This book will break your fucking heart. (If it doesn't, IDK, maybe you don't have one? You should look into that.)
The story is told so beautifully,...moreThis book will break your fucking heart. (If it doesn't, IDK, maybe you don't have one? You should look into that.)
The story is told so beautifully, so simply (yet with very deep, heavy, real themes), hilariously, believably, that you probably won't mind. It's very sad, in parts. It left me feeling happy, though. Largely because WOW JOHN GREEN. I'm so glad he exists. Especially in the YA-lit world, which so desperately (COUGH TWILIGHT COUGH) needs some amazing things. His ability to portray characters as complex, as real people, is amazing.
Also, it's hella romantic. I have never read an author who portrayed crush-dom, falling-in-love-ness, whatever, so...just, nice. It's so sweet without being cheesy (largely due to the characters being funny, I think) and never any of that I WILL THROW MYSELF INTO AN ABYSS BECAUSE THAT IS LOVE (um, Twilight. Yeah. No coughing here, I'm just saying it.)
Also, as with his other novels, a theme seems to be, the ways in which people see and perceive and imagine/mis-imagine each other. And affect each other, and fail each other, even if it's not their fault. There is a great part in the book where, uh, here, Imma quote: (view spoiler)[ "To be fair to Monica," I said, "what you did to her wasn't very nice either." "What'd I do to her?" he asked, defensive. "You know, going blind and everything." "But that's not my fault," Isaac said. "I'm not saying it was your fault. I'm saying it wasn't nice. (hide spoiler)] I mean, right??? Anyway. I could quote the shit out of this book but I think it's much more meaningful in context. I find Green's writing to be very philosophical, but in the absolute least pretentious way imaginable. He just tells a story, and he tells the fuck out of it, and it tells you many other things.
One other author I really feel this WOW HOLY FUCKMONKEYS about is David Foster Wallace. (Sidenote: I always struggle with wondering if I should speak about DFW in the past or present tense. I think I've just now decided present tense, kind of due to a quote also in the book which I will add if I can find it). Anyone who knows my obsession with aforementioned dude (dude = DFW) will understand the sincerity with which I give this compliment: John Green is like the DFW of YA literature. They are very different writers, with different styles, but there are themes that they share. Also, I happen to know John Green is a DFW fan, and I can see the influence. In a good way.
ANDDDDDDDD. This is a minor thing about the book but whatever. I swear I had a thought the other day, like, seriously, three days ago. And then I read this book which articulated it (better). Said thought being: Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (look it up if you don't know, I don't feel like explaining but it is an interesting theory) is hella bullshit. (Almost posted a FB status like: "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, hella bullshit, amirite??"). Anyway, then today I read this book and the protagonist is all: "According to Maslow, I was stuck on the second level of the pyramid, unable to feel secure in my health and therefore unable to reach for love and respect and art and whatever else, which is, of course utter horseshit; The urge to make art or contemplate philosophy does not go away when you are sick. Those urges just become transfigured by illness." Well damn, character Hazel, you said it better, anyway, and I'll concede that it may be "horseshit" rather than "bullshit".
Basically, you should go read this. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
FIRST I just have to say this. One weird thing about this book, which is not the fault of the book at all. I could not stop picturing Tiny as the char...moreFIRST I just have to say this. One weird thing about this book, which is not the fault of the book at all. I could not stop picturing Tiny as the character Cam from “Modern Family”. According to the description, Tiny looks and acts like exactly like this guy. Which is not a problem, really, except that Cam is a grown-ass man who has like 20 years on the character of Tiny, so I’m like picturing this grown-up and then he is making out with a teenage boy…weird. Not appropriate. Sorry. That was my own personal struggle reading this book. I apologize if I pass that on to you. There’s no way Tiny doesn’t grow up to BE Cam from Modern Family. IT’S THE SAME GUY. Okay. Sorry. I will drop that now.
Soo I believe this completes my reading of all John Green books. (Well, he co-authored this book). This was not my favorite of them all (I believe Fault in Our Stars may take that title), but that isn’t because there is anything wrong with it, it‘s that Green sets the bar pretttty high. It was a very good YA book. I think Levithan is a great YA author as well, based on this and the other book I’ve read by him (Boy Meets Boy).
It’s apparent early on that the authors wrote alternating chapters of the book, as one of the Will Graysons has a distinctly John Green-ish vibe to it. The other Will Grayson, whose narration lacks capitalization (I guess a stylistic choice- and probably to be able to easily tell the two narrators apart, though the difference in the characters voices would have made this obvious anyway). The book overall didn’t seem disjointed, as a book could be, when done in this style. It somehow managed to tell several intertwined stories, and kind of have (in my opinion) three “main” characters - The Graysons and Tiny. The lowercase Will Grayson annoyed me at first, his teenagery attitude (like epic, classic, Holden Caulfield levels of whine), but seeing him through the eyes of the other Uppercase Will Grayson, he became more likable. By the end I was rooting for all the characters in the book, no matter how whiny and silly and teenage boy-ish they were at times. (Except the character of Maura, no spoilers, but that girl was a straight up asshole NO EXUSES for that behavior).
This book suggests a theme that seems to be present in all Green’s work, which is like “imagining other people complexly”. Like I said, there’s kind of this teenage-selfish-feeling where the characters think their problems are the only REAL problems, and they are the victim of their story, and their friends don’t treat them the way they should, etc. That would be whiny, or annoying, or trite, but it didn’t come across that way. It felt sincere. Even for the character Tiny, who, as a pretty flamboyantly gay character, would have been easy to seem a stereotype instead of an actual complex person. It seemed he was that way for the start of the book, even. But he was fleshed out, so to speak (not a fat joke I swear) by the end.
Overall 4/5 just because it didn’t blow my mind or anything but it’s a good ‘un! It’s funny and cute and JOHN GREEN makes everything he touches made of awesome. (Levithan good job too, buddy, I‘m not as nerded out about you, I apologize for that).(less)
Self-righteous doesn't even really scratch the surface. At first I thought I was going to love this b/c it opened with talking about how futile recycl...moreSelf-righteous doesn't even really scratch the surface. At first I thought I was going to love this b/c it opened with talking about how futile recycling is, and how it accomplishes basically nothing other than making people feel good about themselves, which is so true, cuz omg I fucking hate recycling. But it quickly becomes apparent that the nutbags who wrote this book are just WAY more extreme.. like the environmentalist version of PETA. What's it called, EarthFirst? Like those people. Their manifesto (which is presented in the most obnoxious, unsubtle metaphors possible) is that they basically want to destroy all systems. They are like.. ALL corporations are evil and the government just cares about obtaining wealth even at the cost of life and we are destroying the planet. Which.. okay, maybe. But.. what do you suggest we do about it? Smugly complain in a graphic novel? Which is printed on PAPER, you know, and since you are against all industries and basically want people to sit in trees or whatever, makes you massive fucking hypocrites. Book publishing INDUSTRY. You obnoxious fuckers. Also.. in the about me author thing on the back one of the authors says he is a "philosopher". that alone is just so dickish, I don't even KNOW. (less)
Oh jesus christ. Within the first ten pages when she said something like "One notebook isn't enough to hold all my feelings" I knew this book was goin...moreOh jesus christ. Within the first ten pages when she said something like "One notebook isn't enough to hold all my feelings" I knew this book was going to suck. And it did. The plot is about this like, 16 year old little emo fucker who is obsessed with To Kill A Mockingbird, and her mom's dead, and she's reading her mom's journal and she decides to run away and try to visit Harper Lee b/c she thinks that going to fix all her emo little problems (I don't like my step mom and NO ONE UNDERSTANDS ME!!). Seriously, her level of whine makes Holden Caulfield look like a prince. The writing is very contrived, the author (who is also clearly unreasonably obsessed with To Kill a Mockingbird and in a note at the end of the book calls it "perfection") does not understand the concept at ALL of "showing not telling". Also.. most of this book takes place on a Greyhound bus where she bonds with friendly strangers ie EVERYONE. Seriously, everyone is like "OH YOU GO GIRL!" and encouraging her even though she's loathable and I'm pretty sure a certain population of people on Greyhound's are just angry child molestors and it seems very unlikely that she didnt run into ONE person who was; pretty much everyone she encountered was unreasonably nice and helpful, going way out of their way to accompany her annoying-ass all over the freakin' country on her little emo-tour.
What I'm trying to say is: this wasn't very good. (less)
This is pretty cute and not written in a typical YA-book way that makes me want to vomit. One of the authors of this book, who also wrote Boy Meets Bo...moreThis is pretty cute and not written in a typical YA-book way that makes me want to vomit. One of the authors of this book, who also wrote Boy Meets Boy is really good at creating good characters. The only real downside to this book is that the people in it are a little too clever..basically they talk kind of like the people in Juno, the movie, which is also cute but REALLY most teenagers aren't that funny. Also this book exists in the same kind of no-one-is-homophobic fantasy land that Boy Meets Boy existed in. I think it's awesome, I really want to move there, it just seems unrealistic. Also unrealistic... how cool Norah is. They are like getting into clubs and watching drag shows.. this is not really normal teenage activity. But.. anyway. It's adorable. I want to see the movie even though I have the feeling Michael Cera ruined it by playing Michael Cera like he does in every movie.
I should have known from the horrible title that this would suck. But because of the cute cover art and the promise of short stories about lesbians, I...moreI should have known from the horrible title that this would suck. But because of the cute cover art and the promise of short stories about lesbians, I read it any way. It was by far the worst short story collection I've ever read. I know I'm not the target audience (not a teen) but still- this is just horrible writing. And I'm not saying that all YA books that deal with LGBT issues should portray everything as peachy and wonderful but it would be nice to have the stories be a BIT uplifting. Rather than just the constant "people will fuck with you and you'll never be okay" theme. Blaah. F-. (less)
While you're anxiously waiting.. go buy the book. I never buy books and I'm poor and I bought it and it was worth every penny, y'a...moreREVIEW COMING SOON.
While you're anxiously waiting.. go buy the book. I never buy books and I'm poor and I bought it and it was worth every penny, y'all... er.. ya'll?? I never know where to put the apostrophe because my usage of ya'll is totally forced. It's gotta be y'all though, huh, cause it's like.. you.. all. y'all. OK GOT IT.
It was cute. I'm not sure if I like the constant cheery-ness of it, though. It's fairly unrealistic, how nice everyone is. I mean, there are issues, b...moreIt was cute. I'm not sure if I like the constant cheery-ness of it, though. It's fairly unrealistic, how nice everyone is. I mean, there are issues, but they are pretty mild, and the main kid is SO nice.. teenage boys are never that nice. So.. it wasn't exactly believable, but it was sweet and kind of funny, even though it took place in a fantasy-land. (Though, it should be noted, I certainly wish we did live in a time when non-straightness was so accepted and viewed as normal. Maybe this book takes place in the future.. I can only hope..)(less)
I started this and got incredibly bored and annoyed. The protagonist girl is so obnoxious and whiny. I guess it's "normal" to be full of angst at 17 o...moreI started this and got incredibly bored and annoyed. The protagonist girl is so obnoxious and whiny. I guess it's "normal" to be full of angst at 17 or whatever but A SEXY VAMPIRE MAN IS IN LOVE WITH YOU. Come on. Your life is pretty rad. Anyway. I'm not gonna attempt to read it again. (less)
The girl character was awesome. The boy character was lame. Though I admit this book was largely about how he un-lamed himself, that is, grew up. And...moreThe girl character was awesome. The boy character was lame. Though I admit this book was largely about how he un-lamed himself, that is, grew up. And that's dandy for him and probably not a bad thing for 12 year olds to read (who are the target audience for this book), it mostly kind of annoyed me. I don't relate well or very sympathetically to 12 year old boys, but hey, I'm a 21 year old chick, wtf am I doing reading a YA book anyway (BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE IT THAT'S WHY). Also, it brought up issues that would have been interesting to explore in further detail. Like the class issue between the two families. Though, thinking about it now, it did have some moderately clever moments. I'm giving it one more star than I was originally going to rate it.
Also: Basket boys? WTF. NO SCHOOL WOULD EVER DO THIS TO THEIR STUDENTS. ITS LIKE 12 YEAR OLD PROSTITUTION EW. (less)
Good. It still kind of annoys me when authors decide to forgo the usage of quotes when indicating speaking. But it worked okay in this one. Also, they...moreGood. It still kind of annoys me when authors decide to forgo the usage of quotes when indicating speaking. But it worked okay in this one. Also, they kept doing Random Capital Words like this when something was meant to be emphasized. Like. It was a Very Big Deal. I don't know, that also annoys the crap out of me. Another thing. STOP MAKING ANOREXIA SEEM SEXY, YA AUTHORS. I don't understand the trend. Though in this book, the main chick pretty much gets over her "it's so cool to be skinny and be hungry all the time"-thing, it still annoys me. That aside, the book was really fucking good. It's one of those books that I don't think I'll ever forget.
Also: I really like how, while there were all kinds of unnecessary capitalization, the word "god" was never capitalized. I'm not really sure why the author made this choice, but I like it. (less)
Unimpressive. The way Johnson writes is annoying; more than halfway into the book, I really didn't know ANYTHING about the main character, other than...moreUnimpressive. The way Johnson writes is annoying; more than halfway into the book, I really didn't know ANYTHING about the main character, other than that she was on a (ridiculous) journey. It was all action and no thought. It was not insightful. The main character was not likeable. She wasn't unlikeable either. She was just like...doing things. She didn't have very many thoughts. And never very insightful ones (ie "I like this boy! I am sad. I am happy. I am angry"). COME ON. There was no attempt made to make her a human, a believable character. Also the end was frustrating but kind of oddly moving (a little) at the same time. But overall, I was not in any way impressed. (less)