Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Kimi ni todoke (From Me to You) 1 by Karuho Shiina

This was a very cute beginning to a lovely story.

I found it most interesting to read from a cultural perspective. I felt I learnt a lot about Japanese high school life, and superstitions.

Manga novels, traditionally written in Japanese, are read right to left, and it took a minute for me to adjust. The English translation is a bit humorous, as well, and now that I've read a fair bit of manga I realize this is a common eccentricity. Its as though I can see the translator in his room holding an English Thesaurus in his hand and he is wondering which word will best describe the equivalent Japanese word. After much googling he finally chooses a word he feels is perfect, when actually its seemingly centuries old to the average North American.

However, the odd peculiarities of the English spoken only add to the unique experience of Kimi ni todoke.

Sawako Kuronuma is a very pretty young girl who tries to do a good deed everyday, but unfortunately she is the spitting image of a character from a horror movie, Sadako, and is treated like a ghost.

Her shy, and subservient demeanor doesn't seem to help her much as most misunderstand it for anger or coldness. A rumor is spread that no one can look in her eyes for longer the 3 seconds without being cursed. Even the teachers become superstitious.

All except Kazehaya-Kun, who always acknowledges her with a friendly "hello." Even remembering her real name, and not the mean nickname that everyone has given her.

Kazehaya sees how kind and good she is, and he wants to get closer to her. However, there is a problem, he too can't seem to look in her eyes for longer the 2 seconds.

Kuronuma believes his interest in her is just kind benevolence, no more.

It is a sweet story highlighting the virtues of kindness and modesty that heroines so often lack.

I can't wait to read book 2 to see how this love story develops...

Click here to see a copy of Kimi ni todoke vol 1 by Karuho Shiina

Olympos by Aki

Manga is such a large section of the book store that I work at, I felt unread to have never sampled some. After briefly flipping through several books I came back to Olympos by Aki - which was my first choice, due to the beautifully illustrated cover, and final choice due to the color and the lovely artwork within.

Let me restate that the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. I was constantly marveling at the beauty of the characters. Also, the story told was most intriguing, poignant, and sad.

As the title implies, this is a story about the gods of Greek mythology. Apollo is depicted as a beautiful female (though she is referred to as a he, because I believe all individuals of authority are referred to as hes in Japanese) who is terribly bored and mischievous. Not unlike Poseidon, and Hades. Immortality seems to be a bit too unending for them all.

In a beautiful garden, Zeus created in an unknown space, Apollo drops a beautiful young princess (called a prince in the story due, again, to Japanese translation of authority figures) Ganymede who is granted immortality. She becomes quite a piece of entertainment to the gods as they enjoy watching her endure eternity with them.

Ganymede discovers the true nature of the gods is in stark contrast to the way they are portrayed in human fables. Mocking her at one point, Apollo asks what it is mortals thought she did.

What surprises me is the strong philosophical/symbolic undertones. Aki seems to want to show readers the allusiveness of the idolized, truth, good and bad, and immortality.

For instance, in a discussion Apollo and Hades have with Ganymede, she explains that the existence of darkness (Hades) is necessary for the light (Zeus). Hades "is the god of the shadows that are created by the light."

Will the gods end everything for amusement? ...

Click here to see a copy of Olympos by Aki.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

The irony of Commitment

Do you ever feel like the universe is trying to send you messages?

I was reading a post by The Mind of Kevin - Freedom and Cages that reminded me of a profound moment in my life.

I was starting to realize my life was headed in a very routine direction... it scared me! A wave of panic was coming over me every time I looked at my planner or thought about my life. I didn't know if I was making the right decisions for me. - And decisions that seemed overly organized just didn't feel like me.

During this time of a pre-pre-midlife-crisis, I did something routine. I went to Starbucks in the morning and got my Cinnamon Dolce Latte. - There is comfort in some routines.

My cup seemingly screamed at me as I read the quote:

"The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating — in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life." - Anne Morriss

Commitment is deeply liberating! - Could this be true? Was the universe trying to tell me something? The more I thought about it, the truer it seemed.

The truth is routine, and structure isn't actually all that scary. In fact, there is nothing more stressful and tiring than a crazy schedule that has no order. - Trust me, I know.

I took on 3 part-time jobs just to prove this theory. I thought a structure-less life would be fun, and exciting. A new adventure everyday. I never knew what I would be doing one week to the next.

The irony of my crazy experiment was that it was most un-liberating. I was too tired and scrambled to fit in time for my friends, hobbies, and even trying to keep a healthy diet was difficult. Without a plan I didn't really get to accomplish as much as I could have.

As Kevin Ferguson brings out in his blog there is a comfort in what we are familiar with. Like my Starbucks Lattes. As appealing as it may seem, living in the eye of a hurricane is not that great, long-term, at least. A lot of stress can be added to one's life by living chaotically.

So now I have presented myself with a new challenge. I challenge myself to being super organized. - However, now I'm making plans and creating routines around things that add joy to my life.

I have a job, people in my life, and hobbies that I love. They are worth planning for. Its a good life.

We shall see how liberating it is...

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Scarlet - by Marissa Meyer

I just finished reading Scarlet (book 2 in the Lunar Chronicles) moments ago, and I instantly felt the need to go onto Goodreads and give it five stars. It was a surprisingly action-packed page-turner, and I read it all in one big wolf-licking gulp (forgive the pun). I have to admire a book that compels me to do that. I rarely give books my figurative five stars of approval unless they have some deeply intellectual underlying thoughts, or quotable life-altering messages, which this book doesn't.

However, it transported me into another world. - I was no longer just in my room reading a book, I was in France jumping-off a speeding train with some huge muscular Wolf-man, or on a huge spaceship navigating my way around radars, hiding like a fugitive. I was in this book, wrapped around its characters. - Eager to see them succeed and be true to themselves throughout their moral dilemmas.

The intricacies, all the character's seamlessly melding together, still blows me away. Its a very detailed story, with fairy-tales intersecting at all angles.

Scarlet is a feisty young lady with fiery red hair (couldn't help love her just for that) who lives in the south of France. She is extremely upset about her Grand-mere's disappearance, and convinced its fowl play. Most of the towns people think she's a little off-her-rocker. - Which reminded me a great deal of Beauty and the Beast. Interesting, too, they both have large "beasts" in them. - Scarlet can be extremely irrational, at times, its enough to make one want to ring-her-neck, and she goes on about her Grand-mere inexhaustibly. By the same token, she endears readers to her by this irrational passion. Especially, our dear Mr Wolf.

Enters Wolf. A strong dark street-fighter with an insatiable hunger, and an ominous tattoo. Before reading Scarlet, do read The Queen's Army, it will heighten your appreciation for Wolf, a deeply troubled and daunting character whom you shall come to love. I feel Meyer really did her homework on Wolves in this retelling of Red Riding Hood.

Most mesmerizing is how the above story is simultaneously told with Cinder's story. Where we get all the juicy details on how Cinder escapes from Royal Guard and continues to grow in her powers of Lunar glamour. Quickly the question of the love between Cinder and Kai enters, and one hopes its real and still alive. Kai, who is, in my opinion, a character most to be pitied, just days into his Emperor-ship he has to choose between true-love and saving his Empire and the world. - Both of which seem to lead to his eminent death. Poor Kai gets no sleep at all.

A character I've never addressed in my review of Cinder is Iko, and its a shame because she adds such life and humor to the stories. Iko is a lovable android with a defective personality chip (which basically means she's fun, dramatic, gets scared, and has crushes like a teenage girl) who Cinder had to rebuild, and save on several occasions. Cinder loves Iko like she's family, and, come to think of it, Emperor Kai feels the same way about one of his droids. The story just wouldn't be the same without Iko.

To digest further subtleties of this story, be sure to read My Friends are Fiction's Interview with Marissa Meyer. The following is an excerpt from this interview where Meyer explains setting choice for Scarlet:

"When trying to choose a setting for Scarlet, I wanted a place that had a history of werewolves and werewolf stories-although the people in my futuristic world aren't superstitious about such monsters, I liked the idea of a very old fear being replaced by a new, very real fear. So when I saw a documentary about a series of killings that happened in 18th-century France, and at the time were believed to be the act of a real werewolf, I felt that worked perfectly for a way to tie the mythology together with my own werewolf-like characters."

I couldn't suppress the constant thought that, done right, this series would make a fantastic movie. Especially with all the high-intensity action scenes in Scarlet. Which isn't as far fetched as it seems after a recent conversation I had with Marissa Meyer on twitter. - it appears movie rights are being discussed. I found myself creating a dream cast for the roles, like:

To quote Marissa Meyer "Lunars are kind of their own ethnicity. Her ancestry is very mixed, and she has tan skin, brown hair, and brown eyes."

- Kristin Kreuk (would be my 1st choice for Cinder, b/c she is Dutch/Chinese but its hard to place her. Also, she can easily be dolled-up and made to look like she's glamouring everyone.)

Jennifer Lawrence as Cinder - might be fun, she has a real intelligent seriousness about her. - 

- Tim Kang as Prince Kai

Or Daniel Henney as Prince Kai -

I know both my Prince Kai picks are Korean, however they could maybe pull-off a Northern Chinese look? No?

- Emma Stone as Scarlet (probably my 1st choice).

Or Brittany Snow as Scarlet.  - 

- Or Rachel McAdams as Scarlet, would be good too, very passionate.

Joe Manganiello is the only actor coming to mind for Wolf -
(To be honest, he was the guy I really imagined Wolf to be while I was reading. - I know, I've got one sexy imagination.)

Can't think of anyone for Captin Thorn at the moment... any suggestions?

You can buy a copy of Scarlet online at: Chapter's Specials

For my review of Cinder (book 1 in the Lunar Chronicles) click on the following link: My Review on Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The Sunshine Award

The prestigious Sunshine Award

I was delighted to wake up Yesterday to the notification that I had received this Award from a fellow blogger whom I most sincerely admire, and enjoy creatively. A. K. Anderson - Her blog is always lots of fun, and never the same. She'll get you thinking and make you laugh, often at the same time.

So what is the Sunshine Award?
The Sunshine Award is an award given by bloggers to other bloggers. The recipients of the Sunshine Award are “bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.” The way the award works is this: thank the person who gave you the award, and link back to them. Then answer questions about yourself. Finally, select up to 10 of your favorite bloggers, link their blogs to your post, and let them know they have been awarded the Sunshine Award!
What inspired you to start blogging?

I work at a bookstore so I wanted to find a way to get in touch with the book community. I also wanted to organized my own thoughts - to have a point of reference - when it came to books I had read. On a minor note I wanted to meet individuals who could inspire me, and in a way help me fine-tune my own writing.

How did you come up with the name of your blog?

Well... haha. I thought it should express me and my intentions. My name and books. :P

What is your favorite blog that you like to read?

I like ones that are pretty, and colorful. I like ones with giveaway prizes. Ones that have deep insights into an Authors thinking, or perhaps even an actual interview with said Author.  I like ones that have a combo of things to look at like, perhaps the Blogger's vlog, or poetry - I love poetry. More importantly I like ones that share a unique intelligent perspective.

Tell about your dream job.

Honestly, I love what I do. I love waking up in the morning to come into my bookstore and share my passion for literature. Perhaps writing a work of fiction on the side and having that published would be the cherry.

Is your glass half full or half empty?

Oh, its full, baby! :)  I believe positive thinking is 80% of the reason why I never get sick. <cue music>
I believe, I believe, I believe, I believe, I believe... Even when I'm trying to be pessimistic it comes out more like subdued optimism, and I still believe the best will actually happen and surprise me. 

If you could go anywhere for a week’s vacation, where would you go?

Indonesia, Bali. 

What food can you absolutely not eat?

Anything that's still alive or is seemingly looking at me. Or is very slimy.

Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?


How much time do you spend blogging?

An hour or two a week.

Do you watch TV – if so, what are some of your favorite shows?

Not much at all, actually... but occasionally I'll sit down and enjoy Oprah, Ellen, or List it or Love it, or some cooking shows... or I did really like MadLove - sad it ended after one season. 

Now, I get to nominated some of my favorite bloggers, and I look forward to their answers to these sunny questions.

History's odds and sods - This lady is fascinatingly well read, and such a pleasure to know. She's is most definitely an inspiration to me. 

Faith Sullivan Writes - Faith is a very talented writer of NA fiction titles Heartbeat and Unexpected. She's fun, down to earth, and very enthusiastic. And a very good twitter friend @_FaithSullivan_ 

Bloggin'bout books - Susan's blog is fabulous, and well-developed. She is a loving mother of four, and incredibly well read. I agree with her reviews 100%! She inspired me to be a more lively blogger. And I hope she writes a book one day. 

In Between  - Jude is a 19 year old university student who is passionate about writing and reading. She's  only been blogging for 2 years and has 1690 followers!! Her blog is lots of fun and has a contest celebrating the anniversary of her 2nd year. 

My Friends are Fiction - Kristen has an amazing blog! She fell in love with Teen Fiction while pregnant, and has some fascinating reviews on the books she really enjoys. Her knowledge and artful thinking becomes very clear in the questions she asks in her blogs. Before reading a book, read her review of it, it will enhance the experience.

Mindful Mundanes - She is an intense blogger and the one who first inspired me with the idea to start blogging. She reads tons of YA fiction, and writes very specific, articulate, and passionate reviews.

Journey of a Soul - CJ Sullivan is a "speculative fiction author" of the Epic Angel Trilogy and has a beautiful blog/vlog combo. She is creative and honest in her blogs, and most enjoyable.

Dyadic Echoes - Andrew is a multi-faceted, and very talented blogger. And a loving father. He does much to support the writing community! 

Ok, there you have it consider yourselves most worthy award winners!! Can't wait to read your answers!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Books in my Soul

One of my favorite Bloggers wrote an article about how the movies, music, paintings, and, of course most especially, books that we grew up with become apart of us. I love this theory, and completely believe it.

Do read her beautifully written blog on this subject: Books in my Soul and the further inspired What art is in your soul?
To follow her on twitter @A_K_Anderson

Also C.J. Sullivan has a lovely vlog posted on her blog of her favorite childhood book. Favorite Childhood Book

And now I attempt to peer into my own soul... What has molded me? What were the books of my childhood that have now became apart of my soul? ...

- Island of the Blue Dolphins - It was b/c of her that I had all sorts of wilderness adventures as a child. I even decorated my room with fur pelts (i.e. my mom's minks - she loved that), rocks, and hanging sticks. Not to mention the yarn spider maze trap I turned my entire room into for a time.

- Miss Rumphius - Its actually based on a the real life of a lady that lived in Maine. Miss Rumphius is a librarian who decides to travel the world. And then fulfill a quest her grandfather gave to her to do something to make the world more beautiful. It  was a quest that always inspired me as a child. And strangely enough my life is truly following a similar path. This is a book I feel compelled to pick-up/buy every time I pass by it.

- Little Women - I was Jo. Tom-boy. Writer. Philosopher. Not content with settling down. Little Women - Chapters Specials

- Pride and Prejudice - I was a little bit of all of the girls, but I greatly related to the sarcasm and independent thinking of Elizabeth.

- Anne of Green Gables - Stubborn redhead with a ridiculous imagination that always got her in and out of trouble. - Yup that's me.

- Cinderella/Sleeping Beauty/Beauty & the Beast - grew up singing my way through everything. Also believed Prince Charming might actually exist in all his perfection. - not such a healthy belief, that one.

- Archie Comics - I've read more Archie comic books then I've read of all other books combined. I just adore Betty. She is Superwomen! She can fix cars. Play any sport like a pro. Bake cake to perfection. She's a straight 'A' student. She is totally sexy, and doesn't really know it. If there was only one character of all literature (yes, I said literature) I could choose to make an impression on my soul, it would be Betty.

She deserves to get Archie, but he doesn't deserve her. Still, I hope she gets him, just because she loves him so completely.
She gets 4 pics in this blog, because she's that awesome.

Do the characters of these various books belong in the same room? Let alone altogether affecting one soul? - curious indeed.  Still, I would hope, had they all known each other, they might have been great friends.

What about you? What books have become apart of your soul?

Monday, 4 March 2013

History's Odds and Sods : Book Review: FIREBIRD - Susanna Kearsley

History's Odds and Sods : Book Review: FIREBIRD - Susanna Kearsley: Firebird by Susanna Kearsley                                                       Hardcover (UK edition) Publisher: Allison & B...

Saturday, 2 March 2013

The Little Prince By Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The Little Prince was actually introduced to me by James Dean. It sounds strange, I know, but its true. Years ago, I went through a bit of a James Dean obsession phase. - And it was mentioned, more then once, how he loved this story, and insisted upon reading it to most of his friends. Etched on a sculpture by his memorial tomb is his favorite quote, from this book, "What is essential is invisible to the eyes." Based on this heavy recommendation I had to read it for myself.  If you haven't read this book, let it be James Dean's praise of it, and not mine, that truly motivates you. - It's more fun that way.

Though I was predisposed to love this book, long before I read it, I found it really was/is a masterpiece. Written for children yet laced with philosophical profoundness for sages. I have personally bought five copies of the book, and I periodically give them out to inspire the particularly enlightened.

Saint-Exupery takes the subject of love with all its complexities, and he concisely explains it to a child. "It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important." "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose..." "If you love a flower that lives on a star, it is sweet to look at the sky at night. All the stars are a-bloom with flowers..." He further awakens the reader to the sad reality that adults tend to forget what is actually important, and become buried in superciliousness.

It is no wonder over 80 million copies of the book have been sold in over 180 languages. Yet, it still amazes me to see how The Little Prince has become such a culture-craze. Quotes, from this book, can be found anywhere from jewelry to tattoos. Artist's depictions of many of the book's scenes are constantly being drawn. People of all backgrounds seem to be very touched by the universal truths found in this beautiful story about a Little Prince's love for his rose.

Copies of this book are available for purchase here: Chapters

Post Review Notes:

Since writing the above review, I have read some very conflicting reviews on GoodReads, though by far the majority still do love it, I would like to state my thoughts on some of the objections raised.

Obviously I loved this book. It spoke to me (and 80 million+ others), and is the kind of philosophical book I enjoy. Certainly I appreciate that not everyone enjoys that type of story. And quite often when a book is so overwhelmingly loved it is met with an equally passionate wall of hate.

However, I think as far as the accusation of it " trying too hard to be profound..." goes, the year it was published should be taken into consideration. And I would like to explain why I feel this way. Today, we may have thousands of books that are packed with profoundness, but this book was the grandfather of those, published in 1943, right in the middle of world war II. There was not much like it at the time.

Pointed statements were made about racism/xenophobia, the fallibility of leaders, the lack of humanity in the commercial world, and in general the foolishness of the human condition. Granted it does have a depressing tone which reflects the author's disillusionment and perhaps bitterness with his own life. Nevertheless, it was a powerful message at a time when the world was falling apart at the seams, and I believe it deserves some respect for that alone.

In the end, at the heart of this story, the message is fairly simple: all the distractions and garbage in the world mean nothing... Love is what gives life importance. - And I think that's a message worth sharing.

Monday, 25 February 2013

The Vicar of Nibbleswicke by Roald Dahl

"Dear lady," cried the Vicar, "You must never Plug it!... What you must do is pis. Pis gently. All of you all the way along the rail must pis, pis, pis." "Dog Almighty!" So said a dear sweet innocent Reverend Lee.

The Reverend Lee is suffering from a rare and acutely embarrassing condition: Back-to-Front Dyslexia. It affects only his speech, and he doesn't realize he's doing it, but the parishioners of Nibbleswicke are shocked and confused by his seemingly outrageous comments.

I loved this book as a child, and still hold it among my favorites. And, for the life of me, I can't read it without tearing-up from laughing so hard.

Roald Dahl wrote this book in the last months of his life, and donated all the proceeds to the Dyslexia Institute. "A landmark of both his concern for people and his passionate belief in the importance of reading." - Quentin Blake (illustrator).

If you love to laugh, you must add this to your library!

Buy The Vicar of Nibbleswicke today: Chapters

History's Odds and Sods : Books VS Ereaders

History's Odds and Sods : Books VS Ereaders: Books verse EBooks I love Ebooks!   Yes, I have to be honest, for the convenience, I prefer the ebooks. (Did I really say this, out lou...

I love this Blogger!! Do check it out.

Of Beast And Beauty by Stacey Jay

Release Date: July 23, 2013 | Hardcover

In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra is raised merely to sacrifice herself someday to ensure her people''s vitality. In the desert outside, Gem, a mutant boy, fights to keep his people from starvation. Neither dreams that together they could return balance to their world. Isra, a Smooth Skin, bound by magical covenant to the city of Yuan, wants to help the Banished people of her city, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits the blind princess believes she also possesses. One night, Gem is captured while trying to steal the city''s enchanted roses, and he becomes Isra''s beastly prisoner from the desert. But when Isra enlists the aid of Gem to help her grow herbs that will prevent mutation, she discovers just how human he is, and she begins to question everything she''s been raised to believe. As dark secrets from the past are revealed and Isra''s sight returned, she will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.

I am pretty excited about this soon to come summer release. It sounds like it has some really intriguing plot potential, and I haven't read many retellings of Beauty and the Beast.

Much thanks to mindfulmundanes.blogspot.ca for bringing this to my attention!


Jan 29, 2015

I had totally forgotten wanting to read this book. I am very pleased that I finally did!! It was great!!

"But he that dares not grasp the thorn should never crave the rose. " - Anne Bronte

I have loved that quote for many moons. It was this quote that initially inspired me to buy this book. 30 pages in I was regretting the purchase, not to mention I'm not a huge fan of first person. I pressed on though I was not expecting to like this story, much less love it. But it very quickly grew on me, and then reminded me of a belief I've long forgotten... a belief in the power of love.

Its altruistic in an endearingly primitive way. I gave it 5 stars not b/c it was written perfectly, it wasn't necessarily, -at times its down right cheesy- but b/c it has been a long time since a book has made me hope for a fairy tale-like love. And I couldn't put it down until I knew the fate our two heroes.

The loyalty of Isra's maid, Needle, moved me. She is an incredible character throughout the story; completely selfless and the most beautiful, in my opinion. It is so human to believe we are ugly. To not see our own beauty. To quickly believe the worse of ourselves and our enemies. The story battles this like a hero. There are many parallels to the situation of our world... such change, and healing needs to happen for us too.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Manana XVII/Tomorrow 16 Sonnet By Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were a salt-rose, or a topaz,
or a spark from the fire.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, 
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as a plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives deep within me.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you purely, without complexities or pride;
I love you because I know not other way.

Than this: where I  does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that when your eyes close I fall asleep in your dreams.

No te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio
o flecha de chaveles que propagan el fuego:
te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras,
secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.

Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva
dentro de si, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores,
y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo
el apretado aroma que acendio de la tierra.

Te amo sin saber como, ni cuando, ni de donde,
te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:
asi te amo porque no se amar de otra manera,

sino asi de este modo en que no soy ni eres,
tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mia,
tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueno.

By Pablo Neruda

To read more by Pablo Neruda check out this site: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/search/?keywords=pablo+neruda&pageSize=12

Sunday, 3 February 2013

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I didn't have a clue what this book would be about, and the fact it was in teens made me nervous. My twitter friends recommended it to me several times. Even then, it was only after a desperate soul called me at Chapters (I work at Chapters) praying that we would have a copy that I finally decided to put one aside for me as well.

When I read the first two paragraphs I nearly died thinking 'OH NO! This book is about depression and cancer!?' I don't think I would have picked it up, had I known, and thank god I didn't, because it was fantabulous!!!! Let me say it again: FANTABULOUS!!! A FIVE STAR BOOK! Do you even know how long its been since I've read a five star book!? Jane Austen.

Hazel Grace is an enlightened 16 year old girl, and the narrator of her seemingly inglorious story of her battle with pain and social apathy. "Sickness really does eat up one's passion for life." "That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt." However, 17 year old Augustus is quickly introduced to the plot and suddenly Hazel has an equal to challenge her mind. It was not long before I had to pry the book out of my hands, find a note book, and start writing out quotes that I'm sure I will be using for years to come. That and a dictionary, from time to time, because words like "hamartia" are regretfully not in my vocab. - Even google's blogger is trying to auto correct the word, right now, which makes me feel a bit better.

The plot moved at a perfect speed, no sooner did I ask a character/plot question, in my head, then it was answered. I felt like I was digesting such a feast, and yet with each page I was still ravenous. The seamless way Green wove Shakespeare and Maslow's Hierarchy all into one story reminded me of Malcolm Gladwell's genius. Both have a way of effortlessly explaining complexities and making it palatable.

But here I am rambling on about the writing style and not the plot. In part, because I don't wish to deprive you from peeling each layer of this onion yourself. And the other part, being, because the style was so fantastic that I feel a healthy portion of this review should just praise it.

One can't help adore the love that blossoms between Hazel and Augustus. Pity and laugh with their blind friend Isaac. And muse at the complexities of Hazel's parents position.

Suffice it to say, "I fell in love <with this book> the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once."

P.S. Big Thank You to all my Twitter peeps who recommended this book to me! @charlie_n_books
For more info on the book and the writer please visit: http://johngreenbooks.com/the-fault-in-our-stars/
If you wish to buy it you can find it here: Great Deals!!