Turtles All the Way Down and the Importance of #ownvoices

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

First published: 2017

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Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

P1010201One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two strangers cross paths. Two teens with the same name, running in two very different circles, suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, culminating in heroic turns-of-heart and the most epic musical ever to grace the high-school stage.

First published: 2010


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An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

abundanceofkatherinesWhen it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun — but no Katherines.

Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes predicts the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.

First published: 2006 [Goodreads]


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Film Review: The Fault in Our Stars

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I’ve talked about John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars (way too) many times since I started this blog in October, so you can probably imagine how much I was looking forward to the film. While the early posters said it was coming out on June 6 in the Netherlands, just like in the United States, I found out a few monhts ago it won’t come out until July 10. Disappointment galore. Waiting another month is long, people!

Then, about two weeks ago, I found out via the Dutch TFiOS Facebook page that they were going to host a few screenings of the film on the 26th and 27th of June throughout the country. Including one in my town! I immediately bought two tickets and last week me and my friend went to see this long anticipated film. I was excited, but, honestly, quite anxious as well. Film adaptations usually tend to be disappointing, but I did have high hopes for TFiOS because of everything I’d read about it and everything John Green said.

It was amazing.

While there were a few tiny bits and bobs (mainly phrasings) I didn’t particularly like, overall this film hugely exceeded my expectations.

Firstly, let’s take a minute to talk about the casting. Shailene Woodley is the perfect Hazel. I can’t imagine anyone else playing her and everything she did just fit. John Green has said a few times that Shailene is his Hazel, and I can now finally completely see why. You know how sometimes you think an actor kind of fits their role, but you’re a bit bummed you’ll now never again be able to picture the character the “right” way when you’re reading the book? Definitely not the case for TFiOS. Shailene is Hazel, and I’m more than fine with that.

And then there’s Ansel Elgort… For me, he is the perfect Augustus, mainly because of this little smirk he always seems to wear on his face. I fell in love with Gus when I read the book, and the same thing happened when I was watching the film (though not exactly in a fangirl-y way). Again; it just fits. I can see why Ansel takes a bit more getting used to for others, though, but I think that mainly has to do with the character itself.

While the excellent, excellent, casting undoubtedly has something to do with it, the way the makers of the film stayed true to the book is almost unbelievable. It had the same feel the book did, which is quite rare to find in a film adaptation, I think. They took a lot of lines literally from the book, which was very nice overall, but in some places felt a little bit awkward as well.

The only thing I thought really didn’t work in the film as opposed to the book was the cigarette metaphor. You know, the putting the killing thing in your mouth but not giving it the power to actually kill you? I thought that was really poetic and cool in the book, but to see it happen on screen somehow didn’t seem right.

That didn’t in any way lessen my enthusiasm though. This is by far the best film adaptation I’ve seen (of a book I’ve actually read, that is). I’m pretty sure I’ll be getting this on dvd as soon as it comes out, although I have no idea if I’ll actually watch it that often. You see, this film is absolutely beautiful and very funny, but it’s also just as heartbreaking and gut-wrenching as the book. We left the theatre quite disoriented, with tears smudged all over our faces and a huge need for some alcohol.

Paper Towns by John Green

papertowns“The thing about Margo Roth Spiegelman is that really all I could ever do was let her talk, and then when she stopped talking encourage her to go on, due to the facts that 1. I was incontestably in love with her, and 2. she was absolutely unprecedented in every way and 3. she never really asked me any questions…”

Quentin Jacobson has always loved Margo from afar. So when she climbs through his window to summon him on an all-night road trip of revenge he cannot help but follow. But the next morning, Q turns up at school and Margo doesn’t. She’s left clues to her disappearance, like a trail of breadcrumbs for Q to follow.

And everything leads to one unavoidable question:

Who is the real Margo?

First published: 2008


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Top Ten Books That Will Be In My Beach Bag This Summer

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is Top Ten books that will be in my beach bag this summer. I am very much looking forward to the summer holidays and all the reading I will be doing, so this list is basically my to read list. Although I had trouble limiting myself to only ten books… Anyway, here is my list!

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It’s Another (tiny) Book Haul!

This week was the last week you could order three English novels for 25 euro at what I’d call the Dutch equivalent of amazon.com. I’d been pondering for a while if I should make use of that discount or not, since I technically don’t really have any disposable income (student loans and all that) and I still have quite a few books on my bookshelf waiting to be read, but on Sunday I thought “what the heck”. My motto in life is “you can never have too many books” (among several other mottos, to be honest) so I went ahead and ordered four books.

Huh? But I thought the discount was for three books?

Uh, yeah, that’s right… But there was another book that I’ve been wanting to read for ages, and wasn’t part of the discount, namely One Day by David Nicholls. I could never find it in the local bookstore, and there were always other books that took priority for some reason or other. But that’s over now! I can now read it whenever I want!

Which’ll probably mean somewhere next year or so.

Anyway, this post’ll be in the style of my first book haul post, which I thought worked quite nicely. It also features only three of the four books, since there was a delay concerning Paper Towns by John Green… I’ll get that one somewhere next week.

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Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two strangers cross paths. Two teens with the same name, running in two very different circles, suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, culminating in heroic turns-of-heart and the most epic musical ever to grace the high-school stage.

My thoughts: As you might know, I’m quite the John Green fan, even though I’ve so far only read The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska (oh, and let’s not forget the wonderful, Christmassy Let it Snow). I’ve already got An Abundance of Katherines sitting on my bookshelf, but I just figured I’d make my collection of John Green novels complete by buying Paper Towns (which, like I said, is still on its way) and Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I have to say I’m not at all familiar with David Levithan, but I’ve heard great things about Will Grayson, so I’m sure he’s just as awesome as John Green. I’m looking forward to reading this! But it’ll have to wait for a while, I’m afraid, because I first want to read both Katherines and Paper Towns.

One Day by David Nicholls

15th July 1988. Emma and Dexter meet on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways.

So where will they be on this one day next year? And the yeart after that?

And every year that follows?

My thoughts: Like I said in the ‘introduction’, I’ve been wanting to read this book for a looong time. Carrie Hope Fletcher (who is a YouTuber) recommended it to her viewers (among whom I find myself) and was so enthusiastic about it I got enthusiastic as well. Even before reading it, I feel like I love it, which is perhaps not the best way to get into a book; it’ll probably disappoint now, won’t it? Either way, I can’t wait to finally read it.

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

When a troubled model falls to her death from a Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts and calls in private detective Cormoran Strike to investigate.

Strike is a war veteran — wounded both physically and psychologically — and his private life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s world, the darker things become and the closer he gets to terrible danger…

My thoughts: This is actually the book I’m most looking forward to reading. When I found out JK Rowling had gotten into writing crime fiction I got extremely excited because what you don’t know is that I love crime fiction. I haven’t read a lot of it lately (as you can see from the novels I’ve reviewed since the start of this blog in October) but I do love it, it’s one of my absolute favourite genres. Combine that with JK Rowling, who is my all time favourite author, and it must be gold, right? Disclaimer: I’m not really that naive, I read a lot of really great reviews about this novel from before it came out that Robert Galbraith is in fact Rowling.

The Cuckoo’s Calling is most likely the novel I’ll read next, after I’ve finished the Jill Mansell novel I’m reading at the moment. I can’t wait!

Have you read any of these novels? What did you think of them? No spoilers, of course!

Looking For Alaska by John Green

lookingforalaska“If people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.”

Miles Halter’s whole life has been one big non-event, until he meets Alaska Young.

Gorgeous, clever and undoubtedly screwed up, Alaska draws Miles into her reckless world and irrevocably steals his heart. For Miles, nothing can ever be the same again.

First published: 2005


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Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

letitsnowAn ill-timed storm on Christmas Eve buries the residents of Gracetown under multiple feet of snow and causes quite a bit of chaos. One brave soul ventures out into the storm from her stranded train and sets off a chain of events that will change quite a few lives. Over the next three days one girl takes a risky shortcut with an adorable stranger, three friends set out to win a race to Waffle House (and the hash brown spoils), and the fate of a teacup pig falls into the hands of a lovesick barista.

First published: 2008


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