the original three. It seems to be a common complaint that City of Fallen Angels has a different feel to it and I was already expecting that and wasn’t put off by it.
Jace and Clary were finally together. The world was being patched back together after the insane events of the Mortal War. Strange things were happening to Shadowhunters and Downworlders. A new villain or entity or threat was there and targeting Clary and her friends to some degree. Simon was struggling with being a vampire and being normal. Clary and Jace were fighting, as well as Alec and Magnus. Things weren’t as awesome as you might expect. For some, this was horrible. We waited so long to see these two together, we were so happy Simon was getting in touch with his vampire self, and we jumped for joy about Magnus and Alec in City of Glass, but I really liked the whole things-aren’t-so-peachy sort of continuation. And maybe Simon and Clary and Jace weren’t as funny as they were in the other three books, but I thought they were still entertaining. They were just stressed out, which I understood. I still found plenty of scenes to laugh at. And the stress between Alec and Magnus was so plausible and understandable, I couldn’t help but empathize with them both.
I loved seeing the characters grow after the Mortal War. I enjoyed the new threat/villain and I was on the edge of my seat for most of it. The ending was shocking. I was glad I brought City of Lost Souls with me on vacation because I finished and ran out to my car to grab it immediately.
I’m intrigued and anxious to see how the rest of the series goes. I’m not quite sold on the idea that City of Glass wasn’t the ending, especially after seeing how much other material the author has written in the same world after all of this time. As a fan, I’m intrigued by more material, but I also can’t help but wonder if it’s better to end it all.
Clockwork Princess was a thrilling conclusion to The Infernal Devices trilogy. The Mortmain plot came to an end, the characters grew, and the connecti...moreClockwork Princess was a thrilling conclusion to The Infernal Devices trilogy. The Mortmain plot came to an end, the characters grew, and the connections between the characters were made (if they weren’t before) or better understood. In all ways, things had a conclusion in this novel.
I loved getting to know character aside from Will, Jem, and Tessa in the finale. Cecily, Will’s sister, was a much bigger character, as well as the two Lightwood brothers. Sophie stepped outside of her servant role a bit more and I enjoyed every bit of that. I finally saw Charlotte and Henry work together, and I even better understood Magnus. As far as character growth went, Clockwork Princess rocked.
The most important conclusion in this novel was the plot involving Mortmain and Tessa. We didn’t know who Tessa was and what he wanted with her. I wondered how the whole thing would go. I admit, I didn’t see it coming when all was revealed, I didn’t know how the characters would survive the infernal devices, and the added mystery of the Clave and Consul threw a wrench into the plan. I loved being on the edge of my seat for all of that.
The entire novel surprised me and I loved the way the author got herself in and out of sticky situations. It certainly made things unpredictable. I was quite sure I’d give this novel 5 stars up until the last few pages.
My biggest gripe was the ending. I had tears in my eyes through half of the epilogue, loving every bit of it. It was sad, bittersweet, but I love to have my emotions manipulated. I LOVED the beginning of the end. I could see the snippets of my future review, full of glowing praise. And then, it all came crashing down.
Here’s the thing: I promise, it does not matter what Team of a love triangle I am on, I will never be okay with novels that take the easy way out. Love triangles can be tough. And when you make a character fall in love, if they choose someone else, that whole evolution has to be done well and be believable. If they can’t choose, fate must force their hand. If they do choose, the loser has to face some sort of consequence. You can’t create an impossible love triangle without some level of consequence.
None of this is really a spoiler, as I mention no names, but I am ranting about the ending, so I suppose you should proceed with caution:
When it comes to conflict, impossible decisions, and even love triangles, if you are going to kill someone, do it. If you are going to force someone to make tough choices, do it. But if you are going to create a conflict, do not make it so EVERYBODY WINS. It is unrealistic and somewhat of a waste of my time. And, even though I can appreciate the bridge scene, the fact that it was the easy way out and the everybody wins solution just ruined it for me. I’m not saying you have to kill characters off or be tragic all of the time, but when you do something with the fate of a character, we cry and scream, but we do eventually accept it. Not all conflict ends well and that’s okay. And when you change that up, change their fate, bring characters back from the dead, not only is it wrong, but now we don’t really understand what their consequence was. If death or a life of servitude or permanent decision is in fact a permanent thing, making it not permanent anymore strips it of the original meaning. Conflict should be tough and having a simple solutions just ruins everything.
I would have rather seen Tessa make a decision and hurt someone else’s feelings. At least when characters choose, I can attempt to see where they are coming from.
So many couples were made in Clockwork Princess, too. The good guys win, everyone falls and finds love, and all right in the world. I don’t know that all of the happy ending everybody wins stuff would have bugged me that much if it didn’t all happen in one book. It was too much for me and the last few pages were the last straw for me.
Other than the Everybody Wins theme, Clockwork Princess was awesome. It never would have drawn an ounce of criticism from me had it not ended the way it did. The small things that I am now bothered by probably would have escaped my notice otherwise. After all, I did imagine this review would be glowing and awesome up until there were like 5 pages left.
I do know many readers love romance and love happy endings and love conflicts where everybody wins. Those readers who don’t want see hearts break will have nothing but praise for this series. It speaks to the romantics, lovers of historical fiction, lovers of books, and lovers of poetry. I do recommend it and I don’t regret reading it, however irritated I am now by the end.
UPDATE: Now that it has been a few days, I realize that I did enjoy the novel and the series, especially if I just disregard the last few pages. It really is a great book and a great series. I'm still bothered by the ending, but I suppose I understand why the author chose to end it that way. I originally gave this 3 stars, but I've just bumped it up to 4. (less)
I will start by saying I’ve never read Invisible Monsters, the original version. But in the way that a person might pick up the Director’s Cut of a mo...moreI will start by saying I’ve never read Invisible Monsters, the original version. But in the way that a person might pick up the Director’s Cut of a movie they haven’t seen before, I figured why not get the newer and beefed up version if I am going to buy it. Okay, so maybe the original wasn’t on the Buy 2, Get 1 Free table at Barnes and Noble, either. So that’s how I ended up with this version.
I am a huge fan of Palahniuk. I like his voice. I like the way he hates society, but he’s not all preachy about it. He’s dark and rubs our faces in our own shame without a real solution. I don’t know why so many hipsters like him because I don’t really think he likes hipsters. I think he probably hates the trends and the trends about hating trends, right? Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked. But I am a fan and I was eager to see how this look at the fashion industry would turn out.
I immediately regretted my decision to buy the Remix. I’m an organized person and this shifting from Chapter One to Chapter 41 just drove me crazy. I mean, I don’t mind a nonlinear story, but typically I still turn the pages in the right order. I was getting a nonlinear story in a nonlinear format and I have to admit that I was not okay with it. It stopped being annoying after awhile, as I did see how it resembled flipping through a magazine. It’s a cool way to format a book once you’re big enough to get away with it. If you have an e-reader, you should probably not use it on this book. It’s way easier to flip through the pages on a real book. I’m a little aggravated that there are “unused” chapters that are extras and not part of the “Turn to Chapter Whatever” order of things, and I admit that I didn’t read them. I’m supposed to remember what chapter numbers I haven’t read yet? No way. I played your game.
As far as the story went, I enjoyed the book. I had no idea how/why/what was happening. And as the plot moved forward, I was granted a tiny piece of the puzzle until the big picture was shown at the end. I feel like I can’t even talk about it because I don’t remember how it started and what I initially I thought, but nothing turned out to be anything like I thought. The characters, their motivations, their connections.. all of that morphed throughout the book. What a ride.
Invisible Monsters was an awesome story. Fucked up and brilliant, it makes you think about beauty, fashion, identity, motivation, and life. I do recommend it, but I mean, in the way that I can recommend any of his books. I have no idea if other people will like it. I think you just have to jump in and try one of his books and then you know if you are a person who likes him.
"The only reason why we ask other people how their weekend was is so we can tell them about our own weekend."
“You only ask people about themselves so you can tell them about yourself.”
“Just each of us being me, me, me first. The murderer, the victim, the witness each of us thinks our role is the lead.
Probably that goes for anybody in the world.”
“My point is, that if I'm honest, my life is all about me.”
“You're safe because you're so trapped inside your culture. Anything you can conceive of is fine because you can conceive of it.”
Ready Player One was awesome and one of the best books I’ve read this year. It combined my love of geek and nerd culture with my love of futuristic science fictions. It was an adventure, a lesson, a cautionary tale, and a story that resonated with anyone who likes to be alone and immerse themselves in anything that isn’t reality, like books, movies, or videogames. It speaks to those who have a place in nerd culture, regardless what their interests are specifically. It is for anyone who appreciates anything 80s; movies, music, or video games. It’s for those of us who never fit in the real world and who crave a place where we are comfortable. If you fit into any one of these categories, even just one, it’s a book you have to read.
The novel was set in the future, but a different future than we might picture. The majority of people live and work inside of the OASIS, a virtual reality world that encompasses everything. Kids go to school inside of the OASIS because it’s cheaper, easier, and the lessons can take you on field trips to anywhere you want to go. The creator the OASIS died and left a cryptic message that lead to a puzzle adventure. Find the egg: win everything. He was a major fan of all things 80’s and his clues were hidden somewhere inside of the OASIS and led to the egg. The book is from the point of view of Wade, a kid in high school who was obsessed with the hunt for the egg.
The adventure in Ready Player One was incredible. I loved the layout of the world, Wade’s character, and his quest. From beginning to end, his adventure took major twists, turns, and contained clues that I can’t believe he figured out. As a science fiction and futuristic adventure novel, it certainly did a wonderful job. But that was not all there was to the story. Wade, as a “gunter” (egg hunter), had to know so much information about Halliday, the creator of the OASIS, and all of the 80’s pop culture that he loved. And of course, the setting of the OASIS was a big video game in itself. Because of this, Ready Player One paid homage to nearly every aspect of geekdom and it did a very good job.
It sounds like you have to be into gaming or the 80’s quite a bit to appreciate the story, but that’s not really all that true, either. While it does bring up some nostalgia and appeals to fans of both or either, it does something else, too. The novel resonates with people who can relate to Halliday or Wade. People who love to escape into fiction, regardless of what that fiction format is. The way Wade is able to ignore his own terrible setting and situation and immerse himself in the puzzle and the material that comes with it speaks to all geeks on some level and I think that’s what makes Ready Player One so amazing. The plot was also one that speaks to anyone who enjoys rooting for the underdog. Wade Watts was up against big government soldiers, richer people, older hunters, and virtually everyone else. Finding the egg was important and he was just a poor guy who loved what Halliday stood for. And because of Wade’s total appreciate for Halliday, I’d say it’s a novel for anyone who has ever been part of a fandom, regardless of what that fandom is. You’d get it.
So let me be clear: you don’t have to be a gamer or 80’s fan to love the book. It may help, but it’s not necessary. You just have to appreciate geeks, fans, nerds, a good adventure, and an awesome story.
Ready Player One is a MUST READ if any level of the premise appeals to you.
(I’d say it’s a must for any reader, but I know there are a ton of people who just munch on contemporaries and beach reads in between their gossip magazines who won’t really GET it.)
I have zero complaints about the story and I think the only people who wouldn’t love it are those who wouldn’t understand it and cannot connect at all to anything remotely geek related or those sorts of geeks who complain about everything or have to find the flaws in awesome stuff just because they are nitpicky.
(You guys know the types of nerds I’m talking about that make you roll your eyes and think OMG, here we go because they’ll say, “But Monty Python’s Meaning of Life came out in the 70’s, so the author OBVIOUSLY didn’t commit to his premise of having all things from the 80’s.” or “I’m the biggest 80’s fan and he didn’t include [insert 80’s thing here] and so it obviously fails.” I guess those kinds of people will be anywhere, so if you’re NOT one of them, then read the book!)
Wil Wheaton totally narrates the audiobook, so there's another selling point. Honestly, how can this book be any more epic?!
Bottom Line, Ready Player One is awesome and I know it will eventually have a broken spine from the times I’ll reread it. (less)