Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

17208924Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQ
Published by: Penguin
Pages: 310
Format: Paperback
Rating:
★★
Where to Find:
Goodreads | Amazon

Will Grayson and Will Grayson, by John Green and that other guy, you have both failed to impress me. I had such high expectations for this book, after reading all of John Green’s other published works and having sampled David Levithan’s writing when I read ‘Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares’. Perhaps, because of these high expectations, I was guaranteed to be let down.

      Being a co-written book, ‘Will Grayson, Will Grayson’ is a mixture of good and bad. Unlike other co-written books, such as ‘Beautiful Creatures’, it is easy to tell which writer is writing which Will Grayson. I preferred the first Will, who had a fairly robotic way of life until his joints were oiled by love. The way that this Will Grayson articulated his feelings was occasionally beautiful but generally easy to relate to. It was easier to love this Will Grayson, compared to the second one.
      The second Will Grayson was distinguished by his inability to use capital letters. He was suffering from depression and knew that he shouldn’t use his mental condition as an excuse for being a rude and horrible person, but did it anyway. The way he treated his friends and his mother made me want to distance myself from his character, or completely skip his chapters all together. One Will Grayson was definitely enough for me.
      The second Will Grayson was gay. This book did a lot to raise the awareness of homosexuality; the plot is all about a musical production about being gay. But, I didn’t understand why it was so necessary to make a big deal over who was gay and who wasn’t. Isn’t the point of raising awareness about homosexuality to promote that everyone is normal, no matter what? Why did the fact that a character may or may not be gay have to constantly be mentioned?
      Also, one of the main aspects of the book was that the Will Graysons were both meant to meet. This meeting didn’t happen until 100 pages in, yet the I felt the plot in first 100 pages could have been at least halved. Not a lot was happening up until the point they met, and to be honest, not a lot happened after that either. I’d say, out of the whole 308 pages, both Will Graysons were together for 20 pages, max. Not what I expected.
      The ending was abrupt and unsatisfying, but at least one Will Grayson got a happy ending.
Of course, if you’re looking for a book that has a trial and error (or trial-error-trial) attempt at being witty and somewhat insightful then this is the book for you. If you’re dead set on reading this book just because John Green co-wrote it, may I recommend ‘Paper Towns’ instead? The library also has a copy of this and you won’t regret the decision of deciding to follow the story of Quentin and Margo over Will Grayson and the other Will Grayson.

Review: Dead Ends by Erin Lange

Dead Ends by Erin Jadead-endsde Lange
Genre: Contemporary, Friendship
Published By: Bloomsbury
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Rating:
Where to Find:
Goodreads | Amazon

I picked up this book because a lovely friend of mine said she had mixed opinions on it and I wanted to see if I could come up with a more definitive thought on the novel to share with her. Plus, I loved the colour of the cover.

‘Dead Ends’ is told from a bully’s perspective, though like many bullies, he doesn’t realise what he’s doing is wrong until someone else, in this case a kid with Down’s Syndrome, Billy, points it out. Dane, the bully, is roped into helping Billy around school and their on-off friendship leads to trouble, mayhem and more trouble as both boys try and find their lost fathers.

It was definitely interesting to read a novel told from a troubled perspective. It was a different dynamic that I’m not entirely sure I enjoyed. Dane didn’t seem very anxious about the repercussions of his actions, whereas I’m sure Voldemort might have felt at least some inner turmoil.

The relationship that grew between Dane and Billy was a Marmite relationship – they either liked each other or they didn’t. Dane had a few double standards when it came to Billy – he didn’t like other people treating him differently because of his appearance yet would distance himself from Billy’s company by not wanting to call him a friend. As the novel progressed, I’m sure his outlook changed but it annoyed me that Dane wasn’t completely accepting of Billy like he wanted others to be.

Slightly ‘Paper Towns’-esque when the boys were trying to figure out a trail of clues left for Billy by his dad on how to find him. That was slightly interesting, but not enough to make me turn the pages any faster.

Billy had his own double standards when it came to honesty, though I won’t go into that but it made me feel as angry as Dane at the injustice of his outbursts, which were valid but not at all fair.

The plot progressed nicely, with new things being weaved into the story at semi-regular intervals that helped me to keep reading. My favourite character was probably the love interest, Seely, but it seemed she was only written in for convenience and didn’t hold a bigger purpose other than ‘the girl with the computer’.

Still, it would be wrong to say I didn’t enjoy parts of the novel, though it didn’t contain anything that wowed me. My rating would therefore be: 2.6 stars because I felt, in the end,  I was just reading it to finish it, not to love it.

(Spoiler) Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

fallenFallen by Lauren Kate
Genre: Romance, Paranormal
Published by: Delacorte Press
Pages: 452
Format: Paperback
Rating:
★★.5
Where to Find:
Goodreads | Amazon

There are certain buzzwords in novel descriptions that just seem to put me off the story, because I feel like it’s going to be the same thing as what I’ve read before. Things like ‘dark and mysterious boy’ and ‘they’ve met in another life’ not to mention the oh so clichéd ‘love triangle.’

And Fallen had all of these things, but for some reason I still felt compelled to read it. Granted, this is probably because of the pending movie, and I didn’t want to be left out of any hype. Movie Casting: http://laurenkatebooks.net/its-official-the-fallen-cast/

      Fallen follows the story of Luce, who has been haunted by shadows all her life, and one day those shadows do something terrible that ensures Luce a place at Sword & Cross – home for delinquents. Which is where she meets the crazy Arriane and the bookish Penn. Not to mention the two boys that steal her heart…well, okay so there’s this one boy and he’s all dark and mysterious but they’ve met each other in a past life and they’re just meant to be. And then there’s the other one.

      Luce wasn’t the strongest of female protagonists, but she certainly wasn’t weak, the fact that she told people how she was feeling was quite refreshing. She did have moments where she lost a little bit of her common sense, but other than that I enjoyed her character. There wasn’t a large amount of character development, and I think this was because everything happened so quickly.

      I haven’t read a lot of books where Angels are the focus so it was nice to delve into a slightly different genre. Although, Fallen definitely had a Twilight feel to it…except instead of vampires and a werewolf we just get one moody angel and one even moodier angel.

      I feel that Fallen was written just as a warm up for the next three books in the trilogy and, if the Goodreads ratings are anything to go on, then the series seems to get better and better. Although I enjoyed the characters I didn’t connect with them enough to feel outraged, or any strong emotion in particular in regards to the ending.

      There were so many questions that were just left unanswered I feel I have to follow on to the next book, just to get some closure on the first. Overall, I did enjoy the story, despite some of the clichés and my better judgment. I gave Fallen 3.5/5 stars, but more specifically I’d say:

Main Characters = 3/5
I liked them enough to want to continue the series, let’s just say that.

Love story =2/5
It hasn’t developed enough for me to feel attached to their relationship, but I am sure that this rating will improve as I continue to read the series.

Other characters = 4/5
I liked the dynamic between Penn and Luce, although it felt like sometimes Luce could have been more appreciative.

Drama = 3.5/5
There was a lot of it, but things were so rushed at the end there they lost their effect.


 

[SPOILER ALERT]

 

 

Penn’s death seemed a little unnecessary, and I was surprised at how impassive Luce was. She did register some sadness, but not enough to cry over her dead best friend’s body, and it certainly didn’t stop her for skipping off with Daniel and doing whatever he told her to do.

Daniel, buddy, with your current track record – which, by the way, we still aren’t fully clued in on – I have no idea why Luce is so willing to trust you. I mean, she trusted Miss Sophia and look what that got her. A dead Penn. Luce must be extremely devoted to Daniel to trust his judgment so quickly and he’s barely told her anything!

I’d say that the characters were way too nonchalant about all the deaths that happen in this book, actually. We may not have known Todd very well, but surely his death would have procured a little more emotional distress.