The Truth About Forever

Oh dear. Oh dear, dear, dear. Oh dear times a million. A month. And twelve days. That was the last time I posted. Uh oh. I’m sorry! Um, let’s remedy that right away, shall we?

So now that I’m finally posting again, this review is going to be on The Truth About Forever, by Sarah Dessen. I’ve heard a lot about Sarah Dessen, and I’ve been planning on reading something by her for quite a while. So I snatched this up when I was at the library. Definitely not a bad choice!

This book features Macy Queen, a high school student and former runner still  figuring out how to cope with her dad’s death. But at least it’s summer, right? Maybe go swimming at the pool, stay out late, hang out with friends 24/7? Well, not exactly. While her nearly-perfect-in-every-way boyfriend is off to Brain Camp, Macy’s going to be taking over his job at the library, studying for the SAT, and trying to stay “fine-just-fine,” as she puts it. Yep, it’s going to be a rollicking summer, full of fun! But then again, maybe not.

When Macy’s mom hosts one of her parties to try to sell some townhouses, Macy becomes acquainted with Monica, Wes, Bert, and Delia, the crazy (and forever stressed, in Delia’s case) employees of Wish Catering. In a surprising turn of events for Macy, it’s not long before she, too, is carrying trays and riding through town in the Wish van. (Just as a side job, she assures her mother.) She also meets Kristy, a larger-than-life, searching-for-extraordinary girl with a scar. But Wes. He’s the real enigma. An artist, a former juvenile delinquent, and a boy who Macy tells things she never thought she’d say out loud. But she does. And one thing’s for sure: This summer is not turning out the way it was expected to.

All in all, this book was a pretty good read. The characters were believable, fun, and definitely likable (well. . .the ones that were supposed to be likable anyway. . .). I especially enjoyed the originality of the Wish Catering part, which really added something unique and fun to the story. The plot was definitely interesting, and the writing flowed really well. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a favorite, or a huge page-turner, but it’s really a good, solid read. I’m thinking I’ll try Just Listen next!

Literary Quote of the Day: “There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.” —The Truth About Forever, by Sarah Dessen

Eleanor & Park

GAH. THIS BOOK. THIS. BOOK. Ergasmergh. Just. . .just ergasmergh. Really.

OK, collecting my thoughts, collecting my thoughts, gimme a sec. . .JUST ONE SEC. . .OK. I think I’ve got it. Let’s do this.

So, just a little while ago I started hearing really good things about this book. It’s currently being featured on Figment (a writing site for teenagers), and has gotten a ton of good reviews. (Including one from John Green, might I add.) So I decided to get it from the library and read it. (Plus, look at the cover art. That is some EPIC cover art.)

Eleanor & Park, written by the talented Rainbow Rowell, is the story of two sixteen-year-olds that meet one day in 1986. Eleanor has just moved to Omaha and needs a seat on the bus. Park is the only one who lets her sit down, very reluctantly so. Eleanor, well, she’s weird. You can tell. And Park, as one of the very few Asian kids in his entire school, already doesn’t fit in. And some chubby, oddly dressed redhead isn’t really going to make life easier for him. So he plugs in his Walkman and drowns everything out. Eleanor doesn’t talk to him, and he doesn’t talk to her.

Gradually, though, they do start to interact a bit. It starts with comics. It gains speed with music. And before you know it, they’re in love.

The one thing that really stuck with me about this book was the characters. Not just Eleanor and Park, but the others as well. Eleanor’s only other friends at school, DeNice and Beebi, are funny and extremely likable. The other kids on the bus, as well as the schoolteachers, are striking and unique. But Eleanor herself was probably my favorite character. In the second chapter, when she’s deciding to brave the bus and the merciless kids who tease her, and thinks, “Oh, fine. The children of hell shan’t go hungry on my watch,” I immediately thought, “I love her.” Her sarcastic comments are some of my favorite moments throughout the whole book. The things she and Park go through together are also amazing, and some of the things they say to each other might have made me actually stop reading and go, “Squueeeee!” Because they were–and are–that fabulous. And squee-inducing.

And though the ending might make you cry, or at the very least make you want to eat a whole tub of ice cream, reading this book is just so incredibly worth it. The main characters, though imperfect and not your oh-so-conventional pretty-girl and pretty-boy couple (which is great, because I wouldn’t like them nearly as much), will have you cheering for them the whole time. And their story is one that is entirely worth your time. So read it. Excuse me, I need to go eat some ice cream now.

Literary Quote of the Day: “‘The least boring Batman story ever, huh? Does Batman raise both his eyebrows?'” –Eleanor in Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell

P.S. If you STILL aren’t totally convinced that you HAVE to read this book, take a look at John Green’s review in the New York Times.

The Fault in Our Stars

Okay, so I know I mentioned this in my last post, but I just loved it SO MUCH that I feel it deserves a review of its own. Plus, I just finished another book by the author, the incredibly awesome John Green, and then was reminded of this book, and one thing led to another, and POOF! New post.

This book is titled The Fault in Our Stars, and tells the story of Hazel Grace Lancaster, a sixteen-year-old cancer patient who spends most of her time inside rereading (and rereading and rereading and rereading) the same book over and over. That, and watching episodes of America’s Next Top Model. Until her mother convinces (or forces) her to start attending a cancer kids support group. It is at one of these meetings that Hazel makes the acquaintance of Augustus Waters, a  former osteosarcoma patient who immediately starts hanging out with her. And–

Okay, here’s the thing I’ve realized about this book: It’s an amazing book. It really is. And it is also a ginormous pain to describe. Like, I could write “And Hazel and Augustus embarked on a long journey of self discovery” or something equally formal, but that wouldn’t really fit in with the rest of the post, now would it? Basically, this story of Hazel and Augustus has a lot of stuff in it, like big ideas and champagne and romance and epicness and all that jazz that makes it so awesome and sad and thought-provoking. It’s a really good book. I love the writing, the story, and the characters (particularly the character’s names–John Green is a genius with names), and I think that other people would, too. It is totally worth a read. So go. Get it. Now.

Camilla

Okay, confession time: The truth is, I read Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time, and honestly. . .I don’t remember much. Really. BUT I’ve read another book of her’s recently, Camilla, and I wondered–why is it I’ve never heard of this before? Admittedly, it is definitely geared towards a more mature age group, but it’s still really good! The story focuses on Camilla Dickinson, who lives with her parents in New York City, during the 1950s. As Camilla watches, she sees her parents’ relationship deteriorate further and further, as she learns about life and growing up. But in the midst of this, she becomes acquainted with her best friend’s brother, Frank, and finds herself spending more time with him. With Frank, she learns and thinks about things she never thought of before, not to mention the people she meets. This book is interesting and definitely really well-written, and I enjoyed it. I think teenage girls, particularly those who enjoy classics, will like this book, even if it’s not really in the same vein genre-wise as A Wrinkle In Time.Trust me! (But again, it’s definitely young adult.)

P.S. Colds suck. Anyone want to send me a unicorn as a get well soon present?

P.S.S. Unfortunately, Powell’s Books, the website where I get the images and links for my posts, doesn’t offer this book. You can get it here at Barnes and Noble.