Book Report: August
On the first day of September I bring you my book report for the month of August. I read some really good books this month and just couldn't wait to share them. I read two young adult novels, one of them being another John Green, and one book of short stories and essays. Not my usual genres, though I will admit that this has been the summer of the YA novel for me. I feel like "teen" novels have become much more sophisticated since I was in high school and I'm also loving the complex children's novels being published. Just a push to tell you to get out of your usual section in the Barnes and Noble!
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. Nick picked this out to read on our honeymoon after seeing the ad for the movie. So glad I married a man who shares my belief that you should read the book before seeing the movie! He really enjoyed it but did say it was written from a teenage boy's perspective with definite boy jokes. Well, yes, both things were true but I must like boy humor because I thought it was pretty hilarious. The book is told from the perspective of Greg Gaines, a high school senior in Pittsburgh, who is generally friends with everybody and nobody. Then his mom forces him to be friendly with Rachel, a girl with Leukemia who maybe used to be his girlfriend when he was in elementary school. Greg also has a secret friend, Earl, a pint-sized, angry black kid who he makes films with. It's hard to explain the plot without giving it away but I will say that it is heartwarming, funny, and kept me reading through until the very end.
The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan. This book is a compilation of short stories and essays from the late Marina Keegan. On the way to a celebration dinner after she graduated from Yale, Marina was killed in a car accident. Her professors and family worked hard to collect, edit, and publish essays and stories she wrote during her time in college in The Opposite of Loneliness. Keegan has a unique voice that begs you to read more and her stories have themes that any person in their twenties or older can relate to. I liked the stories more than the essays but she shared advice and her perspective on life in a personal and relatable way.
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. I've been catching up on my John Green reading as each book is slowly made into a movie. It's easy to see why his books are being put on the big screen: the stories are just so, so good. And not just for teens but for everyone. This book tells the story of Colin Singleton who is dumped by the nineteenth Katherine he dated right after graduating from high school. Colin is a child prodigy who is obsessed with creating something that matters but still can't figure it out so therefore will never be a genius. His best and only friend comes to rescue to pull Colin out of the dumps by taking him on a road trip. The two land in Gutshot, Tennessee and have an experience that will affect them both. All I have to say is that John Green does it again. I recently reviewed Paper Towns and, while I liked the characters and the mystery, I loved the characters in this book and the eventual "message" if you want to call it that. The characters made you laugh and think in a way that I hadn't experienced in a long time. I don't want to give too much away because you should go read it!