Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Lisa Reviews... John Green: The Fault in our Stars & An Abundance of Katherines

The Fault in our Stars
By John Green

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love. 

My Review:
I don't often write book reviews, but then I don't often read a book that has challenged me quite like The Fault in Our Stars has. I wish I could write a worthy review, something in depth and fitting the praise this book so clearly deserves; but alas, I must get on with my very humble review. 

There isn't likely much I can say about this story that hasn't already been said. It was a beautifully and well written story with characters that almost seemed to come alive with their depth and liveliness. This novel isn't a happily ever after story that gets wrapped up with a pretty little bow, its a realistic love story about two young adults who lived and loved and died both in spite of and because of a shit fate that life bequeathed to them. What made Hazel and eventually Augustus so lively, such wonderfully intellectual characters was not their way of turning a phrase (which I can't claim to understand 100% of) but the fact that they were able to see connection, see beauty in their fragility. It was not "fighting" cancer that made them so very strong, it was their capacity in living and loving with an ever looming expiration date that was their true strength. 

This novel had me utterly enamored from start to finish...and what a finish it was. The last third of the book had my stomach in knots. By the time the end started to reveal itself, I knew that the story was not going to have the happy ending I was hoping and even praying for, but still I read on; somewhat brokenly of course... there were a few bits that produced such a strong emotional response that I had to put the book down for a bit and gather myself, but of course I made it through and I am so very glad I did. It may not have been the ending I desired, but it was a beautifully developed story and I feel lucky to have experienced it. :')

So thank you John Green for sharing this wonderful creation! 

An Abundance of Katherines 
By John Green

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. He's also a washed-up child prodigy with ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a passion for anagrams, and an overweight, Judge Judy-obsessed best friend. Colin's on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which will predict the future of all relationships, transform him from a fading prodigy into a true genius, and finally win him the girl.

Letting expectations go and allowing love in are at the heart of Colin's hilarious quest to find his missing piece and avenge dumpees everywhere.

My Review:
I just finished John Green's "An Abundance of Katherines" and I loved it! I could see some similarities to "The Fault in our Stars", like teenage characters of higher than average intelligence, but it very much stands out on it's own. It's a uniquely told story, consisting of flash-backs that can be a bit confusing chronologically, through the eyes of a former child prodigy healing from heartbreak and searching for meaning. In this story, abilities are questioned, friendships are tested, and eureka! moments are found. 

John Green brilliantly weaves humor, friendship, romance, and strangely enough mathematics in this entertaining novel. 

I highly recommend to any and all YA readers! :) 

ALSO, for those that follow John and his brother Hank on youtube... do any of you hear John's author notes in your head as he sounds in his videos on vlogbrothers?! Because I sure do! I "hear" it in the same tone, tenor, and cadence as in his videos!! :D 

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