Saturday, 26 September 2015

Graphically Speaking: Not a John Green Fan.

I don't like John Green's writing. I do not like his books.

This sounds like a very ironic thing to say given that for many personal reasons The Fault in Our Stars is one of my favourite books, and one of my favourite films too. But the fact is that only really appreciating 1 book out of his five means that I just don't have the same respect for him as many other people do.

Green's novels are exceptionally samey - with the exception of TFiOS. Here I'd like to show why.

So now that I've read 3 of John Green's books, I've decided that his writing really isn't for me. The idea of a crazy girl needing to be saved by a boy who is feeling pretty lost is repetitive and samey and I don't understand how people can go on and think that this books are completely flawless. But the fact is that there is too much focus on how "brilliant his books are". I've heard multiple people saying "His books cannot be rated any lower than 5 stars". THEY HAVE FLAWS. THEY'RE NOT PERFECT. NO BOOK IS. 

Graphically speaking, I don't like John Green's books. Like many authors, he is not a God.

Holly x

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Mini Reviews September 2015

In Another Life by Laura Jarratt
In Another Life
American sisters Hannah and Jenny Tooley have spent their lives dreaming of flying to the UK and visiting all the places their English mother has told them about. But Jenny’s dream turns to a nightmare when she vanishes without a trace. Hannah and her father arrive in England to a big police investigation. As Hannah gets to know some of Jenny’s friends and acquaintances, she realises that her sister is up to her neck in something – and the mysterious text messages she’s receiving bear this out. She is particularly drawn to Harry and, against her better judgement, begins to fall in love.

When I first received this in July, I was beyond excited. Last year I gave a glowing review to Skin Deep, also by Jarratt. Naturally, this didn't disappoint.

Having the premise of a family member going missing abroad was incredibly interesting. I've never read anything like that before. Laura Jarratt pushes the boundaries of contemporary YA fiction. She breaks down walls that need to be broken and issues bubble to the surface that are screaming to be discussed. It's not often in YA, or in fiction at all, that the topic of a missing person in a far away country is covered, and it was fantastically well done.

Jarratt never fails to leave me on the edge of my seat, hanging onto the narrators every word. The twists and turns were so unpredictable and truly shocking at times. Furthermore, Hannah's never wavering bond with her sister lost and so far away was heartwarming to read of. To read of someone so desperate to find their family shatters your heart into a million little pieces.

The Tattooed Heart by Michael Grant
The Tattooed Heart (Messenger of Fear, #2)
Mara has learned to punish the wicked as the Messenger’s apprentice. Those who act out of selfishness and greed, and others who become violent because of prejudice and hate, pay the ultimate price. But Mara is constantly reminded that Messengers are serving their own kind of punishment—for every person who is offered justice, they wear a tattoo that symbolizes the heart of the crime. As Mara delves deeper into her harsh reality, she will discover that in spite of all the terror she and Messenger inflict, caring in this world is the hardest part of all.

It's no lie that I both loved and hated Messenger of Fear with it's dark and disturbing horror scenes. The Tattoed Heart felt like reexperiencing all the emotions I'd had in Messenger of Fear...then doubled.

The world Mara is sucked into is one that is bursting with complexity and gore. One thing that I loved that continued through to this book was how many thoughts this novel provoked in my mind. The Messenger of Fear duology deals with topics that you wouldn't expect horror novels to cover; yet they do, and in such a poignant way.

All that being said, this was good but a little gruesome for my liking, these have however, been since passed onto my brother who will hopefully enjoy them more than I did.

Thank you so much to Electric Monkey for sending me both of these books, free of charge, and in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Fan Loyalty

When a book is adapted into a film, a divide is formed between fans. Those who read the book first, and those who saw the film first. The divide splits a group of people, a community of sorts who all share a common interest in the story being told - whether it be by the screen or the pages of a book and a quiet rivalry is formed.

It sounds rather silly to say, but it's true. As I write this it is the opening weekend in the UK of The Fault in Our Stars in cinemas. (This has been in my drafts for quite some time) Today I went to see the film and loved it. One thing I did notice though, was the divide between those who had read the book and those who hadn't. 

First, the readers: Prepared. Tissues stuffed in pockets and lively chatter about scenes they were looking forward to prior to the film.
Then, the watchers: Excited. Laughing at the parts to laugh at. Sobbing at the sadder moments. They were climbing over each other to give their friends hugs. These were pure and genuine reactions of people who clearly didn't know what was coming. 

And it came across like this...

In the case of The Fault in Our Stars, I'm someone who read the book first. I grew to love that book and knew I wanted to see the film. I'm glad I' read the book first. However, when it came to those girls I really wanted to say "You should have read the book first." But in all honesty I don't have a problem with people who seem the film first, because I've been one of those people.

I became a fan of Harry Potter because I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in the cinema BEFORE I'd read the Harry Potter books. Yes, it was stupid seeing the last film and none of the others with no knowledge of the series, but I became obsessed with Harry Potter. Four years down the line, I still am. People often say "You're not a true fan if you didn't read the book first." and you'll get other book bloggers if one of us has watched the film before reading the book saying things along the lines of  "Shame on you." 

To that I say "SO WHAT?"

This is one of those issues that I constantly notice on blogs and on twitter and it's something that I really feel should be discussed. In some scenarios I feel you should read the book because there are things the films cut out, but if someone watches the film first and then becomes part of the fanbase, does that make them any less of a fan? Because they were told the same story just through another type of media, does that make them any less of a fan? I don't think it does. I don't think that it makes me any less of a Harry Potter fan because I saw the films first. And if those girls in the cinema become fans of The Fault in Our Stars, it doesn't mean that they're not true fans because they saw the film first.

As fans, we all like the same story, no matter how that story has been told to us. 

Holly x