Thoughts. Not Quite A Review…The Fault In our Stars By John Green

I have been a Nerfighter for a long time.13687366_888660391265561_563314833_n

I think John Green is a fantastic human being. I also knew he wrote books. Hell, his name on Instagram is johngreenwritesbooks. Until yesterday, I had never read any of his books.

I attribute this to my attempt at not being a book bitch and occasionally falling from grace anyway. I have a bad image of YA literature due to an unfortunate foray with a book called Twilight a few years back…Perhaps everyone and their freaking grandmother has heard of it. I will never get the time back that I lost to this book. Ever. It will continue to haunt me till the day I die. I have since, judged all YA literature as harshly as I wished I had treated this one.

When I would see John Green books on my many bookish travels, I longed for his writing and yet, denied it for fear of the whiny, angst-ridden, brainless adaptation of young america that was Twilight.

I’m 35 years old this year and trying to think like a teenybopper is, to be honest, painful at best. Yet, who am I to judge a whole type of books based on one bad experience? That makes me an asshole. Not all teenagers are brainless, slightly larger versions of toddlers, or the sparkling undead.

So, on a whim, at the Goodwill, I’d picked up The Fault In Our Stars and figured that for a buck, even if it was horrible, not a huge loss.

I started reading yesterday morning at 7:30 a.m. and took a few breaks to go to the store and to mini marathon Intervention with my sister. Still, I finished this book at 11:53 p.m. I then spent hours looking at the dark ceiling unable to let the story go.

I won’t bore anyone with an actual review. Everyone knows of this book, through seeing the movie, watching much better reviews than I could write on BookTube or through book blogs who have much more talent than mine. I will say that there are very few books in this life (and I read a lot) that have left me speechless.

I love (present tense) this book so much, I love these characters so much and I love the brilliant mind of John Green more now than I ever have before. That’s saying something.

Everyone should read this book, everyone.

I will from today going forward no longer judge any book based on others of it’s kind.

 

The Last Few Pages

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As I finally make my way to the end of my current read, which has taken me an embarrassingly long time to get through. Been about a month, though it’s only 562 pages and it only took me three days to read the 900 or so pages of  Stephen King’s Under The Dome . Yet, I have arrived, if fashionably late, to the last 18 pages…

Of course, this is where my mind started to wander. I started to think about my approach to books that have kept me drawn in for any  period of time. Then, my thoughts go a bit crazy.

I start by mentally preparing and wondering, “Do I really want this to end so fast?” and “HOW COULD THIS POSSIBLY ANSWER ALL MY QUESTIONS IN 18 PAGES???!!!”. So, I put the book down an find a distraction. There is the fear, naturally, of disappointment and the inner irritation at myself for not being able to read the words fast enough regardless of the outcome.

I can speak only for myself, but I’ve noticed my book ending reading habit goes a bit like this…

Sit up if I’m laying down…move the book as close to my face as humanly possible in case my peripheral vision might find a distraction…yell at everyone around me to shut the hell up…then take in every word as though this were the last book ever written and it holds the answer to all of life’s great questions (even if the book sucked).

This usually follows me finding excuses to put the book down to sate a few of the nagging distractions, like wondering if it will all make sense, peeing, did I miss something huge in the story one night while half dozing and dropping the book on my face over and over. DID I GIVE THE BOOK THE ATTENTION IT DESERVED!?

Reading is more than a hobby to me. It’s separate lives I live, good or bad and I like to take the process seriously. That kind of makes me sound mentally ill…but it’s the truth.

Now, with only minor distractions left, those last 18 pages await…

Does anyone else get end of book anxiety or is it just me?

Book Review: End of Watch By Stephen King

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Let me begin by laying it out here…I’m a Stephen King fan. A very big one. If you hang around here long enough, you’ll here me mention him and his books often. I don’t want to say I’m a Stephen King book snob, but I’m close. I will admit that I consider myself to be one that’s not blinded by my love though. There are books he’s written that I have read…and will never get that time back. Or that bad taste out of my brain.

End of Watch is the final installment of the three book Bill Hodges trilogy. It all began with Mr. Mercedes and ends here. I feel like I need to say a few words about book one and two as this book would feel empty on its own. When I first read Mr. Mercedes, I was confused. Here was King, but this was a detective story. I decent one and a good read, but I didn’t give this a fair shake. I was too busy searching for something otherworldly. I’ve since changed my mind on that. Book two, Finders Keepers, truly pulled me in and made me love this world of Hodges and his friends. I realized after finishing the series that King was developing some great characters and relationships. I was being a fan-bitch.

The story centers around our protagonist (I hate that word…), I think  I’ll call him our hero, Bill Hodges and his unlikely partner Holly Gibney. Bill is an aging retired detective that never could get his former job out of his system. Good for him too, because it helped him catch the villain, Brady Hartsfield from book one with help from Holly and Jerome Robinson, Brady having killed plenty of people essentially just because he could and was attempting to do it again. Brady was badly injured, brain damaged by Holly, but still alive.

End of Watch sees Bill still unable to let go of the fact that he thinks Brady may be faking his brain damage. Brady can’t leave his hospital room, he’s reduced to doing little more than drooling on himself, yet that doesn’t stop his need to mess with people. Only this time hes’s not focused on Bill alone. This time it’s the whole city. He wants to finish what he started years ago.

What starts as Bill’s old partner calling him and Holly in to look over a seemingly unrelated suicide case, is just the beginning of what nobody can really believe is the truth. It all makes sense, but Hodges and Holly are characters in a Stephen King book, not long time Constant Readers. Eventually, the truth comes out, hard as it may be to swallow and and the adventure is on.

I don’t want to give it all away, but the bond of friendship between the three main characters that have carried us through this series comes in to play for an exciting ending. You’ll find yourself wishing you had even one friend like the friends Bill has.

The hardest part and this may be a bit of a *SPOILER* is that in the first few pages we learn that Bill, who is just approaching his 70th birthday has an incurable cancer. It stayed with me as I read and as much as I hoped our dynamic three would save the day and reign supreme, I also hoped that on some totally human level, King would develop a cure for cancer. The thought of the big C taking the good guy seemed scarier than the intentionally scary stuff.

Where I once thought Stephen King was going soft and switching his signature style for something I didn’t quite recognize and possibly didn’t care for, I found myself mourning the end of this series and loving the characters as I have loved those in some of King’s most recognized works.

Well done.

I would recommend this series to anyone. It’s a good place to start on King’s different ventures away from the classic monster in the woods or sewer drains.