Archive for the ‘Young Adult’ Category

Will Grayson, Will Grayson (by John Green & David Levithan)

By Jonathan Green & David Levithan
May 28
Finished: May 31

“i get it now. i get it. the things you hope for the most are the things that destroy you in the end.”

Listen, this book is just quotable. It’s heartbreakingly honest and mildly humorous at the same time. I’m almost ten years removed from high school at this point, but certain parts of this young adult novel felt like John Green & David Levithan opened the diary I kinda-sorta-not really kept in high school.

Wil Grayson, Will Grayson, if you couldn’t tell from the title, is the story of two Will Graysons whose lives randomly intersect one night in Chicago. The chapters alternate between Will Grayson and will grayson (will grayson’s chapters being written in all lowercase letters, a sign to me of the prevalence of online communication but a debate can–and has—be made for the lack of capitalization as a reflect of how the character views himself). LGBT issues also play a huge role; will grayson is trying to find his identity as a gay teen, and Will Grayson’s best friend Tiny Cooper is a larger than life gay teen who falls in and out of love at least once a week. It’s a coming of age novel for a new generation, a generation more comfortable with a text message or an email than a phone call or face to face meeting, discovering how they fit into the world that surrounds them.

The novel is a collaboration between John Green and David Levithan, with Green responsible for Will Grayson and Levithan responsible for will grayson. The characters interact so frequently and so seamlessly, it easy to forget two authors are responsible for the words on the pages. If you want to read more about Green & Levithan’s writing process, here’s a great interview with John Green.


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Book finished: early March

I really tried to avoid reading the Hunger Games series, mostly out of spite. The last time someone convinced me to read a young adult series, it was Twilight and I got sucked in (I still haven’t forgiven myself for it). My 14-year-old sister absolutely loves the Hunger Games. She went to the midnight showing and kept trying to convince me the books were worth my time. After a pretty severe bout with insomnia (seeing 5am is always so much fun!) I caved and started reading.

I have to admit it, the first installment in the series, the eponymous Hunger Games, was not as terrible as I expected .  Was it a great work of literary genius? Absolutely not. But it was fun to read and helped pass the time until my body decided ‘hey! I wanna go to sleep now!’. The postapocalyptic world Collins paints doesn’t seem overly far-fetched, considering some of the stuff that’s been going on in our world…and with everyone’s fixation on reality television? We better watch out.

Katniss Everdeen, while by no means un-flawed, is a decent heroine for the young adult crowd. Well, in this book at least. For most of the book, she is strong, smart, and resourceful, leading to her success in the Arena. The “love scenes” between Peeta & Katniss in the Arena were kinda vomit-inducing….then I remembered the Bella-Edward scenes in Twilight and my stomach settled slightly.

Katniss’s biggest flaw is her indecision, which is something that resonates with most teenagers, at least the ones I know. Hell, I’m 26 and that indecision resonates with me, too (grad school or a career? Stay where I am or move to a big city? Chicken or fish?). That last one is easy, since I don’t like fish, but you get the point.

Will The Hunger Games trilogy fill the gaping hole the resolution of Harry Potter left in my life? No (but, is there really anything that can fill the void of knowing I will never sit practically motionless for 9 hours reading the epic conclusion to a series that completely shaped certain aspects of my life?), but it was a quick, fun fantasy read that kept me entertained on a sleepless night. If I finish this book challenge, I may even read HG again.

If I can pry it out of my sister’s hands, that is.

(Oh, and we’ll just blame my sister for the lack of picture accompanying this post. I’ll get around to a picture, I promise)

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