Thursday, January 26, 2012

Abducted by The Fault In Our Stars

Wait a second!!! What was that??? What's that you say???

Is there a John Green giveaway going on???

Why Yes! Yes there is!!!

My awesome friend, Andrea, has two extra copies of The Fault In Our Stars that have both been signed and Hanklerfished! Soooo, If you don't have a copy yet, or want one with a Hankfish on it, you should absolutely sign up!!! Just click on the image above and it will take you straight to her new blog, The Overstuffed Bookcase, where she is hosting the giveaway!

Andrea and I actually went to the book signing that was part of the Tour de Nerdfighting in Austin this weekend with our friend Tracy! Some of you guys know that 2012 did not start out as the best year for me, so I've kind of been down in the dumps lately, but this weekend was just what I needed to lift my spirits like nothing else ever could!!!

The book signing was at a high school (because there were 1100 people there!!!) but it was hosted by a local independent book store called Bookpeople! And let me just say it, that book store was AMAZING!!! They apparently have authors coming through there all the time and they often leave signed copies of their novels behind! I felt like we were on a treasure hunt because every which way we turned we would find books that were signed by their authors! It was so exciting! Tracy got a signed Sarah Dressen and we got Andrea a signed Scott Westerfield for her birthday.

And I took home a copy of Why We Broke Up signed by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) and Maira Kalman. I had no idea what this book was about, but the blurbs on the back were hysterical so I thought that it just has to be good. Plus, the art work on the inside looks amazing so I have very high hopes!

And then I turned to Tracy and said "If I find a David Levithan, I'll die!!!" Less then a minute later I was staring at several signed copies of all of David Levithan's novels and screaming my head off in excitement! I'm pretty sure my friends were trying to tell me to quiet down because I was embarrassing them but I was like "Hey, I warned you!"

*DFTBA Courtney! Hank Green*

And then we went to the book signing! John Green signed my copy of Looking For Alaska (on the very last page because I have a thing about last pages of novels) and Hank signed my copy of a new cd he released just for this tour! It was a magical evening! I will say though that I am a little disappointed that neither John, nor Hank, looked up at me and recognized me as the kindred spirit that I am so that we could go ahead and start are inevitable best-friendship! But hey, there will always be another tour and another book signing, I'll just have to wait!

This particular book signing was for John's new book The Fault In Our Stars, which came out on January 10th. All of the nerdfighting community was buzzing with excitement for this release and the wait was well worth it.

At this point however, I'm not really sure what I could say about this book that you haven't already heard. So, I'm just going to try the best I can.

This book is about kids, who are struggling with understanding the meaning of life and the concept of death, one kid trying their best to leave this world causing as minimal amount of pain to those that love them, the other doing everything they can to find a way to make a difference and leave a memory behind. The characters are completely honest and genuine and one hundred percent charming!

In case you need yet another reason to read this book, I'll give you this: It was written by JOHN GREEN! What more of a reason do you need? Seriously?

*To Courtney - John Green*
With all of John Green's novels he has created this Universe of stories. This entire world where every single character (young and old alike) are insanely clever and witty and smart and perfect and in their own little ways each one of them is absolutely, and yet beautifully, flawed! You want to know these people, you want these kids to be your best friends, you want these parents to be your parents, you want to go to that school and hang out at that mall. And in that magical John Green universe, this book, The Fault In Our Stars, is at the heart of it all.

And I for one can't wait to read John Green again, because every time I read his books I get to go back on vacation to that world!

I know you might be thinking that all of what I just said is a tad on the cheesy side. And you are right, it is. I know it is. But I can't help it. It's the truth.

The Fault In Our Stars gets an abduction rating of...

*big surprise right? 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Abducted by...I NEED HELP!!!

I'm having problems with my blog...can anybody out there help me???

So I have a new blog through blogger, Courtney's 29th Year.

It is all about my personal struggles and growth I'm going through this year.

But here is the problem... I've lost all my followers!

When I look on my dashboard it says that I have 6 followers of that blog.

When I view the blog, it says that I only have 1. So I don't think my posts are showing up on my friends' googlereaders.

My friend, Shavonne, tried to re-follow my blog and was able to add herself, but then when I went back to my blog to check, it still said I only have 1 follower.

Has this happened to anyone before?

Does anyone out there have any idea how to fix it?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Abducted by Tuck Everlasting

On Sunday I read Tuck Everlasting in ONE day!

That means that this one little book, counts toward all of my 2012 challenges, except one!

My own page count challenge? Yep! A full 139 pages!

Bev's TBR challenge? Yep! I've had it on my tbr shelf since August!

Kate's Re-Read challenge? Yep! I read this one back in middle school!

Annette's Read in a day challenge? Yes, Sir! I read this one on Sunday and I also managed to have lunch with my mother, run some errands, go grocery shopping at Sam's, and had dinner with my parents followed by a couple of hours of television!

The only challenge it doesn't work for is Yvonne's Finishing the Series challenge...but hey you can't win them all now can you?

Anyway, Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt is an amazing novel about a ten year old who is forced to come to terms with life and death, when she meets a family that can never die.

I love this novel because it walks the line through a very difficult balance. The novel is dealing with these heavy issues and yet, it doesn't get to heavy into developing the relationships in the book.

Like I said, I first read this book back in middle school (which was a pretty long time ago) but I feel like the reason I remembered the novel so well is because I have seen the movie...more then once!

The 2002 movie, starring Alexis Bledel and Jonathan Jackson, actually follows the novel pretty closely. I think that really the only noticeable difference was that in the movie Jesse and Winnie spend more time together and really develop their relationship.

But their relationship in the book isn't that close because James is 17 and Winnie is only 10. She is excited by him and charmed by him, but is it love? Who knows!

- Out of respect, I'm going to go ahead and say SPOILER ALERT in reference towards the next paragraph for those who maybe haven't read the book and don't know how it ends, but I mean seriously, come on, this is a classic! Go read it! -

In the end, Winnie is given the opportunity to live forever when Jesse gives her a bottle filled with water from the same spring that his family had drunk from. And what does she do? She pours it out over a toad in order to save him instead. I love that because it shows that she understands the theory of the circle of life enough to know she can't keep the water for herself. But, in her own childish way, she comes to love and respect life in all creatures to the point that she wants no harm to come to this little toad.

I think novels like this are important today. Especially for a society that is beginning to romanticize the idea of eternal life with novels about vampires and werewolves and whatnot. We want to believe in eternal love. We want to believe that we can live forever, happy and fulfilled. But is it right?

Hell No! Remember that from time to time people!!!

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt gets an abduction rating of...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Abducted by a Meme!

My awesome friend Kate completed this meme back on the 1st and even though it has taken me a while, I still really wanted to do it too! 

It was originally posted by Christine!

Here we go...

Using only titles of books that you read last year (2011), complete the prompts below. Try not to repeat any book titles. Think creatively and have fun!

Describe yourself: Nothing to Fear by Alicia Dean

How do you feel: I Am America by Stephen Colbert

Describe where you currently live: Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: You Know Where To Find Me by Rachel Cohn

Your favorite form of transportation: It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

Your best friend is: The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

You and your friends are: In the Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith

What's the weather like: Forever Odd by Dean Koontz

What is life to you: Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

Favorite time of day: Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby

Your fear: I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason by Susan Kandel

What is the best advice you have to give: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Thought for the day: Remember Me by Sophie Kinsella

How I would like to die: The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis

My soul's present condition: Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Abducted by Will Grayson Will Grayson

I finished Will Grayson, Will Grayson on Saturday, and I know that I promised a raving review for you guys, but now that I am sitting here, fingers poised to type, I can't think of what to say...

(3 hours later)

The book was amazing! I really did love it!

First of all, I love John Green. I have read most of his books (I haven't read Let It Snow yet, and TFIOS is laying patiently beside me), but I am also a huge fan of his vlogbrother videos. David Levithan on the other hand, my love for him is bordering on obsession at this point!
As far as the rest of the book goes...
I truly loved all the characters! Each one of them was flawed in their own little perfect way. Each character also, had an arch and they all changed and grew by the end of the story. Except, of course, for Jane. Jane was awesome in the beginning, stayed awesome through the middle, and someday I will have an "I'm with Phil Wrayson" shirt just like the awesome one she wore at the end. 

I loved Will Grayson #1 (John Green's Will) because I really felt for the struggles he had to endure with his relationship with Tiny. It is hard to have friends that you have had since you were a child. As you get older and you both change, you can start to grow apart. But I felt that Green handle it in a very honest and genuine way, that I know I was able to relate to.

Will Grayson #2 (David Levithan's Will) I struggled with just a little bit more, but his story was also a tad bit darker then Will #1. His friendship with Mara was disturbing, and when she tricked him I was devastated! In the first chapter he was being a little cold towards his mother, and anyone who knows me knows that is something I can not stand! It is a huge turn off for me when I'm around someone who disrespects their parents. I know that not all parents are as amazing as mine are, but still...

Anyway, I tried to give Will #2 some slack, he was high school boy after all, and I am glad I did. By the end, his relationship with his mother had me in tears! 

I could not stop myself from underlining different passages in this book. I underlined so much, I even underlined one of the comments they authors added in their acknowledgments at the back of the book! So, I wanted to include one of my favorite passages that came from a Will #2 chapter: 

"i can't imagine us saying these things to each other out loud. but even if i can't imagine hearing these words, i can imagine living them. i don't even picture it, instead i'm in it. how i would feel with him here. that peace. it would be so happy, and it makes me sad because it only exists in words."

This book isn't perfect. It is close, but it does have a fault or two. However, I promise you that this book is pure dessert. 

I like to say that some books are "candy books". They may not have stellar writing or poetic metaphors to stand on, but they are light and fun.

This book is pure delight and fun, but it is not candy. This book has so much substance you could choke on it! This would be a creme brulee of dessert books.
That is, of course, if you like creme brulee, which I've never been a fan of. So I would have to compare this
book to the most sinfully decadent and lavish chocolate cake.

Wait - did I just compare WGWG to cake so I would have an excuse to stop by my absolute favorite french bakery, La Baguette, and pick up a slice of cake???

Hell yeah I did!!!

I will be giving Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan an abduction rating of...

Friday, January 6, 2012

Abducted by an ending and a new beginning

I have been meaning to write this post for a week now, so I apologize for it taking me so long!

I want to do a quick recap of how I did on all my challenges last year so I can then tell you about all of the challenges I'm going to shoot for this year.

Okay, so for starters, last year I challenged myself to read 111 books.

I failed miserably! I only read 82 and a good deal of those were audio books and graphic novels.

But I do want to take this moment to simply say;

My favorite book I read in all of 2011: Jane Eyre! If I had known that book was going to be so amazing I would have read it 10 years ago, when I first bought it!

My favorite author to discover in 2011: I have two! One of the first books I read in 2011 was Dash & Lily's Book of Dares which introduced me to David Levithan! I am now officially obsessed with him! And in April I started listening to an audio recording of Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby. Even though that book wasn't quite what I thought it would be, I still managed to fall in love! I now must read anything and everything Hornby has had a hand in!

I also challenged myself to read more books with 350 or more pages, but I only managed to read 6.

Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
It's Kind of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

I accepted my dear friend Kate's challenge to reread some of my old favorites and managed to reread 11.

All 7 of the Chronicles of Narnia
Cheerleaders: The First Evil by R.L. Stine
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Letters from Rifka by Karen Hesse
Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

I also tried to read a book for each letter of the alphabet, but I missed out on the letters Q, X, and Z. 
Who knows, maybe next year...

Okay, so for next year I will be participating in the following challenges:

and of course, my very own,

If you are interested in any of the new challenges I'll be doing you can click on the images to find their original posts. Sorry, this post was so boring, by I'm almost done with Will Grayson Will Grayson so expect a review coming soon!

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