I have no idea what other book I could compare with Will Grayson, Will Grayson. For some reason, I got a very strong sci-fi vibe from the synopsis of...more
I have no idea what other book I could compare with Will Grayson, Will Grayson. For some reason, I got a very strong sci-fi vibe from the synopsis of this book. The cover itself just screams alternate universes. But nothing like that was involved. It was just two guys in the same ol' regular universe who meet under unusual circumstances. No speculative elements involved. But I still loved it!! Imagine that.
Content warning for this book: Strong (yet hilarious) language including sexual references.
In this book, we meet two Will Graysons.
The first is John Green's Grayson. He is lovable, funny and best friends with this guy named Tiny Cooper, so I call him Best Friend Will. I really appreciate the fact that Best Friend Will isn't the kind of guy who runs crotch first toward any girls who like him. He keeps his distance, physically and emotionally, from relationships but never seems to do the same mentally. He is an over thinker, who notices every little thing about the people around him and analyzes each observation. But I wonder if guys really notice things like "the pale skin of her back, and how she bites her lower lip, and that she smells like over sweetened coffee". Maybe guys like John Green do. Who knows?
The second is David Levithan's Will Grayson, who is a closet homosexual, gothic, and a manic depressive. Him I like to call Eeyore Will. He's soft, fluffy and cute but always so sad and complicated. I get the feeling that David Levithan is a very complicated person. Not like that is a bad thing. Some of my favorite people are "complicated", probably even myself included. However, I really have no authority the subject of Levithan since this is my first book of his. Eeyore Will takes a while to get to know but definitely has the most dramatic turn around and largest character arc.
In truth - Will Grayson, Will Grayson isn't about either of the Will Grayson's. It's about Tiny Cooper. Anyone could see that. Really, it could have been called Tiny's Two Graysons.
Tiny Cooper is the world's largest gay person. Not necessarily the most gay or the most large, but the ultimate combination of the two. His personality is just as large as his exterior, and I loved him.
However, here's where I must issue a warning. Many people will not like him. His characteristics are very cliche and stereotypical, but I personally found him charming, not to mention, hilarious. Which is largely the result of the very good narration in the audiobook that got to the heart of each character. They all felt believable despite their flaws and stereotypes.
This is one of those that I can't possibly imagine NOT listening to as an audiobook. I would even go so far as to say that I really ONLY recommend listening to the audiobook. The quality and narration was ridiculously good. It took a bit to really get into the story, but once I did, I realized that the humor of the book was captured perfectly by the two readers who portrayed each of the Will Graysons. I laughed out loud so often that I didn't even care if I looked like a maniac who loves laughing to herself and driving like a grandma down the highway.
Strangely, I have found that audiobooks have the opposite effect of loud music. They make me drive super slow as I concentrate on and laugh hysterically over the book. So there I am driving along when all the sudden I burst out laughing: Hahahhahaa! Tiny Cooper wearing skinny jeans = denim sausage casings!!! Then after I've recovered from that, I'm driving along again. Dododododo. And Tiny sings this song to the Eeyore Will and he thinks to himself that Tiny's song must have carried all the way to the north pole. Then, he imagines that when Mrs Claus hears it, she turns to Santa and says "What the f*ck was that?" Those aren't even close to being the funniest lines.
It was like listening to a high school drama TV mini series. In fact, it reminded me a lot of My So-Called Life. Since the story is really about Tiny Cooper, that would make him the Angela Chase of this book. So then, Eeyore Will would be the tortured and complex Jordan Catalano and Best Friend Will would then be Brian Krakow, I guess. Angst... Drama... Intrigue... Hilarity.
The only major fail of the audio was how the IM chats were recorded with the screen names being said over and over again, faster every time. A few of the dialogue sections felt the same way with quick switching back and forth between the characters, but you don't notice it once you adapt to it. One of the best things about the audio was hearing Eeyore Grayson's poetry read first hand and hearing that narrators sing interpretations of the songs that Tiny Cooper wrote for his musical. EFFING BRILLIANT!!!
Oh, and in case you were wondering about the picture at the beginning. All of the characters in this book seem to be on a constant sugar high of the grumbles. Alot of whining and complaining and angst. They've got the crumbly grumblies and it can be overwhelming. But I found it a lot of fun. Gotta give me them, grumblecakes.
I loved the book. Though it took some time to connect to the characters, I believe it was well worth it in the end.
At it's heart, this book is really all about friendship. I love that the end all be all is not for certain couples to confess love for each other and end up together. It was about admitting love for your friends and the people who have been there for you.
It made me realize what an incredible thing we have going here on Goodreads.
What I would do with myself now if I couldn't get online and talk to you all about the books that we read? If I didn't have someone to share the ups and downs of these important stories, to talk about life lessons with, or someone just to flat out laugh about random things that non-readers wouldn't understand.
I laugh more than I ever thought I would, find books that I'd never think to pick up, meet people all around that world that I couldn't have met otherwise, and without a doubt, have an unbelievably amazing time with all of it.
We all learn so much about life and about ourselves by analyzing books and have way too much fun doing it.
So.... I appreciate you, Goodreaders. Whether you are grumblecakes or non-grumblecakes. This review is dedicated to you.
Okay FINE. This book isn't actually about a blonde chick with a door to an alternate universe in her head, but the plot line is just as equally contri...more
Okay FINE. This book isn't actually about a blonde chick with a door to an alternate universe in her head, but the plot line is just as equally contrived.
Gwen and Vic are our two protagonists, and they are also "twin" cousins. This means that their dads are brothers, and their moms are sisters. Yeah - two brothers married two sisters and each couple had a child. I'm not sure if I should be creeped out by that. In fact, I found myself thinking about it often throughout the book and whether or not it should be weird. I don't think it should, but for some reason it seems like it would be.
So, the kids inadvertently stumble into their Uncle/Dad's alternate universe machine and discover a whole new world. The inhabitants of this world are at war with a race of beings called Merlons. Dun, dun, dun...
When I was in middle school, I loved the Young Jedi Knights series (which would make an amaaaaazing TV show!!) that was written by the same authors. It's fair to say that I was obsessed. Now, I'm not sure if I was just to blinded by thoughts like "COOL JEDI TRAINING!!" to see the sad truth about it. The writing is rife with overused and unnessecary words and breaks off topic so easily that it's ridiculous. Maybe this was fine for me during my peak ADD years, but now I need a lot more.
Obviously a juvenile book, The Crystal Door is full of cliches, adjectives, adverbs, words like cerulean and magenta being used to describe the sky and the ocean, evil things, cheesy dialogue, and many other marks of books targeted to younger readers.
In it's entirety, it was fun, cute, and quick, but not a world where I would want to spend a huge amount of time. So it's a good thing that these books are short.
However, it was funny at times and might make a good choice if you are in the mood for a middle grade book!(less)
So I'm taking a short departure from my evil ADD reviews infused with countless images and my odd sense of humor to take an in depth look at this this...moreSo I'm taking a short departure from my evil ADD reviews infused with countless images and my odd sense of humor to take an in depth look at this this breathtaking book.
Books are about one of two things for me. Escapism or experiencing. I either want a book to make me close my eyes and completely take me out of this world OR open my eyes and force me to see things in a different light, think about and savor every second of this life. If it doesn't do at least one of those, it isn't doing it's job.
This book is certainly an "escapism" novel. It is the ADD reader's Lord of the Rings. My attention span would not allow me to finish those, and although this one is massive, Brandon Sanderson made it easy to get into.
I noticed quite a few parallels to Star Wars in this epic fantasy novel.
Which is hardly surprising considering that Star Wars is itself basically epic fantasy. But no, you say, Star Wars is science fiction. Nope - It may be a space opera but it is not science fiction. There is pretty much zero science actually in the movies. If you want to get super technical, based on the expanded universe, it could at best be called "science fantasy". However, the overall structure of the films is based upon classic myth, or more specifically The Hero's Journey.
This book could also potentially be called science fantasy, because it incorporates the use of metals that are "burned" by people to create certain special abilities by the users. There are sciences within the book devoted to the study of using these metals and they are used to explain the exisistance of magic and magical abilities, as opposed to much of fantasy that doesn't explain where the power comes from. Like in Star Wars, where the technicalities behind "using the Force" are never explained.
Here are the comparisons I was able to pick out: (Any of your own observations are encouraged in the comments!)
Luke Skywalker/Vin - Our hero and lead character. A young orphaned girl who has SUPER RARE latent supernatural abilities and discovers her father is a high ranking official of the evil Final "Empire". She also has a brother. (Wait. If she is Luke, would that make her brother Princess Leia?) She eventually ends up saving the world from the Empire.
Yoda/Kelsier - The help and inspiration. Powerful strongman who has supernatural abilities as well. Vin's mentor and one of the absolute best characters in the book. Also, has a strange and ghastly double.
The Emporer/The Lord Ruler - The Ultimate Evil. A godlike figure who rules the Empire. None have been able to defy or defeat him. Also, may have some connection to the Wicked Witch of the West. (view spoiler)[I'm melting, I'm melting! Really it was that easy?! (hide spoiler)]
C-3PO/Sazed - Emasculated sidekick and seemingly endless well of information.
The Merry Band of Rebels/Merry Band of Thieves - Group of people who have banded together to defy the Empire. Pretty self explanatory.
Darth Vader/A Certain Unnamed Steel Inquisitor - Originally a good guy, turned evil, eventually helps aid in the destruction of the The Ultimate Evil.
This book was very high fantasy mixed with a dash of political intrigue, assassinations, adventure and, of course, magic. I usually don't read modern high fantasy (I generally prefer the urban genre) because of it's copycat tendencies. This one was exceedingly original. It's easy to overlook the Star Wars comparison, because the setting and the "feel" of the story is so different.
Absolutely outstanding world-building. The world and the magic system were the best thing about the story. Very in depth. I liked that Sanderson includes a source for their power; they actually need something to use up. They burn different types of metals in their system and consume concentrated metals to replenish themselves. Although it sounds like it'd be harmful, in the context of the book, it works. And it is explained in great detail.
Sanderson has great pacing and knows how to create tension without constant action. When the action scenes do happen, they are exciting and so well explained. You can't help but feel like you're watching a movie. Or TV show in my case since this was broken up over the course of a month.
This is certainly a character and plot driven novel. It thrives on throwing challenge after challenge at the large group of central characters and seeing how they manage to work around each one. The action really picks up in last part of the novel, as the female lead begins to come into her own with her new-found abilities. There isn't a lot of romance in this one either. It plays more of a side role to the central story, so it was actually a nice break from the purely romance driven novels of late.
It's a very long book but not long-winded like the Lord of the Rings. This is really not something you can inhale in one setting, and if you can or did - let me know because I will bow down to you and call you "Lord Ruler".
This book has an excellent resolution, though I'm sure there are many questions that still need to be answered. I would venture to say that it can be read as a standalone.
Overall, an excellent novel. But I can't say for sure whether or not this is the kind of book that will stay with me. It hasn't lingered much in my head since I finished it.
Although I would like to read the sequels, I don't feel that oh-my-god-I-have-to-go-out-and-get-the-next-book-RIGHT-now kind of feeling (which as much as I complain about, I actually love having). But I probably will get around to them eventually.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
The beginning of this book reminded me so much of Veronica Mars, in fact, I even pictured Kristen Bell as the main character.
Mac is on a mission to f...moreThe beginning of this book reminded me so much of Veronica Mars, in fact, I even pictured Kristen Bell as the main character.
Mac is on a mission to find her sister's killer, much like Veronica's quest to find her best friends killer. Her sister Alina was a young woman who found herself in a dangerous situation and relationship, believing she was in love with a man who she knew mostly nothing about. But that is where most of the similarities end. Unless there was an alternate season on VM where she deals with crazy creatures from another realm.
Mac is quite a paradox, being a fashionista and brightly-colored-clothes-hor who brushes her hair 100 strokes like freakin Marsha Brady, and an exotic car enthusiast with a dash of rough and tumble, or in other words: Supernatural Barbie, who kicks wicked Unseelie ass by the way. The long-time-coming fight scenes were sa-weet and unraveled like a movie in your mind!
Now, I must warn some of you that she may come off as annoying at first. This is intentional, as to see how much Mac changes by the end. This is Mac 1.0 and the least awesome of her many versions.
I love her theory about men who wear all black: They either want to be trouble or they are trouble. They are also my favorite!! Angel, Spike (isn't it amazing how the characters from the Buffyverse don't really even need more than one name?), Damon Salvatore, Johnny Cash, etc...
Despite the fact that I kept thinking the name Mac Barrons sounds like a male porn star name, I liked both MacKayla Lane and Jericho Barrons. Though her calling him Barrons weirds me out a little. Jericho is a much better sounding name.
Her whole cussing system is fecking hilarious. I was raised without curse words as well and though I cuss at times now, more often than not I inadvertently fall back on my "substitutes". One of them being the same as hers and my fave: Fudge Bucket. My repertoire has been expanding over the years through many different sources: since reading Leviathan - Barking Spiders!, watching Craig Ferguson - Oh Biscuits!, Chelsea Handler's pickachu, and save the best for last - Frak! If you don't know what that's from, I feel sorry for you that you've never had the pleasure of watching BSG.
The description of Barrons Books and Baubles was perfect to the point that it sparked a great debate inside my head. The nature of that debate was trying to determine which body part I would be willing to give up to visit such a place. Not sure I would give up a kidney, but the appendix did not seem worthy enough. I determined the acceptable sacrifice would be my belly-button. Yeah, I would totally give up my innie (and I am rather attached to it) and rock it Kyle XY-style to visit Barrons Books and Baubles. That store sounds amazing!
The way she acted around death-by-sex-Fae-guy-whose-name-I-don't-like-either was thoroughly entertaining. I was actually surprised she didn't swell up with a hysterical pregnancy and start lactating right there in the middle of the museum. Geez. Those parts of the book didn't do anything for me but cause a fit of the giggles.
If forced to choose one word to describe this book, it would be "consistent". It was easy to read and never lulled or grew too suspenseful. The story stayed in a constant state of intrigue.
I'm greatly looking forward to the next, which I think I might pick up in just a few seconds. Mostly, I'm looking forward to some bow-chicka-wow-wow between Mac and Jericho. Aaaah, will I ever get used to calling him Barrons?
EDIT: There is something I want to clear up. Just something that I noticed a lot of people have been making comments about. Everyone keeps referring to the Fae as being aliens, which is not entirely accurate. There is only one mention of the Fae being "aliens" and it is in a snarky remark and assumption made by Mac. Barrons doesn't actually confirm the remark, like usual, he just answers her with a question "You didn't think they were natives, did you?" The Fae are in no way ET or the Buggers.
They are an inter-dimensional race, not at all unlike most mythology about the Fae or demons or other supernatural beings. Just like in Buffy. I know, it's a shocker that I brought that show into this conversation. I NEVER do that.
But if you love Buffy and her forbidden relationships, then you will love this series. The first book is by far the most lackluster, but it is still good. Stick with it. Each consecutive book gets better and better. An amazing series!! A must read for paranormal fans.
YOU. ARE. THE. DEAD. Oh my God. I got the chills so many times toward the end of this book. It completely blew my mind. It managed to surpass my high...moreYOU. ARE. THE. DEAD. Oh my God. I got the chills so many times toward the end of this book. It completely blew my mind. It managed to surpass my high expectations AND be nothing at all like I expected. Or in Newspeak "Double Plus Good."
Let me preface this with an apology. If I sound stunningly inarticulate at times in this review, I can't help it. My mind is completely fried.
This book is like the dystopian Lord of the Rings, with its richly developed culture and economics, not to mention a fully developed language called Newspeak, or rather more of the anti-language, whose purpose is to limit speech and understanding instead of to enhance and expand it. The world-building is so fully fleshed out and spine-tinglingly terrifying that it's almost as if George travelled to such a place, escaped from it, and then just wrote it all down.
I read Fahrenheit 451 over ten years ago in my early teens. At the time, I remember really wanting to read 1984, although I never managed to get my hands on it. I'm almost glad I didn't. Though I would not have admitted it at the time, it would have gone over my head. Or at the very least, I wouldn't have been able to appreciate it fully.
From the start, the author manages to articulate so many of the things I have thought about but have never been able to find a way to put into words. Even in the first few chapters I found myself having to stop just to quietly consider the words of Mr Orwell.
For instance, he talks about how the act of writing itself is a type of time travel. It is communicating with the future. I write these words now, but others may not discover them for hours, weeks, or even years. For me, it is one time. For you the reader, it is an entirely different one.
Just the thought that reading and writing could one day be outlawed just shivers my timbers. I related to Winston so much in that way. I would have found a way to read or write.
The politics and psychology of this novel run deep. The society in the book has no written laws, but many acts are punishable by death. The slogan of the Party (War is Peace...) is entirely convoluted. Individuality is frowned upon and could lead to being labeled a traitor to the Party.
I also remember always wondering why the title was 1984. I was familiar with the concept of Big Brother and wondered why that wasn't the name of the book. In the story, they don't actually know what year it is because so much of the past has been erased by the Ministry of Truth. It could very easily have been 1981. I think that makes the title more powerful. Something as simple as the year or date is unknown to these people. They have to believe it is whatever day that they are told it is. They don't have the right to keep track. Knowledge is powerful. Knowledge is necessary. But according to Big Brother. Ignorance is strength.
1984 is written in past tense and has long paragraphs of exposition, recounting events, and explaining the society. These are usually things that distance me from a book and from the characters, but Orwell managed to keep me fully enthralled. He frequently talks in circles and ideas are often repeated but it is still intriguing, none the less. I must admit that I zoned out a bit while Winston was reading from The Book, but I was very fascinated by the culture.
Sometimes it seems as though the only way to really experience a characters emotions is through first person. This is not the case with this book, as it is written in third person; yet, I never failed to be encompassed in Winston's feelings. George manages to ensure that the reader never feels disconnected from the events that are unfolding around them, with the exception of the beginning when Winston is just starting to become awakened. I developed a strong attachment to Winston and thrived on living inside his mind. I became a member of the Thought Police, hearing everything, feeling everything and last but not least, (what the Thought Police are not allowed to do) questioning everything.
I wasn't expecting a love story in this book, but the relationship between Julia and Winston was truly profound. I enjoyed it even more than I would have expected and thought the moments between them were beautiful. I wasn't sure whether he was going to eventually betray Julia to the Party or not, but I certainly teared up often when it came to their relationship.
George has an uncanny ability to get to the base of the human psyche, at times suggesting that we need to be at war for many different reasons, whether it's at war with ourselves or with others. That is one thing I have never understood: why humans feel the need to destroy and control each other.
It seems that the main and recurring message in this book is about censorship and brainwashing. One, censorship, is limited and little exposure to ideas of the world; the other, brainwashing, is forced and too much exposure to a certain ideas. Both can be extremely dangerous.
Inside the ministry of Truth, he demonstrates the dangers of censorship by showing how the Party has completely rewritten the past by forging and abolishing documents and physical evidence. We also spend quite a bit of time with Winston in the Ministry of Love, where the brainwashing takes place. Those who commit thoughtcrime are tortured until they grow to love and obey Big Brother and serve only the interests of the Party.
A common theme occurred to me throughout the book, although it wasn't necessarily referenced consistently. The good of the many is more important than the good of the one. There are so many variables when it comes to this statement and for the most part it seems natural to say, "Of course, the many is more important than the one", but when inside Winston's head, all that I began to care about was his well-being and not if he was able to help disband or conquer the Party and Big Brother. I just wanted him to be at peace.
Whether or not the good of all is more important than that of the one, I can't answer. I think most people feel their own happiness is more important than the rest of the world's, and maybe that's part of the problem but it's also human nature. I only wish we could all accept one other regardless of belief and culture and not try to force ways of life onto other people. Maybe I'm naive for thinking that way, but so be it.
I almost don't know what to think about this book. I'm not even sure my brain still works, or if it ever worked right at all. This book has a way of making you think you know exactly what you believe about everything and then turning you completely upside down and making you question whether or not you believe anything at all about anything. It's the strangest thing. Hmmm. Doublethink? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
Everything about this book is captivating. It's groundbreaking yet at the same time, purely classic. Ahead of its time, yet timeless. From Big Brother to the Thought Police, I was hooked and wanted to know more about it all.
Basically, I think everyone should read 1984 at some point. You really have to be in the mood to work at reading it, though. But it's all worth it in the end. It's absolutely incredible and I loved it. I don't re-read many books but this will definitely be one of them. It is a hard read, but more importantly, it is a MUST read.(less)
I started this one a while back and took a long break before coming back to finish it. I had forgotten how intensely and wonderfully creative this boo...moreI started this one a while back and took a long break before coming back to finish it. I had forgotten how intensely and wonderfully creative this book was. I had forgotten the beauty of the language used in it. The mysteries of Matt's relationship with El Patron. The nickname he is called, mi vida - my life - which has so much more meaning than even he realizes.
The subplots of this book are extensive and diverse. Scientific experiments, drug dealing, juvenile espionage, child imprisonment, and family power struggles just to name a few.
At first, eejit is used as a derogatory term and I thought that was just their term for idiot. But it runs much deeper than even that. I don't want to give anything away but it is certainly an interesting take on the human experience. In fact, everything in this book comes back to the question: What is it that makes us human?
I can't say for certain whether all the questions are answered, so you'll just have to find out for yourself. But I can certainly say that I had a great time attempting to find answers for myself inside this wildly imaginative book.
My only disappointment with this book was that I didn't feel the emotions as strongly as I would have liked. And I did kind of expect a twist and the end, but the ending was beautiful none the less. Loved it.(less)