All The Bright Places

In the months of my absence I almost completely forgot why I started this Blog in the first place. I no longer wanted to review books, let alone read any. I have managed to over come that and have read quite I few books since my last post. All of them were beautifully well-written and I enjoyed them very much. None of them however gave me such a feeling like this one.

All The Bright Places, written by Jennifer Niven, has to be one of the most beautiful, complex, lovely novels I’ve read in my lifetime. It’s almost midnight, and I sit here, after just finishing the novel, trying to find the words to explain everything I feel about this book. But I can’t, it is something you all must find out for yourselves. I’m not going to tell you the plot. Just that it is about Theodore Finch and Violet Markey, two messed up teens.

What I will tell you is how I feel. I feel sad, because this novel is tragic, and heartbreaking and the only way to feel is sad when something so so tragic and heartbreaking. I feel small, because the world out there is so large and so beautiful and its scary but that never stopped Finch. I feel appreciative, because of all the great things I have in my life. I feel helpless, because even though I know this story is just a story I wish I could have helped. I feel loss, because it is over and they felt real. They felt like real people, with real lives and real problems. I feel inspired, more so than I have in a long time. I want to go out there and I want to let everyone know I love them, and they’re good enough and that I am here, and they are here and were are all here. I feel alive, because I am, and I need to remember I am and no matter what happens I will be until i’m not but even then I’ll still be here. I feel lovely.

These are just some of the things that I can actually put into words. Everything else is just a mess of feelings I dont even know how to describe. I believe, that if a book, or anything for that matter, can make a person feel this way, it is the kind of thing that everyone should know about. Everyone should experience it.

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Ghost Writing

It’s been a while since I posted something on my blog. For a few reasons. 1: Because I am reading Game Of Thrones which is taking a long time and is most definitely not a young adult novel series. 2) Because I have needed time to recover from the perfection of TFIOS and 3) Because I found out about Ghost Writing and it left me lost and confused and I felt so much betrayal I didn’t know what to do.

You’d think that someone who reads everyday and wants to be an author in the future would know about something like Ghost Writing. I did not. I felt so uneducated because of my lack of knowledge on the subject. During an interview with one of The Holy Trinity on YouTube, John green was asked if he would ever use a Ghost Writer. My first thought was, what is a Ghost Writer? Then he replied “No, I’m not James Patterson.” and my second thought was, whoa my second favourite author mentions my first favourite author, but what is a ghost writer. So I looked it up and was greatly confused.

You wont know this about me but I hated to read before the 8th grade. My mum read all the time and I wanted too as well. She would always tell me that her books were good, and she’d always read James Patterson books. My mum however was into his Alex Cross series and I myself am a YA fan. I didn’t know that at the time though.

My friend Amy took me to the library, and while I was browsing through the manga that she was browsing through I found Maximum ride Volume 1. By James Patterson. I was so excited. This was one of my mums favourite authors. He had written something so easy to read with pictures and kids with wings and it was just the best day ever. So my friend got the first two volumes for me to read and I read them in a night. I did some research and found out that the manga was based off a novel and there were more to come.

You can guess what happened next. I caught up with the books, I read more James Patterson, and I was inspired. I lived in the worlds of the Flock, and Daniel X and Whit and Wisty and I could’ve stayed there forever. I wanted to create worlds like that. Worlds of my own for people to live and love and enjoy. James Patterson wrote the first book I ever finished. James Patterson made me realise I wanted to be a writer.

When I found out, that James Patterson uses a ghost writer I felt betrayed. Understandably he still comes up with characters and plots and concepts, but I was still confused. These worlds that I loved so much and loved Patterson for creating could quite possibly have been written but another person, with no name and no credit.

There is no way to tell which of his novels have used a ghost writer and which haven’t. But I hope to god Maximum Ride came straight from his own fingertips onto the page.

If I am wrong and anyone else has anything to share on this subject then let me know and leave a comment. I’m reasonably new to the subject so I could have some information wrong so just let me know.

It’s been a while but it’s good to be back.

Character Complexity

Spending a lot of time reading can be a great experience, or a frustrating one. Like any other topics in the world you are likely to find someone who doesn’t agree with your point of view, that’s how it is with books. I find myself reading reviews and posts about novels and characters, that I enjoyed reading about, but to my surprise, they are always in a negative light.

Many of the comments I see are about the characters, and their personality. About how, when a character is stubborn or arrogant or selfish, it ruins the book cause they’re such jerks. I completely disagree with comments like this. If every character in every book were the perfect hero’s we wished they were, nothing would ever happen. There wouldn’t be conflicts and problems to over come. They would be fake and wouldn’t teach us anything.

They wouldn’t teach us to think of others. They wouldn’t teach us its okay to be different. They wouldn’t teach us where the line is, and not to cross it. I read these negative reviews and I disagree because the characters, that are flawed, are the best characters there are.

For example, and for many this will be a shocking statement, my favourite John Green novel, is An Abundance Of Katherine’s. No one ever understands why this particular novel is my favourite. I always get the replies like “but it’s not sad”, “i don’t understand why there is footnotes” “Colin is boring” blah blah blah.

It is my favourite novel because of the characters. Colin is self-absorbed, selfish and immature. He spends most of the novel being a less than good friend to Hassan and trying to get his own way. He is flawed and that’s realistic. There is no point in having characters without flaws, because then there is no chance for them to grow and for the story to progress.

So when I see hate towards characters and novel (when people dislike a book, because they don’t understand the characters) I get defensive. It’s important to have character complexity, or else a book is nothing but the story. and a story is nothing without good characters.

The Fault In Our Stars : Movie

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Usually when I review a book that is also a movie, I would compare the two. But in the case of TFIOS I don’t think it would be fair. Obviously there are some changes from the book to the movie, characters missing, moments not shared but if I were to name these things, list them out and discuss them I would just me grasping at straws.

John Green said in an interview that the movie is so good and so true because it captures the “essence” of the book. When I first heard him say this I didn’t know what be meant.

The thing that I love about reading is the way that certain books can make you feel after you have finished them. Like you were a part of that world. Like those characters were real people. But when it’s over you feel like you have lost a part of yourself. Like a real friend is gone. In some cases you also get the sense that although the book is finished the story isn’t over. That is the essence of the book.

That is the feeling I got when I finished John Greens novel. It is also how I felt after watching the movie.

In my opinion, which may not necessarily be accepted by everyone, the movie is great. Because even though minor things were changed it captured the essence of the book.

Many book to movie adaptations don’t capture the essence of a book. The fault in our stars most certainly did.

The Fault In Our Stars : Book Review

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Here’s the thing about The Fault In Our Stars. It’s different, it is a welcome change to those of us who are sick of always reading about the happy ending. All throughout different media platforms the idea of a happy ending and happily ever after is thrown at you constantly, and that’s one thing TFIOS doesn’t do.

John Green doesn’t try to soften the blow that comes with death, he doesn’t try to cover up the pain and feelings that a terminally ill person deals with when they are faced with death. He is honest in his writing and he is honest about the minds of teenagers.

The Fault In Our Stars follows the love story of two teenagers with cancer, but it isn’t a cancer novel. It’s a teen novel, with characters that are easy to relate to and are real.

The novel is raw and beautiful. It is sad but true. It may not be the fairytale novel you are after, but it is real, it is honest, and it leaves you thinking that life is brief. It is short and can be gone at any moment. Hazel and Augustus teach us to live and love as quickly and as passionately as we can in the short amount of time we are given on this earth.

It teaches us that nothing is constant and nothing last forever, but it also teaches us that it’s okay to fall in love, regardless of how selfish it is. It teaches us that it is okay to be selfish sometimes, and it’s okay to want things. It’s okay to want more for yourself. It’s okay to feel the things you feel.

Augustus is right when he says you don’t get to choose if you get hurt, but you do get to choose who hurts you. I am forever grateful that I chose The Fault In Our Stars to be one of those things that hurt me. Because it did, but it was one of those pains you remember, the ones that teach you something. My advice to anyone who hasn’t read the book is this.

Don’t be afraid to let it hurt you.

 

Percy Jackson and The Last Olympian: Book Review

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The final instalment of the thrilling Percy Jackson series was nothing but perfection. It had everything you want from a good book. Action, Romance, Conflicts, Happy Endings and Flying pigs.

In this final novel, Percy Jackson must lead the remaining Half-bloods from camp in a dangerous final battle against Kronos and his army. They must encounter monsters never before seen, the return of some already defeated monsters and their biggest threat of all. The must deal with the  fact they have a spy in their ranks, and protect Olympus which was practically left unguarded by the gods.

After bathing in the River Styx and becoming almost invincible Percy is at his strongest. He must figure out the meaning of the prophecy and the history of his enemies in order to win the battle against the Titan King.

The Last Olympian is action packed from start to finish, its difficult to put the book down. You are left asking yourself what is going on, and what will happen next. It’s thrilling and dangerous, the perfect end to a wonderful series. It has all your favourite characters from previous novels and despite the serious nature of the book it continues to be funny, even in the darkest of times.

Perhaps the best part of it all? The battle ends the way the books started, with Percy, Annabeth, and Grover. Together.

Percy Jackson and The Battle of the Labyrinth : Book Review

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If I was told to chose one word to describe this instalment of Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, I’d have to go with suspenseful. I felt that with every chapter, and every turning page there was something new that left me wondering, or worried.

The battle of the labyrinth follows Percy, and his friends on perhaps their most dangerous quest yet. It is Annabeth’s duty to lead Percy, Grover and Tyson on a quest through the Labyrinth to find they great inventor Daedalus and prevent him from helping Luke and the Titan army. But the threat of Kronos grows stronger, with more monsters rising, some good and bad. Grover continues his search for Pan and Percy is found battling with his emotions.

The book is only about 350 pages long, but it feels like so much happens in such a short amount of time. We meet countless new monsters, that threaten the safety of our young hero’s. It is put into perspective how dangerous the upcoming war is, and how under prepared the demigods really are. The main characters face death multiple times. They lose each other and they find each other, and their actions have many consequences we are yet to see. The battle of the labyrinth was a victory, but the war rages on, and as Percy turns fifteen, it is only going to get worse.

This second last instalment of the Percy Jackson series leaves you wanting more. More so than the previous novels. It leaves you with so much suspense for the next novel, not only action wise, but romantically as well.  We see conflicted feeling from both Annabeth and Percy, towards each other, and others. We are also left wondering what Nico de Angelo has planned for the future, and if Luke can be saved.  So much happened, all of it important, and leading up to what I can only assume with a great finale to an incredible series. A final battle in and incredible war.

The only question is, will our Hero’s survive?

Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse Book Review

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After a mission to recruit new half-bloods goes wrong, and Annabeth is kidnapped, Talia, Grover and Hero Percy Jackson set out on a quest to find her and the missing goddess Artemis. Joined by Two of Artemis’s huntresses, Percy and his friends encounter multiple problems along the way, and face their most dangerous quest yet. Not only to we get to meet new villains in this instalment of Percy Jackson, we also get to meet many more allies, some of which are Gods. Percy must also come to terms with his fatal flaw, and as the book goes on, you see him beginning to question his feeling for Annabeth.

This third instalment is much better than the first two, and we continue to see the characters grow and mature. You see them face their responsibilities and do everything in their power to do good. It is jam packed with action, new and older monsters are around every corner and Percy must face the one that could destroy them all.

Although, like the other Percy Jackson novels this book offers is usual comedic relief and action, there is also significant more amount of loss, that brought a more emotional and mature nature to the book. It also brought tears to my eyes. You see brother’s lose their sisters, and friends become stars to watch over us for all eternity. Although these parts of the book were quite heart-wrenching, I think Riordan portrayed it in a way to remind us that not everyone will survive in this world. That the dangers are real, and by the end of the series it is quite possible that all our favourite hero’s could be gone.

This is by far my favourite of the series so far, and I’m not sure if I’m pleased, or upset it wont be turned into a movie. Riordan offers all the great aspects of a novel in this one book, and I’m looking forward to continuing with the series.

 

Book to Movie Comparisons: Percy Jackson and The Sea of Monsters

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Much like the first Percy Jackson movie, Sea of Monsters contained many changes when converted from the book to screen. However, after extended amounts of time thinking deeply (probably way too deeply) about the conversion, I’ve come to realise it wasn’t so bad. The plot is practically similar, Percy, Annabeth and Percy’s new-found Cyclops brother Tyson go on a search to find the golden fleece and save grover. They get help from Hermes, run into Luke on the Princess Andromeda and even let Clarisse take the fleece back to camp half-blood and place on Talia’s tree.

The only part that really frustrates me about this movie, is the unnecessary addition of Kronos’ rising. In a way it is important to establish why Luke wanted the fleece so much, but when they add things into the movie, that aren’t even in the book, it tends to get on my nerves. The battle with Polyphemus in the book is much longer, more troublesome and more climactic. If they had spent more time trying to get that scene right in the movie, they would not have needed to add Kronos’ rising as the climax of the movie.

On a positive note, I do think they managed to portray Percy’s feelings towards Tyson, and his father accurately. Percy’s feelings of Jealousy and confusion about Tyson were portrayed nicely by Logan Lerman in the movie.  Although they managed to make a better film this time around, and stick to the book slightly better, I do wish they added the link between Grover and Percy, or when Annabeth learns her fatal flaw from the Sirens.

Other than that it was a good movie, not great, but good. As always, the book is better than the movie.

Percy Jackson and The Sea of Monsters: Book Review

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Percy Jackson and The Sea of Monsters is the second instalment of Rick Riordan’s Olympians series. After Talia’s Tree is poisoned, and Percy finds out Grover is in danger, Percy, Annabeth, and Percy’s new found Cyclops brother Tyson, set out on a quest to find grover and the golden fleece that will save the camp. Percy and his friends receive help from unlikely people, and face dangers like no other. They must work together, forget all their differences and trust one another in order to save the camp.

Percy and his friends struggle with forgiveness, pride, and jealousy in the thrilling instalment of Riordan’s series. Like always, Riordan creates characters that are easy to relate to, even considering the different circumstances between the characters and reality. As always, there is the constant worry, and fear that the beloved characters are going to experience something bad, and in this book, there is a new challenge, and danger lurking around every corner. The shocks keep on coming up until the last page with the resurrection of a child of the big three, who, just like Percy, is a threat to Olympus and The Gods.

Not only is the danger prominent in the novel, but there is also a noticeable amout of character development. Within Percy, and his friends, it’s easy to see that they aren’t just kids any more. They’re growing up, they’re maturing, they are becoming the heroes that their world needs.

Riordan continues to amaze and educate me with his knowledge of myth and legend, and as the series continues I expect to learn more, and experience more with Percy Jackson and his friends.