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So far this year I've read:
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn
For One More Day by Mitch Albom
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
Looking at this list makes me realize I haven't been reading at all this year, but I have bought probably 30 books in the last two months. I need to get cracking.
Outside of the book's intended message, I was completely hooked by the story itself. The truth about Chick's father left me shocked and picking my jaw up off the floor.
If you haven't read the book, which I imagine is extremely likely, do so before you read the rest of this post. If you have read it, I would love to hear your thoughts on the book and also what is written below.
While it took about 100 pages for me to like the book, by the end I was in love. Not only was the story amazing, but the physical layout of the pages and the chapters was perfect. For a book that combines four people's voices, Krauss went beyond just separating the stories by chapter and labeling them with a name. She eliminated the need for labels. You can tell who is speaking just by the numbering of the segments or the writing of God's name at the top of each journal entry. There is something to be said about a book that truly makes you wait until the last 5 pages before it turns what you thought you knew about the characters on its head. That being said, here is a breakdown of my opinion on the main characters.
Leo: I hate how disgusting his description of his life is. While I understand he was a hoarder and didn't take care of himself because he had simply lost the will to do so, reading about the mess in his underwear and the ring around his tub made me cringe.
I loved how he described his need to be seen because I often feel something close to that.
Zvi: I don't really have any thoughts on his segments because they felt like filler added to connect the dots, but it was somewhat poorly developed. Mostly, his chapters just made me want to get to the next installment of Alma or Leo.
Bird: That poor, poor boy. I felt so bad for him while also understanding Alma's need for him to change. His story also felt like filler until the end when his search for purpose finally resulted in something great. The note he left his mother and Alma when he went to the airport broke my heart.
Alma: At first I found her annoying, but I came to identify with her deep desire to find answers. I only wish I had a book that could lead me on such an adventure and that I lived in a place that could so easily be explored. I also wish I had a friendship like hers and Misha's. One thing I think the book lacked was more time between the two of them. The ending of their story lines up with the whole layout and missed opportunity theme of The History, but I would love to know what happened next, much like Hazel longs to know what happened with the Dutch Tulip man and Anna's mother.
Even better than the real book, was the book within the book. The chapters that Alma's mother translates and are added to these chapters were beautiful and thought provoking. Often I have felt that part of me is made of glass and that words cannot express what a touch or a hand movement can.
You'll pick up plenty of book bullets on CR that will have your wish list teetering in no time!
I read this over 5 years ago and don't remember a thing about it. My notes on it at the time were "I'm not sure how I feel about this one. It was a little bit of a struggle to read, I think maybe because it struck me as fairly melancholy. Wanting to see how Leo and Alma's story came together kept me reading, but I found the mechanism that united them a bit contrived."
I wasn't quite sure about this book when I first picked it up, but it wound up being a great read! Some parts were hard to get through and understand how they were important to the plot, but by the end I couldn't put it down. Although I was satisfied with the book's ending, I wish there were a sequel or that it was longer because there are definitely questions I still have about the character's lives.
There is nothing wrong with book accumulation:-) (unless you are using your grocery money or not paying your bills)
I read this book my freshman year of college, and remember liking it quite a bit then. I had already read The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, and An Abundance of Katherines. I loved all of those, and my best friend told me I had to read this one partly because it was her favorite. As I read, I realized why she loved it. She was Alaska in so many ways and I felt particularly connected to Miles. Throughout reading it then, I made many many notes in the margins and underlined countless words and phrases in the novel. This made reading it this time around so much more enjoyable. I was given the chance to relive and remember parts of a friendship that ended years ago, and made comments on my past thoughts on life and the book itself.
My reason for reading it this time around was the discovery that Hulu is going to release an 8 episode adaptation of the book - thank you LT for putting the wrong book cover in my collection. I watched the trailer and noticed discrepancies with the characters' physical appearance and my memory of how they were described, so I decided to look back through and see just how much John Green had left to my imagination. The answer: a lot. Almost everything I remembered about them was made up - save for the fact that Chip was short and muscular and Takumi was the fox. After reading it, I have a renewed since of love for the book and appreciation for the message. Finding a way out of the labyrinth of suffering has been my main goal as of late, and reading Mile's perspective on that has reminded me that I need to stop looking and just keep walking. If I give in to the fact that I am going to find my way in and out of the labyrinth, I won't feel so trapped. Or so I hope. I can't wait for October to arrive, so I can experience this story in a whole new way, and I really hope I don't hate it as much as I hated the Paper Towns movie.
Update: I finished watching the show about 15 hours after I started the first episode. Hulu did not disappoint with this adaptation. Though they changed a few things about the details, they left the story mostly intact - even quoting the book verbatim in some scenes. They did such a wonderful job that I had a much stronger emotional reaction to the story than I have ever had reading the book.
I 100% recommend this book and the limited series.
I read this book a few years ago, and did not like it very much. However, I had been thinking about it a lot over the summer, so I decided to give it a second chance. The book is written from two different character's perspectives, and the chapters switch between the two. I think I got through four chapters this time around. Knowing that book was the one I would be reading was enough to keep me from reading at the steady pace I had been recently. Given that I am a substitute teacher and have hours on end where reading is the only acceptable way to pass time, I need a book that I want to read. This one has since returned to my shelves - where it will stay until someone else wants to take a stab at it.
Since giving up on TAT, I have been reading 11/22/63 and am excited every day to read further.