Random Musings by Frodosco

Posts tagged “John Green

Sunday Post #19

Sunday Post hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by the amazing Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It is a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

I love participating in Sunday Post because I can provide a recap of books I read, talk about what is coming up next week, and discuss any books I received in the past week!

This was a mixed week for me, great for getting books, but blah for reading. First, the new (to me) books!

Book Outlet Binge

The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell 

The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver

The Humming Room by Ellen Potter

Uses For Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt

Bruiser by Neal Shusterman

Mind Games by Kiersten White

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Seemingly Random Purchases

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut


Last Week On the Blog

Monday – Wicked Valentine’s Readathon Vol. 2 Recap

Tuesday – Totally Random Tuesday: What Kind of Reader Are You?

Wednesday – Waiting on Wednesday: In a Handful of Dust

Thursday – Killing My Kindle: The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant

Friday – Frodo’s Frisky Friday – The Battle of the Dragon Slayer

Saturday – Middle Grade Books: Why I Love Them & Need to Read More


Books Read Last Week

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge – 2/5 (Ugh. So disappointed.) unearthly

Sheep and Wolves by Jeremy C. Shipp – 3/5 (Not my favorite of his.)

The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe – 3/5 (Review above)

The Battle of the Dragon Slayer by Leigh Wilder – 4/5 (Review above)

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand – 5/5 (Review next week!)

Send in the Clowns by Sheena Stone – 1/5 (No to all of this, ew.)


This Week On the Blog

Monday – Mini Review Monday

Tuesday – Top Ten Tuesday

Wednesday – Waiting on Wednesday #21

Thursday – Killing My Kindle

Friday – Frodo’s Frisky Friday

Saturday – Book of the Week

Sunday – Sunday Post #20


As you can see the book haul was pretty great this week! I got some new MG to read (see yesterday’s post all about that!), a couple I had been considering for a while (Mind Games & Uses For Boys), and two recommendation books (Bruiser and D&LBoD) from Book Outlet for (as usual) crazy cheap. Attachments was another recommendation book that I saw on ze booktube, and Slaughterhouse-Five is because Crash Course (John Green in this case) is going Literary and it is giving me an excuse to read classics! ^.^

On the other hand is my reading week…goodness that was brutal. I had high hopes for Cruel Beauty with that gorgeous cover, but 2/5 was generous and I’m definitely a black sheep on that one. Speaking of sheep, Sheep and Wolves by one of my favorite authors, Jeremy C. Shipp, wasn’t bad, but comparatively not nearly as good as his other work. Anne Merchant was one I really had been looking forward to and for the most part it let me down, and don’t get me started on the atrocity that was the clown book. *shudders*

The bright spots were The Battle of the Dragon Slayer by my favorite “naughty” author Leigh Wilder, and especially Unearthly by Cynthia Hand which I will be reviewing next Saturday for Book of the Week! They saved what otherwise was a sluggish, disappointing, and altogether blah reading week, but as a whole it was probably the worst I’ve had so far this year.

On the blog I did two more “original” and random posts where I asked what kind of reader are you and also all about middle grade books and how I need more of them in my life, so that was a lot of fun! Thanks for stopping by, feel free to leave a link to your Sunday Post or whatever other bookish meme you partake in over the weekend and I will be sure to check it out! Enjoy your Sunday! ^.^

Book of the Week: This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther Grace Earl


Book of the Week

Every Saturday I will talk about my favorite book that I read during the week, whether it be a review or a spotlight, or maybe having the author over to talk about it. Who doesn’t want more happy bookish goodness? ^.^

This week I’m gushing about: This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther Grace Earl

Released On: January 28th, 2014

Summary From Goodreads

A collection of the journals, fiction, letters, and sketches of the late Esther Grace Earl, who passed away in 2010 at the age of 16. Photographs and essays by family and friends will help to tell Esther’s story along with an introduction by award-winning author John Green who dedicated his #1 bestselling novel The Fault in Our Stars to her.


When I started this feature I said that it wouldn’t always be reviews. Sometimes I might go gif-crazy and have a bunch of feels, others might be bringing the author on to talk about the book, and there would likely be ideas I hadn’t and still haven’t even thought up yet. In this case I’m just going to talk to you and hope you care to listen.

This Star Won’t Go Out is a book I could never hope to do justice. It’s a story about Esther. It’s a book about love and the willingness to give it away freely no matter what the circumstances. TSWGO is a cause, one that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to give to other families that are going through rough times as well as to causes that Esther would have wanted to support.

The book is a collection of stories from Esther herself, her friends, family, acquaintances, doctors, and others, but really it is Esther’s story and how she was able to speak through all of these people because of the impact that she had on each and every one of them. Esther was a nerdfighter, many of you know what this means (for those who don’t know click here for the vlogbrother’s video on it), something I also claim to be, but I never knew her, becoming one after her passing.

I would like to say so many things, how touching this story is, how amazing a person she must have been, what wonders she still would be sharing with the world if she were alive. I would love to say I have a connection with her, that I understand her, and that this book reaches me at a level I didn’t think possible. I want to say all these things, but in reality I never knew her, and while this book is beautiful, I couldn’t review it honestly, knowing that her life is something to be celebrated, but by those who knew her, not myself.

The book is a long one, filled with amazing stories, tender moments, and beautiful pictures (drawn and photographed), and something I highly recommend you read for yourself. I can’t do this story justice, only Esther can, and if you let her I know she won’t let you down. I never knew her, but I’m still inspired by the messages that she left behind, the things she stood for, and the life she lived. Thank you as always for reading, DFTBA, and remember TSWGO.

Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge #42/365; New Author Challenge #18/50

Five Smiling Frodos w Background

Top Ten Books That Will Give You All The Feels


Totally Random Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday it is about books that make you cry. The problem for me is I don’t really cry when I read a book, no matter the genre or subject matter, it just doesn’t happen. So, instead I am going to talk about books that give you all kinds of feels. Here we go! ^.^

Unhinged by A.G. Howard 1. I Ship The Heck Out of This Romance! – Unhinged by A.G. Howard – You know that feeling you get when you are reading a book and EVERYTHING about the pairing does it for you? Like you can’t imagine them being with anyone else? I’m fully team Morpheus, and I felt all of those feels when it came to their pairing, regardless of what actually will come to them.

not a drop to drink 2. I’m Going to Throw This Book if They Do That! – Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis – A common example of this is when animals are on the covers of books in dystopian books where I see bloggers saying how upset they will be if it dies. Without spoiling too much, in Not a Drop to Drink there is a little girl that joins the story about a third to halfway through and she has a rough go of it at times. I felt physically ill at the thought of McGinnis killing her off, I won’t say if she did or not, but a very strong feeling indeed.

 3 & 4. Why Did They End the Book Like That?! – Beta by Rachel Cohn – Last year I read this book, if you want the review it is here, and loved it for 99% of the way, and then the ending killed me. I hated it and it made the character’s decisions seem pointless because they went against everything they stood for. I raged on Twitter a little bit and even though I gave the book 4/5 it fell from “I’ll mention this all year as a favorite read” to “good but can’t think about it without being disappointed” so there’s that. (Honorable Mention – This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales – review soon to explain)

 5 & 6. Stop Torturing These Beautiful Characters! – Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons – I just reviewed this one yesterday, so the wounds are still fresh, but suffice it to say that I really felt all the suffering Ember and Chase went through. The imagery and depictions of the situations were done extremely well and the visuals were crazy powerful in my head. Can’t they be happy for more than five minutes? Please?! (Honorable Mention – Shades of War by Sarah-Jane Lehoux – review here)

Ready Player One 7. I Connect With This Book Completely – Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – I loved this book because of how much it brought out my geeky side. There were gaming references of all varieties, old pop culture references and music, and throughout all of it I felt like the book was designed purely for my personal enjoyment. All of the happy feels for this one!

 8. I Am An Empty Shell – Paper Towns by John Green – You might be wondering how a book that stripped me of all my emotions, leaving behind an empty husk of a person, could be anything but The Fault in Our Stars. TFiOS is fantastic and I can see why some people would get very emotional because of it, but Paper Towns resonated more with me. I’ve got family members who have had cancer, but I’ve BEEN Q before, led down a crazy adventure that somehow ends up teaching you about yourself, all started by an amazing girl. By the end of this book I was completely drained, but in the best way.

In The Dark 9. Let’s Get Physical! – In the Dark by Leigh Wilder – Most of her books would qualify here, but this is reserved for any “naughty” books that get you in the mood. In the Dark is the first one of hers that came to mind with plenty of action and well written sexy times. Hey, these are definitely a powerful type of feels too!

 10. Everything in This Book Is Awesome, Can I Live There?! – Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger – This reaction is saved for books where the world is amazing, the characters are awesome, the writing is beautiful, and the events that occur within are so fantastic that you can’t help but talk about it with EVERYONE. While some might suggest things like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings for this, I could not choose them because so many terrible/sad events took place within, but for the entire time while reading C&C I was enthralled and having a blast. Definitely reserved for books giving emotional highs!

So those are the top ten books that gave me all the feels, even though they’re wildly different in which ones they illicit! What is your top ten list for this week? Did you manage to compile a list of cry-worthy books or did you have to tweak the theme like I did? Was there any common trait or pattern with the books you chose that explains your strong reactions to them? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

End of Year Book Survey for 2013

End of Year Book Survey 2013

Totally Random Tuesday

This year was the first time I heard about the 2013 End of Year Book Survey which is hosted by the lovely Jamie over at The Perpetual Page-Turner and I loved the idea! Apparently this is the fourth year this has been running, but better late than never! Without further ado, let’s get into the survey!

thirteen reasons why 1. Best book you read in 2013? – Every time I think of what book I loved most it always comes back to Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. It had all of the feels and a big part of me connected with that story, even if it hurt at times. I loved it and will likely make this one of my few re-reads of next year.

 2. Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn’t?Invisibility by David Levithan and Andrea Cremer. I enjoyed everything I read by Levithan prior to this book, and there was SO much hype surrounding it so I thought it was an easy win. Boy was I wrong. It was disjointed, the female MC was just…ugh, and Cremer was not at her best here from what I have heard.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book from 2013? Doll Bones by Holly Black. I thought this would be a good MG read when I bought it, but I didn’t think I would end up loving it! Great book, wonderful characters, so sweet.

Splintered by A. G. Howard 4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013? – Besides Thirteen Reasons Why, probably Splintered by A.G. Howard or Antigoddess by Kendare Blake. So many great books! ^.^

 5. Best series you discovered in 2013? – Easily the Razorland trilogy by Ann Aguirre. I’ve read (and loved) Enclave and Outpost already and Horde will be one of the first books I dive into for my challenge in 2014. It’s the best dystopian series out there.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013? – If I HAD to pick one it would be Ann Aguirre, but here is my Top Ten Tuesday post from last week about new-to-me authors which is a much better representation!

 7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you? – I had read a tiny bit of steampunk before but Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger is in my top ten books for the year and made me go out and get a bunch more. Freaking awesome in every way!

 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book of 2013? – Has to be Antigoddess by Kendare Blake. The book had action galore, the story never had a dull moment, and it is about Greek mythology which I LOVE. So ya, definitely unputdownable.

 9. Book you read in 2013 that you are most likely to re-read next year? – Thirteen Reasons Why is the number one, but besides that it’d be Paper Towns by John Green. I’d love to say An Abundance of Katherines because it was the book by Green that spoke to me the most, but I technically read that in December of 2012, so Paper Towns will do quite nicely.

Lets Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson 10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. The cover is simple but adorable, and it makes me laugh every time I look at it.

 11. Most memorable character in 2013? – Ritchie Sudden from Wise Young Fool by Sean Beaudoin. He was the most original of any character I experienced this year and the journey he takes to discover who he is was a blast to be on.

 12. Most beautifully written book in 2013? – I’m trying not to repeat myself too much so I’ll go with Looking for Alaska by John Green which was wonderfully written. Loved it.

 13. Books that had the greatest impact on you in 2013? – Thirteen Reasons Why is the far and away #1, but the other ones that comes to mind are both by Zoe E. Whitten, Penny for Your Debts & Peter the Wolf which both hit me hard.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited until 2013 to finally read? – An argument can be made for a ton of the books I read this year, though next year the list will likely be a mile long. I’ll go with Cursed by Jeremy C. Shipp which came out in 2009! Crazy.

 15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2013? – From Looking for Alaska: “We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations.”

 16. Shortest & longest book you read in 2013? – I didn’t include anything of novella length so that makes my shortest book The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger (145 pages) and the longest book Divergent by Veronica Roth (487 pages). I’m happy to say I enjoyed both quite a bit! ^.^

Antigoddess Cover 17. Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it? – I don’t remember going crazy over any one scene despite reading about so many great ones, but there was definitely one involving the feather on the cover of Antigoddess that had me going right to Twitter. Kendare Blake, why do you make me love you so?

 18. Favorite relationship from a book you read in 2013? – The dynamic between Artemis Fowl and Holly Short in the Artemis Fowl series is beautiful and I ship them so hard (as weird as that may be).

 19. Favorite book you read in 2013 from an author you’ve read previously? – Outside of the books previously mentioned, it would likely be the most bizarre book I read this year, Fade to Blue by Sean Beaudoin. A great read but truly insane.

 20. Best book you read in 2013 that you read based solely on a recommendation from someone else?Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver. I believe it was Kat from Katytastic on YouTube (who is awesome by the way) that recommended this one to me as well as Doll Bones, and both are my favorite MG reads for the year so thank you Kat!

 21. Genre you read the most from in 2013? – I’d say it is a tie between fantasy and contemporary, to close to call.

 22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013? – So many to choose from! It’s got to be Aja Killian from the Pendragon series by D.J. MacHale who is just so adorably awkward. ❤

Insomnia by J.R. Johansson 23. Best 2013 debut you read? – Besides Splintered? Then it has to be Insomnia by J.R. Johansson, a pretty creepy book that I enjoyed quite a bit.

 24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013? – Splintered and Antigoddess for the umpteenth time, but also Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. Holy freaking crap. Just read it if you haven’t, so pretty!

 25. Book that was the most fun to read in 2013? – Etiquette & Espionage again, but also Going Nowhere Faster by Sean Beaudoin was a really fun read. His sense of humor and mine just click.

 26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2013? – Thirteen Reasons Why is really the only book I read this year that had me super close to tears. I felt all of the emotions while reading that book.

 27. Book you read in 2013 that you think got overlooked this year or when it came out?The Archived by Victoria Schwab. While Vicious has been received and enjoyed by many, The Archived seemed to be a book that people only found out after Vicious’s success, and I encourage any who are on the fence to give it a try.

I hope you enjoyed this survey and feel free to join in on the fun by clicking here and linking up your own responses! I definitely plan to do this again next year, it should be pretty interesting to see how the books I read then will match up to the ones from 2013. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

Top Ten Character Names I Love


Totally Random Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday it is all about character names you LOVE!

1. Sevy from The Sevy Series by Sarah-Jane Lehoux – One of my favorite characters, Sevy’s name fits perfectly because just like her it is short, sweet, and it kicks ass. I can’t imagine her having any other name, and in fantasy the short kick-butt names are hard to come by.

2. Fade from The Razorland Series by Ann Aguirre – Even though Fade isn’t the MC in the series I felt that his name really matched his character’s style. The guy really does fade into the background at times but then BOOM comes to the forefront and kicks major Freak butt! Great character, perfect name.

Ritchie Sudden

3. Ritchie Sudden from Wise Young Fool by Sean Beaudoin – Ritchie Sudden, to me at least, seems like a punky, rocker-dude type name, and that’s pretty much what he is in Wise Young Fool. His last name, Sudden, goes well with his character’s meteoric rise, and fall, in the rocker scene. I’d like to chill with Sudden any day, but he’s too cool for that.

4. Colin Singleton from An Abundance of Katherines by John Green – How could this pairing be any better? It’s perfect! Colin, an unassuming, uninspiring first name (no offence to the Colins out there, my name is Eric so I feel your pain), for a guy that is constantly underachieving considering his genius-level brain. Plus, Singleton as a last name for a guy who keeps getting dumped? Nicely done Mr. Green, nicely done.

5. Bobby Pendragon from The Pendragon Series by D.J. MacHale –  I can never remember a title from this series to save my life when I want to discuss it, but I’ll never forget the name of the series as a whole, or its protagonist. With a last name like Pendragon how can you not be destined for awesome adventures? Exactly.

6. Morpheus from Splintered by A.G. Howard – I’m guessing my love for this name stems from a certain Matrix character, but Morpheus in Splintered deserves full credit for living up to every bit of the coolness that I associate with his name. He is awesome, if a bit psychotic (but what great characters aren’t a little nuts), and being on his team over Jeb is as easy as breathing. Wonderful.

7. Artemis Fowl from The Artemis Fowl Series by Eoin Colfer – Maybe this one is more about the character than the name, but considering the guy has the name of a god(dess) perhaps not. Artemis Fowl is the guy I think I always wanted to be, at least after he learned compassion to an extent, and I would trade names with him faster than he can create a time paradox (that’s pretty quick by the way). Amazing character, fantastic series, kick-ass name.

8. Frodo from The Lord of the Rings Series by J.R.R. Tolkien – Oh come on, did you really think I was going to skip my namesake? I have been called “Frodo” or some variant of it for over a decade now and it’s more “me” than my real name by any measure. frodo smile

9. Bartimaeus from The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud – I have no real explanation for this one except that I love the name just as much as the djinni that it belongs to. It’s original, it’s fun, and it sticks in the brain, can’t go wrong with that!

10. Margo Roth Spiegelman from Paper Towns by John Green – It flows off the tongue so easily and is just as unquantifiable as the character that bears her name. She is an event, a magical adventure, and the name might be a bit of a mouthful at times, but I think it’s perfect. Yes I’m repeating authors, and descriptive words, but these characters and their names are soooo good!

So those are the top ten character names I love! What is your top ten list for this week? Are yours more peculiar or do they match perfectly with the characters? Are they long or short, hilarious or straightforward? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

Top Ten Books That You Wish Were Taught in Schools


Top Ten Books That You Wish Were Taught in Schools

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday was either “Top 10 Contemporary Books That Would Be Great Paired With A Required Reading Book” (like Perks of Being A Wallflower with Catcher in the Rye) OR “Top Ten Books That You Wish Were Taught In Schools” and I decided to go with the latter! This is my first Top Ten Tuesday and I’m excited to dive right in so let’s go! (In no particular order)

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – I’m sure this is going to be on lists everywhere but I HAD to include it! As one of the best books I’ve ever read it would be a great choice just to showcase the best books have to offer! There are hard realities showcased, a beautiful relationship to discuss and the meaning/purpose of life could certainly be examined using TFiOS. Class – English

2. Divergent by Veronica Roth – Another easy choice for me, Divergent would be a perfect book for examining alternative ways of living and different cultures. Differing values and priorities as well as a fabulously constructed dystopian world are all available for discussion. Class – English or Social Studies (World Cultures)

3. Splintered by A.G. Howard – The best fairy tale retelling I’ve ever read. If this isn’t a perfect example of how to take one story and turn it on its head than I don’t know what is. Have the students recreate a classic (or part of it since classics are REALLY FREAKING LONG most of the time) and lesson plan done for a couple weeks. Class – English

4. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan – You want an easy example for discussing acceptance, lifestyles, different perspectives or just plain great writing? This is it. Need a book for GLBTA discussions? Got you covered. Class – English or Sociology

5. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell – This book is amazing, as is Gladwell and I’m sure it already is being used by some freaking awesome teachers but it could be used by way more. It’s all about how the mind works, instant decision making and perception. It’s also a ton of fun to read. Class – Psychology

6. Jim Cramer’s Stay Mad For Life: Get Rich, Stay Rich by Jim Cramer – While the title sounds like a bogus self-help book, the material within is anything but. Cramer has tv show (Jim Cramer’s Mad Money) that is hilarious but informative and this book is just as solid in both categories. Mad for Life is the best choice out of his books for students because it is applicable for those of any age group and it covers everything about the stock market with the average person in mind. Class – Economics

7 & 8. Lucid by Adrienne Stoltz & Insomnia by J. R. Johansson – I group these together because they are both great for the same reason. While Lucid uses multiple perspectives and Insomnia uses only one they both examine alternate (Lucid) or twisted (Insomnia) reality and what happens to a person’s mind when exposed to that type of reality too much. In both cases something has to give and Lucid and Insomnia are brilliantly written so they’d be enjoyable reads to boot. Class – English or Psychology

9. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan – It’s more of a MG read than YA but I think it would be a perfect way for students to get excited about mythology. I loved all the different mythologies in high school naturally but some people might need an extra push and who better to give them one than Riordan? The Lightning Thief is beloved by just about every book blogger so I don’t think I need to say more. Class – Social Studies (World History or any class incorporating mythology)

10. Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman – This was actually assigned to me, though I forget whether it was for high school or college, and I am so thankful that it was. At the time I read the two separate pieces but this is nicely in one package and still not too long (296 pages). If you don’t know this is a graphic novel about a survivor of the Holocaust. It’s beautifully done and I recommend it to anyone. Class – English or Social Studies (World History – specifically WWII)

So those are my ten books that I wish were taught in schools! What is your top ten list for this week? Did you choose this theme or the 10 contemporary books or something different altogether? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 5

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 5


The awesome people over at Good Books and Good Wine came up with the fabulous 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge!

Today’s Challenge is: Recommend a tearjerker.

I’ll be honest, I don’t cry often, and that includes even while reading the saddest of books. This isn’t some attempt at seeming “macho”, I just don’t. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t think of a great book that might make some of you shed a few tears!

My choice for a fantastic tearjerker is John Green’s Looking for Alaska! 

While most Green fans would turn to The Fault in Our Stars as the classic tearjerker example, I felt Looking for Alaska had a bigger emotional blow to it. I connected with Alaska and Pudge far more than I did with Hazel or Augustus. While the sadness in TFiOS is more pronounced as a feeling throughout the book, Looking for Alaska delivers a punch to the gut, you can’t HELP but feel saddened by what happened, you probably won’t even see it coming.

I felt like the sadness in Looking for Alaska, because of the unexpected and forceful nature of it is more likely to get someone to shed a few tears, especially if they connected with the characters as much as I did, rather than a book with sadness throughout where you eventually could get used to those undertones. Looking for Alaska isn’t a sad book, but it sure can make you cry.

What is your favorite tearjerker? Is it a sad book as a whole or did something catch you off guard and make you cry just for that emotional moment? Thanks for reading!

Day 41: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Day 41

Summary From Goodreads:  

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.

Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both of them legions of faithful fans.


Will Grayson, Will Grayson is a truly “fabulous” collaboration of two very talented authors. With each using their unique style, the combination of John Green & David Levithan is powerful but also perfectly synchronized, neither overpowering the other. Their styles don’t clash at all, and the one complaint I have heard from some that have read the book, the lack of capitalization to signify one of the characters, was not distracting at all. Oh sure, if you are an obsessive grammar-nazi this book may in fact be the death of you, but for the rest of us the story is beautiful and compelling.

Just as it is the crux of the play, the focus of the book seems to be on love, something so complex and intricate that it takes the combined talents of two of the best writers of our generation to bring to life in full. Will Grayson, Will Grayson tackles issues such as homosexuality, depression and perception, both of the public eye and even from your closest friends, especially concerning size. Many would argue that the main characters are the two Will Graysons, but from my point of view I think it was Tiny, the best friend of one and the boyfriend of the other. He brings the two together just by his presence and positive attitude toward life. However, don’t think that Tiny, who is a rather large individual as well as being gay, is just left to be a “happy-go-lucky” individual, no that gets cleared up in the later portion of the book. I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t read it (which you should), but suffice it to say Tiny explains what it is like to be him and all of the energy, which seems to be wasted most of the time, that goes into pulling off that persona and worldview.

As for the two Will Graysons, they are both equally compelling characters. One for his goofy rules and girl troubles (among other things) and the other for his sarcasm and wit, and his own brand of dating drama. Both have issues that they have to conquer and are likable enough, in their own ways, that you truly do want them to succeed. I can see why some quirks of both characters (complaining throughout the book for both mostly) could be annoying to some, but for me, as someone who suffers from mild/moderate depression, I can understand what they are going through and it just makes me want Tiny to influence them and help change them all the more. It isn’t ever easy, but it can certainly be worth it.

Girl troubles, boy troubles, life as a teenager, homosexuality, happiness, you name it Will Grayson, Will Grayson covers it. I found it to be a fantastic read and it is definitely high up on my favorites, both in Contemporary and overall. I would recommend it to anyone, but especially to YA fans and romance ones as well. This is also a very good pick if you want a book that includes GLBTA issues. Thanks as always for reading and come back tomorrow for Day 42!

Genre Reading Challenge #20/30 – Category – GLBTA; Mount TBR Challenge 34/150+; 2013 TBR Pile #34/50; Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #41/365

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Wicked Valentine’s Read-a-Thon

Wicked Valentine’s Read-a-Thon

Wicked Valentine's Readathon

Hosted by My Shelf Confessions

Oh come on, you all know me, I can’t resist a readathon! Besides, with reading a book a day there really is no reason for me not to join and socialize/read a bit more. Also, this is the perfect time for me to do one of these bad boys as I only work 3 of the days that this goes on, huzzah! ^.^

For anyone who wants to sign up you can click the pretty picture above or right here and make sure to use #WWReadathon on twitter to join in on the socializing fun! There will be prizes and challenges and twitter parties during the readathon so make sure to look for that! I’ll be using this as my update post throughout the readathon for any challenges I participate in as well as my reading progress.

Going into this I didn’t really have any specific goals outside of my usual book/day, but I suppose it would be to read 10 in the 7 days instead of 7 so I could get a little ahead for the weekend (since I work Friday-Sunday after the readathon). Here are some of the books I’m considering:

Prophecy by Ellen Oh

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan

Going Nowhere Faster by Sean Beaudoin

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

Splintered by A.G. Howard

The Quillan Games by D.J. MacHale

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff



Pages Read: 1,559

Books Completed: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, Going Nowhere Faster by Sean Beaudoin, Murder in Retrospect by Agatha Christie, Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan, Against All Odds by Rick Cabral, World Serious by Paul Kocak & The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Snacks Eaten: Cherry Danish, Rice Crispy Bar, Pizza, Cheddar Bunnies

Day 13: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Day 13

Summary From Goodreads:  

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter’s whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the “Great Perhaps” (François Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.


Another day and another wonderful John Green book! Looking for Alaska was just as intense and emotional as Paper Towns and The Fault in Our Stars were, but of course in its own unique way. Where Paper Towns leaves you with a punch to the gut & TFiOS tears at your heart strings, Looking for Alaska ends on a high note. It is filled with struggles to be sure, but truly it isn’t a bad story.

TFiOS focuses on the characters and Paper Towns is all about the plot, but Looking for Alaska is that perfect medium between the two. I can see how it has received so many accolades, it really is perfectly balanced and the pacing is excellent. Where I felt Paper Towns dragged ever so slightly in the middle, and TFiOS was slightly rushed, Looking for Alaska keeps the reader engaged and enthralled both Before and After (you’ll have to read the book to get that reference).

The characters are deep and rich in their quality with Alaska, The Colonel and Pudge all coming to life in their own ways. Pudge, or Miles if you prefer, is the main character, although his shyness and quirks often make him feel like a secondary one, though not in a belittling way. It may be that Alaska is just such a force that everyone else pales in comparison. she can be frustrating at times, but there is just that something about her that makes it all worth it. She is the most fleshed out of the characters and that just feels right. The Colonel has his own brand of humor and a bit of aloofness that makes you able to like him one minute and be driven mad by him the next. He’s a great “typical best friend” character, forcing Pudge to grow while being there for him when it is needed. All three are endearing and Green wrote them perfectly.

Clearly I loved Looking for Alaska just as I have loved Green’s other books. All of them are fantastic and must reads, at least in my opinion. I have yet to read Will Grayson, Will Grayson, but my personal ranking (just for my enjoyment level) of them is as follows:

1. An Abundance of Katherines – The similarities between myself and the main character definitely had something to do with how much I loved it.

2. The Fault in Our Stars – Awesome and sad of course, but not as much as most people seem to make it out to be.

3. Looking for Alaska – Thoughts above.

4. Paper Towns – Just to clarify I gave Paper Towns a 5 Smiling Frodo review just like the rest, it is only this low because the ending killed me (in the suckerpunch to my emotions way).

As always thank you for reading and come back tomorrow for day 14! ^.^

Genre Reading Challenge #12/30 – Category – Realistic Fiction; Mount TBR Challenge #13/150+; 2013 TBR Pile #13/50; Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #13/365

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Day 11: Paper Towns by John Green

Day 11

Summary From Goodreads:  

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life – dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge – he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues – and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer Q gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew.


Another John Green book, another emotional journey that can only be created by the awesomeness that is his royal puffness (nerdfighter reference). I knew I would love this as I have loved every John Green book so far, but I didn’t know that it would leave me an emotional wreck at the end which is exactly what it did. Even worse? I had to go to work right after, so I had no time to relax and get back to normal, oh well. Enough rambling, onto the review!

What shocked me the most about Paper Towns was that, in a stunning turn of events, it was the plot that was more vital to how awesome the story was then the characters. Where as in The Fault in Our Stars and arguably An Abundance of Katherines as well the characters dominate, in this case the crazy lengths Q goes to in order to find Margo are what makes this so compelling. While reading I did notice that the story drags a bit in the middle and while reading it almost seems to be going nowhere. However, what you realize is that the build up in trying to find Margo isn’t the point, and that even Margo herself isn’t the most important part, it is the journey, the trip the friends take, and the bonding and changing of all the people involved, even if it is only to some small degree, that makes it worthwhile.

Q is a fantastic character not because he is himself fascinating in really any way, but because he is just the opposite. You can relate to Q, or at least I could. He is just fine with the way things are in his life, saying at one point something akin to the boredom not really being that boring, or if it is that he doesn’t mind it. The sameness is alright with Q, and I think that is something most people can identify with. Your routine may be extremely repetitious, but it is yours so it doesn’t matter, but most people don’t have what Q does, a Margo to break that pattern to smithereens.

Margo is a force, whether you end up liking her in the end or not she wills herself into Q’s life and makes him realize all that he is capable of should he simply want enough. She gives him options, in fact she makes him have them, she lets him know what there is out in the world and then releases him to do what he will with it. She’s got more baggage then most people put together, much of which is truly her own doing, though her parents are just loathsome to behold and certainly don’t help matters, but that doesn’t stop her from being likable, and doesn’t force you to pity her either. Green makes both of the main characters and their friends as real as the ones you have, but unless you are quite lucky they all somehow have better senses of humor.

This is something I have noticed as a trend in Green’s books, his characters share his brand of intelligent humor, the quirkiness and the nerdiness that make him so compelling is a part of almost all of them. They each have their own version or take on it, focusing on one area of it or another depending on what is needed. Maybe this is due to the fact that Green has been surrounded by so many intelligent and quirky people, whether it is his brother Hank, Maureen Johnson, or countless others, these characters are realistic in his actual world, even if, at least to me, they seem ideal, a bit incredible. It doesn’t detract from his books, but in many circles it wouldn’t be realistic to assume most, if any of the group would have people capable of these kind of jokes and references.

To get back on track, Green does an excellent job at effortlessly creating his world, the literal places he uses it is no surprise that he has so much knowledge of since he lived there and so the details of it fit in perfectly. I really don’t have any flaws to point out in Paper Towns other then that slight slowness in the middle. When you get down to it though, that journey is worth the wait, that adventure worth all of the mundane the characters have gone through to get there, and the outcome is impactful regardless about if you enjoy it. Paper Towns delivered a sucker punch to my gut, and it hurt, but I was alright with it. We don’t all have our own Margo, but I’m glad I got to experience Green’s. As always, thanks for reading.

Genre Reading Challenge #10/30 – Category – Contemporary; Mount TBR Challenge #11/150+; 2013 TBR Pile #11/50; Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #11/365

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Bout of Books Readathon!

Bout of Books Readathon!

This will be my first read-a-thon of 2013 and I’m psyched to participate! I have 3/7 days off of work (Mon, Wed & Sat) so I will be trying to get even more reading in then I usually do which will also help me get a bit ahead on my 365 Books in 365 Days challenge (so needed). Make sure to sign up if you’d like here! The following is the official Bout of Books blurb which is a great summary of the read-a-thon:

“The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 7th and runs through Sunday, January 13th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 6.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books 6.0 team”

I already am reading a book a day (to keep up with my challenges of course!) but I will somehow try and read even more than that during this read-a-thon. My specific goals are to get going on my Seriously Series Reading & Key Word Reading Challenges since I haven’t read anything for those and some of the books (especially for the series) are quite long so I need to get a move on. I don’t have a specific amount of books I’ll try to read but I’ll shoot for 10-12 including a couple short prequels. Here is a list of possibilites:

1. The Snow Garden by Christopher Rice

2. Ten by Gretchen McNeil

3. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

4. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

5. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

6. Divergent by Veronica Roth

7. Black Water (Pendragon Series) by D. J. MacHale

8. Paper Towns by John Green

9. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan

10. Every Day by David Levithan

11. Looking For Alaska by John Green

12. Become by Ali Cross

13. Angelfall by Susan Ee

14. Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl & Kami Garcia

15. The Restorer by Amanda Stevens


I will update this as I go but my usual daily posts will continue so you will find reviews of whatever I do end up reading. ^.^

Books I’m Reading: Passenger to Frankfurt by Agatha Christie

Pages Read: 1,809

Books Completed: Every Day by David Levithan, The First Dragoneer; Black Water by D. J. MacHale; Attic Clowns: Volume 3 by Jeremy C. Shipp; Paper Towns by John Green; Become by Ali Cross & Looking for Alaska by John Green

Snacks Eaten: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (2), Kit Kat Bars (3), Pizza (5 slices), Coke (2 can), NOS Energy Drink (2 cans)

Book Club Bash Readathon

Book Club Bash Readathon

Book Club Bash Readathon

So I’m starting this somewhat late (technically it is still the starting day but I am posting at ~6pm my time & I won’t really start reading until tomorrow) but I am going to participate! I’m going to keep this short and sweet for now as I’m exhausted after working a ten hour shift. I will update this as I progress with my usual Read-a-thon format (including snacks!) every so often so look for that if that sort of thing appeals to you. If you want to participate just click the image above and for twitter use the hashtag #bookbash. I use TweetChat for this sort of thing as it is very helpful in keeping up to date with all of the people using said hashtag, just a thought. Oh, and I don’t have any particular goals, but since I have the next three days off (thankfully) I will try to fit in as much reading as possible! I’m currently reading John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, Julie Kagawa’s The Iron King and Crewel by Gennifer Albin. Have fun, I know I will! ^.^

Books I’m Reading: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Pages Read: 457

Books Completed: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Time Spent Reading: 6.5hrs

Snacks Eaten: Cosmic Brownies (2), Dr. Pepper (2 cans), Mountain Dew (1 can), Pretzels (undetermined quantity), Kit Kat (1)