Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & ParkEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (2013)

Summary

An unlikely teenage romance between two misfits: Eleanor (the overweight girl with flaming red hair and strange clothes) and Park (the comic-book-loving half-Korean boy).

Review

Eleanor and Park and terribly awkward, endearing characters and their story is sweet and tragic. I liked it, but I wasn’t blown away by it either.

You might like this book if you are interested in…

  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • Comic books
  • Bullying
  • The Smiths
  • Young adult romance
  • John Green
  • Abusive stepfathers

Longbourn

Longbourn by Jo Baker (2013)

Longbourn

Summary

Longbourn is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice from the perspective of the servants.

Review

Although I’ve never fully read Pride and Prejudice, I can quote many of the lines by heart from watching the 1995 miniseries (with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth) more times than I can count.

Longbourn doesn’t really provide any new insights into P&P, though it does add some backstory. It is more of a standalone novel taking place in the same setting as P&P. At the same time, I wouldn’t really recommend it unless you’re already familiar with P&P.

A Downton Abbey and P&P mashup seemed like a brilliant idea, but Longbourn didn’t accomplish that. It wasn’t bad, but I didn’t love the story.

You might like this book if you are interested in…

  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Shoe roses
  • British historical romances
  • Washing soiled petticoats
  • Downton Abbey
  • Retellings of classic stories

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our StarsSummary

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is  about a 16-year-old girl named Hazel Grace Lancaster who is battling thyroid cancer. At the support group her mom forces her to attend, she meets a 17-year-old boy named Augustus Waters, who lost his leg to osteosarcoma.

Hazel and Augustus hit it off immediately. Hazel finds Augustus charming and ridiculously good-looking and he tells Hazel she reminds him of Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta — beautiful with a dislike for authority. The two fall in love and bond over a shared appreciation for a book called An Imperial Affliction, which ends abruptly in the middle of a sentence.

The story takes Hazel and Augustus through the emotional highs of love and the lows of impending death… and even on a trip to Amsterdam to ask the author of An Imperial Affliction what happens after the story ends.

Review

Overall, I liked The Fault in Our Stars. Sure, the characters may be pretentious and the monologues unrealistic, but I thought it was cute and heartwarming and, of course, tragic.

Here’s one thing that really bothered me, though: every time I read “Augustus Waters,” I couldn’t help but think of Aurane Waters, the handsome admiral from A Song of Ice and Fire. 😛

So anyway, I think The Fault in Our Stars is best suited for its intended audience (teenagers), but adult YA fans may enjoy it, too.

Movie

The movie version of The Fault in Our Stars comes out in June. The trailer is below:

Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, who play the star-crossed lovers, are also going to act as brother and sister in another big YA movie, Divergent, which comes out in March.