My Thoughts on Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

I haven’t posted in a¬†while because of school work, but I’ve been reading as much as I could in my free time and I finally got aroud to Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I heard about the book a while ago – mostly good things – but I’m always hesitant to read an author I’m not familiar with. What finally made me buy it was I saw a collector’s edition sitting all alone on a shelf at Barnes and Noble so naturally, I picked it up, not wanting to miss a chance at owning a book with such beautiful ocver art. That being said, I regret nothing!

Told in alternating points of view, Eleanor & Park is a story about two 16 year olds who meet on the school bus on the first day of school. The story is set in Omaha, Nebraska in the late 80’s and is filled with great musical references.This book is one of the most interesting stories I’ve read in a very long time. It’s cute and funny with such great characters, I couldn’t put it down. I really like the structure of the book; it is written from both Eleanor and Park’s perspective, which isn’t something that’s easy to do without disturbing the flow of a story, but Rowell makes it seem as natural as breathing.

Eleanor is such well developed character. She isn’t shallow or unrelatable. Although her home life is complete crap and her only real solace is Park, she is still just a typical teenage girl. She has all the gushy feelings girls have when they get their first crush, and all of the fears. One thing that sticks out about her is how she seems to fixate on Park so completely. At one point she says he is so cute she wants to eat his face, which I thought was hilarious because it’s definitely something I would’ve said when I was 16.Overall, Eleanor is just trying to survive her awful stepfather, and the horrors of being the new girl in a town where everyone already knows their place.

Park is my favorite character because for one his name is Park. His family is the opposite of Eleanor’s, which makes for a great contrast in the way the two characters interact with each other. Park is a hopeless romantic due to being brought up by parents who are completely in love with each other. He even says that the one thing that made him feel better when he woke up scared at night was knowing how much his parents loved each other. I think that is such a beautiful thing for someone to say, especially a 16 year old boy because let’s be real, how many teenage boys do you know who would actually admit that? I know zero, but I digress. My favorite thing about Park is probably how much he cares about Eleanor. He wants to be her protector and even though she is cynical and sarcastic she melts right into him because she knows he is truly genuine.

I dont want to give too much away for those who haven’t read the book, but I give it 5 stars and I hope to God that there will be a sequel. I also wouldn’t be opposed to a movie. I would definitely recommend reading this book, it was worth every second.

For more information on Eleanor & Park or Rainbow Rowell, visit her website.

Happy reading! ūüôā

My Experience with the Hush Hush Saga

Becca Fitzpatrick wrote a sahush-hushga of books titled Hush, Hush, Crescendo, Silence, and Finale. The series’ focus is on fallen angels and nephilim, and the relationship between the two main characters Nora and Patch. I read these books a¬†while ago and my experience with this series is one that has stuck with me for a number of reasons. I decided to read Hush, Hush¬†because I’ve always been very interested in the story of the fallen angels and prior to this book I read Fallen, a novel by Lauren Kate. I enjoyed the overall plot-line of Fallen, but it was a bit of a¬†¬†slow read for me so I went to the book store in search of a similar story with a more engaging plot. In this instant, I’m guilty of the very thing we are told not to do as children – I judged the book by its cover – because the covers are all beautiful – and took Hush, Hush¬†to the register.

While reading the book, I fell in love not only with the romance between Nora and Patch, but with the bigger picture of the story, and the way that Fitzpatrick took something biblical and made it her own. according to the Bible, Nephilim are a race of hybrids, children of the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men.” Angels giving into temptation and having relations with mortals is what caused them to be rejected from heaven and stripped of their wings. Hush, Hush delves into that story and incorporates the struggles of true love as well. I also found playlists for each book on Spotify and all of the songs are so good and relate very well to the story. I’ve always thought that listening to music that relates to the story heightens the reading and writing experience, especially when it’s a story with a lot of depth.

As I got farther into the story, I decided to do some research on the lore of the fallen angels and I was so inspired by everything that I wrote a poem. But even with all of the interesting things I discovered and as much as I enjoyed reading the books, my imagination seemed to have gotten the better of me in the process. Some of the fallen angel stories are very dark and creepy and I definitely scared myself a bit. I even had a few nightmares.

While my experience with this saga was a bit scary at times, I enjoyed all four books very, very much and I plan to re-read them when I get the free time. In my opinion, Becca Fitzpatrick has written an amazing story with so many different twists and turns. It was romantic and heartbreaking and suspenseful! Anyone who is into supernatural romance will certainly be pulled into this amazing story.

For more information on the Hush, Hush¬†saga visit Becca Fitzpatrick’s website, and if you decide to read the saga here are the playlists so you can listen while you read, for maximum enjoyment.

Playlists:

HUSH HUSH

CRESCENDO

SILENCE

FINALE

How “The Fault in our Stars” Crushed my Soul. *WARNING: SPOILERS!!!*

So by now now I’m sure everyone knows about/ has read The Fault in our Stars by John Green. It’s heartbreaking, it’s inspiring, it’s easily the most devastating work of young adult fiction that’s ever been written. TFIOSHere’s the short version. A teenage girl named Hazel Grace Lancaster suffers from thyroid cancer. Her mother makes her go to a cancer support group at a church for other kids with cancer. At this support group she meets the ever charming Augustus Waters, who had osteosarcoma, but is now in remission. They hang out, fall in love, and just ¬†when you get really attached to them as a couple, John Green rips off the band aid and tears your hope apart with the cold, hard iron fist that is cancer.

The style of writing and heartfelt sentiments of teenage love will fill your heart with much emotion you won’t know how to handle it. I had heard that TFIOS was such a good book and that I would love it, and while those things are 100% true, everyone neglected to mention that I would also cry through the ENTIRE last half of the book. When i began the book it was my expectation that there would be death. It’s a book about kids with cancer after all. My expectation that it would be Hazel who died, however, was completely and soul-shatteringly (is that a word?) wrong. And here come the spoilers! Reading the decline of Augustus’ health was the hardest part of this book for me. He is introduced as a strong, charming, wise beyond his years young man who seems to have overcome his curable form of cancer, and his story ends with him in a state of complete weakness. There is a point towards the end of the book in which Hazel shows this connection. John Green makes a note by explaining how Hazel went from calling him Augustus in the beginning, like the great emperor, to calling him Gus in the end, just as his parents do, showing how he has become weaker and more boy-like. More mortal.

TFIOS is by far my favorite book since A Rose for Melinda, which also happens to be about a teenage girl with cancer. So, as you can see, I have a thing for tragically sad stories. John Green created a gem of a novel with TFIOS because it’s isn’t just a love story or a story about sick kids, it’s a story about how learning what it means to love and being given the opportunity regardless of age or health and despite having very long to live on the planet. I believe that’s what is beautiful about Hazel and Augustus. Even though Hazel had come to terms with her disease and her mortality and Augustus believed he had longer to live than he did, neither of them let their circumstances stop them having the chance to love each other. Some people never get the chance to fall in love.

So, I’ll end this post before I start to cry. Read and re-read TFIOS, go see the movie if you haven’t yet because Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort did a fantastic job of bringing Hazel and Augustus to life on screen, and be sure to check out John Green’s website and follow him on his various social media sites like I do! His other books are good too. I am currently reading Looking for Alaska, so expect a post on that soon.

Okay? Okay.

http://johngreenbooks.com/

My Thoughts on “The Distance Between Us”

The Distan15283043ce Between Us is a Young Adult novel by Kasie West. The novel is about a pair of star-crossed teens, Xander Spence and Caymen Meyers, who meet and become fast friends, despite their social and economic differences. Xander is the rich heir to a huge hotel franchise, while Caymen is the daughter of a poor and jaded single mother who owns a failing doll shop.

My impression of Caymen is that she is the most judgmental character I’ve ever come across. Her mother’s views of the lifestyles of the rich and famous become her own without even a second thought. However when she meets Xander, she finds her mindset wavering and despite looking for every flaw he might possess, she falls for him anyway.

Xander seems to be different than other rich boys. He isn’t spoiled, he rebels against his father like normal teenage boys, and he likes Caymen even though she’s poor. While Caymen spends the entire book worrying about what her mother will think about Xander, and making judgments that his parents will think shes too poor for him, Xander is all for meeting the parents and is completely unashamed.

Even though Caymen annoyed me at times, I really enjoyed this book and I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in Young Adult romance.

For more information on Kasie West and her novels visit her website.