Paper Towns by John Green

2015-07-02 20.23.13

Title: Paper Towns
Author: John Green
Genre: Young adult
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary (from Amazon):

When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows her. Margo’s always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she’s always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they’re for Q.

My Review (May contain spoilers!):

I’ve heard many great things about John Green and one of them was that once you start reading his books, you can’t put it down until you finish. Well, I certainly understand what those fans mean now.

I read Paper Towns in a day. The mystery of the plot was such a page-turner that I just couldn’t put the book down.

The first part of the book followed the two main characters, Quentin and Margo, as they embarked on an all-night adventure to wrong some rights and right some wrongs–as explained by Margo. Margo drags Quentin along as a getaway driver as they play harmless revenge tricks on a few of her friends and ex-boyfriend after finding out he had been cheating on her.

I absolutely loved that part of the book. The chemistry between Quentin and Margo was awesome, Margo’s personality was fun and energetic, and Quentin tried to be the voice of reason, but adrenaline took over–and maybe also the fact that he was head over heels for Margo.

The second part of the book is after that fun night. Quentin goes to school exhausted, but Margo is gone. She ran away and no one knows where she is. She’s done this before, so her parents have given up. Quentin finds clues left by Margo for him to track her down. With the help of his awesome friends, Quentin embarks on another journey to search for Margo.

Overall, the book was fun and suspenseful, but not in a scary way. There were many outcomes that you just didn’t know which direction the characters would take you. All the characters were easy to read and fun to get along with. Plus, there was plenty of comic relief.

I would highly recommend this novel.

Paper Towns by John Green gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“I mean, at some point, you gotta stop looking up at the sky, or one of these days you’ll look back down and see that you floated away, too.” –John Green, Paper Towns

Be sure to check out my Goodreads account to see what I’ll be reading next!

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The Call of the Mild by William Rabkin

Psych

Title: The Call of the Mild (Psych #3)
Author: William Rabkin
Genre: Mystery
How I got the book: I bought it on my Kindle

Summary (from Amazon):

Shawn Spencer has always hated the wilderness-by which he means anything outside the delivery radius of his favorite pizza place. But Psych has been hired to solve a baffling case of industrial espionage, and the only way to catch the spy is to join their client’s bonding retreat-a grueling seven day backpacking mountain trek.

But when one of the campers turns up with a bullet in the head, Shawn and Gus soon realize that sheer cliffs, rampaging bears, and freeze- dried pineapple aren’t the greatest threats they face.

My Review:

I love the TV show Psych and considering that the author of the book series helped write the show, I thought the book would be great as well.

Call of the Mild is the third book in the five-book series and while the first two were pretty good, this one was my least favorite.

The case took a long time to figure out and then everything fell into place all at once in the last twenty pages of the novel. I don’t even understand how Shawn Spencer, the protagonist, came across the conclusion anyway.

Shawn and his friend, Gus, get stuck on a retreat lost in the wilderness with a bunch of lawyers who work together in a firm. They all hate and distrust each other making the journey hostile and not fun at all. The lawyers start to be picked off one by one and they realize the killer is among them.

The premise of the book was interesting, but I just don’t think it was tied together very well. The case was introduced in a very different way in the beginning of the novel where a new character was introduced, but he was barely in the book. A few chapters were based around him, but that was it.

Plus, two of the secondary characters, Carlton Lassiter and Juliet O’Hara, were barely in the novel as well. I wish they had a bigger part because Shawn and Gus barely interacted with them.

This book did have less typos in it than the other two, but plot-wise I would have to say that this book was the least well-written.

The Call of the Mild by William Rabkin gets 3 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“He’d read enough Greek tragedies and seen enough Twilight Zone episodes to know that trying to avoid your fate only brought you to it faster.” –William Rabkin, Call of the Mild

Warriors: Outcast by Erin Hunter

Via Amazon
Via Amazon
How did I get the book? It was a gift.
Genre: Juvenile fantasy

Summary (from Amazon):

There will be three,
Kin of you kin….
Who hold the
Power of the stars
In their paws.

A secret prophecy shapes the lives of Firestar’s grandchildren, but only one of the three knows about it. Jaypaw is captivated by the power it promises, and he believes the key to that power may lie buried in the distant past — with the ancient cats who once walked these woods and now prowl through his dreams.His search for answers leads him toward the mountains — the home of the Tribe of Rushing Water. Lionpaw and Hollypaw feel drawn to the mountains too, for different reasons.

But the mountains hide secrets as well as answers, and if the three cats find a way to get there, they may discover more than they ever expected.

My Review:

Outcast is the third book in the Warriors: Power of Three series by Erin Hunter. It continues to follow Jaypaw, Hollypaw, and Lionpaw on their journey to become warriors and do what is best for their Clan.

Even though they are apprentices, they are able to go on a long journey to help the Tribe of Rushing Water. They have helped the Clan cats before, so it only makes sense for them to return the favor.

The book was certainly interesting to see the Tribe cats again from the previous series. The journey to help the Tribe was entertaining enough as it was the first long journey the apprentices got to go on.

It’s not until they reach the mountains that they realize they may be in over their heads.

This book had plenty of adventure, but there was a lot of build-up to the journey. I felt some of that may not have been needed. Then again, there are three more books in the series after this one. Maybe some questions will be answered then.

Warriors: Outcast by Erin Hunter gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Great; I get to be told I’m dead all over again.” –Erin Hunter, Outcast

Don’t forget to check out my Goodreads page to see what I’m reading next!

Warriors: Power of Three Books 1 and 2

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads):

There will be three, kin of your kin . . .

The wild cats have flourished in their new home on the banks of the lake for several seasons, and the Clans are growing strong and healthy with new kits. The time has come for three kits of ThunderClan to become apprentices.

Hollypaw, Jaypaw, and Lionpaw spring from a strong legacy: children of Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw, two of the noblest ThunderClan warriors, and grandchildren of the great leader Firestar himself. All three young cats possess unusual power and talent and seem certain to provide strength to the Clan for the next generation.

But there are dark secrets around the three, and a mysterious prophecy hints at trouble to come. An undercurrent of rage is rising against those who are not Clanborn, and the warrior code is in danger of being washed away by a river of blood. All the young cats’ strength will be needed if the Clans are to survive.

. . . who hold the power of the stars in their paws.

If anyone has read the Warriors series then you will know that this is in fact the first book of the third series. In other words, this is the 13th book.

Firestar was the main character who started this series for all of us, so this series focuses on his grandchildren: Lionpaw, Hollypaw, and Jaypaw.

The book follows their struggle as they try to find a place within their clan. Lionpaw wants to be a warrior, but Hollypaw would rather be a medicine cat while Jaypaw wants to be a warrior as well. However, destiny says otherwise.

Due to Jaypaw’s blindness, it’s hard for everyone else to believe that he’ll make a strong warrior. However, Jaypaw is able to “see” through scent and touch. It’s not until Jaypaw dreams of StarClan, their ancestors, that he realizes he’s not blind in his dreams and he was walks into other cats’ dreams. That alone proves Jaypaw is the rightful medicine cat.

This book follows mostly Jaypaw as he learns to deal with his blindness and how he can effectively serve his Clan and learn how to “see” everything.

The Sight by Erin Hunter gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“You drift around the camp like a little dark cloud looking for someone to rain on.” –Erin Hunter, The Sight

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads):

The three children of Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw, grandchildren of the great leader Firestar, have thrived in their apprenticeships: Lionpaw’s strength and energy serve him well as a warrior in training, Hollypaw hones her understanding of the warrior code, and Jaypaw explores his mysterious powers and connection to StarClan as the medicine cat apprentice.

With more experience comes both power and danger: Lionpaw makes a friendship–and a discovery–that must be kept hidden; Jaypaw learns a secret that could benefit ThunderClan by damaging others; and Hollypaw knows something that could avert a battle, if she could convince the rest of her Clan.

The three are torn apart as each discovers darkness: in themselves, in the Clans, and in the past. And, as conflict begins over what it means to be a warrior, rising tensions threaten to overflow, washing away the peace that has existed for many moons.

The second book in the third series follows mostly Hollypaw and Lionpaw now. Lionpaw betrays his Clan by sneaking out at night to meet a WindClan apprentice, Heatherpaw.

They’re friends, not harming anyone. However, staying up all night takes a toll on Lionpaw when he is unable to train properly due to lack of sleep. His clanmates are getting suspicious and Hollypaw already knows and isn’t too happy with him.

Meanwhile, to help with his training, Lionpaw receives lessons from Tigerstar and Hawkfrost, his deceased kin. They will him to the dark side, but Lionpaw has yet to see that.

Heatherpaw discovers underground tunnels where she and Lionpaw can meet in peace. It isn’t until much later that Jaypaw discovers some ancestors are in those underground tunnels because they died in there.

Hollypaw tries to keep the peace between all the Clans; especially when three WindClan kits go missing. WindClan automatically assumes the worst believing one of the Clans has kidnapped them. Hollypaw is determined to find the kits before a battle breaks out.

Hollypaw, Jaypaw, Lionpaw, and Heatherpaw, with the help of another WindClan apprentice, Breezepaw, track the kits down in the underground tunnel before the rain floods it.

Warriors: Dark River by Erin Hunter gets 4 out of 4 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“I am no warrior, but I am a ThunderClan cat. I stay in the nursery rather than hunt and fight because that is what I do best. I care for our young as though they were my own. This is my gift to the Clan, but I do it in my own chosen name.” –Erin Hunter, Dark River

Camp NaNo: Last Two Days

Camp-Winner-2015-Web-Banner

There are two more days left of Camp NaNoWriMo. This is the final stretch. How are your novels coming along?

I hit my 50k word goal about a week ago, but the story is not yet complete. I wrote the ending, but there are a lot of scenes missing in the middle. I don’t know how many more scenes, but I do know the story is no where near complete.

Despite middle scenes missing, I know that a few of the middle scenes that are there shouldn’t exist. It got to the point that I was writing for the sake of my word count.

Anonymous Tip is the third novel in my George Florence series. The first two novels are one case with two sub-cases. This third novel is the beginning of another huge case. Same main characters, different minor characters, different plot, different cases… it’s a brand new adventure for George and Lilah.

While writing this case I realized that it might be better for me to completely edit the first two novels first. Then I’ll start working on the third novel.

So, I’m not going to finish the novel completely yet. I have a head start with 50k words (that’s decent, anyway) and I’ll get back to it when I finish the first two books.

George and Lilah can handle only so much at a time. Apparently so can I.

Camp NaNo: Week Four Recap

Novel Stats

The last week of Camp NaNoWriMo has come and gone. Did you beat your word goal?

Daily Word Count:
Day 22: 5,018
Day 23: 5,196
Day 24: 0
Day 25: 0
Day 26: 0
Day 27: 0
Day 28: 0

Week four total: 10,214
Overall total: 50,251

Technically, there are still two days left of Camp. So, there’s still sometime to boost your word count a little further.

I aimed to finish by the 24 of April because I got my wisdom teeth that day. Fortunately, I was able to stay focused and write the last 10k words of my story in two days.

My daily word count is zero after that due to recovery. I’ve been lying on the couch watching TV and playing video games for the past four days straight. I’m just starting to eat regular food again… kind of.

Normally, I would be trying to reach higher than 50k, but I think I’m all done. My novel wasn’t going where I wanted it to go anyway.

How’s your novel? Did you win, yet?

TTYL by Lauren Myracle

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest
Summary (from Goodreads):

Far from being precious, the format proves perfect for accurately capturing the sweet histrionics and intimate intricacies of teenage girls. Grownups (and even teenage boys) might feel as if they’ve intercepted a raw feed from Girl Secret Headquarters, as the book’s three protagonists–identified by their screen names “SnowAngel,” “zoegirl,” and “mad maddie”–tough their way through a rough-and-tumble time in high school. Conversations range from the predictable (clothes, the delicate high-school popularity ecosystem, boys, boys in French class, boys in Old Navy commercials, etc.) to the the jarringly explicit (the girls discuss female ejaculation: “some girls really do, tho. i read it in our bodies, ourselves”) and the unintentionally hilarious (Maddie’s IM reduction of the Christian poem “Footprints”–“oh, no, my son. no, no, no. i was carrying u, don’t u c?”).

But Myracle’s triumph in ttyl comes in leveraging the language-stretching idiom of e-mail, text messaging, and IM. Reaching to express themselves, the girls communicate almost as much through punctuation and syntactical quirks as with words: “SnowAngel: ‘cuz–drumroll, please–ROB TYLER is in my french class!!! *breathes deeply, with hand to throbbing bosom* on friday we have to do “une dialogue” together. i get to ask for a bite of his hot dog.'”

TTYL was published way back in 2004. I remember reading it back then and thinking the book was amazing. This book is written in IM messages. I used to be on the computer nearly 24/7 chatting with my friends through AIM, so this book was right up my alley.

I was only about 11 or 12 when I read the book and the characters are 15 and 16. Upon reading the book now I realized just how much went over my head the first time I read it.

I loved the characters, I loved the IM format, I loved the drama of it all. I would have given that book five stars ten years ago after reading. Now? Not so much.

The concept of the IM format is great and the story is told really well from the three female protagonists gossiping to one another. The girls themselves–Zoe, Angela, and Maddie–are so different from each other. Zoe is the brains of the group. She always does well in school and never does too much to get herself into trouble. Angela is the princess. She’s always talking about boys, clothes, and make-up. Meanwhile, Maddie is the risk-taker. She’s blunt and sarcastic.

This book goes through the beginning of their sophomore year at school. Zoe finds herself involved with a teacher when he hits on her, Maddie gets into the wrong crowd of friends, and Angela has boy troubles. Typical teenager stuff, right?

Yeah, but some of the things that happen to them just seem unrealistic to me. Plus, all three girls were whiny and very immature. This is a dirty book–something that went over my head when I read it the first time a few years ago. That being said, it just made me have a love/hate relationship with the girls. If I can’t relate to the characters, then that’s a problem.

Overall, the book did tackle real-life high school problems. Hanging out with the wrong crowd of kids, finding and keeping a boyfriend, and just trying to stick together with your best friends. In that sense, it was good because I think most–if not all–teenagers go through that.

TTYL by Lauren Myracle gets 3 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“it’s funny how some things r easier to talk about over the computer, isn’t it?” –Lauren Myracle, TTYL

Be sure to check out my Goodreads page to see what I’ll be reading next!

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads):

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

Written in beautiful prose, Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming is a memoir. Woodson describes her life from the moment she was born and beyond in free verse.

We get a closer look at her life, the ups and downs, the special moments and the not so special moments. We follow her as she moves from one place to another, the relationship between her and her family is uncanny.

Woodson was very observant as a young girl and learned a lot from her family and the world around her. She makes a big point to mention that she’s black, as is basically stated in the title, and how she lived in the era where black people were fighting for their own rights.

There is so much love and hate in this story and so much history behind it all. We’re not just learning about Woodson’s childhood, but we’re also learning a little bit about the world in 1963.

I would highly recommend reading this novel to anyone. It’s quick, beautifully written, and teaches us a lot. I even had a hard time picking a favorite quote for this one and ended up going with one of the Haikus in the story.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Even the silence
has a story to tell you.
Just listen. Listen.”
–Jacqueline Woodson, Brown Girl Dreaming

Be sure to check out my Goodreads page to see what I’ll be reading next!

Puck’s Choice by Skye Hegyes

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads):

Puck Dupree moved in with her sister after spending over a year trapped in the form of a fox. She had hoped to move on with a normal teenage life; however, trouble seems to have followed her. The Council wants her to partner with a mage or forfeit her life, a friend of hers has a stalker who may or may not be trying to destroy her, and a boy at school keeps watching her. If only she could decide if he wants to kiss her or kill her.

Puck’s Choice is about a high school girl learning to deal with normal, teenage, human things while at the same time coping with the fact that she’s a shifter. Puck doesn’t seem to mind that she’s a shifter, except she has a few bad memories because of it; her parents and her ex-boyfriend.

Throughout the novel, she’s trying to deal with memories from her past that haunt her as well as deal with present issues; like falling in love.

I love the characters in this novel. The thought of humans changing into animals intrigues me. Plus the fact that no one knows who’s human and who’s not. I think that’s what made the ending so exciting for me.

My only complaint is that the summary was kind of misleading. The Council doesn’t really come to play and get explained until the very end of the book and the boy at school only watches her for a chapter or two before they become good friends.

I have to admit as I read the novel I kept thinking it was four stars. However, when I read the ending I decided on five stars because everything was neatly tied up with a bow. I finally understood the significance of the title, we understood more about the Council, and even some of the characters.

Puck’s Choice by Skye Hegyes gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“I’m alive if that counts for anything.” –Skye Hegyes, Puck’s Choice

Be sure to check out my Goodreads page!
Be sure to check out Skye’s blog!

No Book Review

Due to school, work, and Camp NaNo, I did not finish reading the book I started this week.

The review should start back up again next week.

In meantime, here’s an adorable picture of my cat and turtle:

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