Banned Books Week: The Fault in Our Stars Gets Pulled From Shelves!

Its still Banned Books Week.

And with banned books week comes an influx of people that are still trying to ban books.

I take this week to recognize that there are books out there that push the buttons for others. I take it to recognize that some authors work their asses off just to be pushed down again. And that sucks. I like to kind of take this week to take those books that are so frequently challenged and shove it down the throats of those who don’t want to read it.

Sort of. I’m not THAT mean.

But anyway, story the stories that have been hitting the airwaves this week have included lists of frequently challenged books you should be reading, quizzes on how many you’ve actually read and even a woman who is rewriting the Harry Potter series to make it appropriate for her very Christian family (its up in the air whether this is for real or an elaborate satirical hoax…)

But I just found out recently that the Riverside Unified School District in California has recently banned The Fault in Our Stars from their libraries and have pulled them from the shelves. Apparently, the sexual content is too inappropriate and its also too much for teenagers to read about teenagers discussing death and morality. It would be too difficult for them. Apparently.

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Now, look, I’ve made this clear. I think its up to each individual parent to decide with each of their children what they feel is appropriate for them to read. Personally, I think you should give children more credit and that they’ll be able to handle it. I also think if you, I don’t know, crazy concept, TALK to your children about the content you’re worried about in the book, and open yourself up to them for questions if they have them, then there should be no problem with them reading that book. But again, its your decision to keep that from your kids, if you want. I’m not a parent and I’m certainly not the parent of your child.

But here’s the thing: WHY WHY WHY WHY. Why do you think shielding your child from the realities of the world is a good thing? Why? I don’t understand that. Yes, this book has sex in it. The teenagers have sex. Insert eye roll here. I’ve said it before and I’ll probably repeat myself a million times more…teenagers have sex. Jeez. At least John Green did it in such a beautiful and tasteful way, with them being in love, with them making the choice responsibly and for them using protection, and all of that.

But I think the part that really got to me about this (besides the fact that Riverside is literally down the freeway from me, and I’m so massively disappointed in them), is that they were so highly concerned with the approach of death and mortality in the book. It would be too much for the young readers to handle.

Look, we die. And while the thought of it is literally one of the scariest things in the entire world to me, literally, it was one of my biggest fears ever…reading about it helps me actually. Its helpful to me to read about this, when other people talk about it (in books) and I get to listen. Because its a reality and reading that sort of thing makes me feel comforted. Its one of my favorite parts of the Harry Potter series. I like being able to deal with the things that scare me through books, through a second hand experience.

So why are we hiding this from our children? Why do you think keeping this book, especially a book that is so insanely popular and loved by so many teens, is going to shield them from this reality? Sure, I would give this to a younger child, maybe, but a preteen/teenager, sure. I was reading adult mystery novels, with blood and violence and and murder when I was like ten years old. TFiOS is nothing compared to that. I may think its a little overrated based on the insane popularity it is but its a great book and a lot of teenagers love it and find a connection with it. So why keep it from them?

Also, your kid is reading! That’s fantastic. Do you know how many kids are NOT reading? If your kid wants to read a book, let me them! Again, talk to them about the things that you might be concerned with and always, always, always be there to talk to your kids openly about the things they have questions with. I swear, your life will be SO much easier that way instead of just pulling the books off the shelves.

But again, this is just the opinion of a blogger, who, yeah, isn’t a parent, but its what I think, and I just don’t believe in ever censoring a person from reading something they want to read. Ever. Besides, I think John Green’s reaction to this banning in the Riverside school district sums it up just perfectly:

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Happy Reading everyone :)

L.A. Times Festival of Books 2014: Day One and Day Two Recap Vlogs!

Guys, doctor I just had SUCH an amazing weekend. This weekend was the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at U.S.C., where the entire weekend is dedicated to the amazing culture of reading. It’s one of my favorite weekends of this year, and this year was no disappointment.

There was a team of five us: me, Sylvia from Fangirl Feeels, our friends Cassandra and Alexandra and my sister, Jessica. We had our game plans, and despite minor hiccups along the way, we managed to do everything that we wanted to do.

I met (and met again, for some) amazing authors this weekend: John Green (OHMYGOD), Rainbow Rowell, Lauren Oliver, Marissa Meyer, Sarah J Maas, Robin Benway, Veronica Roth, Lauren Myracle, Leigh Bardugo, Deb Caletti, Kiersten White, Andrew Smith and Stephanie Perkins.

But I won’t keep you from seeing my awesome vlogs. I vlogged while at the Fest so you get some pretty awkward and hilarious moments from me, a short video of my conversation with John Green and…lots of awkwardness haha.

Check it out!

Day One!

Day Two!

Yay! I hope you enjoyed seeing the awesomeness that was my weekend!

I managed to grab extra copies of Cinder, Anna and the French Kiss and Fangirl for a giveaway. There will NOT be a giveaway for the month of April (as of now), but there is a HUGE giveaway coming for my Blog Birthday in May so keep an eye out to see how you can get your hands on these books!

Oh! And don’t forget you can check out ALL the pictures on the What A Nerd Girl Says Facebook page here!

Happy Reading Everyone!

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March Book Wrap Up!

Books Pledged to Read in 2014: 150 Books

Am I On Track: Nope, site I’m still behind. 5 books. I’m seriously so slump-y this year, store guys :(

Books Read So Far: 32

Total Books For March: 14

Remember, as always, to click the book title in order to read the review!

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman 

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The Alchemyst by Michael Scott

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Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott

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Reboot by Amy Tintera

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Divergent by Veronica Roth (re-read)

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Finding It by Cora Carmack

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Rebel by Amy Tintera

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100 Sideways Miles (ARC) by Andrew Smith

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Paper Towns by John Green (re-read)

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The Transfer by Veronica Roth (re-read)

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Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts

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The Ring and the Crown (ARC) by Melissa de la Cruz

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Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend (ARC) by Katie Finn

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Landry Park by Bethany Hagen 

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How was your month? What was your favorite book of the month? What was your least favorite? How are you doing on your challenge? Share in the comments!

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme, pill hosted by Should Be Reading.

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The three W’s are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll be reading next?

Remember, clicking the book cover will take you to the review. If it doesn’t take you to a review, that means either A, you clicked on a book under the ‘currently reading’ or ‘reading next’ or B, I haven’t written the review yet!

What are you currently reading?

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Sasha and Katie keep recommending it like crazy and J.D. Netto sent me a copy so I gotta buckle down and read this!

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I just bought this at the bookstore this week so I also need to buckle down and read this.

What did you recently just finish reading?

Its been two weeks since I did one so I’ve read a bit.

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Pretty much died when I got this as an e-ARC off Edelweiss. Died of happiness.

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Re-read because I remember not quite enjoying the book the first time I read it but then when I re-read it, I still didn’t quite enjoy it. Its just not one of my favorites by him. They just announced a movie, using the same team as TFiOS and Nat Wolff as Quentin, and John Green as a producer but meh. I’d rather read An Abundance of Katherines.

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After watching the Divergent movie, I just felt like I wanted more and more Four.

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I got this as an ARC on Edelweiss too and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

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This book was beautiful. The history and the fantasy of it, the tension. I truly enjoyed it. It’s the Book of the Week tomorrow!

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As part of the Fierce Reads Street Team, I was assigned Katie Finn’s novel. I quickly learned that Katie Finn is none other than one of my favorite authors, Morgan Matson, and I zipped through this book. I canNOT wait to share this with you all!

What do you think you’ll be reading next?

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I absolutely fell in love with Brandon Sanderson’s Steelheart this year so its time to get on board with his fantasy writing. And its time to get back on actual fantasy. I feel like I haven’t read some in awhile.

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What are you reading this week? Share in the comments!

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books Young Adult Author Schedule

The official schedule for the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books has been posted, visit this site and you can check that out here!

I’ve taken the liberty and fun job of compiling a list of the YA authors in attendance and what time they will be on panels. Keep in mind that most autograph sessions take place directly after the panel, try and will usually be about an hour after the panel.

Quite a few of these authors are also moderating other panels as well, and usually they’ll sign books at that time too. You’ll have to double check on those because I didn’t include which panels they were moderating below.

Also! Occasionally there will be booths, like indie bookstores and such, that will have other signings as well. The best for that is to keep up with certain authors you’d wish to see and check out their booths, because they’ll post schedules!

Lastly, check the authors’ websites! Sometimes they’ll do signings at local bookstores after the Festival is over for the day, or on the days before or after, because they are already in town. So if you can’t hit them at the Festival, you’ll still be able to see them!

Good luck! Hopefully I’ll see you all there!

Katie Alender

YA Stage: Young Adult Fiction: Putting the Story in History at 12:00 pm on Saturday

Laurie Halse Anderson

Norris Theater: In Conversation with Susan Carpenter at 3:00 pm on Sunday 

Carrie Arcos

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Outside Looking In at 1:30 pm on Sunday

Kelley Armstrong

YA Stage: Fantasy Worlds Beyond Imagination at 1:30 pm on Saturday

Leigh Bardugo

YA Stage: YA Sci-Fi: Fantastical Tales at 1:30 pm on Sunday

Robin Benway

YA Stage: YA Fic: A Little Help from My Friends at 12:00 pm on Sunday

Francesca Lia Block

Ya Stage: Young Adult Fiction: Haunted at 10:30 AM on Saturday 

Ann Brashares

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Somewhere in Time at 10:30 am on Sunday

Deb Caletti

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Outside Looking In at 1:30 pm on Sunday

Cecil Castellucci

 YA Stage: YA Sci-Fi: Fantastical Tales at 1:30 pm on Sunday

Stephen Chbosky 

Norris Theater: In Conversation with Stephen Chbosky at 12:00 pm on Sunday

Heather Cocks

YA Stage: YA Fic: A Little Help from My Friends at 12:00 pm on Sunday

Eoin Colfer

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Somewhere in Time at 10:30 am on Sunday 

Andrea Cremer

YA Stage: Young Adult Fiction: Putting the Story in HISTORY at 12:00 pm on Saturday 

Melissa de la Cruz

I’ve looked a million times. It says she’s there but I can’t find her panel. I’ll post with more details if I can find them. 

Ava Dellaira 

Norris Theater: In Conversation with Stephen Chbosky at 12:00 pm on Sunday

Maurene Goo

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Writing Culture and Identity at 3:00 pm on Saturday  

John Green

Bovard Auditorium: In Conversation with David L. Ulin at 12:30 pm on Saturday

Aaron Hartzler

YA Stage: Where the Truth Lies at 3:00 pm on Saturday 

Bill Konigsberg

YA Stage: Young Adult Fiction: Square Peg, Round Role at 10:30 am on Sunday

E. Lockhart 

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Testing the Boundaries at 12:30 pm on Saturday 

Sarah J. Maas

YA Stage: YA Sci-Fi: Fantastical Tales at 1:30 pm on Sunday

DJ MacHale

Salvatori Computer Science Center: Middle Grade Fiction: Stories in Series at 12:00 pm on Saturday

Tahereh Mafi

Salvatori Computer Science Center: YA Fic: It’s the End of the World as We Know It at 4:30 pm on Saturday 

Abby McDonald

YA Stage: Adrenaline Rush at 4:30 pm on Saturday

Marissa Meyer

YA Stage: YA Sci-Fi: Fantastical Tales at 1:30 pm on Sunday

Jessica Morgan

YA Stage: YA Fic: A Little Help from My Friends at 12:00 pm on Sunday

Lauren Myracle

YA Stage: YA Fic: A Little Help from My Friends at 12:00 pm on Sunday

Lauren Oliver

YA Stage: Adrenaline Rush at 4:30 pm on Saturday 

Ridley Pearson

Salvatori Computer Science Center: Middle Grade Fic: Stories in Series at 12:00 pm on Saturday

Stephanie Perkins

YA Stage: YA Fic: Told from the Heart at 3:00 pm on Sunday

Joanna Philbin 

YA Stage: YA Fic: Told from the Heart at 3:00 pm on Sunday

Ransom Riggs

YA Stage: Young Adult Fiction: Haunted at 10:30 am on Saturday 

Veronica Roth

Bovard Auditorium: In Conversation with Leigh Bardugo at 11:00 am on Sunday

Rainbow Rowell

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Testing the Boundaries at 12:30 pm on Saturday 

Rachel Shukert 

YA Stage: Putting the Story in History at 12:00 pm on Saturday

Neal Shusterman

YA Stage: Young Adult Fantasy Worlds Beyond Imagination at 1:30 pm on Saturday

Sarah Skilton

YA Stage: Adrenaline Rush at 4:30 pm on Saturday 

Andrew Smith

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Testing the Boundaries at 12:30 pm on Saturday 

Amy Spalding 

YA Stage: Young Adult Fiction: Square Peg, Round Hole at 10:30 am on Sunday

Ann Stampler

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Outside Looking In at 1:30 pm on Sunday 

Margaret Stohl

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Fantasy: The Real and the Unreal at 4:30 pm on Saturday 

Tamara Ireland Stone

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Somewhere in Time at 10:30 am on Sunday

Jonathan Stroud

Salvatori Computer Science Center: Middle Grade Fiction: Stories in Series at 12:00 pm on Saturday

Laini Taylor

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Fantasy: The Real and the Unreal at 4:30 pm on Saturday 

John Corey Whaley

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Testing the Boundaries at 12:30 pm on Saturday 

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Who are you most excited to see? Share in the comments!

Paper Towns Book Review

Paper Towns by John Green

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You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

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, ask 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 he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.

My Review:

When I first started reading John Green a few years ago, this was one of the first ones I had picked up. The first one I had read was An Abundance of Katherines, which still remains my favorite of his. Back then, Paper Towns didn’t impress me as much as his other works so I decided to give it another try.

I still found it kind of lacking. For me, in this particular book, it was really hard to get John Green out of my head. It didn’t feel like it was Quentin’s voice. It always felt like John’s voice and it was kind of frustrating. I watch a lot of Nerdfighters and Vlog Brothers and just John Green videos on YouTube, and I felt like it was John the whole time so it was hard to get into Quentin as a character. I know that authors put themselves into characters-I definitely do that-but it was highly distracting in this book.

I also just didn’t think it was that great of a story. I was kind of like Q’s friends, and sort of frustrated at his obsession with Margo. She seemed sort of…I don’t know. I just didn’t like her. She was so mysterious and she left these clues and everyone was fascinated by the idea of her but not actually her, you know? It was kind of “been there, done that.” I feel mean right now haha because I don’t tend to give less than positive reviews but I just wasn’t that impressed with this book. I felt like Margo was a one-dimensional character and I really wanted her to surprise me. The direction in which her story ended up just didn’t surprise me and I like a good book to surprise me. His other books have done that before, and this one just felt predictable from the beginning.

That being said, there is a lot of good about this book because John Green is a really great writer and he has a way of capturing teen voice in a way that not many authors can do (Andrew Smith!!!!!) and he definitely does that in Paper Towns as well. It always seems to me that John Green never really left his teen years behind, but in a good way. He remembers what its like and it comes across in the page. He gets the emotions and the hormones and the humor and all of it. Its great. And there were parts of the book that I really liked, like the after-prom party and the road trip and that sort of thing. There were parts that had me laughing like crazy. There were almost, like, short stories within the bigger story that I enjoyed more than the story as a whole. Not one of John Green’s strongest, not in my opinion.

Rating:

3.75 out of 5 Stars