Okay? Okay. The Fault in Our Stars Book to Film Review

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The Fault in Our Stars (2014) Poster

Oh my, almost a month ago the movie many of us have been waiting for for a long time hit theaters. You know the movie– The Fault in Our Stars. I had the pleasure of going the Saturday of the weekend opening. Now, I am a big fan of the book by John Green. I haven’t read it more than once, but seeing the movie makes me think twice (they cut my favorite line towards the end of the book out! I need to reread it now!).  There was something about this movie, this story that makes it not just another teen story or movie. There are so many parts worth watching to watch. Moments worth remembering.

Now, as I gush, let’s move on to the acting. I am not a fan of Shailene Woodley at all. I immensely disliked her in The Spectacular Now and her awful, AWFUL, ABC Family TV show that has a title that is far too long to remember correctly. But, she has become the It-girl. Now, I love Hazel Grace. She is perhaps in my top 10 favorite teenaged girls in fiction ever. So, I was not happy about the casting. Not at all. I almost didn’t see the movie because of it. Boy, was I wrong. Woodley was a breath of fresh air. She brought something new to the character. At times, although I love you Hazel and you struggled hardcore, Hazel was a little (just a little!) whiny. Shailene was none of that. For that I was grateful. I’ve seen Shailene whiny. It’s not cute. She gave life to Hazel in a way I think only she could. I can’t see Chloe Grace Moretz doing that. Even a more mature Elle Fanning. Or, some other young actress I like. I draw a blank because THERE IS NO ONE. She was that good.

Next, there is Ansel (Augustus) Elgort. Again, I wasn’t too big of a fan on his casting. I was proven wrong, again. Good thing I’m not a casting agent, right? The chemistry these two had! Elgort was great as Gus. There was a scene towards the end where I cried and his acting (and Green’s writing) made me. Mostly, his acting. It was so raw. I felt his pain.

Let’s just say, if the book made you cry, seeing it in person is attending a big cry fest. The tears!! I stayed pretty stoic for a while. I didn’t want to cry. I wanted to prove myself wrong. Nope, I lost it. Once I started to tear, the fest began. The person I went with never read the book and was crying more than I was! Each actor made you feel everything. It was a great adaptation. I have very little complaints except the quote about the title of the book was taken out; and, it’s my favorite quote.

I want to see it again. And own it. Watch it again. And again.

Okay? Okay.

Happy reading! Thanks for stopping by!

Searching for the Great Perhaps in: Looking For Alaska by John Green Book Review

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Looking for Alaska

By: John Green

Published: December, 2006 by Speak

Length: 221

Genre: YA Realistic

Rating: Five Stars

Acquired: Gift

 In searching for “The Great Perhaps” Miles “Pudge” Halter finds himself at boarding school with a new life, new friends, and Alaska Young. It all comes to Alaska. The taken Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

Miles Halter grew up in Florida with very few friends and a limited existence. It isn’t until he is attending Culver Creek Boarding School in Alabama that his life starts to change. He goes there, inspired to find his “Great Perhaps” the famous last words by poet François Rabelais. Obsessed more with famous people’s last words and biographies, Miles doesn’t know know how to really live until he meets Alaska Young. Alaska Young is beautiful, smart, well read, and completely unattainable. She is moody, careless, reckless, and fun. She is your A-typical Manic Pixie Dream Girl. And Miles “Pudge” Halter is in love. But, there is more to Alaska than he, and even her closest friends, know. 

Split in a before and after an event you don’t find out about until the end of before, Looking Up for Alaska is John Green’s debut novel about a boy learning the ins and outs of growing up, falling in love, and what it all means. It’s a well written story that deserves every ounce of the acclaim it has received. Part humorous, part heart-warming, and part heartbreaking, John Green crafts a universal story of what it means to grow up. How hard it can be at times. And, when something happens, who you can count on. The event that happens is somewhat surprising and somewhat expected. How Green handles it is metaphorical beautiful. It’s all in the title. If I ever have a child, my teen is receiving this book from me hands down. It’s universal. Teaches you about friendship, love, and letting go. Even Miles’s obsession with famous last words was great.

There are two major themes/questions in this book both based off of famous last words. The first, of course, is the Great Perhaps. I loved this immensely. Especially through the eyes of a teenager. You are always looking for something, at that age. It’s not always philosophical,  but it’s something. The depth Green added worked. It was convoluted; nor, was it too heavy to understand or believe. It was perfect. The second major theme was more of a question that was asked by Alaska Young, through the possibly fictional words of Simon Bolivar, ” How will I ever get out of this labyrinth?” That question, which Alaska often repeats and becomes central to the plot, `perfectly sums up her. She forever thinks she is living in a labyrinth; but, she is also one to everyone she knows. You never knew what Alaska you would get that day; what wall you would hit that day. Green crafted her well.

I cannot recommend this book enough. Although The Fault in Our Stars is still my favorite book of his, and Paper Towns was more adventurous, this was more realistic and philosophical. It surprised me. I connected to it more than Paper Towns. And, I can see more of a universality to it. This is definitely a book not to miss. I agree with the hype. Maybe not to the whole extent, but to most of it. It leaves you with something. A good something.

 

Paper Towns are real: Paper Towns by John Green Book Review

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Paper Towns

By John Green

Published in 2008 by Brilliance Audio

Format read: audio

Length: 8 hours

Genre: YA realistic/romance

Rating: Five Stars (and added to favorites shelf on goodreads)

Acquired: bought through audible.com

 

“What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.” 

Quentin “Q” Jacobsen has loved his childhood neighbor, the wild Margot Roth Spiegelman ever since they discovered a dead body in Jefferson Park when they were nine; with Margot sneaking in through his window to update him on her investigation. Nine years later, and loving her from afar, Margot reenters Q’s life the same way she entered it nine years prior-through his window dressed up like a ninja with black face paint, a list of eleven things that need to be accomplished that night, and cash. What she needs-him and his car. Quentin doesn’t know what to do, but soon finds himself discovering who Margot Roth Spiegelman has become. As Margot Roth Spiegelman runs away, she left more clues, this time for Q. As Q and his gang of misfits, Ben and Radar, search for the missing Margot Roth Spiegelman  (she is one of those girls that are only called by their full name apparently)   Q starts to see who she really is-not the girl he thought she was. She is like a paper town, like one she sets the boys on an adventure to find.

This novel, on the surface, is another Young Adult novel to add to your shelf. It has a good plot, well developed characters, and quirkiness that is always a plus. The characters are about to graduate from High School, meaning another lifetime achievement to be earned. There is love, and unrequited love. Funny sidekicks, house parties, prom, and a missing girl. When you read beneath the surface, delve deep into the theories of how much can you know a person, truly; and is everything relative? You got this novel on the top spot (or close to) on your bookshelf.

John Green first wowed me with The Fault in Our Stars; now, he wooed me with Paper Towns. I loved the idea of paper towns: a town put on a map to prevent piracy. To turn that concept into a novel, and to do it successfully is a feat. But, then use paper towns for a metaphor about knowing, truly knowing a person and how some can just be paper towns is brilliant. The concept of paper towns existing is presented throughout the novel. The question of why, how  exist is a good question. Green takes it further by making the reader guess how much they really know people in their lives. Not just the mysterious Margot Roth Spiegelman.

“When did we see each other face-to-face? Not until you saw into my cracks and I saw into yours. Before that, we were just looking at ideas of each other, like looking at your window shade but never seeing inside. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out.” 

This isn’t the only passage where identity comes up, it is one of my favorites though. I can say I know my best friend. Or I know my neighbor very well. Or this person, and that person. Yet how well? And how well do they see me? We all have cracks, windows, and curtains. You don’t see this much depth in Young Adult novels anymore. Sure, there are the ones that talk about “real” issues because books just about first love, growing up, and high school are fake issues; but, there aren’t many novels like these that are light on the surface, and heavy below. That makes us completely wonder, even after the last period is reached.

“It is easy to forget how full the world is of people, full to bursting, and each of them imaginable and consistently misimagined.” 

Yes, Mr. Green, well-said.  I could go on and on and quote this book. But, I won’t. Because I think you, all of you, should read this. Or, just read all the quotes on goodreads. It’ll take some of your breath away by how articulate he is; and how so much meaning and truth is jammed packed in his novels.

I loved listening to this book. I might have to buy a copy, actually. I bookmarked many quotes. including the one you see up top and through. It was a great that I think should be required reading in high school. Going too far with my love of this novel, no, I think not. I think this should be even just considered for required school reading because of how much it touches on individuality, knowing, truly knowing the people around you, and knowing yourself. Also, it involves a character running away, which is a topic I also think should be looked at sand discussed. Green’s depictions of Margot Roth Spiegelman’s parents alone and their reactions to their run away daughter is a great topic to dissect.

Now, one more quote before I leave you to run to the nearest bookstore.

“Imagining isn’t perfect. You can’t get all the way inside someone else…But imagining being someone else, or the world being something else, is the only way in. It is the machine that kills fascists.” 

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