Friday, September 28, 2012


June 1st, 2010 - Doubleday
Synopsis: On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein bites into her mother's homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the slice. To her horror, she finds that her cheerful mother tastes of despair. Soon, she’s  privy to the secret knowledge that most families keep hidden: her father’s detachment, her mother’s transgression, her brother’s increasing retreat from the world. But there are some family secrets that even her cursed taste buds can’t discern.

So, basically this book has kind of pretty prose, but that's where the prettiness stops. 

I start the book, and I'm thinking, "Okay. This is cool! I love the idea of her tasting the emotions of whoever cooked the food she's eating! So cool! Oh! What clever and witty banter! Hardee-har-har!"

You know, it starts out good, actually. I thought I was going to really like this for a while, because the first quarter is actually very good. I liked her mother at first: You're made to feel pitiful towards her, as she slips into a rut in life, and desperately searches for something to cling to. But by halfway through the book, I was like...


She obviously loved Rose's older stupid hoe brother, Joseph, more than her, and Rose even admits it!!! DESPITE HIS BEING A TOTAL D-BAG! God! He's such a freaking brat! He gets what he wants, and he doesn't thank anyone. Later in the book (and this really isn't a spoiler, because it doesn't really affect the plot) when it skips to five years later, he's moved out into an apartment, and the. Mother. Is. Freaking. Paying. His. Rent. And. For. His. College. Classes. He doesn't thank her, and yet she's all googly-eyes over him. I mean, seriously-she doesn't spend a squick of time with her husband, and yet she's fawning over her son.

You know what...? Now that I think of it, they were probably committing incest behind the scenes. It wouldn't surprise me either: If the Jackson Five, Honey Boo-Boo, and the Kardashians were to donate genes, and scientists used them to grow a family, the Edelstein's would be the dysfunctional, messed-up thing that came out.

So let me get back to the characters. Like I said, the mom's an idiot. But now let me rant about Joseph more. So this little brat, who's labelled a total genius in school, comes home every day and holes himself in his room. Rose keeps mentioning stories, which kind of just build up his reputation as a brat. For instance, in one, she laments of how her brother comes to the dining room table, and doesn't talk at all. He doesn't make conversation, but is just quiet. He just reads crap. He reads the boxes of whatever his mom made to cook the meal they're eating, and once, when Rose took the box in front of him away, he just stared into space for a minute and then closed his eyes. Rose's mom, being the beyond stupid person she is, believes he, though only about eight years-old at the time of this, is closing his eyes so he can focus on the taste of the food better, and so she closes her eyes for the rest of the meal and "mmmm"s. When asked later why she followed Joseph's lead, her mother tells Rose that when she gave birth to him at the hospital, and she saw his bright eyes for the first time, she knew he would guide her through life (whatever hippy crap that means), and she goes on to explain she basically saw nothing in her daughter's eyes.

Her brother was so arrogant when left alone with her as well. He would brag about how smart he is, and I was just like...

Then, when "certain" things were revealed later in the story (the last forty pages of which I skimmed so I wouldn't have to endure them, but still wanted to see if the little twerp got what was coming to him) I was honestly like...


Then her dad was just a really annoying guy, because you could tell he knew his family was falling apart, but he was like, "Haha! Nope! I won't do anything!"

None of these characters were realistic, and also, their dialogue was so annoying, because none of them ever really confronted each other about something, but they instead just danced around the subject and used euphemisms and really awful metaphors. 

I was sympathetic for Rose at first, and then I read the whole book... Nope. She's so calm, even when faced with an annoyingly stupid mother who loves her annoyingly bratty brother who avoids their annoyingly evasive father. Another instance of stupidity (again, this really doesn't affect the plot at all): Rose says she hates this guy as a kid, and then, later as a college-age girl, she makes out with him, "... occasionally," she says, nonchalantly, as if she's saying she likes to venture from 2% milk and get whole every now and then! Then, because her slutty skanky friend brags about losing her virginity, Rose has sex with the guy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT.

Sadly, this is one of the worst books I've ever read in the history of the universe, ever, in a billion trillion years. Ever. Which kind of sucks, because I had high hopes for this one, it being a wonderful premise. But by the end I was like...

Let us say a prayer before I leave: "Lord, I pray that books which fit into the same level of awfulness as this one never receive the gift of publication, and if they do...


Thursday, September 20, 2012

I'm back!: LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green

December 26th, 2006 - Speak
Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . . After. Nothing is ever the same.

I'm back, my children! Hehe. 

Sorry for the hiatus, but for a while I wasn't reading anything, and I kind of lost my drive for blogging, but I'm starting up again! Oh, happy day!

So I'm reviewing John Green's LOOKING FOR ALASKA today.

This was my first John Green novel, and so I knew I was in for a ride, having heard all of the wonderful praise of fans and critics, etc. It began smoothly, although I didn't actually like the opening scene-I found how Pudge spoke so openly to his parents kind of strange. But I brushed it aside, thinking that he's probably closer to them because he's an only child. 

I continued. 

He arrives at Culver Creek, and as Mr. Green introduces more characters, and eventually the *swoon* wonderful Alaska, I knew I was in the hands of a writing angel. How did this man, I wondered, who's an adult, write this book about teenagers so well!?

My mind was full of questions like that-ecstatic ones which ended in three interrobangs. I sent all of these questions about how he captured teenage anxiety so well, and the feeling of a crush so well out into the cosmic void without a reply, sadly. GOD. HE'S SO FREAKING GOOD WITH THOSE CHARACTERS AND THEIR EMOTIONS!!! GAHHH!

But not only that, but these characters weren't just stressed out all the time and moping. No, that wouldn't be realistic. These characters were funny.

O. M. G.

I laughed so freaking hard while reading this.

Like seriously.

Then, on top of that, John Green has an amazing plot. The way these characters react, and do things, and the ways in which other characters react to these reactions builds a totally believable plot together of love, loss, and terrible happiness.

I felt as if I were watching Before Sunrise (which if you haven't seen, it is a freaking amazing movie, and you should go buy it and watch it before even finishing this post!), which is about two people falling in love in one day as they walk around and talk, despite knowing that they could maybe let it work out for a few months, but would eventually smother each other. That's how Alaska and Pudge's relationship was: they'd flirt, and you cheered them on, because you wanted her to liberate him from his small spirit, and him to calm down her insanely wild one, but you just knew they wouldn't work out if they got together, and so the story goes on, with all of this emotional conflict.

And, although he grew as he went along, Pudge was so mean to himself, telling himself he could never be worth a great girl like her, that he wasn't hot enough or anything, and I wanted to be like...

*Sigh*. So freaking good.

My favorite part of it all was just how accurately teens were portrayed in this. They were good people, who occasionally did naughty things, and who, when speaking amongst each other, cussed freely. It was filthy, but it was redemptive at the same time, which I really liked, because I hate when people in books do something crazy and ridiculous and reckless, but they're just like, "Whatever. Haha. Lolzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz." And I'm all, "No. That's stupid, you stupid person."

It's actually funny, because I read all of the "naughty" scenes while in the worst situations. For instance, they would say the most 'F' words while I sat reading two feet from my mom, or I'd be reading a scene where they drink and smoke, and my brother would be playing Christian music in the other room, or (and this is my favorite one) I read "The Scene"-yes, that one-while sitting in church. It was before church had started, mind you.

But seriously, I had all of these moments where I was like...




To sum it all up, I only have one last thing to say: Mr. John Green...

See ya,
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