Thursday, June 24, 2010

Looking for Alaska, John Green

Oh my gosh, this book pissed me off so much. I had to stop right when I got to "after," and I wandered around wal-mart like a maniac thing, idly poking myself with sharp things to see if I bled and staring at bread like I'd never seen it in bags before.

Now I give it four stars out of five, because it's masterfully done. But when I see it I still want to break things and scream.

Oh. My. Gosh. So much anger. GAHHHHHHH.

Pudge goes to boarding school. There he meets a motley group of people, and a circle of immensely important ones. Most importantly within the circle is the Colonel, his roommate, and Alaska, from down the hall. They teach him how to smoke, and swear in rhyme, and pull pranks, and other things of dubious moral integrity, that undoubtedly have long philosophical and ethical shadows in his life.  I read this book in conjunction with a friend, and we're not totally on board with the teen sex. I think the work used to describe it was "unnecessary." Also "gratuitous."

Pudge becomes part of a very tight, very intimate clan of friends. And then something happens. Screaming is probably the right response.

I still can't believe that this was John Green's first book. It's insanely good.  It's just- really, really well done. I'm not sure that you should read it, but if you like being emotionally abused by books, this one is REALLY GOOD at it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Suite Scarlett, Maureen Johnson

Oh, Maureen Johnson. You are so entertaining on twitter. And you write books which break my heart. (I have a heart of diamond when reading fantasy or SF. When it comes to Contemporary, it's more like sugar brittle. You look at me, and I shatter. But still! ^_^)

Scarlett's family owns a hotel in New York City, which does NOT mean they're rich. Think more "oh, by the way, we're going to have to use all the children as unpaid labour. Enjoy the summer!" School's out, and Scarlett is stuck manning the front desk and acting as maid service.

Things could probably be going better.

Then her brother Spencer gets a part in a production of Hamlet, which brings several new people into her life. (Including a startlingly attractive southern boy.) Together with the addition of a new guest who hires Scarlett as a her personal assistant (and calls her O'Hara,) the summer has gone from zero to about an eleven in the space of an afternoon.

And then things KEEP happening.

Okay, I really enjoyed this book. :D I shared it with my sisters, and they also really enjoyed it. :D We all agree that Eric (Startlingly Attractive Souther Boy) is lose, and Spencer is the one we want. And because Scarlett is RELATED to him, there's no danger of a romance there, so we can stalk him all we want! SKINNY SNARKY ACTOR BOYS WITH STRONG FAMILY RELATIONS AND LITTLE MORALS FOR THE FREAKING WIN. (SSABWSFRALMRFTFW.)  *cough*

I loved how realized everything was. There were no half characters. Everyone had depth, made mistakes, and had triumphs. (Except for Eric. He was all lose. Pure lose.) It dealt with cancer- but NOT in the way you think. It dealt with friendship, and revenge, and family, and finances, and what love looks like from the outside.

Oh man, Lola and Chip. I heart them so hard. And they make me so SAD! I sniffled! The path of true love never did run smooth... And you know? Eric? You see how SMOOTH everything was going with you and Scarlett? TAKE THAT AS A SIGN AND GO BACK TO YOUR SOUTHERN SWAMP WHICH YOU CRAWLED OUT OF. Fool boys and their wearing of tight shirts. Boo. Hiss.

Now, SPECER wore a tie. *plots*

I gave it four stars out of five. SSABWSFRALMRFTFW. *cough*
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