Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

While getting back to reviewing, I am going to start with one of my favorite books of the year. It was a very touching story, and that is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

Here is a summary from goodreads:

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

John Green did a spectacular job with this novel, in particular the development of the characters. They were so unique and they were honest and raw.

I hadn't cried from a book since... I think maybe Sisterhood Everlasting because of Lena and Kostos, but this book had me bawling. I stayed up late reading it, (another sign that is was fantastic) and was crying like a baby in the middle of the night. Tissues in hand.

I think it is one of the best books I've ever read and it really made a special impact on me.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT. Now go buy it, or borrow it. Just read it and see for yourself.


I'm Back

Here's the story:

I thought my computer plug was broken, so I haven't been on it since around the last time I posted. However, I tried it a few days ago and it is perfectly normal. So I am here to blog and catch up.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Piano Guys Music Video with an Orchestra I'm In!

If you haven't already seen it, you should check out this awesome music video made by the Piano Guys. It is a mash up of One Republic's 'Secrets' and Beethoven's 5th symphony. I'm in the orchestra in the video, Lyceum Philharmonic, and it was so much fun to make!

I really love when there are classical music/pop mash ups to promote classical music to those who might not usually like it, and to also show that orchestra is not just for nerds. :)


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lost Arts of This Generation

There are many things that are slowly being lost in this generation. It may not seem like a bad thing to some, because subsitutes such as the internet, are very productive and a miracle, really.

But don't you wish that some things could be the same? I do. So let's change that.

My blog is in a more cursive style font. Sorry to those of whom it is hard to read. But, I personally write in cursive all the time and am quite shocked to find out that my little siblings aren't even learning it in school. So, spreading the cursive one letter at a time.

I also miss letter writing. Maybe I am somewhat of a romantic sentimentalist, but I find it a refreshing way to contact somebody and really get to know them. And it is so romantic. Anyway, I am writing about two letters a week, maybe more to random friends I have met in the past. Who knows if they will write back? It's always fun to atleast get something in the mail, especially if it is personalized to you. (P.S. If you want to be a pen pal, let me know because I'm totally for that.)

Among other things, I wish that dances were more like dances in the past. Of course, I wasn't in that era so I don't have a first hand experience, but in stories and pictures of the past, they look lovely. I wish to dance with a partner to swing or jazz music, or even slow dance to some classical string quartets. Instead, if I choose to go to a dance, there is just a bunch of rap music and boys who don't have a clue what to do. And it is expensive to buy a fancy dress, especially if you aren't even going to give it justice by really dancing in it. I wish that things could be more like the past era.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen 
Release Date: 12 October 2010
Publisher: Harper
Pages: 389

Synopsis from Goodreads:
The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.

Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York's glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star...

Cordelia is searching for the father she's never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined—and more dangerous. It's a life anyone would kill for...and someone will.

The only person Cordelia can trust is Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia's brother, Charlie. But Astrid's perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.

Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls' fortunes will rise and fall—together and apart. From the New York Times bestselling author of The Luxe comes an epic new series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age.

My Review:
Anna Godbersen's 'The Luxe' series is one of my favorite series. I was absolutely thrilled when I found out about Bright Young Things. What could be better than Godbersen writing of the fun Jazz Age? I was excited. I read the sample to this book a while back in summer and reviewed that, but here is the full book review. It was the first book I read all year, and coincidentally, also the era we were talking about in english class due to reading 'The Great Gatsby'.

I thought that the era was pretty well described and depicted. Of course, I can't say that I lived during that era, but I can make a pretty good image of it in my head based on history. I loved how she threw in the flappers, and bootleggers. In fact, it was fun to see the life of Cordelia's father, a bootlegger, with a secret underground tunnel and things like that. The boys and girls were much more risque than in The Luxe series, but than again that is what did happen in 'The Roaring Twenties.'

I did enjoy the characters quite a bit. My favorite...I don't know. I really like the three main girls and I feel bad choosing a favorite. But I felt as if I liked each one of them for different reasons. I liked Letty's innocence and how hard she worked. I felt so awful for her at humiliating times. I liked Astrid's style and the way she acted, and also felt for her at times. And Cordelia, well sometimes I loved her and sometimes I was angry at her. She has a confidence about her that sparkled but also a carelessness that can drive one crazy. That's what made her character so intriguing, perhaps.

The boys were not my favorite. I hate to compare to the Luxe, especially since I didn't get into that series until the 2nd novel, but I prefer Henry over all of the boys. I did like Thom Hale and Cordelia because it was a little Romeo and Juliet-y, but the romances of the book didn't really do it for me. I do think that I will grow to like the characters more though, so I am going to keep reading and decide later if I like them or not. Also, I think that I have to keep in mind that in that era their were a lot of deceitful men and women. It also makes the story more interesting.

The setting was fun too! I love New York City. (and general area) Everything about it. I thought that it was fun to watch Letty's adventures as a want-to-be singer, Cordelia's adventures of sneakiness, (how else do I describe them?) and watching Astrid try to figure out who she was. 

I recommend Bright Young Things for those 13+. It is fairly clean, but as it is in the twenties there is a lot of drinking, some kissing, and some other minor things.

I LOVED Bright Young Things and I think that although I read it at the beginning of the year, it will still be a favorite by the end!

The Book Ages

I love to read and I used to have a young adult blog for my reviews, but now I read a variety of genres so I am making a new blog to review books.

I also love the Jazz Age, thus sort of relating to my title 'The Book Ages' and the background picture. Because what's not to love?

I look forward to reviewing and although this blog may be neglected until June 2012, it is being established right now and will definitely be continued after my life calms down a little.