Tag Archives: books

Returning to Middle Earth: Getting Stoked for The Hobbit

2 Dec

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is coming out here in the states in twelve days. This is a cause for much joyous celebration, obviously, as it’s been nine years since we last got a Tolkien film directed by one Mr. Peter Jackson. The fans all seem to be excited for this film. I should know, as I am one of them.

As a teenager, the Lord of the Rings series were a big part of my life. When I say that, I’m not talking about the books. I mean the movies. I’m ashamed to admit I still haven’t read the book series in its entirety (though, to be fair, I haven’t attempted since I was fourteen, so I assume I would be able to get through the books if I were to try now. It’s not my fault I could never make it passed Bree. Blame Tom fucking Bombadil and his boring ass chapters. I don’t care if he’s supposed to symbolize God or Satan or Christ or whatever theory you abide by, that doesn’t excuse the fact that he’s a sucky character). I did read The Hobbit in middle school though and then twice more in high school, and oh how I loved it.

https://i2.wp.com/ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61GvwuyTa4L._SL500_AA300_.jpgBut the films are what became an important part of my youth. I wasn’t allowed to see Fellowship in theaters, because my parents deemed it “too scary” for an eleven year old. I suppose that was a reasonable worry, but at the time this left me feeling upset with them. All my friends had seen it in theaters (and by that I mean my four closest gal pals), and they would talk about who they were in love with and who their favorite character was, while I just sat there not understanding the concept of a Ringwrath no matter how many times they tried to explain it to me. Finally, the film came out on DVD. My parents sat my brother and myself down to watch it with them, prepping us for Orcs and Ringwraths and anything that might scare us. During the entire film there was only one part that truly freaked me out: that scene where Bilbo’s eyes bug out and he looks like he’s about to eat Frodo’s soul. Fucking creepy, man.

Look, it's seventeen year old me with my Frodo cardboard cutout and we're both wearing pirates hat! Because NERD.

Look, it’s seventeen year old me with my Frodo cardboard cutout and we’re both wearing pirates hat! Because NERD.

It was all uphill after that. I saw the second and third films in theaters (each three times), I convinced my mom to buy me the Frodo life size cardboard cutout from the local comic book store (which, to this day, I still have), I began writing (shitty) Lord of the Rings fan fiction, I claimed Frodo as the love of my life, I went as Galadriel for Halloween in the seventh grade, my friends and I attempted to make our own Lord of the Rings movie (pretty sure we got as far as the three elves in the prologue), and I broke the One Ring off of the bookmark my dad gave me so I could wear it everywhere I went. Yeah, Lord of the Rings was kind of a big deal for me (though it still comes in second for middle school obsessions, right after Newsies). Not to mention my senior quote in the yearbook was “Home is behind, the world ahead and there are many paths to tred.”

As I’ve aged, the Lord of the Rings films have remained a sacred thing to me. I do an annual Lord of the Rings marathon once a year, where I’ll hole up in the sanctuary of my bedroom and watch all eleven hours of the uncut DVDs in a row. The first time I did my marathon back during freshman year I invited other people to watch with me, but I quickly wised up after that, seeing as no one would shut up and I had to keep telling everyone to be quiet. Normally I don’t mind silly banter while watching movies, but for Lord of the Rings it’s different. I hate to say it, and I don’t mean to offend anyone, but watching those films is just about the closest thing I have to a religious experience nowadays. It’s ridiculous how much I’m not exaggerating right now.

Look! It’s John Watson! … I mean Arthur Dent… or… that pornography stand in from Love Actually… uh… the police chief from Hot Fuzz… um… shit, I’m sorry, who is Martin Freeman playing again?

It should come as no surprise that when I found out Peter Jackson had finally gotten the rights to make The Hobbit a reality, I was ECSTATIC. I remember finding out that Martin Freeman had been cast as Bilbo while I was at work, and literally jumping out of my chair in order to repeatedly fist pump the air. I also remember sitting in the car with my father around Christmas time last year when the first ever Hobbit trailer was released. I made him shut off the music so I could watch the trailer on my measly iPhone and, by the end, I was in tears (I also seem to recall my dad telling me I was weird, but whatever). Needless to say, I’ve been waiting a long time for these films to be made and I have a lot of feelings about them.

So it’s weird that for the last couple months my excitement for this film has been, shall we say, pretty non-existent. Despite doing a Lord of the Rings marathon only three months ago, I just really wasn’t feeling the enthrall of it all. Of course I still intended on seeing the film, but I clearly remember a week or two ago thinking to myself, “Well, I’ll just see it a day or two after it comes out. I can wait. No big deal.” If twelve year old me had a TARDIS you bet your sweet bippy that she’d travel into the future to slap two-weeks-ago-me in the fucking face for being such a terrible fan.

I think, for the most part, I can chalk up my lack of enthusiasm to this rough term. Not that the term’s been rough because of school (though I have a hell of a bad case of Senioritis, and I fear the disease is growing steadily worse), just the mood I’ve been in. I’ve touched on before on this blog, but I’ve been going through a bit of a depression and I’ve been having one major existential crisis. I’ve been drained of any drive whatsoever as of late, and it’s really sucked. A lot. Though, recently, I seem to be getting better, or at least my thoughts aren’t as dismal as they were several weeks ago. So… yay?

But then something wonderful happened. This last Tuesday I wrote up an article for Buzz Patrol about the world premiere of The Hobbit over in New Zealand. Writing this article led to me looking at many pictures and videos of the premiere, as well as stumbling across this Hobbit parody video (I’m sure Rachel has wondered by now why the song “Shots” has been playing on repeat in my bedroom for the last four days straight. Whoops). Before I knew it, I was posting a Facebook status asking Portland friends to go see the midnight premiere with me, and within a couple hours Valerie and I had teamed up to head a Hobbit viewing party/sleepover.

This whole getting excited for The Hobbit totally has nothing to do with this sudden attraction to Bofur. What? Who said that? Not me. Shut up.

This whole getting excited for The Hobbit thing totally has nothing to do with this sudden attraction to Bofur. What? Who said that? Not me. Shut up.

And now, suddenly, I’m super excited. I’m reminded how much I love the Tolkien franchise in general and Jackson’s films. I’ve remembered how awesome it is to be a fan and get excited over new shit being released. Hell, I already have a favorite dwarf picked out from promotional pictures alone (hint: it’s Bofur).

Then today, for one reason or another, I decided to start rereading The Hobbit. A tumblr friend just finished going through the book for the first time, and I’m pretty sure all of her entries about reading it were what persuaded me to start it up as well. I had sort of resigned to the fact that I wasn’t going to pick up the book until after I see Unexpected Journey, but this morning I grabbed my annotated copy of the book and hauled ass to work. I’m normally a slow reader, so a part of me was worried I wouldn’t be able to get through all of it before Wednesday evening, but seeing as I’m already four chapters in I don’t think I have anything to worry about.

As I was reading The Hobbit in my freezing cold office, grateful that Sunday mornings at the motel are always non-eventful, I started to cry.

I’m so fucking thankful that Peter Jackson’s directing this second trilogy. A while back Guillermo del Toro was set up to direct these films, and while I love del Toro’s work (especially Pan’s Labyrinth), I was saddened to think that the entire feeling of the films would be different than the first trilogy… but that changed. Thank goodness that it changed. We get Jackson again. We get to return to the world of Middle Earth; the same world Jackson established over ten years ago. It’s the same Shire, the same landscape, the same style of costumes and weapons, the same actors returning to reprise roles, and it’s just so fucking wonderful. I’m invigorated with the knowledge that I get to go back to that feeling I had when I was twelve years old and sat down to watch The Fellowship of the Ring for the first time, and so thankful that I get to experience it all over again three more times.

I can’t hardly wait for the fourteenth.

https://i2.wp.com/static.moviefanatic.com/images/gallery/martin-freeman-stars-as-bilbo-baggins-in-the-hobbit_500x333.jpg

An Accurate Depiction of What it’s Like to Read the Series of Unfortunate Events books.

21 Oct

Poe: You’re totes gonna be safe with this new relative.

Me: Based on everything that’s happened so far, why would you assume that?

Relative: You kids are obviously dumb for thinking that this person who has recently become apart of our lives under some pretty sketch circumstances is Count Olaf.

Me: Um. No. Shut up.

Olaf: I’m so gonna win this time.

Me: Yeah, see, there are more books in the series, so I seriously doubt that.

Poe: Yeah, that’s obviously not Count Olaf in disguise.

Me: WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.

The Baudelaires: We have friends now! Nothing can go wrong!

Me: DON’T SAY THAT.

Relative: Well allowing this stranger I’ve just met to adopt you in the case of my death/lack of interest in you/you get expelled/etc. makes perfect sense.

Me: OH MY GOD.

The Baudelaires: Look at those people doing sketchy things. Good thing they’re not any of Count Olaf’s associates.

Me: ARE YOU BLIND.

Poe: Nope. We can’t run after Olaf. It’s too dangerous.

Me: STOP.

The Baudelaires: Hmmm, I wonder why there’s a secret tunnel under our house which was mysteriously burnt down before we had to go live with Count Olaf. Oh well. Not important.

Me: NO.

The Baudelaires: Oh, don’t worry about giving us this important piece of information. You can just give it to us later because nothing’s gonna go wrong.

Me: I GIVE UP.

Snicket: I’m going to keep referencing Beatrice and then NOT TELL YOU ANYTHING.

Me: FFFFFFUUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKKKKK

wrinkle in time.

26 Aug

I’m about to reread Wrinkle in Time. Rereading your favorite book from your childhood – a book that you haven’t touched in years on end – is such a strange combination of exciting and terrifying. On the one hand, you are terrified out of your mind that you’ve been holding this book up on a pedestal for all these years, and that you’re going to find out it’s not all that great after all. On the other hand, goddamn, you are so excited to return to that world filled with magic and mystic, and you can’t wait to lose yourself in it.

243.

9 Jul

There are two hundred & forty-three books in this stack,
each one more precious than the last.
I collect these lost souls in airports,
thrift stores, web browsers, shops.
I invite them inside to tell me their story,
and we laugh and cry together,
wrapped up in each other’s good graces.
All the while they do not know how
desperately in need I am for what they offer.

An infectious need for love
that will never leave me.

Having Fun Isn’t Hard When You’ve Got a Library Card

3 Jun

I’m in the final phase of the school year; the final push towards freedom. Just one more week of classes, then a week of finals, and then I’m off for four months. It’s the final inning, and there’s no turning back now.

Unfortunately, since I’ve got one more week until finals week, that means it’s also my busiest time of spring term. There’s so much to get done from now until the end of finals week.

Here’s a list of all the shit homework/miscellaneous things I have to accomplish by two Thursdays from now:

  • Technical Writing: Write my ten to twelve page formal report
  • Technical Writing:Fix my resume/cover letter
  • Technical Writing:Put together a power point about my formal report
  • Spanish: Fill out workbook
  • Spanish: Study for final
  • Spanish: Watch the video for chapter nine
  • Drama in Western Culture: Read Ruined
  • Drama in Western Culture: Write paper on Ruined
  • Drama in Western Culture: Put together group skit
  • Human Sexuality: Find more book/online sources
  • Human Sexuality: Write five to six page paper
  • Human Sexuality: Read chapters 18 and 19 in the text
  • Human Sexuality: Study for final
  • British Female Writers: Read the assigned reading for this week
  • British Female Writers: Go back and read the Woolf passages
  • British Female Writers: Write the paper for the class
  • Miscellaneous:Write up my third entry for Cool Gizmo Toys
  • Miscellaneous: Memorize six pages of lines for Patrick’s scene
  • Miscellaneous: Babysit
  • Miscellaneous: Start moving into my new apartment this week

Just looking at this list makes me want to hurl.

It’s pretty damn obvious I’m not going to have a moment of free time for the next twelves days. I’ll have barely enough time to squeeze in TV time, let alone time to eat/sleep/breathe. So what’s the stupidest thing I could possibly do leading up to this last week of classes and starting preparation for finals week?

Go to the library.

Truthfully, I went in looking for the book The Magicians, since there’s been some discussion lately of an online book club of sorts amongst friends and that book was the one that seemed to be talked about he most (well, that and 50 Shades of Grey, but I’m pretty sure we were all joking about that one… at least, I hope we were joking). And I didn’t even leave the library with Magicians because it wasn’t even in, but that didn’t stop me from checking out all of these. I can’t enter a library without grabbing every single book that looks good off the shelves. The fact that I was able to exit the library with a mere four books is a huge accomplishment, seeing as I’m used to leaving with at least ten books in tow. I actually had five, but I put An Abundance of Katherine’s back, because I told myself that I wasn’t allowed to read any John Green books until I read my edition of Paper Towns.

And that’s the other thing! I have a stack of books in my room made up of about twenty-five or thirty books I want to try to read this summer, and here I am going to the library and getting even more books to add to the stack! Not to mention I need to finish reading Jane Eyre andThe Jungle Book.

But what can I say? I’ve been wanting to read all these books for quite some time now. I’m hoping to wrap up Jane Eyre and Jungle Book by tomorrow night (since I’m close to being done with both), and then I’ll probably start in with Mindy Kaling’s book, since I imagine it’s a bit lighter than the other three.

I just want finals week to be over so I can spend all summer reading and writing. Too much to ask? Mayhaps, but I’m almost there, so I care not.

(Also, if you understand the title of this entry, then obviously  you had an equally amazing childhood akin to my own.)

Three days until take off

20 Mar

I’m having a really difficult time deciding which three books out of these five to bring with me on my trip to Italy.

  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • The Descendants
  • Paper Towns
  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
  • Bossypants

First world problem, right? But I honestly can’t choose. They all look/sound so good.

Words from Others

10 Mar

I’m feeling a tad lazy today, so here are some of my all time favorite quotes… and by “some” I mean “a lot”. These are all quotes from movies/plays/TV/books/etc. I do have a lot of quotes from people in my life, and maybe I’ll share those someday, but for now I’m just gonna share these ones.

Enjoy!

——-

“[Muppets] are just such a force for good, and I know that’s crazy to hear me talk about it, but I’m in love with them. They remind us of the best version of ourselves. They’re who we wanted to be when we were kids.”
— Jason Segel

“Well this is a place that you, that you all made together so that you could find one another. The most important part of your life was the time that you spent with these people. That’s why all of you are here. Nobody does it alone, Jack. You needed all of them and they needed you. To remember. And let go.”
— Christian Shepard, LOST

“I’m a person who relies very heavily on intuition and feeling out the situation, so I’ve never really made a five-year plan or anything like that, if it’s right, it will fall into place and if not, I understand.”
— Emma Stone

“Today I felt completely awake, like my heart was as big as the moon.”
— Ray, Bored to Death

“Doubt thou the stars are fire, doubt that the sun doth move, doubt truth to be a liar, but never doubt I love.”
— Hamlet

“Maybe you don’t need the whole world to love you, you know, maybe you just need one person.”
— Kermit, The Muppets

“Yeah, well, I’ve got a dream too. But it’s about singing and dancing and making people happy. That’s the kind of dream that gets better the more people you share it with.”
— Kermit the Frog, The Muppet Movie

“They don’t even know they’re doing the same thing as everyone else, just using a different name. Entertaining themselves. Missing it. Lying. None of them care about pole vaulting or dreams.”
Visioneers

“Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand […] once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”
The Velveteen Rabbit

“The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them – words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie to close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.”
— Stephen King

“I want to be Proust or the Marquis de Sade. I would like to be Christ, Mohammad, Buddha, but not have to believe in God.”
— Guido, Nine

“Bottom line is, even if you see them coming, you’re not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So, what are we, helpless? Puppets? Nah. The big moments are gonna come, you can’t help that. It’s what you do afterwords that counts. That’s when you find out who you are.”
— Whistler, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

“I live for the day when an actor can walk on stage, stand stock still and have an audience applaud in sheer wonder that – in spite of plague, politics and the foolishness of this age – this thing has managed to stay alive.”
— Shag, Equivocation

“If you’re not scared you’re not taking a chance, and if you’re not taking a chance then what the hell are you doing?”
— Ted, How I Met Your Mother

“I can’t control my destiny. I trust my soul, my only goal is just to be. There’s only now, there’s only here. Give in to love or live in fear. No other path, no other way. No day but today.”
RENT

“Family is more than blood. It’s about trust, about love, about those who embrace you – the real you – unconditionally.”
— Samuel, Heroes

“I mean Hank, the movie was great, but the thirty minutes before the movie started was what I love about being a nerd. Because nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff. We don’t have to be like, ‘Oh yeah that purse is okay’ or like, ‘Yeah, I like that band’s early stuff.’ Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself-love it. Hank, when people call people nerds, mostly what they are saying is, ‘You like stuff’, which is just not a good insult at all, like ‘You are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness’.”
— John Green

“Just remember, kid, you can quicker get back a million dollars that was stole than a word that you gave away.”
— Arthur Miller

“Love isn’t brains, children, it’s blood. Blood screaming inside you to work its will.”
— Spike, Buffy

“If I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy, I can only conclude that I was not made for here.”
— Brooke Fraser

“We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us; leaving nothing but a memory of the smell of smoke and a presumption that our eyes once watered.”
— Guildenstern; Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

“But the thing is … but what I wanted to say is, you know when you’re a kid, they tell you it’s all “Grow up, get a job, get married, get a house, have a kid” and that’s it. Nah. The truth is the world is so much stranger than that, it’s so much darker. And so much madder. And so much better.”
— Elliot, Doctor Who

“The Venn Diagram of guys who don’t like smart girls and guys you don’t want to date is a circle.”
— John Green

“Oh mirror in the sky, what is love? Can the child within my heart rise above?”
— Fleetwood Mac

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”
— C.S. Lewis

“The funny thing about writing is that whether you’re doing it well or you’re doing it poorly, it looks the exact same. That is actually one of the main ways that writing is different from ballet dancing.”
— John Green

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
— Mark Twain

“The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It’s the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows & the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.”
— Audrey Hepburn

“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”
— Hazel Grace, The Fault in Our Stars

“Had my brother really seen me somehow, or was he merely a little boy telling beautiful lies?”
— Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones

“I wanted so badly to lie down next to her on the couch, to wrap my arms around her and sleep. Not fuck, like in those movies. Not even have sex. Just sleep together, in the most innocent sense of the phrase. But I lacked the courage and she had a boyfriend and I was gawky and she was gorgeous and I was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating. So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.”
— John Green, Looking for Alaska

“No, no, no…you’ve got it all wrong… you can’t act death. The fact of it is nothing to do with seeing it happen – it’s not gasps and blood and falling about – that isn’t what makes it death. It’s just a man failing to reappear, that’s all – now you see him, now you don’t, that’s the only thing that’s real: here one minute and gone the next and never coming back – an exit, unobtrusive and unannounced, a disappearance gathering weight as it goes on, until, finally, it is heavy with death.”
— Guildenstern; Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

“Hearts will never be made practical until they can be made unbreakable.”
The Wizard of OZ

“If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it.”
— Andy Rooney

“As long as there were singing frogs and joking bears, Swedish chefs and boomerang fish, the world couldn’t be that bad of a place.”
— Walter, The Muppets

“I will not say ‘do not weep’ for not all tears are an evil.”
— Gandalf, Return of the King

“Some people care too much. I think it’s called love.”
— A.A. Milne

My Journey Through “The Fault in Our Stars”

26 Feb

(SPOILERS AHOY! PLENTY OF SPOILERS FOR “THE FAULT IN OUR STARS” BELOW! SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!)

I’m just going to say now that I don’t write reviews. I write love letters or I write long rambling monologues about how much I detest whatever it is I just watched/read. One or the other, nothing in between (unless specifically requested/required by some greater power, ie. school).

This, oh this though, this is going to be a love letter through and through.

I first heard of John Green (technically) two and a half years ago. A good friend told me I needed to start watching the vlogbrother videos because I was definitely Nerdfighter material. I remember watching one video, thoroughly enjoying it, and then not watching more. No clue why I didn’t continue. Maybe the amount of videos there were to go through intimidated me, or maybe I thought I had something better to do with my life than watch two older men geek out about things. I was silly and naive and did not know better (obviously).

Cut to last fall, I noticed a tumblr friend was posting all of these lovely, beautiful quotes from something called Looking for Alaska by someone by the name of John Green. I became intrigued and, after doing some much needed googling, discovered that he was one of the infamous vlogbrothers I had watched so long ago and that he was also a novelist. I ended up purchasing Looking for Alaska and this last January I read it in less than three days. I fell in love with John Green’s writing right then and there, and have very recently began going through the vlogbrother videos (over 900 to go…meep!).

But this isn’t about vlogbrother videos and this isn’t about Alaska. This is about The Fault in Our Stars.

I could go into a lengthy ramble about how this book is damn near perfect and pinpoint how every detail of the book made me feel. I could spend entire paragraphs devoted to the traits of every characters, how every theme and motif works brilliantly, and how I now have the desire to travel to Amsterdam quite badly. No, instead I’m going to tell you all five things that this book does right.

1. I could not put it down. As I stated in yesterday’s entry, I never read books cover to cover. This is because, quite honestly, after reading a few chapters of a book I get bored (blame the internet). That was not the case for this book however. I think the quality of a book is really shown in the locations a reader indulges in the book. If it’s a book someone reads at their desk or in bed, meh, okay, but a book someone reads in random locations of their house? Obvious signs of a book people can not put down! I read this book in seventeen hours (would’ve been eight if I didn’t take an hour off for homework, an hour for Castle and dinner, and seven hours for sleep). Here are all the locations I read it in:

  • A grassy hill outside of my school’s gym
  • Work
  • The desk in my bedroom
  • My kitchen floor
  • My living room couch
  • My bathroom
  • My bed (under the covers)
  • My kitchen table
  • My bed (on the opposite end)

Yes, from five o’clock yesterday til ten o’clock this morning this book did not leave my side. Literally. I had it on me all seventeen of those hours, even when I was in bed. At one o’clock in the morning I was fighting with all my strength to stay awake, but I was so fatigued and exhausted from my previous night of drinking that I caved. I lay the book down on my bed and fell asleep. I then woke to my alarm blaring at 8:30am, but reset it for 9am. And there I was, my cat nuzzled up in a ball betwixt my chin and my chest, and Fault slightly pressing up against my back. And as I took that extra half hour to slowly urge myself to wake up, I fantasized. I fantasized a world in which Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters were not sick. I fantasized that they were well and that they went to an amusement park on a date and Hazel did not have to carry Philip and Augustus had both his legs. I fantasized all of this with a smile. Then, as nine o’clock came, I arose and my smile faded as I looked down at the book that had slept next to me all night, because I knew that there were no amusement parks that awaited in the last seventy pages of the book. There were no miraculous recoveries, no lack of Philip, no sudden grown-back leg. And yet I read, because I simply could not stop.

2. I gave a hoot about every single character. This is rare. Usually there are characters in books who I positively cannot stand, but just like in Looking for Alaska Green has managed to create a world where everyone is, on some level, likeable and relatable. The parents of Hazel and Gus were marvelously realistic and incredibly enduring. Isaac may have been my favorite character, since I found his view on life (no pun intended) pretty astounding. I, of course, adored Hazel and Gus, and their brilliant wit and charm. Even selfish Monica and grumpy Van Houten I couldn’t bring myself to dislike. I cared about all of them. I cared so much that when possibly the most beautiful part of the book happened I broke down in tears repeating to myself, “I don’t want her to die. Please don’t let her die.” (Oh how wrong I was.) Another great thing about Green’s characters was that I was able to visualize each and every one of them, which I’ve realized lately I can only do with books where I am seriously invested in the people. This book played out almost as a movie in my mind. I saw Hazel as Mae Whitman, Isaac as Eric Isenhower (yes, Orin from Parks and Rec), and I had my own complete image of Van Houten constructed. The only character I could not quite visualize was Augustus, and that’s only because he’s too perfect for my imagination to construct.

3. The writing is beautiful. John Green has a way of changing my outlook on certain words. With Alaska it was the words “after” and “great perhaps”. For this book, it was the words “okay” and “everywhere”. But that’s not even it. The way Green writes is just so beautiful and there are sentences that absolutely take your breath away. Here is an example:

There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten, and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.

Seriously. That is so beautiful. And the book is filled with deep, meaningful quotes so much like this one. I would love to go inside John Green’s head for five minutes, just to see what it’s like.

4. I cried. Me crying during movies? Not an uncommon occurrence. I cry at almost every movie I watch, including ones I’m not overtly fond of. I’m a very visual person, so just throw on a sad scene, or, hell, even just a slightly sad scene played with a really gorgeous score and you’ve got me in tears. I cried during Clerks II for crying out loud. I don’t, however, cry too often during books. Just the ones I’m attached to. Hunger Games, Green Mile, Looking for Alaska, Harry Potter, and The Lovely Bones are books that have made me cry before, because they offer up a story that is so much more than just a story. This is precisely what Fault did. Green created a world where these characters instantly became real to me within a page of their introduction. They were fleshed out, thought out, and well written, so I cared when something awful (or something wonderful) happened to them. When Gus delivers some not so pleasant news to Hazel I was in the bathroom doing well, erm, some business, and I quite literally threw the book on the ground and started sobbing. I’m pretty sure I haven’t reacted that way to a book since Catching Fire where I literally screamed while waiting at a bus stop.

5.  It made me hate John Green. I hate him for his talent. I hate him for making me laugh one moment only to make me cry several seconds later. I hate him for being my personal Peter Van Hutton and making me want to know about all the characters after this story ended. I hate him for making me realize that, no matter how hard I try, my own writing will never be on the same level as his because he is so goddamn amazing. Of course, as you’ve most likely realized, I don’t hate John Green (though I am green with envy). This book has just ensured that I will be purchasing Paper Towns, An Abundance of Katherines, and Will Grayson Will Grayson sometime in the not so distant future, because I simply cannot get enough of that man. John Green is pretty much everything I hope to one day be as a writer. The one thing I can take solace in is that I’m probably a better slam poet than him, but for all I know he could be an amazing slam poet and, honestly, I wouldn’t be all too surprised (I bet he could write a better Muppet poem than me, which slightly breaks my heart).

So. There is my love letter to The Fault in Our Stars.

And if you’ve read this whole thing but have not read the book (didn’t you see the spoilers warning?!) I strongly suggest you go out and purchase yourself a copy because, oh my goodness, you will not regret it.

Now back to watching vlogbrother videos and avoiding my Moby Dick homework.

“I take quite a lot of pride in not knowing what’s cool.”

25 Feb

I have never read one book in a single sitting before.

I suppose Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows comes closest. I read it over the course of two days and, with the exception of sleep, eating, showering, and my dad dragging me to go see Hairspray with him in a theater, I pretty much read the book cover to cover.

Now I’m reading a book that I positively want to read in a single sitting. The problem? I can’t. That book is The Fault in Our Stars by one John Green. Since I’ve gotten to work I’ve read 104 pages of this novel and I positively don’t want to stop, but alas, I must. A (tumblr) friend of mine warned me that the second half of the book was just going to make me cry and it would be very obvious when that turn would happen. Well, I found that turn, at the end of chapter six.  So I’m putting the book down. I’ve cried at work before, so I know that when the tears start falling is when people start coming in asking to rent a room (the best ‘crying-at-work’ experience by far was when a woman came into the office to find me in tears and I told her, “Sorry, I’m watching Toy Story 3” and her response was, “OH GOD, I UNDERSTAND.”).

So. Book is closed. It’s glaring at me from literally four inches away from my left hand, softly whispering, “Juuuulia. You want to read me, Juuuulia. Don’t you want to know what happens to Hazel and Augustus, Juuuuuulia?” But I must stay strong! I’ve got Moby Dick homework that demands my attention now.

Ugh. Moby Dick. How I loathe it.

Fault in Our Stars is also a really great reminder that, no matter how hard I try, I’ll never be as good of a writer as John Green. Dear god, this man deserves all the awards.

An Exerpt From My Day.

3 Feb

“I wish I were at the beach right now. Not even a sunny beach. I wanna run off to the Oregon coast, where it’s probably raining right this very moment. I wanna curl up in my family’s beach house, on the couch in the living room, and just read. Nothing else.”

“Please, please, PLEASE take me with you.”

“I so would.”

“I can’t read though, so that could be a problem.”

“You could work on blog entries! And then we could watch Muppet movies!”

“It would be magic!”

“It would!”

— A conversation that happened between a friend and myself via Facebook