From the beginning of this lovely book it is easy to see why someone would publish it. It's well written, breath-taking and beautiful. For YA, it's ad...moreFrom the beginning of this lovely book it is easy to see why someone would publish it. It's well written, breath-taking and beautiful. For YA, it's adult friendly, not immature or contrived and the detailed character development turned the fantasy of Neverland into a reality. As an admirer of J.M Barrie's Peter Pan this hit the same spot in my heart with the unassuming way of Peter, the strength of Tiger Lily, the kind heart of Pine Sap, the naivety of Wendy, the goodness of Tik Tok, and the confusing unfairness of the world they shared. These characters made the story seem real, like an experience one could have if they just bought tickets and stepped on a boat headed for an island, or asked around in London for the house of Pan, once the boy that would never grow up. There's much emotion in this book...especially about the things people wish they would have said to someone but never did... people's inability to tear down the walls they build around their hearts...the way we want everything but can't have it. A book about letting go. It made me cry so high marks for that. Did I tell you how realistically sad this books is? Highly recommended even if you are not a fan of YA books.(less)
**spoiler alert** I've finally read a John Green novel. For some time, I've heard about the sophistication in which he weaves coming of age tales. I’m...more**spoiler alert** I've finally read a John Green novel. For some time, I've heard about the sophistication in which he weaves coming of age tales. I’m here to say the hype about him is true. He’s good. It’s pretty authentic material. This isn't the stuff your parents want to know about your growing up years. ..but if they are honest with themselves they share the same story. This is the real deal about teenagers, in all of its messy, confusing, lonely yet lovely details. At his old school Miles felt all alone, not really fitting in but not wanting too either. Then he decides to attend a boarding school named Culver Creek; it’s a school for smart eccentric people with special gifts. Miles can tell you the last words of any famous dead person and for the first time Miles aka “Pudge” feels like he belongs somewhere. He meets Colonel, a charming guy that has a chip on his shoulder about growing up poor, Takumi the easy going guy with the right words that mellows everyone out, and the beautiful, kind, impulsive Alaska Young. Long story short, a death is experienced. It devastates them. Miles kind of spirals into this selfish abyss of pain because for the first time he is left not knowing his loved one’s last words. It’s all heartbreaking and not the least bit contrived. Like I said …it’s good. I only disagree with one part because it’s not the truth….. The false part is the story of forgetting. Miles thinks he‘s forgetting his dead friend. All their friends pause for moments trying to remember memories of their dead friend but they feel that person is slipping away. Since this is everyone’s growing up story… I can tell you that the forgetting thing is bullshit. The fear of forgetting may be there but do we ever really forget them? I've had friends commit suicide and die of brain aneurysms…and the thing is you never forget them. You carry that loved one around like pieces of glass underneath your skin. The memories of them knock the wind out of you sometimes. My teenage son’s sarcasm brings snapshots of my once sixteen year old friend at the comedy club, outshining the comedian on stage. The comedian says out of frustration, “ Who are you?”. My now dead friend (but so full of life then) casually looks down a table of 12 elderly women, “ Why I’m Jesus and these are my twelve disciples.” This memory seems so recent in my head, it’s like it happened yesterday yet I was a sixteen years old like him when it happened. I'm definitely not sixteen now. I feel my stomach knot. I feel tears in my eyes. And all I can think about is my now gone, clever friend that had so much greatness inside will never have the opportunity to show the world. Yet the memory of his potential life lives inside me. So no …you never forget. You never forget a single thing or a single moment. And I could not forgive myself if I did. My favorite part of this novel are there are no cookie cutter caricatures of the characters. These are actual people I went to school with. They have the same problems and have the same ways of dealing or not dealing with them. They say only so much …but hold so much inside just like real people. They are not revealed completely all at once. These kids are trying to find stability in an unstable world like we all do and did. They aren't perfect and they like to rebel…but only together. They are smart, sassy, productive, self destructive, and do all the things adults do but maybe pay the bills. This is real life and Green is good at writing about it. He unearths vulnerability and reveals it to our emotional selves; you know he reveals the parts of ourselves that used to be there before the world consumed them or before we denied people access to them. Looking for Alaska is a real look into the past, it’s good and recommended. Winner of the Printz Award. (less)
National Book Award Finalist. You can tell. Bacigalupi is a skillful and talented writer of YA. I don't hand out 5 stars often. Nailer is a poverty str...more National Book Award Finalist. You can tell. Bacigalupi is a skillful and talented writer of YA. I don't hand out 5 stars often. Nailer is a poverty stricken abused 15 year old, trying to maintain goodness in a world that has tried to beat it out of him. He scavenges old ships for parts to earn a living; a dangerous job for one so young. After a hurricane he finds a beautiful girl and her ship stranded on the beach. Nailer has lived a thousand lifetimes before this moment. He is a worn likeable person but is he a hero? Will he decide to risk his life and save her from his hoodlum dad and the other killers that lurk in his world? This story sucked me in with its adventure and variety of characters. The writing is extraordinary. You can taste the salt from the ocean, feel the cuts carved in skin from scrap metal, carry the burden of too much family dysfunction, and feel the satisfaction of loyal friendships. This is a book to savor and enjoy. Highly recommended.(less)
**spoiler alert** The moon, hit by a meteor is knocked closer to earth causing tidal waves, volcanoes, and the end of a life as most humans knew it. M...more**spoiler alert** The moon, hit by a meteor is knocked closer to earth causing tidal waves, volcanoes, and the end of a life as most humans knew it. Miranda , a teenage girl, keeps a diary of what has happened to her. This is her story.
I admire the realistic approach to this young adult novel. At first things seem like life will continue as normal, but then characters slowly realize that life will have to change if they are to survive. The ability for characters to adapt fascinated me. There is truth to this book. I kept thinking…. when traumatic situations occur most people manage to endure for a time don’t we? Would the end of the world be any different? Like in this novel, there is a process our brains go through, that they trick us into thinking how we are living is normal.
I wish science were more explored in the novel. The book would have meant more if there were a touch more going on. If the characters were effected a little more physically and not just emotionally. It seemed they were too lucky for too long, as the world fell down around their ankles, so because of this, at the end of the novel I felt the realism I had enjoyed took a dive.
When civilizations end, when does civility stop? In this novel, it never does. It's like someone hit a stop watch on life. I can't help but think that the end of the world would be more chaotic than that at times? It seemed people might get desperate enough to do more scavenging? I thought the lack of that a little odd. There were no bumps in the night. However, there were more recluses, which led me to believe that if in Miranda's situation I may survive. A book of hope. (less)