Review: The Fault In Our Stars

Goodreads

Goodreads

Title: The Fault in our Stars

Author: John Green

Published: Penguin Books, 2012

*Spoilers included in this review*

 

 

Back Cover

 

 

Despite the tumour-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

In Brief

 

 

A touching story of living life to the fullest when all is uncertain.

My Thoughts

 

 

Hazel is dying. She has thyroid cancer with lung mets. And she’s living as though it’s over already. Then one day she meets Augustus at her support group, and suddenly life is worth living. They are the kids at school that you want to have been friends with. The alternative-type, honest, just livin-their-own-life-with-no-concern-for-anyone-else type. As they get to know each other and we get to know them, I just grew to love them. And it sucks. Cancer sucks. Full stop. But this is a book that doesn’t focus on the whole cancer-teenager-dying thing, while still focusing on it. The focus is on living with cancer, not necessarily just dying of it.

I really liked this book. Really really liked. John Green’s writing is simple, clean, humorous and insightful. He writes with innocence, while showing us the depth behind the characters.

**SPOILER ALERT**

But what would a cancer book be without a relapse? So of course there it is. And time is short. So Hazel and Augustus try to make as much of the time they have as they can. And it’s sweet. I also think it was necessary to the story. This is a story about cancer, living with, dying of, grieving and moving past.

Rating

 

 

A+ – This book is AMAZING. It totally blew me away!

Recommend

 

 

DEFINITELY! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll question your own life choices. Maybe don’t read it on the train… and keep the tissues close.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Resolutions

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature of all lists book related, hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. You can click on the link to head to their website for upcoming topics.

This week’s topic is Top Ten Bookish Resolutions!

So without further ado, my 10 Bookish resolutions for 2014 are:

  1. Goodreads Challenge – Read 70 books. Last year I challenged (and achieved) 100 books. However, I felt at times that I ‘binge-read’ short or quick books purely to up my numbers. So, this year I’ve lowered my number so that I can commit to some longer books.
  2. Read 3 more of the Cross Stitch (Outlander) series. I’ve read 3 of these already, it’s an epic series and I think there’s another one coming out soon! I’d like to make more headway this year, and maybe even some of the John Grey spin-off novels.
  3. Blog at least once a week. Now I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but it doesn’t take much to overload me, and if I over-commit I tend to go too far the other way and just give up. I hope to post more than this, but am not going to push myself.
  4. More discussion posts – at least one per month
  5. Post more reviews. Specifically – at least 2 a month
  6. Get my TBR pile down. I currently have waaaaay too many books sitting on my bookcase unread. So I’m participating in the 2014 TBR Pile Challenge and have committed to 40 books. Find my list and my progress here!
  7. Read more long books. I have a large number residing on my bookcase, that I’ve been finding intimidating and have been avoiding for a long time! Related to resolution 2. So to facilitate this resolution, I’m also participating in the Chunkster Challenge and have committed to 10 books longer than 450 pages. See my list and follow my progress here!
  8. Not really bookish but blog related so here it is – I have a fancy shiny new(ish) camera, that I don’t use enough. I want to take more photos and post them on my blog
  9. Get more organised with my blog posts. I’m TERRIBLE at scheduling, and I write most of my posts and publish immediately. Case in point: writing this TTT post at 8pm on Tuesday. I bought this pretty Kikki K diary again this year and it has month pages in the front. I plan to use the month pages to plan my blog posts!
  10. Post more quick reviews on Goodreads. I already give star ratings there, but not too many actual reviews. I don’t want – or need – to review all books I read here on my blog, but I want to make more effort on Goodreads, even if it’s just a brief explanation of my star allocation. Follow or friend me on Goodreads!

So there’s my Top Ten Blog/Book Resolutions! Do you have any of the same resolutions? Let me know in the comments!

Chels

Left Neglected

Left Neglected

Goodreads

Title: Left Neglected

Author: Lisa Genova

Published: Simon & Schuster, 2011

Back Cover

 

 

Sarah Nickerson has it all: the high-flying career, the loving family, the second home. But between excelling at work; shuttling the kids to football, day care, and piano lessons; convincing her son’s teacher that he may not, in fact, have ADD; and making it home in time for dinner, it’s a wonder this over-scheduled over-achiever has time to breathe.

Sarah manages every minute of her life like an air traffic controller, until one fateful day, while driving to work, she looks away from the road for one second too long. In the blink of an eye, her chaotic life comes to a screeching halt. A traumatic brain injury completely erases the left side of her world. For once, Sarah must relinquish control to those around her, including her formerly absent mother. As she wills herself to heal, Sarah must learn that a happiness greater than all the success in the world is close within reach, if only she slows down long enough to notice.

In Brief

 

 

An insightful and sometimes frustrating look into the effects of a brain injury on both patient and family.

My Thoughts

 

 

Sarah Nickerson is a high powered wife and mother. Every minute is scheduled. Double booked even. No rest for the wicked and all that. Make all the monies. You know. Long days, minimal sleep, the last time she had an afternoon of rest and relaxation was…. never. Firstly, let me just say – not my kinda life. I could maybe uphold that for… 3 weeks? A month? That aside, after Sarah has a car accident, she winds up with left neglect. Which effectively means that she forgets her whole left side exists.

We follow Sarah as she struggles to come to terms with her new normal, and at the same time her son is struggling with how to manage his ADD. Her life has changed dramatically, and as much as she works and pushes her rehab, there comes a point where she just isn’t going to get any better. Then comes the mental struggle. Chuck her mother in the mix and you’ve found Sarah’s hell.

I really enjoyed Left Neglected, seeing Sarah improve, and deal with her mental struggles – like if she keeps forgetting she has a left leg, how is she ever going to ski again?

Lisa Genova has a PhD in Neuroscience, and as a nurse who has worked in neurology I find her books fascinating. Still Alice explores Alzheimers, and her newest book Love Anthony looks into autism. All of these are written about in a fascinating, tactful, engaging manner. Her writing is easy to read, and for me un-put-down-able. She explores difficult and complicated topics in an easy to read and easy to understand manner.

Rating

A: Almost Flawless!

 

RecommendAbsolutely. Not too heavy on the medical, but just enough so you understand what’s going on. If you enjoy ‘journey’ books, this one’s for you!

 

Have you read Left Neglected? Have you read any of Lisa Genova’s other books? Let me know what you think in the comments!

2014 Challenge – TBR Pile Reading Challenge

My third and final challenge for 2014 is the TBR Pile Reading Challenge, hosted here at Bookish!

TBR Challenge

RULES!

  1. This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2014 – Dec 31, 2014.
  2. Anyone can enter! You don’t have to be a blogger, as long as you review the book you’ve read! (For me: either on my blog or Goodreads)
  3. Any genre, length or format of book counts, as long as it is a book that’s been sitting on your shelf for some time now. Short stories and novellas are OK, too! Only books released in 2013 and earlier!
  4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
  5. When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the 2013 TBR PILE Reading Challenge.
  6. You can move up levels, but no moving down.
  7. Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2014, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.
  8. On the 20th of each month we will post a wrap-up post, on BOOKISH. Every wrap-up will have it’s unique theme, a mini-challenge, a giveaway and place for you to link up your reviews from this month. For each review you link up, you will get one entry in a drawing of one book of choice from Book Depository. It’s open to INTERNATIONALS. The giveaway will be open until the next wrap up post goes up! (i.e. the entire month)
  9. If you miss a wrap-up post + giveaway, you can link up your reviews next month. Do not, however, try to link up one review twice – we will be checking 😉
  10. December is a wrap-up for the whole year. All the book reviews you linked up January-November + the ones you’ll link up in December will be entered into a GRAND PRIZE giveaway.
  11. You don’t have to follow Bookish Blog to join the challenge, but you do have to follow us to be entered in giveaways!

I’m going for Sweet Summer Fling at 31-40 books

The challenge for me is not so much reading all the books listed below, but ensuring I review them! Some (probably many) of these reviews will be on Goodreads, but I’m going to try my hardest to post them here too!

Follow my progress here!

  1. Everything Changes But You by Maggie Alderson
  2. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
  3. The Twelve (The Passage #2) by Justin Cronin
  4. All The Summer Girls by Meg Donohue
  5. Drums of Autumn (Outlander #4) by Diana Gabaldon
  6. The Fiery Cross (Outlander #5) by Diana Gabaldon
  7. Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
  8. Paper Towns by John Green
  9. Death by Water (Phryne Fisher #15) by Kerry Greenwood
  10. Murder in the Dark (Phryne Fisher #16) by Kerry Greenwood
  11. 15 Seconds by Andrew Gross
  12. The Taker (The Taker #1) by Alma Katsu
  13. The Reckoning (The Taker #2) by Alma Katsu
  14. These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
  15. The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes
  16. Under the Dome by Stephen King
  17. The Dinner by Herman Koch
  18. Summer of Secrets by Alison Lucy
  19. Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
  20. The House of Memories by Monica McInerney
  21. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
  22. Let Me Sing You Gentle Songs by Linda Olsson
  23. Private Games (Private #3) by James Patterson
  24. Private: No. 1 Suspect (Private #4) by James Patterson
  25. Private Berlin (Private #5) by James Patterson
  26. Private Oz (Private #6) by James Patterson
  27. Now You See Her by James Patterson
  28. The Good Woman by Jane Porter
  29. The Good Daughter by Jane Porter
  30. The Good Wife by Jane Porter
  31. Bones are Forever (Brennan #15) by Kathy Reichs
  32. Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  33. Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves (Shofield #5) by Matthew Reilly
  34. The Next Always (BoonsBoro Inn #1) by Nora Roberts
  35. The Last Boyfriend (BoonsBoro Inn #2) by Nora Roberts
  36. The Perfect Hope (BoonsBoro Inn #3) by Nora Roberts
  37. Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
  38. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
  39. This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
  40. Worth Fighting For: Love, Loss and Moving Forward by Lisa Niemi Swayze

2014 Challenge – Chunkster Reading Challenge

My second challenge for 2014 – The 2014 Chunkster Challenge!

The Chunkster Reading Challenge is hosted here, and a chunky book is defined as 450+ pages.

chunkster challenge 2014

The Rules

  • Audio and e-books are allowed
  • Essay, short story and poetry collections are allowed, but you have to read in their entirety
  • Books can cross over with other challenges
  • Anyone can join
  • You don’t have to list your books ahead of time
  • Graphic novels don’t count.

I’m going to commit myself to 10 chunky books. I know I don’t have to list my books now, but I’m going to. It might keep me on track, I hope!

Wish me luck!

  1. Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon – 1185 pages
  2. The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon – 1412 pages
  3. Under the Dome by Stephen King – 877 pages
  4. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood – 637 pages
  5. Wild Swans by Jung Chang – 676 pages
  6. A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford – 827 pages
  7. The Twelve by Justin Cronin – 734 pages
  8. The Shifting Fog by Kate Morton – 545 pages
  9. House of Memories by Monica McInerney – 473 pages
  10. The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes – 582 pages

Follow my progress here!

2014 Challenge – 52 in 52

Hey Friends!

I’m joining the 2014 challenge to read 52 books in 52 weeks.

52 books 2013 blog widget for side bar

Hosted at 52 Books in 52 Weeks, go here to sign up!

From the website:

The goal is to read 52 books. How you get there is up to you. The book week starts on Sunday.

Rules:

  1. The challenge runs from 1/1/14 to 31/12/14
  2. Our book weeks begin on Sunday
  3. Participants may join at any time
  4. All books are acceptable except children’s books
  5. All forms of books are acceptable including e-books, audio books, etc.
  6. Re-reads are acceptable as long as they are read after January 1, 2013
  7. Books may overlap other challenges
  8. Create an entry post linking to this blog
  9. Sign up with Mr. Linky in the “I’m participating post”
  10. You don’t need a blog to participate. Post your weekly book in the comments section of each weekly post
  11. Mr. Linky will be added to the bottom of the weekly post to link to reviews of your most current reads

Are you participating in this challenge? Are you participating in any challenges in 2014? Let me know in the comments!

Follow my progress here!