earthairwaterbooks posts by air

Fun Fact: Marissa Meyer and I were actually LiveJournal friends for a while. :) I entered her giveaway when she had some ARC copies and I won! It was my first ever ARC copy and my first every giveaway win! So this book is always going to be special to me because of that.

Title: Cinder

Series: The Luna Chronicles (#1)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Author’s Sun Sign: Pisces

Air’s Rating: 4/5 - I really liked it; as you’ll see in the review, I was very impressed

Air’s Review: 

Chapters 1-11

When I first got my hands on the book, I sped through chapters 1-11 and then I had to stop myself because I was reading it too quickly. I was extremely impressed with the first chapters of this book and I especially couldn’t believe that someone I kind of knew had written it. Marissa Meyer is very talented in a lot of ways. I will mention those ways below.

Chapters 12+

Once I was able to get over how impressed I was, I picked the book back up and was able to read it without being overcome by awe. I have mostly positive things to say about it, even though it didn’t win all five stars from me. Here are the positive things I have to say:

  • Cinder’s reactions remind me of people I know, which makes her more realistic and interesting to me, especially since I don’t identify with her but know people who would.
  • Kai was an interesting character to read from start to finish.
  • I had an extremely enjoyable experience with Dr. Erland. He is definitely my favorite character because of the wild ride it was for me while I got to know him.
  • The writing style is really concise. It seems as though nothing in the story is unnecessary. I really respect that, as I find it to be something very difficult to be able to attain. (Thus why I was and continue to be so impressed with her writing.)
  • Queen Levana’s entire characterization is very interesting. I don’t want to give too much away, but personally I think she has just the right combination of expected “evil” traits and uniquely terrifying ones.
  • I think the abuse was written in both a realistic and yet not traumatizing way. I felt abused while I was reading about the villains, but not to the A Child Called It point, if you know what I mean.
  • While there are some things that can be easily foreseen, I mostly had no idea how this book was going to end. There was a sort of fear and anticipation while reading it, and that was something I found especially impressive about the novel. (I swear, “impressive” is the word of the day for Cinder and MM.)

Air’s 2014 Book Goal: 9/16 books read, and within the first month!

Title: Fangirl

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Author’s Sun Sign: Pisces, according to some snooping Earth did for me.

Air’s Rating: 5/5 - It was amazing!

Representations: Fandom culture and Bipolar Disorder. Too few characters of color, but they exist within the novel.

Air’s Review: I had so many reactions to and so many thoughts about this incredible novel that I ended up having to simmer down and create bulletpoints instead of a long entry.

I Liked …

  • The multidimensional, extremely realistic main character whose personality and life were made up of so many different factors.
  • That RR wrote harsh characters who did not get less harsh in order to be likable.
  • That there were two love interests without a love triangle.
  • That the main character displays a tremendous amount of insight.
  • That the main character displays a tremendous amount of insight but still makes mistakes and experiences struggle.
  • That, as a writer, I could relate to so much of the mentions of a writer’s experience, even though I personally don’t write fanfiction.
  • That this book made me want to write.
  • That RR included a very common and yet never mentioned inability to focus on books easily, something that I struggled with and often continue to struggle with in my life.
  • That RR is able to write characters who are sexist or say/do sexist things, without being a misogynist herself and without at all implying that those characters are correct. Basically she can write sexism without being sexist.
  • THE ROMANCE. Oh, the romance. I swooned.
  • That this book made me cry twice, and not at the end, but in the middle both times.
  • That this author helped me to develop more of my thoughts about twins, their differences as well as their similarities. Of course she is not the expert on twin psychology, but she opened my mind and helped me with my ideas about them.
  • Reagan and Levi in general, as characters I strongly related to.
  • The realistic portrayal of one type of Bipolar Disorder experience.

I Disliked …

  • That the Simon Snow stories did not more obviously connect to Cath’s psychology. I enjoyed the subtle moments when it was clear that her writing correlated with her life, but I would have wanted much more of that. The Simon Snow stories didn’t matter to me at all except for their part in Cath’s mind.
  • The fact that I can’t imagine re-reading this.

Air’s 2014 Book Goal: 7/16 in the first month!

In this post: No spoilers.

Title: My Sister’s Keeper

Author: Jodi Picoult (Taurus)

Air’s Rating: 5/5 - It was amazing!

Air’s Review, The Non-Spoiler Version:

I have been wanting to read this book ever since the movie came out. I had refused to watch the movie until I finally read the book, and I am really glad that I made that decision.

There were points where I thought I would give this book a 3/5, then I had resigned to a good old 4/5, but after what I had just endured by reading the latter chunk and finishing it, I hang my head in shame and defeat and get down on my knees and present Jodi parentfucking Picoult with that goddamn 5/5 she beat out of me.

This book is written in multiple POV’s, which I love. The writing style is a mixture of simple and extremely poetic, and she bobs and weaves between the two in an elegant way. The constant time-shifts were confusing, and I thought I was going to give it a 3/5 because of them.

I teared up twice, cried once, and even had a panic attack. I mention these emotional and mental reactions to bring focus to her writing and how powerful and manipulative it is. I give her all of the awards for her cunning.

Her characters are realistic and therefore wonderful. Her portrayals of love were comforting. Mostly I loved how many lines I felt that I had to underline, and how many completely real and unrelated thoughts she put into the minds of these people.

I had wanted to give it a 3/5 because I wasn’t always excited to read it, felt that some parts were unnecessary, and wanted more about certain aspects. I had wanted to give it 4/5 when I got over those things and just thought that I couldn’t imagine giving this book anything more. And then the entire thing ended and I vented to my parents, vented to my friends, and vented to my boyfriend about it. Any book that does that to me deserves a 5/5 score, whether I am embarrassed about it or not.

I recommend this adventure to everyone.

Air’s 2014 Book Goal: 20/50 books!

Title: The Crystal Healer

Author: Philip Permutt 

Author’s Sun Sign: Cancer. I asked him through social media last night and he got back to me about it this morning. :)

Air’s Rating: 5/5 - “It Was Amazing”

Air’s Review: Unlike other books about crystals, this one includes some much needed real-life warnings and takes a more rational approach for those of us left-brained folks. I enjoyed the concise but very informative chapters and love that the author’s voice is relaxed and helpful rather than demanding or whimsical.

He organizes the novel into a few short chapters on crystal basics, but happens to write some things that I hadn’t read anywhere else before, which makes it a worthwhile read/buy. Then he goes into what meanings he considers the stones to have, and in a very pretty and organized way he compartmentalizes them by color. There are plenty of pictures for identifying aid.

I would recommend this to any fan of crystals, and especially to “beginners” or half-skeptics.

Air’s 2014 Book Goal: 1/14!

9

Air’s March TBR as of March 2nd at 2:09PM:

  • I am 100% done with McElligot’s Pool by Dr. Seuss
  • I am 84% into Ghost World by Daniel Cloves
  • I am 67% into Glitches by Marissa Meyer
  • I am 51% into Medea by Euripides
  • I am 46% into Anthem by Ayn Rand (Water’s 2nd Challenge to me)
  • I am 41% into A Feast For Crows by George R. R. Martin
  • I am 27% into The Curious Case on Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • I am 25% into Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (Earth’s 1st Challenge to me)
  • I am 20% into Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • I am 17% into Under the Dome by Stephen King
  • I am 3/13 stories into Your Favorite Seuss by Dr. Seuss
  • I am 0% into Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (GR book club read)
  • I am 0% into Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
  • I am 0% into Tar By Toni Morrison
  • I am 0% into A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle (re-read)
  • I am 0% into Boyfriends With Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez (earthairwaterbooks group read)
  • I am 0% into American Gods by Neil Gaiman (GR book club read)
  • I am 0% into The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan (GR book club read)
  • I am 0% into Twenty Love Poems and A Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda

In March I will be reading mostly books I’ve taken out from the library, books I physically own, and the shortest books on my GoodReads TBR. I am also participating in four book club reads, one of which is happening here with Earth and Water, and three of which are happening with the BookTubing community on GoodReads.

What is on your TBR?

Warning: Spoilers

Title: My Sister’s Keeper

Author: Jodi Picoult (Taurus)

Air’s Rating: 5/5 - It was amazing!

Air’s Review THE SPOILER VERSION:

I have been wanting to read this book ever since the movie came out. I had refused to watch the movie until I finally read the book, and I am really glad that I made that decision.

There were points where I thought I would give this book a 3/5, then I had resigned to a good old 4/5, but after what I had just endured by reading the latter chunk and finishing it, I hang my head in shame and defeat and get down on my knees and present Jodi fucking Picoult with that goddamn 5/5 she beat out of me.

This book is written in multiple POV’s, all of them likable except one who happens to be “enjoyable” in her own way anyway. The writing style is a mixture of simple and extremely poetic, and she bobs and weaves between the two in an elegant way. The constant time-shifts were confusing, and I thought I was going to give it a 3/5 because of them, but she fucking blew my mind out of coherency by the end.

I teared up once, about 70% in, over a Campbell chapter in which he talks about Anna. I teared up again during one of his chapters, but it was about him. And then I fucking cried at the end. Mad that I ever allowed Jodi fucking Picoult into my life. Ashamed that I let her do this to me. 

I also had an actual panic attack in the last 25% of the book. I mention these emotional and mental reactions to bring focus to her writing and how powerful and manipulative it is . She is cunning, so the entire first 75% of her book seemed simple and gentle. She attacks in the last part, when your guard is down, when you’re sure that you’ve come up with all of the possible endings to her goddamn story. She attacked me when my arrogance could not get any higher. And then I fell quickly and landed painfully.

Her characters are realistic and therefore wonderful. Her portrayals of love were comforting. Mostly I loved how many lines I felt that I had to underline, and how many completely real and unrelated thoughts she put into the minds of these people.

I had wanted to give it a 3/5 because I wasn’t always excited to read it, felt that some parts were unnecessary, and wanted more about Julia and Jesse. I had wanted to give it 4/5 when I got over those things and just thought that I couldn’t imagine giving this book anything more. And then the entire thing ended and I vented to my parents, vented to my friends, and vented to my boyfriend about it. Any book that does that to me deserves a 5/5 score, whether I am embarrassed about it or not.

I recommend this adventure to everyone.

Air’s 2014 Book Goal: 20/50 books!

Title: American Born Chinese

Author: Gene Luen Yang, Leo

Description: A graphic novel in which characters Jin Wang, Danny, and The Monkey King all have something to learn. Topics of being Chinese in America, wanting to be different, acculturation(?), and racism are covered.

Air’s Rating: 3/5 - I liked it!

Air’s Review:

I originally gave this book a 4/5 rating, but decided to bump it down if only because I felt so strange after reading it. I imagine that the strange feeling may actually be a reason to give the book a higher rating, but I didn’t want to rate something higher just because I respected the message, if I didn’t totally adore the reading experience.

That being said, I personally think that book is worthwhile. I think it unsettled me in an important way. The characters were intense and the author is enviably creative. I sometimes call certain books “smart books” and this is definitely a book that I would label that way.

I am eager to read the remainder of Gene Luen Yang’s works, of which I hope there will be many more.

Air’s 2014 Book Goal: 63/125 books!

Air’s Lifelong Unread Authors Goal: 4/48 authors!

Title: Coraline

Author: Neil Gaiman, Scorpio.

Description: A horror book for children in which bored little adventurer Coraline enters a parallel world created by her “other mother” and tries to adventure herself on right back to the actual world.

Air’s Rating: 3/5 - I liked it

Air’s Review:

Let me start with what this story lacks: connections that made all of the pieces fit together, and morals/themes/messages that I cared about. I also think that this book randomly says negative things about gender, in terms of Coraline not really having different relationships with her real parents, but then the villain of the book was the other mother instead of the other father or both parents. This book makes it seem like Gaiman thinks that children are incompetent. in terms of how little he gives the reader to analyze.

With that being said, I still enjoyed it for what it is, a horror book for children. I thought that the lack of action and the creepy suspenseful scenes were awesome. I especially liked Coraline’s interactions with the cat, the other father, and the other mother. I liked the descriptions of a lot of the book, especially the really random ones. Despite my growing dislike of Neil Gaiman, I appreciate his descriptions more and more with each book.

But would I recommend this to anyone? No. I can understand why so many people have told me that they dislike it.

Air’s 2014 Book Goal: 61/125 books!

Air’s Oldest Added Date on GoodReads Book Goal: 4/25 books!

Title: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Libra

Air’s Rating: 2/5 - It was okay.

Description: A baby is born but is aged like an old man. Throughout his life, Benjamin Button de-ages instead of aging.

Air’s Review: 

I … get the points that F. Scott was making in this novel. It is a satire and it does speak to some heavy topics, like social constructs, identity, fitting in, mental development. I am glad that I read it and I see what makes it interest and significant, but I didn’t feel wowed by it. Maybe F. Scott wasn’t telling me anything I didn’t already know? Maybe the too-cruel fantastical reactions of the townspeople and family members were too much for me, even in a satire? I’m not sure why I didn’t enjoy it, but it is a short read that I would recommend to others, especially to those who like to think about age and all of the bullshit society brings to the table in regards to age.

Air’s 2014 Book Goal: 33/125 books!

Water’s Second Challenge To Air

Title: Anthem

Author: Ayn Rand, Aquarius

Air’s Rating: 5/5 - It was amazing!

Description: Set in a probable dystopian future in which society functions as a unit instead of as individuals, one man starts to question his suffering.

Air’s Review: 

I don’t know much about what is disliked or liked about Ayn Rand’s writing so I am really being naive as I read the book and write my review. I can understand how persons who are pro-communism or anti-capitalism would be made uncomfortable by this novel, but I found it mentally healthy and really wise about mental health needs. I think the book was extremely wise and I enjoyed every single paragraph.

Aside from the message being interesting, healthy, and wise, as a story it was a delight to read. While her style is beautiful, it was still easy to get through. I empathized with the characters and the situations and while I felt like I could get lost in the story, I didn’t feel scared or anxious even though the situations seemed dire. I feel that I will enjoy Rand’s work and I definitely got a lot out of reading this short piece.

Air’s 2014 Book Goal: 32/125 books!

Water’s Book Challenge for Air: 2/5 challenges completed!

Air’s 2014 Unread Authors Goal: 2/29!

Title: Vampire Academy

Author: Richelle Mead (Scorpio, that’s why it’s so sexy)

Air’s Rating: 4/5 - I really liked it

Air’s Review: 

Whenever people recommend this book, they say they loved it and they love a certain ship. I usually appreciate vague recommendations but with this book, that is too much of a disservice.

This should not even be considered a vampire book. It is a completely different take on vampires, so much so that the only similarities between vampires we’ve known so far and the ones in this book are: the word “vampire” in the title of the book (which is almost never mentioned again), and blood-feeding. But the dhampir, Moroi, and Strigoi are new and different supernatural breeds altogether.

So since it’s not really a vampire book, it also lacks the annoying vampire-book cliche’s we are so used to by now. That aspect of the book alone should cause everyone to pick it up.

What I Liked:

  • The lack of the vampire-boyfriend/human-girlfriend cliche
  • The positive female friendship, almost unseen anywhere else in YA
  • The inclusion of elemental magic
  • The relationship and rules having to do with the magic
  • The realistic/appropriately large cast of secondary characters
  • Rose, Lissa, Dmitri, Mason, and Christian as characters
  • The ships: Rose/Lissa, Rose/Dmitri, Rose/Mason, Lissa/Christian
  • The inclusion of Russian Orthodoxy
  • The details of the world explained quickly but appropriately
  • The pleasure I experienced while reading

What I Disliked:

  • The slut-shaming
  • Rose’s body type vs. Lissa’s body type, and the fact that body types were pinned against each other in a problematic way
  • The innappropriateness of Rose/Dmitri

Discussion #1: The depression/madness and cutting

  • I thought this part of the book was the most interesting and respectable. I think everyone should develop theories about whether they liked or didn’t like or found problematic or uplifting or relatable Lissa’s struggle with magic. I felt like this part of the story fueled my curiosity and left me feeling explorative (not a word, apparently) and questioning in a very big way. I am excited to read the thoughts and theories others have on this part of the novel/series, as I develop my own thoughts.

Discussion #2: Was Rose/Lissa a missed opportunity?

  • I do not have the answer to this question, but I would love to see people argue either side, as I believe it’s one of those questions for which every answer would be the right answer.

Concludingly (a word? not a word?), this book was a strange delight. If it wasn’t for the slut-shaming and inappropriate relationship, it would have been a 5/5 star rating from me. I was very excited to see the movie yesterday and am excited to read the next books.

Air’s 2014 Book Goal: 13/50 books!

Air's January 2014 Wrap-Up!

I read 9 books this month! In the past I’ve probably rarely been able to read 9 books over the span of ONE YEAR, so this was pretty much an enormous victory for me. And the best part is that it didn’t feel like work, it felt like fun!

I am over half finished with my goal to read 16 books this year. I think that my goal for 16 books was not ambitious enough, so I am raising it to 50 books!

I read and reviewed:

  1. The Crystal Healer by Philip Permutt
  2. Crystal Zodiac: Use Birthstones to Enhance Your Life by Judy Hall
  3. Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me by Ellen Forney 
  4. And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street by “Dr. Seuss”
  5. The Lorax by “Dr. Seuss”
  6. Divergent by Veronica Roth (Earth, Water, and I read this for our group read this month)
  7. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  8. The Sea of Monster by Rick Riordan
  9. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I dropped:

I made the following lists:

I Posted Challenges for Earth and Water:

MISC:

Air’s First Challenge To Earth

Even though I was very hesitant myself to read the Harry Potter series a few years ago when it was still pretty new, I read all but one of them, some of them several times, and am very familiar with this major piece of modern reading life and popular culture. You can imagine my surprise and horror when I found out that Earth hasn’t read any of them yet.

Well, not on my watch.

I officially challenge Earth to read Harry Potter and the Sorecerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling.

And I have reasons!

  1. The Harry Potter series is a huge part of not just book-reading culture, but popular culture in general. It is almost a historical artifact that we are leaving behind us. They are books that will be talked abour for years, and does Earth really want to be the only old lady on the block who doesn’t have a “when I read them the first time” story? Like I said, not on my watch.
  2. Secondly, how am I going to know anything about Earth as a human being if I don’t know where she sorts herself? (Clearly she belongs in Hufflepuff but I will allow her to sort herself. Water sorts himself Gryffindor but he’s a Slytherin in my eyes, so they’re both allowed to be wrong. I allow them certain delusions. I am a Ravenclaw, clearly.)
  3. The Harry Potter books are actually good in certain ways. The foreshadowing and the puzzle-fitting that J.K. Rowling does is really something that every writer should check out, because it’s not just interesting, it’s fun. 
  4. How am I going to know anything about her as a person if I don’t know who her favorite characters are or what she things her animagus would be, or what her Amortentia would smell like? We are missing out on prime friendship bonding experiences just because she has not read these books.
  5. Also, there is a mood to these books that is something I know is something Earth will enjoy. They feel like Christmas or at least like wintery nights by the fire in big chairs. That’s how I feel when I read them, and I know she’s into ambiance and those sorts of things.

So … enjoy your challenge, Earth. I promise that if you let yourself, like I let myself, these books will no longer be something you dread.

Air’s Book Confessions: Movies Drive Me To Read Books

What I come here to tell you today is that adaptations are one of the most powerful forces in my book reading. What I mean by that is that I might not care at all about a book until I hear that it’s being turned into a movie or a television series, and then no amount of disinterest will prevent me from reading it. It could be about the most boring topic imaginable, or part of a genre I don’t particularly care for, but if it’s being turned into motion, I am going to at least try to read it, 99% of the time. I might not finish it if it’s not to my liking, but I am always going to pick it up.

Why do I do this? You may as well be asking me why anyone does anything. I don’t know exactly why this is the case with me, but I can definitely theorize. For the most part I think that I do this because the movie or television series will feel like a reward after reading the book. Another possibility is that I feel like a badass when I see the movie and can annoyingly whisper into my friends’ ears “this scene wasn’t in the book”, “in the book this character is repulsive”, “this movie is totally missing the satirical nature of the book”, etc, etc. It helps me display physical evidence of my enormous intellect (aka it makes me sound smart even when I might not be saying anything actually worthy of being said).

Do movie adaptations ever drive you to read books? What is your relationship with a movie based on a book that you haven’t read?

Title: Medea

Author: Euripides, Sign Unknown

Air’s Rating: 4/5 - I really liked it!

Description: Jason betrays Medea by leaving her and her two children and becoming engaged to a young princess. Medea reacts.

Air’s Review:

Apologies, but my review is going to be all about my personal experience of this book, and nothing about any sort of literary analysis.

At first I didn’t know what to think about the portrayal of Medea, but I’m glad that I kept an open mind because after the 30% mark, I love her. This play would have received a 5/5 rating from me if it were more obvious about Jason being a moron and Medea being everything I need in this world. While reading, I felt like Euripides was my friend and he and I were sitting together in my living room at three in the morning venting about the truths that we believe about life. This book was very comforting to me. I would recommend it to everyone who has ever gotten their heart rate up when thinking about having been or being betrayed.

Air’s 2014 Book Goal: 29/125 books!

Title: Ghost World

Author: Daniel Clowes, Aries

Air’s Rating: 3/5 - Somewhere between I didn’t like it but I will remember it fondly.

Description: I honestly can’t even begin to describe this. A story of two young women? A story of growing up? Of life? Of reality? I have no idea.

Air’s Review: 

I feel like this is the kind of book that could be endlessly analyzed. English majors could write essays about it, could pick one part of it and try to explain it or compare it to something else. I think this is the kind of writing that is real and subtle, and that makes it almost as interesting as analyzing a person.

With that being said, I still wasn’t totally crazy about it. I see its strengths and still I feel disappointed. I would recommend this book to others, and I’m happy that I read it, but I don’t feel like I got out of it anything other than knowing that if I was an English major I could analyze it for fun.

I like the movie better.

Air’s 2014 Book Goal: 28/125 books!

Title: The Little Prince

Author: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Air’s Rating: 5/5 - It was amazing!

Description: A man crash lands in the desert and meets an alien with a lot of questions.

Air’s Reviews:

Honestly, I think this is the smartest book I have ever read or ever will read. I feel that I grew mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as I went through every page. This book is an experience, or more like a course conducted by a really wise person. It has immediately become one of my favorite books of all-time and I can see myself reading it many times in the future.

While this book does contain messages that can be analyzed, I feel that it is also vague enough that it can bring up different things for every reader. It’s the kind of literary work that offers themes and motifs, but also evokes something from your unconscious, something that you will get from it that another reader may not (but that other reader will get something that you will not). Truly, I could not ask for anything more than this from a work of fiction. I am extremely impressed and satisfied.

Air’s 2014 Book Goal: 25/100 books!

Air’s Oldest Added Date on GoodReads Book Goal: 1/25 books!

Title: Crystals: Understand and Connect to the Medicine and Healing of Crystals

Authors: Rachelle Charman (Sign Unknown, but I’ve sent her a FaceBook friend request so … maybe I will know soon!!!)

Air’s Rating: 3/5 - I liked it!

Air’s Review: 

First of all, this book is beautiful. It has glossy pages and is colorful and overall just pleasant to the eyes. I was entranced by it at the store, and couldn’t stand not to own it.

Now onto the content: Charman offers a lot of information and assumes that you are ready for it, which I think will benefit most learners, although it slightly intimidated and overwhelmed me. Along with theories and information, as all crystal books contain, her text also incorporates “exercises”, almost as though it’s a workbook. This was inspiring to me, and it offers gains re-read status.

What is interesting about Charman’s descriptions of the crystals is that she focuses heavily on how they affect spirituality first, then a bit of how they affect thoughts and emotions, with little to no mention of how they can heal certain types of ailments or affect the physical plane. As someone who owns many books on crystals, I enjoyed this change in focus. This is not the right book for the understanding of specific crystals (there are so many books about that already!), but instead offers brand new information about other crystals-related things.

I especially love her thorough section on chakra cleansing/focusing and already plan to spend more time consuming that section in the near future.

In conclusion, this is a unique book about crystals that I will be picking up again many times in my life.

Air’s 2014 Book Goal: 19/50 books!

Title: Looking For Alaska

Author: John Green (Virgo)

Air’s Rating: 2/5 - It was okay

Air’s Review: 

First 30%

Earth had wanted us to read this book in 2013. I picked it up, hated the e-book copy that I had, and generally found it extremely boring and uninteresting. I put it down.

31% through 100%

I picked the book back up, compelled to finish it. I did end up getting into it. I’ve decided that it is a reasonably okay story. In terms of plot, I don’t have many complaints. The main character was extremely unlikable and boring, and I’m not sure if that was intentional. I did like The Colonel a lot, but otherwise the characters felt strangely boring, I guess in a way that most normal people are.

Was Alaska Young a Manic Pixie Dream Girl?

Maybe. I’ve thought long and hard about this and I feel like there are millions of other Manic Pixie Dream Girl movies and books and characters and that using Alaska Young as one of them is kind of desperate. For one thing, Alaska was a multidimensional character and her purpose in the story did not seem, to me, to be about the growth of the male character(s). I also feel that Alaska was not whimsical or interesting or magical in any way, but maybe that has more to do with how I read her and less with how she was actually written, so I don’t want to give John Green credit if the positive interpretation comes from me and not from his writing.

I read her as a very troubled and hurt girl, a girl very similar to girls I’ve known (I’m female, btw, so this is not a comment about gender) which made her seem a little more real and a little less magical to me. I also felt like she was the main character of the story and that everyone else’s lives revolved around her, which I enjoyed. However, I’m 25 and I imagine that my take on a book like this is going to be a lot more positive and realistic than the thoughts that I imagine 16 year old reading it are having.

So was she a Manic Pixie Dream Girl? Maybe. I would not argue that she wasn’t but I won’t argue that she was.

In the end, all that matters is whether or not I would recommend this book to anyone and I do not think that I would. However, if someone was reading it, I wouldn’t tell them to stop. It’s an okay story. I don’t think it’ll make your life worse if you read it.

Air’s 2014 Book Goal: 10/50 books read