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Tag Archives: John Green

The Fault In Our Stars | Drawing

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It’s no longer news at this stage that I am a huge fan of John Green and in turn his wonderful YA novel The Fault In Our Stars, so in celebration of the movie poster being released back in January I drew the movie poster which features Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort who play Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters respectively.

TFIOS drawing

This drawing is probably the most challenging one I have drawn to date because of all the features I had to contend with.

First off there are two people. A drawing with just one person can be difficult at the best of times, add any more and it becomes a real challenge.

Second factor is the various materials and textures I had to draw which take up most of the drawing; hair, clothing, and grass, three very difficult textures to draw accurately.

Finally, drawing someone upside-down and making it look convincing!! This proved most difficult.

Hopefully I pulled it off. Do let me know what you think of the drawing though (but please don’t be too harsh on me ;))

– Bee

 

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Paper Towns by John Green | Review

I’ve had so many new books to read that it is only now I have found time to sit down and read another John Green novel. This time Paper Towns.

paper towns

“Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life – dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge – he follows.
After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues – and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer Q gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew.”

So as the description of the book would suggest, this story portrays a boy called Quentin, or Q, who is desperate to find the mysterious Margo. The book opens with Margo entering Q’s window one night (they live across the road from one another) and Margo takes Q on an adventure with her, which basically involves her tormenting her now ex boyfriend for cheating on her with her best friend, and also all of her other friends who knew about it and didn’t tell her.

Q is very hesitant about the whole situation, but obliges to go with Margo and before he knows it, they are breaking into SeaWorld! Q happily returns home having spent an amazing night with Margo, whom he had liked for quite a long time now, and is excited to wake up the next morning to go to school to see if Margo will act any differently around him. There’s just one problem, Margo doesn’t show up at school – she had run away.

So the entire novel basically tells the story of how Q desperately searches for Margo with the help of a series of clues she has left.

Overall, I really did enjoy this book. I don’t think John Green could ever write a book I didn’t like.

My only big issue with the story really was the protagonist, Quentin. I really wanted to like Quentin as the protagonist, and I guess I did like some aspects of his character, but I couldn’t help but think as some stages throughout the novel, he was sending himself on a wild goose chase across the country (which if you live in the US, is a pretty long journey) to find a girl he has a crush on, because he followed a series of clues (which may not even be clues) as to her whereabouts. Also, I found some parts of the novel were a little repetitive around the middle of the book.

BUT, I honestly did enjoy this book, it was well written, well planned, and well executed. I may not have loved the protagonist, but it is good to come across books like this every now and again that challenge your prospective of the main protagonist.

So would I recommend this book for you to read?

Well, if you are like me and a) love John Green, b) enjoy reading YA literature, and c) are looking for a good but not completely serious book to read then yes, absolutely I would recommend this book to you.

I would give it 4 stars, basically knocking one star off because I didn’t love Quentin’s character all of the time (that’s not to say I didn’t like him for most of the book because I did).

So yes, definitely check it out if you are looking for a nice easy book to read.

– Bee

Book Blog | Books I Own But Have Not Yet Read

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On Monday, I wrote a post about some of my favourite books, so today I decided to discuss some books that I have bought but have not yet found the time to read.
I am a bit of a divil when it comes to buying loads of books at once, and thus I end up with a big stack of books to read.
Most of these books are relatively new, and I can only read one book at a time right? So this is why I have not yet gotten around to reading them.

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First up is one of my favourite authors at the moment, and that is John Green. I hate to sound like a broken record, but The Fault in Our Stars is one of my favourite books so naturally I went out and bought all of John Green’s other books (except for Will Grayson, Will Grayson which I have yet to get my hands on!).

I have read TFIOS and Looking For Alaska (both of which I loved) so I am very excited about reading both An Abundance of Katherines, and Paper Towns. I bought TFIOS when it was first released back in January 2012, but I was re-reading it about a month or two ago and decided to look in to John Green’s other books. Luckily, Easons was having a huge 3-for-2 offer on a lot of their books so I bought Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, and Paper Towns all for under €20, which is a steal in my opinion. (This offer is still on at the moment if you are looking to get these books at easons.ie and they do ship worldwide!)

So I read Looking For Alaska first and loved it but for some strange reason I still have not read An Abundance of Katherines or Paper Towns.

An Abundance of Katherines is about a guy named Colin Singleton who has been dumped nineteen times but girls named Katherine. Colin sets out to prove ‘The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability’ in which he hopes to predict his future relationships and finally get the girl. I can’t say I have really come across a book like this before so I am quite excited to give it a go.

Paper Towns is about a guy names Quentin Jacobsen who has spent his whole life loving a girl names Margo. After an all-nighter with Margo, Quentin arrives at school only to discover that Margo has not. Margo has now become a mystery and Quentin discovers that there are clues which will lead him to Margo. The description of this book definitely intrigued me so I am also quite excited to read this book. No doubt there will be blog posts discussing them once I have them read.

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Next up are literary classics, both by Victor Hugo. I was in town one day wandering around the place and decided to pop in to a book shop that I never really go into (easons is my go-to bookshop!). I found a corner of literary classics and I swear to you I was tempted to stay there all day – the best part was they all cost €2.90! Seriously, €2.90 for classics such as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Oliver Twist, etc. I couldn’t get over it so naturally I picked up several books, two of which included The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, and Les Misérables, by Victor Hugo. I don’t really feel the need to divulge in the plot summaries of these novels seeing as they are widely known thanks to pop culture.

I have loved Disney’s animated classic The Hunchback of Notre-Dame since it was released in 1996, so when I saw the novel I immediately wanted to read it. Now if you’re thinking to yourself, oh I too love the Disney film, perhaps I will read the book, let me warn you, this story is nothing like Disney’s adaptation. This novel is very dark, dramatic, and almost gothic-romantic literature. It certainly does not paint the ‘everything turns out okay in the end’ story that Disney does. But regardless I do want to read this book…eventually!

Again similar to Hunchback, I absolutely love the musical Les Misérables, so naturally I was drawn to the novel it is based on. As far as I know the novel and musical have pretty much the same story line so I pretty much know what to expect but I still do want to read this book whenever I get the chance.

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Keeping on the musicals theme, I recently bought the book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, by Gregory Maguire. The main reason I bought this is because I had just purchased tickets to go see Wicked the west-end musical, and I was also watching youtube videos of Idina Menzel from her time playing Elphaba on Broadway, and in one of these videos she talked about this book, and I am easily swayed so I decided to read the book for myself. I have actually already started reading it but I found it a little bit difficult to get into so I am definitely going to give it another go because I want to have it read before I see the musical.

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Another book I bought, and started reading but found it difficult to get into was The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. This was J.K. Rowling’s first book following her Harry Potter series, so naturally there was a lot of hype surrounding it. I remember looking forward to its release date, and went out especially to buy it on that day, yet here we are a year later and I have still not read it. Why? I really don’t know. I began reading it just before I graduated last year, but for some reason I just never finished it! I definitely have to get reading it again, and hopefully The Cuckoo’s Calling also.

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Finally we come to The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick. I saw a movie last year by the name of ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, starring one of my favourite actors, Jennifer Lawrence, and loved the film. Then, when I was watching the Oscars, I noticed that this film was nominated for Best Screenplay Adaptation, and I thought to myself, wait a second, this was a book? I have to get on that. So I did. Now I have read probably half of the book and really really liked it, and once again I found myself forgetting about it and not coming back to it. I hate starting halfway through a book after several months so I prefer to just start from the beginning again. So technically I guess I have read a lot of this book but I am still looking forward to finishing it. There are a lot of interesting aspects to the main character in this book which unfortunately cannot be portrayed in a 120min movie.

 

So these are all the books I own that I for some strange reason have yet to read. Now probably isn’t the best time to say that I have more books ordered in the post ha!

Please let me know if you have read any of these books, and what you think of them (without spoiling them of course!), I would be really interested in hearing your opinions. Similarily, if you have read any good books lately that you think are similar to these that you think I should read please let me know because I love hearing about new books.

– Bee

Book Blog | Some Of My Favourite Books

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Big shocker, the girl with the English degree likes to read books!

But when it comes to reading for leisure I actually find myself drawn to the bestsellers and adult fiction novels (as oppose to the classic works of literature such as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice – although don’t get me wrong they are great reads too!).

I like to get lost in a story, really feel the emotions the characters are going through and be able to empathise with them, and most of all, I love a good story that leaves you thinking for hours after you have read it.

So I would like to share with you some of my favourite books that I find myself re-reading over and over. Yes, the likelihood is that you have also read the majority of these books and yes, a lot of them are probably the stereotypical books on everyone’s ‘favourite list’ but hey, they are bestsellers for a reason, right?!

books

So let us begin with what is on everyone’s list of favourite books (and if not, come on out from that rock you’ve been living under for the past 15 years). Yes my friends, it is the truly magical (ooh yikes, did I just go there? Yup, yup I did…) Harry freaking Potter!!! (cool kid points for you if you get that reference ;))

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Everyone has heard of Harry Potter, whether you have read the books or not, so I’m not going to waster my time, or yours, by summarising the plot. I shouldn’t even need to explain why these books are so amazing, so I won’t, because if you have read them you know, and if you haven’t, then you aren’t all that interested are you?

I don’t think I can ever tire from re-reading these classics.

 

Next on my list is yet another series which has become very popular in recent years and is sitting on many people’s bookshelves, and that is The Hunger Games trilogy.

hungerclassic

Now whilst these books are very popular, I feel like their popularity came upon the release of the first film based on the series. I have talked to many people who have said the have seen the movie, loved it, and are wondering whether or not they should read the books. If you too find yourself in the same situation, all I can say to you is…READ THE BOOKS!!!

Honestly, if you like The Hunger Games film, you will love the books, I promise you. There is only so much a 142 minute film can show from a 454 page book. I even found that there were hints of the second book featured in the first film, which for spoiler reasons I will not say but if you have read the books you probably know what I am talking about.

So if you have not read the books, but have seen and liked/loved the film, I highly recommend these books to you.

 

My next favourite book which I enjoy reading from time to time is actually a collection of works from the magnificent Hans Christen Andersen.

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If ever I am in the mood for a story, but don’t quite feel like sitting down to a big novel, I pull out this book of fairy tales by Hans Christen Andersen. This is the man responsible for stories such as The Little Mermaid, The Princess on the Pea, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Ugly Duckling, and The Snow Queen (which is the inspiration for Disney’s next animated classic Frozen).

 

This next book is a bit of an odd one. As well as having a degree in English, I also have a degree in Psychology, and am very interesting in the reasons behind why people act in certain ways. I was in Easons one day and came across this book entitles The Definitive Book of Body Language by Allan & Barbara Pease and was immediately drawn to it.

the_definitive_book_of_body_language_orion_books_1 This book explains the reasons as to why people act in a certain way and what their body language can tell us from hand signals and arm movements, to eye gestures and head tilts etc.

I just find this book a really interesting read from time to time.

 

Back to the good ole novels now, and I have talked about this book many times on my blog now so there is probably no need to go into a lot of detail on this one either, but it is the amazing The Fault in our Stars, by John Green.

The_Fault_in_Our_Stars

What can I say about this book that I have not already said? It is simply beautiful. A beautiful story, with beautiful characters. If you have not yet read it, I highly recommend you check it out – but be warned it is sad. I’ve read it a good five/six times now and still feel my eyes tearing up, but hey it is a story about teenagers with cancer so what more do you expect really.

 

Finally on my list of some of my favourite books, this is possibly one of the most moving books I have ever read. It is a very beautiful, yet dark, story.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Even though this book was released in 1999, it became very popular in the past year or so with the release of the film by the same name, starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller. I remember reading this book a couple of years back and just being blown away with it. It is more of a journal than a novel which I love because you get a real vulnerability from the character of Charlie and almost a first hand account of how he feels and what he is going through which allows you as a reader to empathise with him that much more. I was very excited when they announced that Logan Lerman would be playing the character of Charlie in the film and even more excited that Emma Watson would be playing Sam because I love both those actors and I felt they could do the characters justice.

Anyways, I am getting a little off-point. This is a really amazing book, I definitely recommend it (if you are a young adult of course, I wouldn’t recommend any young readers getting their hands on this book).

I also love all the pop culture references in this book, all the literature, films and music mentioned are all really good so its nice to know the author has good taste…or at least Sam and Patrick do!

 

So there you have it folks, just a few of my favourite books which I enjoy reading over and over. Hope you have enjoyed, and if you have any books to recommend to be I would be more than happy to hear your suggestions, I love finding good new books to read!

Actually on that note, has anyone read Veronica Roth’s Divergent, and if so is it worth reading? Please let me know!

Thanks,

Bee

Looking For Alaska – John Green | Spoiler-Free Review

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book_cover_looking_for_alaska

Looking For Alaska is the debut novel by author and youtuber John Green.

Having read John Green’s most recent novel The Fault In Our Stars a good four or five times now, I figured I should move on and see what else he has to offer. The Fault In Our Stars is one of my favourite books so I had high hopes and I can gladly say I was not disappointed.

Just like The Fault In Our Stars, Green perfectly captures and gives us an insight into the mind of this teenager. Curiously, John Green has divided this book into two sections; Before, and After, which portrays the ‘before and after’ of a defining moment in the protagonist’s life.

Before: Miles Halter is a less than average teenage boy, with next to no friends in his home town of Florida. Desperately looking for something more significant in his life, Miles moves to Alabama to attend Culver Creek Boarding School where he is nicknamed Pudge by the somewhat deviant Chip “Colonel” Martin, due to the irony of Miles tall and skinny stature. The two quickly become friends and Miles is initiated into his group of friends which consists of; Takumi, Lara, and of course Alaska Young. Alaska is quite unpredictable in her behaviour, wild, self-destructive, beautiful and of course the object of Miles’ affections. Miles pines for Alaska, despite the fact she has a boyfriend, Jake. However the two, along with the Colonel become very close friends and share a lot of great experiences at boarding school with Miles hoping to have his own “Great Perhaps”. Miles is also very interested in last words, having memorised many famous last words, which fascinates Alaska.

After: Miles life has changed forever.

 

This story is full of drinking, smoking, pranks and typical behaviour one would expect from a group of teenagers. It not only focuses on the protagonist Miles’ story but also gives a lot of the main characters great depth and dimension, in particular the character of Alaska Young.

 

It is difficult to convince you to read this story without spoiling the plot (which never fear I will not do), so let me just say I highly reccommend this book to anyone who enjoys a nice ‘easy-read’, with well-developed characters and quite a unique storyline. I have read a fair amount of books in my twenty-one years but I have never come across a story quite like this one before – everything from the structure of the book itself down to the storyline is quite unique and therefore refreshing so I highly suggest you check it out.

 

An interesting fact I learned after reading the book is that the “significant defining moment” Miles goes through in this book (I am trying not to spoil it, but if you have read the book you will know what I am talking about) actually happened to John Green while he was attending Indian Springs School, a boarding school in Alabama.

 

 

My rating: ★★★★ (4/5 stars)

Recommending reading age: Personally I would say ages 15-25 would enjoy reading this book. Typically it is described as a young adult book which is generally marketed towards 12-18 year olds however there is some controversial topics in the book of a sexual nature, so some parents may not like their young teenagers reading it, but honestly it isn’t really that graphic.

 

I highly enjoyed this book, particularily because when you reach the end it really gives you something to think about. I definitely recommend you check it out.

– Bee