A Paper Review

After reading the internationally acclaimed bestseller, The Fault in Our Stars, I decided I was going to read every single book John Green had ever written.  I read Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines.  Both were pretty okay, though I noticed several similarities between all three books.  But I’d heard that, besides TFIOSPaper Towns was one of the best, so I saved it for last.

I didn’t like it.  In fact, I kind of hated it.

I don’t publicize this fact very often because SO many people love Paper Towns and SO many people love John Green.  I’m one of them!  John Green is great!  He’s smart, he’s hilarious, he wrote one of my very favorite books.

But God, do I hate Paper Towns.

I don’t really want to go off on a long, preachy rant about everything that I hated, so I’ll try to summarize my feelings as best as I can.

  • Don’t care about what happens to the characters.
  • Margo Roth Spieglemeyer or whatever her last name is a selfish, superior, manipulative bi-yatch and I’m really glad she disappeared halfway through the book.
  • That being said, I think Q is a pathetic excuse for a character and I have no idea why he’s so obsessed with her.
  • Radar is great, but their other friend, Ben, is the most annoying character in the history of fiction.  He’s gross, he’s sexist, he objectifies women in the sleaziest way… This character literally sends shudders of disgust down my spine.  Every time he utters the words “honey-bunny” I want to kick something.
  • This book is literally about Q pining for Margo.
  • So bored.
  • Ridiculously close to not finishing this book.
  • Oh road trip.  This is almost interesting.
  • Margo should have turned out to be a serial killer.  That would have been a great ending.

So yeah, those are my thoughts on the book.  Needless to say, I was less than enthusiastic when I found out they were making it into a movie.  I really didn’t think I would see it, at least not in the theater.  I may have watched it once it hit On-Demand.  But my sister and her best friend really wanted to see it and since they’re both leaving to go back to school soon, I decided to go with them.

I went into the movie thinking I would hate it.  I admit it.  I went in with a lousy attitude because of how much I hated the book.  The movie, it turns out, is actually entertaining.  I was pleasantly surprised.  True, everything I hated about the book, I still hated about the movie, but at least the movie made me laugh.

So, true to my old review form, here are my thoughts on Paper Towns:

  • Not even five minutes into this movie and I’m already sick of hearing about Margo Roth Swampmonster.
  • If my kid found a dead body, I would send him/her to counseling.  Margo probably have used it.
  • Can’t tell if Cara Delevingne is a really awkward actress or if I just hate the character so much that every time she speaks, I cringe.  Possibly both.
  • Margo is making fun of Q because he has goals?  Because he has ambition?  That is so wrong on so many levels.  Goals and ambitions are GOOD things to have!  I’ve always had ambitions.  True, you should strive to be happy while you are achieving those goals, but come ON.  It’s good to have dreams, kids.  Don’t believe the Margo Roth Spillfiggle in your life.
  • Also breaking into people’s houses is not edgy or cool.  It’s against the law.  Don’t do it.
  • For a movie that’s not airing on Lifetime, Paper Towns sure has a lot of slow-motion sequences.
  • Nat Wolff, I don’t know what it is, but something about your face makes me want to punch you.  I’m sure you’re a nice person, and I’m sorry I feel that way, but I do.
  • Okay, so the movie version of Ben isn’t quite as disgusting or sexist or perverse as the book version.  Actually, the actor playing him is hilarious, even though he kind of looks like he’s twelve.  If he hadn’t been playing this character that I hate so much, I’d probably love him.
  • Radar is still amazing.  Great casting.  I laughed out loud at the black Santas.
  • Ditching school to visit decrepit old buildings.  Yeah, that’s a smart idea.  Although I don’t believe none of these kids have ever missed school a day in their lives.  Everyone catches the flu sometimes.
  • Again, people, do not look up to the Margo Roth Spawnmeisters in your life.  School is important.  School is cool.
  • Something about a party.  Ben needs to be neutered.
  • Q is letting his stupid infatuation with Margo turn him into a jerk who yells at his friends because they’re not as obsessed with her as he is.  Jerk.
  • Did anyone actually throw parties like this in high school?  Seriously, you see them in movies and TV shows all the time but I’ve never actually heard of one happening.  Maybe it’s because I was in band in high school.  I don’t know.
  • Oh my God, Ben, Q, and Radar drunkenly singing the Pokemon theme song at the top of their lungs just redeemed this whole movie.
  • Road trip time!  The only part of the book I actually liked.
  • Radar and Angela are so cute.  And way to tell him not to be afraid of you and to actually treat you like a person, girl! Preach!
  • Poor Radar.  This whole trip.  Poor Radar.  Laughing out loud.
  • ANSEL ELGORT.  AUGUSTUS WATERS.  THANK YOU MOVIE GODS FOR THE CAMEO I NEVER KNEW I NEEDED.
  • I think Q should be going for Lacey, not Margo. She’s actually a nice person. She cares. Fairly certain she’s asking Ben to Prom out of pity.
  • Radar and Angela are too cute.
  • Q, just listen to your friends.  Margo isn’t there.  She’s a bi-yatch.  Forget her.  She literally doesn’t care about any of you.  Don’t be a jerk to them just because the girl you like is a terrible person.
  • Also, why do these kids keep acting like the end of high school is the end of their whole lives?  They’re like, “Oh, this is it.  We’re going to go away and never see each other again.”  I don’t know about any of y’all, but I’m still really good friends with the people I was really good friends with in high school.  Yeah, we all went to college but there is such a thing as long-distance friendships.
  • Margo, I still hate you.  You’re not deep.  You’re just selfish.  Get lost and stay lost.
  • Again with the whole last week of high school nostalgia.  By my last week of high school, my friends and I were all like, “YEAH!  GRADUATION!  LET’S GO!”  I loved my high school and I still love and admire my teachers.  In fact, I’m still in touch with most of them.  I had the best high school experience a kid could ask for.  But I was SO ready to graduate.
  • Q, go become a doctor.  Get married.  Buy a house.  Have kids.  That doesn’t make you a paper person.  Those are all very good things.  Love is important.  Family is important.  Anyone who tells you otherwise… Well… Is probably Margo Roth Spaghettiman.

Tea and Puppies and Paper Towns

These last few days, not very much has happened. On the flip side, a lot of stuff has happened. I just feel like no one thing has really been big enough to deserve its own blog post. Ergo, this will be one of those List of Random Thoughts and Happenings Posts. Here it goes.

1) I have to go in for my annual physical in exactly one month. In preparation for the inevitable weighing and blood work, I have decided it’s time to start eating healthier. To begin with, in place of my delicious chocolatey treat that I normally get for myself at the local coffee shop, I ordered Green Tea.

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Now, I am not really a tea drinker. Nor am I a coffee or soda drinker. My body is not really used to lots of caffeine. Caffeinated tea, it turns out, gives me a super jittery high. It doesn’t last for long, but it’s enough to notice!

2) My friend was having a bad day yesterday, so we went and played with a cute husky puppy. Best. Decision. Ever.

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I took a lot of pictures of him, because when you play with a husky puppy, that’s what you do. You love him and play with him and take pictures of him.

3) My sister finished reading Paper Towns by John Green. Now, I love John Green as a person, but as far as his books go, the only one I’m really wild about it TFIOS. Great book. Made me cry. Read it six times. However, I had a very difficult time finishing Paper Towns. I didn’t like the characters, I didn’t care about the story, and I thought it was the same book as Looking For Alaska only not as good.

The following contains spoilers for Paper Towns.

My sister, upon reading PT, said, “I really hope that Margo ends up becoming a serial killer and that she killed the guy in the beginning.” At that point, I realized that I too wished I was reading a book where the dream girl turns out to be a psychotic killer. How great would that be? If Quentin finds her and all she says is, “You shouldn’t have come looking for me, Q.” And then she shoots him and that’s where the book ends. That would have been a much better ending than what we got.

4) I made friends with another bird.

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5) My sister and I went to Fry’s Electronics and saw Divergent on Blu-Ray and DVD. Is it actually out yet? I haven’t seen any previews or heard any news that it was, but perhaps I missed it. Anyway, here it is!

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Those are the major updates in my life. What’s going on with all of you?

Books, Books, Books

Hi, friends!

The past couple days have been pretty busy.  I attended my first book club meeting as a guest author.  It was so much fun, and all of the ladies just had the sweetest things to say about Cemetery Tours.  It was so encouraging and just a wonderful night.

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In preparation for the book club, I took a trip to Barnes and Noble for a gift card for the hostess.  While I was there, of course, I did a little shopping around.  It’s impossible to walk into Barnes and Noble and NOT shop, you know?

As I looked around, I found myself thinking of a Facebook post I’d seen recently about how today’s young people read less than any generation before.  Now, I’m not sure if that’s true or not.  I’m no statistician.  However, as I passed the John Green section, I thought about The Fault in Our Stars, and how it’s been celebrating a nice spot on top of the box office charts.  Apparently, people are shocked that it’s doing so well, but to be honest, I’m surprised that people are surprised.  With the book’s enormous and devoted fan base, how could it not do well?

Then I started thinking about other major blockbuster events and award nominated movies, Divergent, Catching Fire, 12 Years a Slave, Philomena, The Hobbit, etc… and I realized they all had one thing in common.  They are all adaptations of books.  Even television series, The Vampire Diaries, Sherlock, True Blood, GAME OF THRONES, all are based off of BOOKS.

Whether statisticians like to acknowledge it or not, books and authors play a HUGE role in our world today, or at least in the entertainment industry.  And you know, it doesn’t stop there.  We have The Giver, The Maze Runner, Ender’s Game, The Lord of the Rings, Twilight, The Princess Diaries, The Book Thief, The Walking Dead (graphic novel, but still)even Disney based fairy tales go back to books and works of authors like Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm.

And of course, we can’t forget the Wizard himself, Harry Potter.

So many of our cultural phenomena go back to books.  Not all, of course, but enough to think that no, books and reading are not on the way out.  There’s never been a greater time to be a reader or a writer.  John Green, a nerdy guy who started a vlog series with his brother, is quite frankly, a rock star now.  Books and reading are an important part of our lives and our society.  They expand and enrich our worlds, our minds, our perspectives.

Are people reading less today than ever before?  I don’t know.  I don’t know how those things are figured.  But I do know that, while I was working up at my camp, two girls overheard me talking about books and they immediately ran over to ask what I was reading, and if I’d read this or that.  They were so excited, not to talk about the latest pop star or hottest television show, but to talk about books.  If that isn’t encouraging, I don’t know what is.

Speaking of having read this or that, Cemetery Tours is standing strong at 43 reviews, but I still need 7 more by July 1 to reach my goal of 50!

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I hope you all have a great Thursday!  It’s almost Friday the 13th, plus a full Honey Moon!  I’ll be sure to celebrate with my black cat.

I Do, Augustus. I Do.

Yesterday, my sister and I attended a pre-screening of The Fault in Our Stars.  It was everything I hoped it would be.  Funny, quirky, romantic, and best of all, it stayed as true to the book as a film adaptation really can.

This was the kind of event where just because you made an email reservation, it didn’t guarantee you a spot in the theater, so my sister and I decided to get there three hours early.  This was a wise decision.

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There was already a line forming, but fortunately, we got there early enough to wait inside.  Before long, the line was out the door and curving around the building.  Needless to say, this was not our first pre-screening/early release.  We’ve been to several midnight releases, including most of the Harry Potter movies, Catching Fire, and The Hobbit.  It’s fun to be a nerd.

Thankfully, we both came prepared for a three-hour wait.

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About an hour before the movie was due to start, they began letting a few people in at a time to choose their seats.  My sister and I were fortunate enough to get seats right in the middle of the theater.

The movie, needless to say, was phenomenal.  Definitely worth the three hour wait.  I always get nervous with book-to-movie adaptations, especially when it’s a book I really love and that I’ve treasured, because they very rarely completely satisfying.  There are always little disappointments.  “Oh, they left out this character or this line or this scene.”

There were a few scenes that were noticeably left out that I would have loved to see, but for the most part, it was an excellent adaptation.  I loved Amsterdam.  I loved Willem Dafoe as Peter Van Houten.  I loved Shailene and Ansel.  Oh my gosh, I love Ansel.  He’s adorable!  And wow, can he act!  In the scene where he tells Hazel… well, I won’t spoil it if you haven’t read the book, but most fans will know which scene I’m talking about.  Oh my goodness, he broke my heart.  That’s when the tears began and they didn’t stop until the end of the movie.

The tears began to fall the way you fall asleep… slowly and then all at once.

I thought they would stop once the credits began rolling, but of course “All of the Stars” by Ed Sheeran is the first song you hear and oh my gosh, that just made me cry harder!  It’s such an amazing and beautiful song.  They lyrics give me chills every time.

“So can you see the stars over Amsterdam?”

So beautiful and it hurts so much.

One of the best parts of the night, however, was when the staff went around and gave everyone over 21 a glass of sparkling champagne, the same drink that Hazel and Gus drink on their date in Amsterdam.  Now, I do not like champagne, or anything bubbly or fizzy.  Carbonation stings my mouth and throat and I do not like that.  However, I was not about to pass up the opportunity to share that moment with two of my favorite fictional characters.

The book, the movie, the story… it’s just a beautiful work of art.  A beautiful work of human nature.  I really want to read the story of the girl who inspired it, This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther Grace Earl.

If you haven’t read The Fault in Our Stars, I highly recommend it, especially if you plan on seeing the movie.  Even if you don’t plan on seeing the movie, it’s just such an amazing book.  Nothing I say will ever do it justice.

Looking For John Green

So, I’m going through a phase.  It’s an “I need to purchase and read as many John Green books as possible” phase.

This is problematic for a number of reasons.

1) Money.  I know I could go and check them out from the library, but for some reason, I rarely ever read pleasure books from the library.  I read research books, no problem.  But fiction books?  I don’t know, I just really like to own them.  That way, I don’t feel any pressure to get them read by a certain date.  I like to read for fun.  Time limits are no fun.  Neither, by the way, is not having any money to buy every book John Green ever wrote.

2) I am currently in the middle of the Percy Jackson series.  Not a bad thing.  I’m really loving Percy Jackson and I have a feeling that once I’ve finished with that series, I’ll go on to read Riordin’s other mythology series.  Greek mythology is just so cool!

3) I’m still about a chapter and a half away from being done with Cemetery Tours 2.  Again, not a bad thing.  But I’ve come to realize that I have this habit of, once I get close to finishing a project, I get self-congratulatory and decide that I need to go out and buy myself presents because of how great I am.  The problem is… I haven’t actually finished.  That means that even if I were to go out and buy these books (and okay… I just came home from the bookstore with An Abundance of Katherines), I’m still not allowed to read them until I’m done with the sequel!  So what I actually do is go out and buy myself a reward that I’m not allowed to use until I’ve completed the task at hand.  That’s how I got through my last semester of grad school.

4) I have so many other books that I own that I still need to read!  Do I really need to be going out and buying more?  Well, yes.  Some women go out and buy shoes that they don’t need.  I buy books that I don’t need.  I was able to restrain myself today, though.  I discovered the old books and nostalgia section and it was all I could do to not buy every cool old book I found.  I have a thing for old books.  I almost fainted when I found one from 1899, but then I noticed how nasty the cover was.  It looked like someone had used it as a coaster!  Really?!  I might use a crap book like 50 Shades as a coaster, you know, if I hadn’t burned it to the ground.  But a cool old book that’s over 110 years old?!  NO!

So, yeah, that’s the big thing on my mind right now.  And finishing the new book.  That’s important also.  I’m almost done.  I’m so close to being done, I can almost taste it.  Metaphorically of course.  No one eats books.  At least, I hope not.

In the meantime, the old book has been getting more great reviews!

Okay, does anyone else have this thing where your post randomly goes blue while you’re writing it?  Because that’s happening right now and I’m afraid I’m going to click the wrong thing and erase the entire post.

Anyway, here are the new reviews!

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That makes 29 reviews in total!  I can’t thank you all enough for your amazing and wonderful support and I hope I can support each and every one of you the same way!