An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green“Books are the ultimate Dumpees: put them down and they’ll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they always love you back.”

Colin Singleton has dated nineteen girls named Katherine, and has been dumped by all nineteen. After being dumped by his nineteenth Katherine, he decides to go on a road trip to nowhere with his best friend, in hopes of getting over her. What he ends up doing is coming up with a mathematical formula that will predict the future of all relationships.

I have to say, this is definitely my least favorite of all John Green’s books. It was actually kind of hard for me to get through this one, mainly because I disliked the main character so much. Colin is a child prodigy, and because of this he acts extremely pretentious towards other people. For example, when he first meets Lindsey Lee Wells, a perfectly nice Southern girl in a small town, he automatically assumes that she is dumb and that he won’t like her just because she’s reading a celebrity gossip magazine. She ends up proving him wrong, but it is horrible that he immediately judges her for that.

Colin is also extremely self absorbed. He constantly is moaning and groaning about his Katherine issue, but never really cares about what everyone else is dealing with. His best friend Hassan is dealing with having to move on with his life and go to college, but Colin is too focus on his Katherine problems to really care. He even kind of pushes Lindsey’s problems aside when she opens up to him, but I will say that towards the end of the novel he began to realize how self absorbed he was being and toned it down a bit.

A big problem I had with this book is that it was extremely predictable. Most of John Green’s books have some sort of twist or shocking event or something that wows you. I felt like I knew exactly how this book would end the moment Colin and Hassan arrived in Gutshot and met Lindsey. This made the ending very anticlimactic and predictable to me.

Overall, An Abundance of Katherines is a cute story, but is definitely not one of my favorite John Green novels. I did love the footnotes and the math geek in me loved the mathematical formulas, but the main character and the predictability of the story made it a slight disappointment.

An Abundance of Katherines was released on September 21, 2006.

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Paper Towns by John Green

Paper Towns by John Green“What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.”

Quentin Jacobsen has been in love with his next door neighbor Margo Roth Spiegelman forever. They used to play together as children but when they both got older and went to middle school and then high school, Margo became part of the popular crowd and Quentin became part of the nerdy crowd. When Margo suddenly shows up at his window one night, a few weeks before the end of senior year, asking him to help her play a series of pranks, he follows her with very little hesitation. After spending the night driving all over Orlando with Margo, Quentin expects the next day at school to be very different. What he didn’t expect was Margo to disappear, and to become even more of a mystery to him than she already was.

As I’m sure most of you know, I am a huge fan of John Green. I absolutely loved The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, and Will Grayson, Will Grayson, so I had no doubt I would love this one. While I will say it was definitely not my favorite of his books, it was still an excellent one.

I feel like I really understood what this book was trying to say. Quentin has built up Margo in his mind as this person who is almost more than a person. He has her up on such a pedestal that he can’t imagine her ever making a mistake or doing something that would upset him. He sees her in his mind as such a perfect girl that he doesn’t realize that maybe she is actually not perfect at all, and is just waiting for someone to realize that. This book is really about learning to see people for who they are, rather than who you want or imagine them to be. I think this is definitely something that a lot of us are guilty of–we get upset with people when they don’t fulfill the expectations we have of them, when really we need to understand that we are all different and can’t live up to the same standards as everyone else. Quentin is guilty of this throughout the book not just with Margo but with his other friends as well. He gets upset when everyone isn’t as obsessed with finding Margo as he is, or when people are more excited about other things, and throughout the book he finally learns that you have to accept people for who they really are and not who you want them to be.

I honestly didn’t really like Margo though. I understand that she had a lot of her own issues and that people were ignoring what was really going on with her, but at the same time she is extremely self centered. She disappears and all of the people who care about her, including her 11 year old sister, are left hurt and scared, wondering if she is even alive. Quentin invests so much time into figuring out what happened to her, and at some points it seemed like it wasn’t even worth what he was going through. He did learn a lot about himself and his friends along the way, and he was able to become more confident as well.

Overall, Paper Towns was a great coming of age novel. I highly recommend any of John Green’s books!

Paper Towns was released on October 16, 2008.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking for Alaska by John Green

“You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking how you’ll escape one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”

Miles Halter’s whole life has been very normal and unexciting. He spends his days reading biographies and memorizing famous last words. He decides to go to boarding school at Culver Creek in search of what he refers to as a “Great Perhaps”. What he finds is Alaska Young, a beautiful yet self-destructive girl that captivates him and changes his life forever.

Looking for Alaska is told in two separate parts–Before and After. In the Before, Miles goes to boarding school and makes a new group of friends who involve him in all sorts of mischief from smoking in the bathrooms to setting off fireworks outside of the principal’s living quarters. He falls in love with Alaska, a moody girl with a sad past, who keeps piles of books inside of her room and flirts with him even though she is dating a boy from another school. It is through her that he finds his “Great Perhaps”. In the After, Miles has to deal with the repercussions of an event that will forever change his life.

This is a beautiful story about life and death and forgiveness. It is definitely a coming of age story, evident from the way Miles grows up significantly from the beginning of the book to the end. I found it really interesting that even though I honestly didn’t like Alaska very much at all, I still loved this book tremendously. I feel like I went through a million different emotions while reading this, from laughing at all of the pranking to nearly crying over some parts. This was my second John Green novel and so far it is my favorite. It deals with so many issues and teaches the reader the importance of choices and dealing with the consequences of those choices.

Overall, Looking for Alaska is a fantastic book that will make you laugh, cry, and forever be a fan of John Green. I just wished I had picked it up sooner!

Looking for Alaska was released March 3, 2005 and received the Printz award in 2006.

Favorite Books of 2012

2012 was a fantastic year for YA, filled with a ton of debut novels and some really great sequels! It was so hard for me to pick favorites because I literally read over 100 books this year, but I did my best! Here are some of the best books I read this year:

 

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

I didn’t think the sequel would live up to the incredible book that was Divergent, but Insurgent was actually even better than the first book! I loved learning about the different factions and I liked that Tris and Four’s relationship wasn’t all sunshine and butterflies. I can’t wait until the final book is released!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

This was the first John Green book I had ever read and it definitely turned me into a die hard fan. The story was so moving and the writing was phenomenal. I literally wept after reading this and would gladly do it again because this book was just that good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

This book really surprised me and I am so glad I gave it a chance. It had a cast of fantastically written characters and an exciting quest to find a lost king that brings them all together. I absolutely loved this and can’t wait for the sequel!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

I was so excited to return to the world of Graceling and I couldn’t wait to see how Bitterblue had grown to become queen. She is such a strong character and throughout the book grew into an even better queen. It was eerie to read about the destruction that still lingered after her father’s death and how the sick things that he did still affected people years after. I only wish this weren’t the final book because I would love to return to this world for just a bit longer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

I absolutely loved this retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. I loved how it was a retelling of a classic but had sci-fi elements mixed in. Elliot is such a strong character that single handedly runs her father’s estate and is willing to give up everything, including the man she loves, to save the estate and the people working there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Scarlet is a retelling of Robin Hood in which Robin Hood’s fellow thief Will Scarlet is actually a girl in disguise, hiding from her past. Scarlet is loyal to Robin Hood and fights as well as any man. I loved Scarlet’s stubbornness and strength and her interactions with the other thieves were hilarious. This was such a great story and I’m anxiously awaiting the sequel!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Million Suns by Beth Revis

A Million Suns by Beth Revis

This sequel to Across the Universe was absolutely fantastic. Elder and Amy are left to deal with the aftermath of shutting down the Phydus and figuring out the truth behind their lives on the ship. Both characters grew so much in this book and their relationship evolved as they discovered more about both themselves and their role on Godspeed. The ending was a huge cliffhanger so I am very excited to read the sequel next month!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

I am so glad that I finally was able to read this book! I loved Aria and Perry’s story and the whole idea behind the evolution of the senses was incredible. I can’t wait to see where Rossi takes this in Through the Ever Night!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall by Susan Ee

I was really apprehensive about this one because I figured it was another dumb romance featuring fallen angels but I was definitely wrong. Angelfall is in fact a post-apocalyptic story about angels that brought death and destruction to earth. I really enjoyed this book and I’m glad I gave it a chance!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

This was such a fantastically written book. It was such an original story about reincarnation and a world where souls are reincarnated multiple times into different bodies. Ana is a Newsoul, living her first life, and she is shunned by everyone else because when she was born, another soul died and was never reincarnated. This was such an amazing story and I could not put this one down!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

I really loved this sequel to Delirium. Lena became such a strong character in this book and decided to fight back instead of hide. The cliffhanger at the end was SO MEAN and I am super excited to see what happens next!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Kiera Cass

This is another book that surprised me. I could not put this one down! It was very Hunger Games-esque because America has to be part of a televised competition to be the prince’s bride in order to earn money for her family, who are poor. She is forced to leave behind the boy she loves and instead is expected to try and win the prince’s favor. The ending of this book was great and I hope the sequel is just as good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

I initially was skeptical about this once I heard it was about vampires, but this is so much different than any other vampire story. Kagawa reinvents vampires in The Immortal Rules and I really loved the completely different direction she went in. This book was a really pleasant surprise!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Defiance by C.J. Redwine

This book mixed fantasy, paranormal, and sci-fi elements to create an incredible story. Rachel is another strong heroine, determined to find her father, and Logan is quite possibly one of my favorite characters ever! He’s extremely intelligent and has a logical way of thinking but is also an excellent fighter. This was a really great one!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

I loved reading about Celaena, a female assassin that is able to take down nearly every man that crosses her path. She gets chosen to compete to be the king’s new assassin and has to defeat man after man all while trying to figure out who keeps brutally murdering the contestants in the middle of the night. This book had a little bit of everything and I definitely could not put it down!

 

 

 

 

 

So 2012 has definitely been a great year! What books were your favorites this year? What are you looking forward to reading in 2013?

To Be Reviewed

I have been super busy lately with holiday stuff (belated Happy Thanksgiving everyone!) and with READING so I haven’t been able to post as much as I’d like. I have a serious problem–I am unable to go into a library or bookstore without leaving with at least three books in hand. My to-be-read list grows on a daily basis, but here’s a list of some books I am currently reading/am about to read and will hopefully get a chance to review soon:

A Fractured Light by Jocelyn Davies

This is a sequel to A Beautiful Dark, a book about a girl who discovers there is more to her past than she realized when she meets two angels sent to protect her. A Fractured Light continues the story of Skye and the two angels, who are (of course) both in love with her, and Skye finds that she not only has to make a choice between the two of them but rather a much bigger choice of whether to ally herself with the Order or the Rebellion. I just finished this one the other day and while it had a bit of a slow start, it redeemed itself in the end.

 

 

 

 

 

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

This is the first book in The Steampunk Chronicles, which takes place in 19th century England and is about a girl named Finley who has a darker side that gives her special abilities such as being able to knock out a fully grown man with just her fist. This book was highly recommended to me and I must say I was absolutely hooked by the second page. I’m about halfway through this now and can’t wait to see what happens next!

 

 

 

 

 

The Moon Dwellers by David Estes

I actually received a copy of this ebook free from the author through a Read for Review on Goodreads. This is the first book in a dystopian series about people who moved underground after most life on Earth above ground was destroyed. It follows a girl named Adele, who was sent to prison because her parents were deemed traitors, and a boy named Tristan, who is the son of the President. They share a strange connection that confuses them both and leads Tristan to go searching for answers. I’m about halfway through this and so far it is very fast paced and exciting!

 

 

 

 

 

Skylark by Meagan Spooner

I’m about to start this one! Skylark is a steampunk-y dystopian about a city that harvests its children’s magical energy once they reach adolescence. Once Lark Ainsley reaches sixteen, it is discovered that she is able to regenerate her power so she has to flee the city to avoid being used for energy over and over. This one definitely sounds interesting and I have heard many good things about it!

 

 

 

 

 

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

I knowwww, everyone and their mother has read this and loved it so how could I possibly have not read it yet?!! It’s been on my TBR for a long time now and since the sequel is due out next year I am finally going to sit myself down and read it. I don’t know too much about this book other than the fact that everyone loves it and it is a dystopian love story, which means I will probably love it too! I’m definitely looking forward to this one.

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for Alaska by John Green

I received this as a birthday gift this year and can’t wait to read it! After reading A Fault in Our Stars, which was absolutely fabulous (if you haven’t read it, READ IT), I decided that I definitely had to read more John Green. This book is about a boy who goes to boarding school and meets a girl who changes his world. I just hope it doesn’t make me cry the waterfall of tears that I cried after reading A Fault in Our Stars.

 

 

 

 

 

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

I wasn’t a big fan of the Shiver series, but I have heard REALLY good things about this book, which is also the first in a series. This is paranormal/supernatural story about a girl named Blue and four boys from a private school that cross her path and bring her into their strange world. I’m definitely intrigued!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angelfall by Susan Ee

I got this book super cheap at Barnes and Noble! It takes place after the apocalypse and is about a girl named Penryn who makes a deal with an enemy angel to help her rescue her sister, who was taken by warrior angels. I’ve heard good things about this and am interested to read a story about an apocalypse that was caused by angels.

 

 

 

 

 

So obviously I’ve got a lot of reading to do! I am super excited for all of these and will hopefully have some reviews up soon!