I’m not the avid reader people seem to assume I am, but I believe I read more often than the average teenager. What the hell is an ‘average teenager’? There are always labels to disconnect you from ‘average’, isn’t there? Okay, let’s just ignore that tangent.
So people think I’m always reading, though when I think about it, I didn’t read very many books in 2012, and I usually only read during my breaks between semesters. But what else can you do once you’ve been shoved into the ‘nerd’ and ‘hipster’ category? I don’t love or hate my labels – they’re just labels and it can’t be helped because this world is sometimes shitty to human beings.
Anyway, I started off this blog to start reviewing books/movies/music/etc. and I haven’t been doing that. Mostly because I never stick to anything, I’m lazy and also because I’m ‘busy’ with uptight college tasks.
So I thought I should just write a snippet about each of the books I read in 2012. Also, spoilers, hello.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Four or five years ago, this big shot book store guy came to our school to talk to us about books and he mentioned this one, when it was newly released. It sounded fucking awesome so I made a mental note to read it. Five years later, I still hadn’t read it and the movie came out. After I watched the movie, I was so mind blown about how crazy good I thought it was, because I had no real idea what it was about exactly. So I got the trilogy straight away and the first one was better than I expected. I thought it would be written a little ‘Twilight-y’, but it was much better. Suzanne Collins has a real talent for casually mentioning something in one page and letting that one small detail mean shit goes down twenty pages later, e.g. Many things Haymitch, Peeta or Cinna say becomes some really important detail in the long run.
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Goddamn. That was a good book. This was my favourite of the trilogy. The first one might have been my favourite if I didn’t already know what was going to happen. So when they went back into the games in this book, I went all ghetto *click click* dayum this book yo. The main problem I have, because I am just terrible at comprehending things, is the whole ending with the wire and the tree and the force field. I’ve read it twice now and I still don’t know what the hell happened there. Well, I know what happened about Beetee trying to break through the force field and everything, but I still don’t know what their supposed plan was meant to be, originally. I kind of do, but there are just pieces missing that I don’t understand. But anyway, it was a good book. I think I got through this one quicker than the first.
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Aggggggghhhhhhhh. I don’t know. It took me a while to read this, and I was kind of over it. The whole ‘I am the mockingjay’ thing ruined it for me. The whole war thing. I don’t really like war books, and this one didn’t really work for me. I don’t even remember what happened. Except for camera crew following Katniss around while she makes motivational speeches to the rebels. The existence of District 13 was a good twist, but I didn’t like District 13 – they were too Silversun (shitty sci-fi TV show) to me. I can’t even remember how it ended except that Prim died and that was just CRUEL.
Looking For Alaska by John Green
It has been a long time since I read that, but I do remember vaguely reviewing this in my TFiOS review. I was half and half on this one. I’ve read most of John Green’s books, and I’ve always been a little iffy (oh, the irony) about the way he writes. He uses capital letters a little too excessively for shouting, which feels too casual for a book, in my opinion, and it sounds like all the characters in the book sound the same – the way they talk. Also, the protagonists’ love interests seem to be very similar to each other, except that in TFiOS, he was a boy with one leg, but still a hard to read, unpredictable, unique-minded being (it’s 2a.m. I have English is not being gooder words). So all in all, I somehow found this book, and Paper Towns, to be quite similar to each other, but I still like this one more than Paper Towns. I despised the love interest from that book since the beginning.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Despite what I said above, I really did thoroughly enjoy this book. So much that it is now one of my favourites. This book made me decide to start highlighting phrases in my novels because there were so many things in this book that I agreed/disagreed with or simply thought was interesting, so I had to read it again. I also have a whole long ass review on this book already.
Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
I never finished reading this because I just got caught up in doing other things after my first sem break and another book must have come along while this one fell to the wayside. Let me just say this – I read somewhere in the book that this was written for a niece or what have you named Alice. And I really can’t imagine a child reading this. The plot, absolutely, but the way it was written… takes a lot out of you. There are lots of words and not a lot of paragraphs!
The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara
Well, I enjoyed the film so much that when I found this book at Vinnies for $2, it’s a given. I haven’t finished this one either (there are a lot of books on my shelf which I’ve never finished reading) but it’s still on my list. I’m determined to finish reading it. I really do want to learn the details of his adventures, because I find it annoying when I see teens wearing his face on their shirts and they don’t know who he is. After all he’s done, to end up just being a fashion statement.
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
I haven’t finished this one either, and I won’t make excuses for this one. I just don’t like it. It’s not for me, this book (did I just have a Yoda moment there?). I remember I even started reading this in 2011 during my ‘omg penguin classics are the way to go’ phase and I still have about a third or maybe even half of it to go. As soon as I finished reading Fahrenheit 451, I put it down and picked up Lolita. I got really excited because the writing style was entirely different. It was so fancy and proper and all uppity, for lack of a better word. I actually liked reading it right up until they started staying in hotel after hotel and I was just thinking, ‘Is something new going to happen?’ And eventually I just lost interest. What’s really sick about this book is that the guy (I don’t even remember his name) seems less of a vulgar pedophile because he writes so well. And that is an extraordinary achievement, so kudos, Nabokov.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
This one I actually finished reading! Admittedly, I didn’t always know what was going on in the book. I should just super glue myself to young adult fiction. I don’t do well with these kinds of books, but I think it was okay. I couldn’t go into detail about this because I have no real opinion of it and it seems I read it so long ago. I read that last sentence and it sucks that I have no opinion of it. Clearly, I read this while unconscious and I need to read it again for real. I’m excited for the film, though I’m still a tad unsure about Tobey Maguire. But I love watching worlds and characters in books coming to life on the screen. The constant adaptations from book to movie is often shunned and complained about, but I think it’s amazing to see it coming together outside of your imagination. Don’t you think, old sport? 😉
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Did you know this book was published in 1999?! But thanks to the hipsters of this generation it became popular enough to become a movie! Hurrah, hipsters! A friend told me about this book about two or three years ago, and all I remember her saying was how messed up it was and that I should read it, so I made a mental note to read it, and I never did and the movie came out. I do genuinely mean to read these books I make mental notes of, but I just never get around to doing it in the end. And all the books I’m supposed to have read just turn into movies, so I watch the movie and that convinces me one final time to go and read the book.
Anyway, right now this is probably one of my favourite books. Actually, no. I watched the movie first, and I liked the movie better. I just think the book was much more depressing. And I get that he was pretty mentally and emotionally unstable, but did he really have to cry that often? Sometimes it’s hard to read because of the way it’s written – it’s an epistolary novel. And the way Charlie writes sounds like his voice is… pathetic? Like sad and mopey. Kind of the way Eeyore sounds. But the reason I love this book and movie so much is because of Charlie’s friends and Charlie himself. It doesn’t seem to make sense based on everything else I said. But Charlie in the film version is just so alike me it’s unreal. I actually think he’s just a better version of me. A more honest version. I love him so much, because he really is such a wallflower – someones who exists and observes and makes very little impact. Though by the end, his impact was made.
I think I was just very relieved that there is this kind of person. Not necessarily that this kind of person exists, because he doesn’t, but that Stephen Chbosky can create such a character who is so much like me, so I’m not crazy, I’m not this average mixture of all things and definitive of nothing in particular. That I still want to do all the teenagery things in life but I’m so much of a wallflower that I can never find the opportunity to do so.
Charlie’s friends, Sam and Patrick, are the absolute epitome of the kind of friends I dream of having. This group of misfits who don’t give a shit about high school cliques but still do all the teenagery things like drinking, smoking, doing drugs, partying, and aren’t worried of embarrassing themselves and are just all over carefree and always happy. They are exactly the kind of people who don’t exist within a 1000km radius of me. I like to think of them as ‘movie friends’ because I can just imagine looking over at them from across the lunch room and they’re laughing and someone throws food at someone and the other playfully hits one and just looks too Hollywood movie staged, to be real. I feel like these kinds of people don’t exist.
Also, this book gave me a pretty sick list of music and books to get into. I’m currently obsessed with The Smiths song, Asleep, which by the way, I never really understood the hype about The Smiths. There are only about five or so songs that I love from them; everything else sounds like someone trying to be poetic and philosophical, and just added a random melody with no real song structure to it. Sorry, Morrissey! But other than that, yes! I really love that song! I’m also now reading Catcher in the Rye, thanks to this book. I’ve read some of the books on that list, but I kind of just want to read ALL OF THEM.
Okay, so maybe Perks should have been in a different post altogether. Oops!