January 8, 2013

Scintillating Stuff

Did that title lure you in? I thought it might. :P How was your Monday? Mine was, well, a Monday. Between spending the better part of my day at the dentist (a string of appointments all lumped into one day), and taking the wrong bus home which resulted in an hour-long ride, I kind of wanted to kick the crap out of Monday. Thank goodness it's Tuesday, right?


So, I finally got around to reading The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. Some months back (!), I won a signed copy of the book from the lovely Katy Upperman, but I sort of danced around it for a while. If you've been following this blog for some time, then you probably know how I feel about 'cancer books' in general.* I'm happy to say that there was a darn good reason why everyone raved about this book. I'm still amazed at the way that John Green was able to make Hazel and Augustus' story so amusing while still so heartbreaking.  I've never—that I can recall—been brought to tears by a book before. Well, thank you, John Green. I blubbered like a baby at one particular point in this one. The story was engaging, the characters interesting and likeable (albeit a good deal deeper than most adults I know), and it made me laugh out loud which seemed impossible given the subject matter. Definitely a five-star read for me. What did you think?



As some of you may know, Jess Silverstein (Reading on the F Train) and I are currently reading Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird, a book about writing and life. You're welcome to join us! Toward the middle of the month, I'll be posting my thoughts on the first half of the book, and Jess will wrap up the latter half of the book at the end of the month. If you'd like to post your own thoughts on this book, email Jess so she can post your links at the end of January. It's a quick and easy read that is both informative and entertaining. My copy is all marked up with pen underlining, so I don't forget anything. Craft books are the only books I allow myself to mark up like this.





And a quick reminder about my Posi-tute-ly Bee's Knees Giveaway of Libba Bray's The Diviners. It's open internationally, so that all of my blog friends can take part. (That means you!) I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and since I currently own more than one copy I figure why not share? So far there are only 52 entries, so your odds are fairly decent. And hey, free book, right?





* Personal family experience with cancer makes me give books dealing with cancer a wide berth. Usually.

29 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you ended up enjoying THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. I think what's going on in our personal lives plays heavily into our feelings about particular books, so it's a good thing you waited until the right time to read. What's up next?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really should have listened to everyone and read it sooner. It was just so, so good. :) And I think you're right, it was kind of the right time to read it. As for what's next, I'm currently reading THE ASSASSIN'S CURSE, which I'm hoping is going to pick up soon. I've heard good things about it.

      Delete
    2. Ooh, I'm curious to hear what you think of THE ASSASSIN'S CURSE. I've been interested in that one.

      Delete
  2. TFIOS was my favorite book in 2012. I was also impressed by how John Green was able to make such a tough topic digestible, and the story was even funny at parts!

    BIRD BY BIRD is probably my favorite writing craft book. I'm due for a re-read!

    I've heard good things about THE DIVINERS so off to enter your giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, I totally forgot I already entered the giveaway! *face palm*

      Delete
    2. After reading TFIOS, I'm kind of eager to read more John Green. I read AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES first, but it was only so-so (in my opinion). I think LOOKING FOR ALASKA is next up for me on the John Green front. As for BIRD BY BIRD, I'm amazed at how quick of a read it is, all while having such great info in it. :)

      Delete
  3. Oh, I was thinking about reading Bird by Bird just yesterday. If I get around to stop by the bookstore, I'll join you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It reads really quickly and it's very informative. We'd be happy to have you join us! :)

      Delete
  4. My thoughts about TFIOS generated some interesting discussion when I reviewed it last March. If you recall, I thought it very well written, but I had major theological issues with it that I wouldn't normally make a big deal of, but I felt given the way Green brought religion into the story, they deserved highlighting. Anyway, I'm not going to go back over that again here on your blog. I understand why you were hesitant to read the book, but I'm glad you did. Issues aside, John Green is probably (maybe not even "probably") the best contemporary YA writer alive today, and anyone attempting to write contemporary YA needs to read him. For voice, as well as pure story, his books are a how-to lesson.

    Clearly the odds of winning my giveaway are much better than winning yours right now. Not that I'm jealous. Really. No, really. ;) Maybe more people have read or own SHATTER ME than THE DIVINERS? I don't know. Anyway, THE DIVINERS sounds like a great read, so here's hoping... :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John Green is definitely a great contemporary writer. If I didn't think so before, I sure do now after reading TFIOS. He wrote both Hazel and Augustus so well!

      I think it's likely that more people have read SHATTER ME than THE DIVINERS simply because the former has been out longer. I noticed you added in a possibility of pre-ordering UNRAVEL ME instead. That's a great idea! :)

      Delete
  5. Thanks for this interesting review, I may read it .I had been avoiding it as I wasn't sure about the topic but I may get it ! Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My father is a cancer survivor, but he was sick for most of my middle school years. That was a really tough age and to be dealing with a sick parent made it tougher. I think it makes reading about cancer just that much more difficult. I can say that this book, while sad, was certainly worth the read. There was so much more to it than just the disease, you know? :)

      Delete
  6. Well, you know I feel the same way about cancer books that you do and for the same reasons. I've been reading Terry Fox's biography, but that's a bit different. With all the buzz about The Fault in Our Stars I've been meaning to read it for a while now and seeing as you've put your stamp of approval on it, I'll have to make sure I put it on the reading list for this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You definitely should read it. Like I said to VikLit just above, there was so much more to the story than just the disease. It was funny, romantic, and just all around interesting. If we lived closer, I'd lend you my copy. :)

      Delete
  7. The Fault in Our Stars is such an amazing, heartbreaking read, isn't it? I need to re-read it soon. With a whole lot of tissues handy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It totally is. I'm so glad that I read it, despite not being sure about wanting to read a book with cancer in it. It's about so much more than a disease, though. :)

      Delete
  8. Yeah, I reserve five star ratings for absolutely incredible, knock-me-off-my-feet books and I would've given TFIOS a six star rating if I could've :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There was zero hesitation when I went to give this one a star rating. Sometimes I waffle back and forth, but TFIOS absolutely deserves full stars. :)

      Delete
  9. I really need to read The Diviners. It sounds so good. I bought TFIOS a while back, and it's just sitting in my Kindle library. I'm planning to get to it this month. I also started Bird by Bird in November and haven't finished it yet. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All really good books. :) I think with TFIOS you have to be in the right frame of mind to read it. I read it when I was ready and ended up thoroughly enjoying it.

      Delete
  10. My roommate just bought TFIOS, so I'm going to read it when she finishes it. I have no doubt that it is an amazing book, but I can't seem to bring myself to read it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TFIOS is one of those books that you have to read when you're ready, when you're in the right frame of mind. I've had it for a while, but couldn't bring myself to read it. In the end, I'm really glad I finally got to it.

      Delete
  11. TFIOS made me sob, sometimes while I was reading in public. It is such an incredible book. And I love BIRD BY BIRD!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There was really only one part that had me crying like a baby. There were a number of sad parts, but this one in particular was especially bad. And I read it in the comfort of my own home while hubby was away, so nobody around to see me ugly cry. :)

      Delete
  12. TFIOS: Still. Can't. Read. It. But maybe I will request it from the library now and in several months when it arrives for me, maybe I will be ready. Or maybe not. Part of me says - JUST SUCK IT UP AND READ IT - especially after reading REGINE'S BOOK. I cried buckets but I survived and am better for it.

    I'm in for BIRD BY BIRD am finished with the reread and hope to post soon.

    THE DIVINERS is waiting for me at the library and I'll pick it up tomorrow. But I still wouldn't mind winning it! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, sentence? I'm in for BIRD BY BIRD. I am finished, etc.

      Delete
    2. TFIOS is one of those books that you have to be in the right frame of mind to read. I had the book for some time before I was ready to sit down with it. I knew that it was mostly likely going to make me cry, and I'm not usually jumping at the chance to sob like a baby. I'm really glad that I finally read it, because it was that good. :)

      Delete
  13. Scintillating Stuff did catch my eye, lol. Sounds like a bummer of a Monday.

    I haven't heard of 'Bird by Bird', but I'm always on the lookout for a good craft book. I'll have to check my library (but then I can't mark it up! Hmm....)

    I still haven't read 'The Fault in Our Stars', even though I've heard tons of rave reviews. I can't do the sad story thing. Can't do it. I was watching an episode of Star Trek this week with my husband, and I burst into tears. Star Trek! What the heck. I think I'd be a train wreck if I read TFioS.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Don't judge me but...I feel like the only person in the world that didn't absolutely love TFIOS! I thought it was okay, but it didn't make me cry, and...I think it was a bit too much for me? Too quirky, maybe, too knowing? I don't know. LOOKING FOR ALASKA is the only other John Green book I've read and I enjoyed that one a lot more :)

    ReplyDelete

I ♥ comments. They make me smile.☺