New Blog Lineup

So my blog posts lately have been pretty sporatic and I haven’t been on top of doing Book of the Week or any of those things. I feel pretty bad, physician especially since I’m out of school and I should have WHIMS of time to do it, and its just simply not getting done at all.

So I’ve decided to kind of revamp the weekly schedule, give myself a set purpose so that they are guaranteed to actually get done. I love writing these posts but if I’m not kept to a schedule, well, I’ll forget and I won’t get it done. So this is the new, tentative schedule and we’ll see how it works.

Mondays: Anime Mondays, occasional posts by one of our contributors.

Tuesdays: The Tuesday Ten, instead of the Tuesday Three. The Tuesday Ten will be a top ten list of something awesome…my top ten favorite books, my top ten favorite movies, my top ten favorite weapons of choice and so on. I think it’ll be a nice fluffer piece for me and for everyone to enjoy.

Thursdays: Book of the Week. I used to do them Fridays and that just didn’t work out. Fridays are the days that I spend all day with my boyfriend so it was hard to get it done on Fridays. Having it on Thursday will be a whole lot better because I can put my full and total attention on it.

Fridays: Friday Funny. Since I’m busy Fridays, I’ll post a meme or a funny picture that is perfect for all you nerds out there.

Then we can have Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays for my random posts, my reviews and nerd news and all of that fun stuff.

Now if I’m not keeping up with these things, I give you all full permission to write very angry comments on how I’m the worst nerd blogger in the entire world and I can’t even keep up the schedule I made myself!!

See ya soon guys :)

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A Little Rant About Bullies…

As the headline suggests, rx today I am talking about bullies and insecurities.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that I would eventually have a blog post that talked about bullies and insecurities and that sort of thing. In the kind of world that I have wrapped myself in, dosage these things seem to be pretty prevalent.

Nowadays, price its “cool” to be a nerd, its cool to like those sort of things. But back when I was in middle school and high school…it was definitely, definitely not cool. And I had a lot of insecurities. I was afraid to admit how much I loved the books that I read and how much they meant to me. I couldn’t admit to any of the sort of the things I enjoyed because I always feared being teased and bullied…just for the simple fact that I liked to read, and well, I was pretty shy back then.

Thank Rowling that I had to work eventually; if it wasn’t for the jobs I’ve had, I may have never actually opened my mouth to speak to those who I did not know well. I always preferred talking through written word.

And obviously I still have insecurities. Some times a girl can have a bad day, and I’m not always super in love with myself. I don’t always think I’m a good girlfriend; I can be kind of intense and sometimes I just don’t feel smart enough for my super smart boyfriend. I don’t always believe that I’m pretty, though most days are okay. I was never good at sports, and never really had a desire to participate in them because of m lack of athletic ability and have always felt a little overshadowed by siblings, who are so talented and so much more good looking than me. I have always managed to pick best friends who are infinitely more well liked than me and that leave me feeling like second best. I’m always afraid that my writing is no good and I’m going to fail as an author, or worse, I’ll be an equivalent to Stephenie Meyer (no offense intended).

And maybe that sounds like a person who has absolutely no self-confidence in themselves whatsoever but that’s actually not true. I don’t think about all those things all the time and that small blurb above of insecurities is so much smaller than it was a few years ago. A few years ago, I could’ve listened every single thing about me: my looks, my personality, my thoughts, my beliefs, whatever and I would’ve felt insecure about every single one of them.

But things have gotten better…and I attribute a lot of that to growing up. Sure, there are a lot of adults out there that are still immature and will still resort to bullying and teasing. But for the most part, the adult world is full of seriously awesome people who have all accepted me for the person that I am: the geeky, nerdy, intense person that I am.

Because I do feel like I’m intense. When it comes to certain books or TV shows, or movies, the fandoms that I am so addicted to, there is always a deeper feeling to it. I get something out of it and I FEEL so much. I’ve been lucky enough to find people who understand that. I have a boyfriend who seriously puts up with this, and understands it so well. He has watched me cry over Potter and Doctor Who, he has watched me get excited over the most ridiculous things and he just goes with it. I have been lucky to find the most fantastic friends (I’m looking at the Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army) that understand and accept me for every single thing that I am and more.

The reason that I bring this is up…is because it wasn’t always like that. I didn’t have a LADA group that enjoyed the same things as me and understood the passion that I felt for it. I was living in the shadows of my best friend, and I only had other friends because she brought them into my life. I didn’t have anyone who KNEW me like people know me now. All I had were people who made fun of me for reading all the time, for being a tomboy and not knowing how to dress like a girl, for loving Harry Potter.

And kids are still going through it, and I hate it. I hate bullying of all kinds. I hate that kids are bullied and teased; I hate that even adults are still bullied and teased. Sometimes its just so hard to get past these insecurities, past the shyness, its so hard to open up because you’re just so afraid of what is going to happen to you.

Because it doesn’t matter who you are. You can be a nerd, and you can have an intense love for anime, or you could be a different religion from someone else, or you could be gay or transgender, or you could just not be as pretty as someone else or not as well dressed or not as rich. There’s a million things out there that gives someone a reason to tease and bully you and there’s always someone who is going to do it.

And it just needs to stop. People need to be more aware of bullying and they need to recognize it for the problem that it is. I am so tired of people having so much insecurities and I’m tired of people being so afraid to be who they are. I’m tired of children being afraid to go to school and I’m tired of the horrible people who can’t just simply accept people. I’m so tired of it.

I talk to people and I hear of their insecurities and their fears and their own teasing and bullying stories and I just get so tired of it. Because the people that I talk to, and they’re all ages from kids to older adults, they’re all these amazing people. They’re fantastic and unique and they’re full of insecurities and its just sad. Its so sad. I’m no different. I am insecure too and I still have times where I’m afraid to admit to things, just even liking something to my own friends because of what I’ll get for it. I’m afraid of looking in the mirror sometimes and it just boils down to people’s expectations of us.

And I know this probably seems like a random post but its something that just bothers me so much. And because it answers the question that people ask me so often.

People always are asking me: why do you read so much? how is it that you can read so much? why do you love books so much?

And the answer is this: Because for those few hundred pages that I am swept off into a different world, nothing else matters. It doesn’t matter if I’m pretty or not, it doesn’t matter if I have money problems or relationship problems. It doesn’t matter if I have no friends or if I feel overshadowed by the ones I do have. It doesn’t matter that school may not be going well or that I feel unaccomplished. None of that matters.

All that matters is that I’m in a whole different world, I’m in a world that makes me forget about everything around me and it sucks me in and changes me. Its like no other feeling that I have ever felt in my life. I can sit there and consume a book in a few hours and then look up, and literally feel shocked that I am in my room. And this is why I feel the way I do about these books, and this is what people cannot understand and this is what causes the bullying and the teasing.

So maybe this was a super random post and maybe the few people who actually read this blog (I’m pretty sure only 5 of my 26 followers actually read it) may be thinking “what on earth is up with this post?”. And thats okay. This is a bit out of character for me. I guess what it is…I’ve been feeling a little down, and I’ve been around friends who’ve been the same way. And I just feel like…the biggest goal a person can have in their life is to be kind.

I made it my one rule, to be kind. If you could just be kind to one another, things would be so much better. If we could accept that person’s obsession with Harry Potter, and that person’s inability to match their clothes right, and someone’s sexuality, and someone’s religious preference, and yes I do mean atheism too, or someone’s addiction to World of Warcraft or Dungeons and Dragons, and we could stop teasing those of different colors and races than us, and of mental illnesses and physical deformities. Can we just stop noticing all of those things as “being different” and start recognizing things as unique and awesome and fantastic and wonderful.

And maybe, just maybe, all these awesome people will realize just how special they really are.

The Hobbit: Can We Have Part 2 Already?

I’m going to start off by saying one thing…Peter Jackson is a god. In the words of our Tabitha, ampoule Peter Jackson doesn’t make movies…he makes films. These are so true. Now, I have a respect for Guillermo del Toro, though I’m not a big fan of his movies…but I’m so glad that Peter Jackson was the final director for The Hobbit.

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Now, I headed down to a supper with my darling LADA friends to enjoy some good food and drinks before we headed down to the Universal City Walk to see The Hobbit at midnight. I always have a good time with these guys and this time wasn’t any different. You should have SEEN the awesome cosplay outfits going on…I should’ve taken pictures but, you know, excitement overrode good decisions haha.

But moving on…

This movie was can be describe in one word (though I’ll use way more): EPIC. Epic. This movie will go down in history as a monumental movie. There is no way it won’t. I enjoyed it so thoroughly that not only did I see it Thursday night at midnight but I also saw it again on Saturday night. Its that good.

Now for those of you who are familiar with The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings, bear with me for a minute. For those of you who aren’t, or are familiar with LOTR but not the Hobbit, here’s what we have: The Hobbit is the prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It tells the story of Bilbo Baggins and his own adventure. He lives his comfortable home in the Shire, enjoying his wealth and his food before being swept off on an adventure with Gandalf, Thorin Oakenshield (the Dwarf prince) and a band of dwarves.

The dwarves hail from Erebor, the Lonely Mountain, where one of the biggest and most thriving kingdoms have existed…that is until it is overtaken by Smaug the dragon. They are driven from their home, and their immense riches, and forced to find a place in their world.

Now it is their time to reclaim their home, and for Thorin to reclaim his place as King Under the Mountain, along with his band of dwarves: Balin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dori, Nori, Dwalin, Fili, Kili, Gloin, Oin and Ori…along with Gandalf the Grey and Bilbo Baggins.

It’s an adventurous story, more meant for children than the Lord of the Rings series and it does show the moment and circumstances in which Bilbo finds the One Ring.

Now, The Hobbit is being made into three parts: An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug and There and Back Again. Those who have read the book probably know that there isn’t quite that much to create three whole movies. However, there is so much more information from both the appendices and The Silmarillion to create a more full and exciting story.

The Good or the Bad:

I can’t think of anything bad about this movie. I’ve seen it twice already and I probably will see it again. It was an extremely epic movie and was completely in the style of Peter Jackson.

Now, I’ve read some of the reviews from some critics out there, and I’ve seen the 65% on Rotten Tomatoes and I’ll tell you something: They are all full of crap. Seriously. One of the biggest complaints from most of these ill reviews is the length of the movie and what they feel is the unneccessary additions to the story.

I strongly disagree. I loved the additions from the appendices and The Silmarillion. It created a full story and helped to bridge the gap between Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, and perhaps will show the connection between the two much better. I feel that critics aren’t out there enjoying the movies and stories the way the fans are. The fan reaction to the movie so far? All good, all great. The fans understand and the fans love it. The critics wouldn’t sit through a six hour Harry Potter movie, a seven hour Lord of the Rings movie.

We would. And nearly three hours of The Hobbit almost seemed like not enough…I can’t wait until next December to see the second part.

First off, they put together such a wonderful group of actors to portray these wonder characters. Ian McKellan returning as Gandalf and Hugo Weaving as Elrond, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Elijah Wood as Frodo, Ian Holm as older Bilbo, Andy Serkis as Gollum…all wonderful actors that I was so happy to see back in this movie.

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But I was so excited to see Martin Freeman as younger Bilbo. I adore Martin as John Watson in the BBC series Sherlock and he did an absolutely fantastic job as Bilbo. He captures Bilbo’s innocence and heart, and he brought a humor to him as well. Bravo for Martin Freeman.

I enjoyed Richard Armitage as Thorin…he portrayed the prideful, stubborn and vengeful dwarf prince very well.  Thorin is a complicated character, full of pride and determination in his vengeance. Plus, way to go in the effects: Armitage is a tall man and they did a great job making him into a short and stocky dwarf. Sylvestor McCoy was a nice little addition as Radagast the Brown, the wizard.

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Aidan Turner was FANTASTIC as the dwarf, Kili. I spent pretty much the entire movie admiring his acting…and his very good looking face. I mean, his seriously seriously good looking face. My god. I immediately went home and googled him and found out who played him and was pretty excited to find out that Turner will be playing Luke Garroway in the movie adaptation of City of Bones.

There was also a nice appearance by Lee Pace as the elf king of Mirkwood, Benedict Cumberbatch as the necromancer and the dragon, Smaug (the small glance we get of Smaug at the end of the movie looked SO awesome).

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Then there was all the cinematography. The quality of the movie was so clear and real, and it was filmed so well. The landscapes and sets were beautiful: The Shire, Erebor, Dale, Rivendell, the Mines of Moria, the goblin kingdom, and on and on. Every single place that was shown was so beautifully done. When Peter Jackson creates a world, he literally creates a world. Nothing about it felt fake or CGI, it felt so breath-takingly real.

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Then all the battle scenes! All the battle scenes were fabulous and fun to watch, especially the battle scene between the orcs and dwarves at the mines of Moria and the battle out of the goblin caves. They are on such a grand scale but again, done so well. I was on the edge of my seat, watching the dwarves battle their foes.

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The best part of the movie was the scene between Bilbo and Gollum…probably because that is my favorite part in the book. People often assume Gollum is a stupid character, because he is ugly and he’s consumed by the ring but he’s not. He was clever enough to come by the ring and he continues to be clever to survive. The game of riddles is the scene with the least amount of action but with the most tension, as they trade riddles back and forth. I thought they did it wonderful, Martin Freeman had wonderful timing in that scene and Andy Serkis is just brilliant as Gollum.

Lastly, I like where it ended…with the dwarves, Bilbo and Gandalf looking out towards the Lonely Mountain, hopeful that they will make it and take back Erebor from Smaug the dragon. Its a hopeful ending, so that it ends on a fairly good note but it also ends with the desire to find out what happens next.

Now, maybe not everyone agrees with me. Maybe some people didn’t like the way the movie was shot, or the length with all the additions to the story or whatever. I , on the other hand, enjoyed it very, very much and most fans that I have talked to enjoyed it as well. I think that’s the most important part. The point of the movie is to tell a story and Peter Jackson did it in a wonderful, fantastic way. The point of adapting a book into a movie is to please the fans of the book…and I think that was accomplished.

I can’t wait til part 2: The Desolation of Smaug comes out.

It hits theaters worldwide December 13, 2013.

What did you think of The Hobbit? As always, share in the comments.

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Sending Thoughts to the People of Newtown, Connecticut

Today, for sale I was going to work on several blog posts: a Book of the Week post, price a midseaon finale post on The Vampire Diaries and Arrow, buy more about and a review of The Hobbit, which I saw last night.

I was on a high, extremely happy. I had a good night with my friends last night, eating good food and seeing The Hobbit at midnight.

I woke up to an absolute tragedy, a shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, where it is believed that 27 are dead, 18 of them children.

This is only days after a shooting in an Oregon mall and it is only a couple days after gunmen ran for cover at my boyfriend’s college campus.

I keep spontaneously crying. I’m not a mom, I don’t have children. I have friends with children. I have cousins who are children. I have children in my life whom I love.

I know the world isn’t perfect, I know that we are constantly battling so many bad things. And I try to stay optimistic, I try to believe that are good people out there and there are good things out there, because I know good people and I have seen good things.

But today, my heart is just breaking. 18 children. 18 children who went to school today, not knowing. 18 children who were probably getting super excited for Christmas.

Why do I feel like every time I go to a midnight premiere, a tragedy occurs the next day. I saw The Dark Knight Rises, and then the Colorado shooting happened. Its horrible.

Let us hope that this event has finally given our government the push to do something about gun control. Because, I’m tired of watching people die, for no reason, because of the acts of horrible, horrible people. I’m tired of feeling afraid…to go to school, to go to the movies, to walk outside my front door. And I would never want to be afraid to send my children to school.

So today, I will have a written moment of silence. No blog posts today (obviously, besides this one). Today, I put aside all the things I write about and today, we send good thoughts, positive thoughts and prayers (if you are religious) to all the people of Newtown, Connecticut, especially those who have lost someone. The entire country is with you right now.

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YA Literature: To Be or Not to Be

Today, symptoms I took my final examination for my children’s literature class. I know, I’m really sad about it. I am definitely going to miss this class. Its crazy how I took this class on a whim and it has been one of my favorite clases that I’ve ever taken.

But anyway, one of the questions on the final was to discuss the two different views on using young adult literature in the high school curriculum. Which got me thinking of course.

I know, more posts about young adult literature. Its something that I feel passionately about. I read a ton of young adult literature and I honestly do think that the high school curriculum could be improved by integrating contemporary young adult fiction.

I mean, don’t get me wrong: there are books in high school that I enjoyed and definitely should be read: The Joy Luck Club, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, Brave New World, etc. There are a lot that I didn’t enjoy as well like Of Mice and Men (or anything John Steinbeck to be quite honest…can’t believe I share a birthday with that guy…), The Scarlet Letter…and Shakespeare. Oh god Shakespeare. No offense, Will, I understand what you did for the English language and writing and all that but no thanks.

Those books just didn’t make an impact on me at all. I didn’t learn anything and I didn’t gain anything.

Those who are against using young adult lit in schools fear that it is lowering the bar on literature standards. Young adult lit is often times used with remedial readers to help them understand themes and ideas and things like that. However, they are afraid of dumbing things down for the more sophisticated readers.

And I personally disagree with it. I feel as if these critics think we are going to be introducing books like Twilight and Hush, Hush or Gossip Girls and books of that kind of caliber. Now, I’m not hating on those books or anything; they are enjoyed by many people and they can be entertaining or whatnot but they are not of academic caliber. No way. I mean, I ADORE Cassandra Clare but I wouldn’t bring her books into the classroom, most likely. Unless I had an entire classroom of girls…anyway. These are the kinds of books that I believe critics are thinking of.

But think about this: we are in a golden age of young adult literature. Yes there is bad stuff, but there is bad stuff in regular literature as well. And there is so much GOOD young adult literature out there. Have you read John Green? Meg Cabot? Sarah Dessen? Tamora Pierce? Rick Riordan? Suzanne Collins? Libba Bray? Cinda Williams Chima? Stephen Chobsky? Deb Caletti? Morgan Matson? Kristin Cashore? Douglas Adam? I mean, I could go on and on and on. These books are written for adolescents in the voice of adolescents. These books are funny and engaging and entertaining and contemporary. They tell you great stories that are easy to understand and fun to read.

But these books aren’t superficial and just for entertainment. They touch on real issues: death, suicide, rape, abuse, relationships, sex, abandonment, family issues, friendships, coping, losing their virginity, peer pressure, drugs, alcohol and more and more and more. And all of these issues and themes…are they not themes that we see in the classics that we already read?

And whether or not the classics should be read or not is not the point. The point is, its hard enough to read the classics when you’re an advanced or competent reader. Imagine how hard it is for a remedial reader, which a lot of kids in high school are. The classics are hard to understand; the language is different and difficult, the issues are outdated (although, not always), etc. In contemporary youg adult fiction, we can have some of the same situations, issues or themes but in a world that these kids can understand. In contemporary YA fiction, we can garner some interest in reading and perhaps start discussions.

Okay, and let’s face it. Kids and teenagers are reading more and more nowadays and what are they reading? Three words: Young. Adult. Literature. They’re already doing it. Go out and look, pay attention. Kids are gobbling up these books because there are so MANY CHOICES. Kids are going nuts for John Green and Suzanne Collins and all those authors. So if they’re already reading it, shouldn’t we try and get something out of it besides just the pleasure of reading the book? Turn it into a dicussion the way you would discuss something in The Great Gatsby or Hamlet. Kids can still exercise their minds, tackle complex ideas and formulate new opinions…but in a way that they can relate to.

Honest, I love young adult fiction; its what I most read. You guys obviously know this by reading my blog…and you may have noticed it from my Stop Picking On YA! post a few weeks back. I am a firm believer in it. I feel like it can accomplish so much.

One, it can get kids to read. I’ve seen it happen! I’ve seen kids pick up Harry Potter or Percy Jackson or Hunger Games or John Green or whatever and they start to read…they keep reading. Kids who didn’t use to read, kids who never enjoyed it or had a desire to read…they’re suddenly reading! Who cares what they are reading? They’re reading and even if what they’re reading isn’t the most fantastically written stuff, they are still getting something out of it…and it often leads them to better written books. They are improving their reading and comprehension skills…which is wonderful because these are SO essential to being successful in your education.

Two, I feel like we can learn a lot from it. Any success I’ve had in my reading, or comprehension or even my writing skills have come from my nonstop reading. People tell you all the time: READ, READ, READ. Reading gives you better knowledge, better skills…so much. And there is so much good young adult fiction out there. Instead of using the same novels over and over again with limited success, we should try something new! Let’s discuss the theme of death, but instead of Hamlet or The Scarlet Letter, lets use The Fault in Our Stars or Hunger Games or Harry Potter. We can learn so much and accomplish so much more if we adjust to for the times.

Third, and last, the classics weren’t always accepted. I mean, a good share of them were but not always. And they had to go through all kinds of scrutiny and process to get into the high school curriculum. I mean, look at The Outsiders. That was one of the first real young adult novels and most kids read it in late middle school/early high school. And there is still controversy, so to speak, about the books that are already learned in school. There always will be. No one is ever going to completely agree…but I’d hope that we could agree on the advancement of our education…because come on, there a ton of kids out there that still lack basic reading comprehension and understanding of themes and such.

I know some of you may get tired of me defending young adult literature, or talking about young adult literature…and honestly, if that’s the way you feel, maybe this blog isn’t really meant for you. Like I said before, its something that I feel passionately about. I was lucky enough to have a natural love for reading…I’ve ALWAYS loved it and I’ve always had the ability to understand it and take away from it. Not everyone has that. And everyone should. Reading has benefitted me in so many ways: in my life, in my morals and views, in my education, in my relationships with people and on and on and on. I feel like everyone should have the chance to enjoy reading.

In the words of my queen, J.K. Rowling, “If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.”

The books we’re using now? They aren’t working. They just aren’t. I think its about time that we start finding more options and more books…finding those right books for every kid out there. Maybe its Great Gatsby…and maybe its Looking for Alaska. Either way, that’s my plan and that’s what I think.

What about you?

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Book of the Week: The Fault in Our Stars

Its been FOREVER since I’ve done a Book of the Week post. Its been so long that I cannot even remember what book I did for Book of the Week.

I’m also doing Book of the Week on a Monday instead of a Friday.

The best part? This Book of the Week is COMPLETELY spoiler free!!!

Mostly that’s because I had my very last children’s lit class today. Wednesday I’ll take my final and it’ll be done and over with.

And I’m actually really, order really sad about it. I took it as sort of an extra units, erectile sounds like fun kind of deal. I ended up loving it and I guess its no real surprise that I did. We spent the entire semester talking about folk and fairy tales (which I love, especially when you compare them to updates like Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and Once Upon a Time), children’s books and young adult literature (we all know how I feel about YA).

So today was the last official day of class and I was feeling a bit bittersweet about it. The best part of the last day of one of the best classes I have ever taken was that we talked about the controversies of young adult literature in the classroom and we watched the video of John Green reading the first chapter of his 2012 novel, The Fault in Our Stars. This book has gotten incredibly recognition, not only as a young adult novel but as a novel in general. I urge you to watch the video below; its long, about thirty minutes but its the first full chapter and it sucks you in.

which brings us to this week’s extremely late but totally needed Book of the Week:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

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What can I say about the Fault in Our Stars? Anything that I say is not going to be enough to describe this book. I guess I’ll try anyway because that is what I do. I write. Now I’ve already read this book before. Because we discussed it in class today, I just had to read it again. It was calling ot me.

I sobbed again. Damn you, John Green, and your abilities to make the waterworks come!

The Fault in Our Stars tells the story of Hazel, a sixteen year old girl who is battling cancer…except that she isn’t really battling cancer. She’s going to die, there’s no doubt about it, and the question is only when. She stays at home with her mom and her dad, reading and watching a ton of crappy TV, only going to support group because her mom makes her.

It’s at her support group that she meets Augustus Waters, a cancer survivor, and his friend Isaac, always part of the “club”. And Augustus grabs you, pulls you in, and pulls Hazel along with him. Suddenly, she’s out of bed and with him, watching movies and playing video games and getting so wrapped up in what is going on. He makes her forget that she has to lug around an oxygen tank or that he has an artificial leg or that Isaac has surgery that makes him blind. They do what every teenager, every young adult, every adult wishes for: they fall in love. A real love. So real that Augustus gives up his cancer Wish to go take Hazel to Amsterdam to meet her favorite author of all time.

The Good or The Bad:

I don’t even know why I wrote “or The Bad” up there. There is LITERALLY nothing bad about this book. Nothing. Now I do not have cancer, nor have I ever been sick enough to even comprehend what Hazel or Augustus or Isaac go through. But I have been sixteen…and I’m a girl…and I have been in love. And this is enough to make anyone love this book. If you even have a freakin heart, you’d love this book.

First off, there’s Hazel herself. The way that she handles her cancer is unbelievable. I mean, she’s not a saint and she’s scared and every time she has a hard time breathing, she gets scared. But she handles it. She overcompensates with humor and throws herself into good books and poetry and crappy television and Augustus. I don’t think you could’ve told the story from anyone else’s voice except hers. She sees such beauty and life in Augustus and he sees so much of it in her, and you discover it the same way she does, in the way only a sixteen year old girl would.

And the conversations they have! The way they talk about the world or their cancers or books or whatever. Its incredible. I’m not a strong person. Sometimes I like to think I am but in the face of something like cancer, I don’t know that I could be like them. I dont know that I would be able to compensate with humor and cancer puns. I think I’d crawl under my blanket and shut out the world. Which is essentially what Hazel does until she meets Augustus.

And Augustus is amazing. The way he head over heels falls in love with Hazel, and does so much for her. He brings her out of her shell. They deal with their cancers together, and they talk about death and love and they talk about this book. How many teenagers understand books the way Hazel and Augustus do, and talk about them like they do, and are changed by books like they are? I am, I was and this is so much a part of why I love them. Augustus is so sincere in his compliments and his beliefs. He spouts of these tangents on life and his beliefs and not for one moment does he sound pretentious. He gives up his Wish (you know, from Make a Wish foundation) so that he and Hazel can go and meet their favorite author. He LOVES her. She LOVES him. And despite the fact that they’re teenagers, its one of the most believable loves I’ve read in a book.

Because they are so believable. Sometimes I feel like young adult literature lacks real, relatable young adult characters. I need emotion. I need anger and happiness. I need some serious bipolarness. I need a character that both handles and doesn’t handle what life hands me. Hazel, August, Isaac: they are all afraid, they all cry and they all deal with their cancers in different ways. But they’re all strong too, they’re all there for each other.

I won’t go much farther than this. I don’t want to ruin this book for anyone who has not had the chance to read it yet. Everyone should read this book. The more I read young adult literature, good young adult literature, the more I remember that its not just meant for young adults. This book keeps you addicted the entire time and ends in such a horrible, heartbreaking way. And I reread it again tonight and let myself have my heartbroken again.

Damn you, John Green, damn you and your amazing, amazing writing.

The Fault in Our Stars was chosen as Time Magazine’s Best Book of the Year for the year 2012. Not best young adult book, best BOOK. And it definitely deserves that title. Hands down, its the winner, despite the other amazing books that came out this year.

Click the link above to purchase it. You won’t be disappointed.

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