Thursday, July 3, 2014

June Book Wrap Up

Thanks to the annual family vacation at the lake, I was able to finish five books in a week. So basically, this post could be titled, "The last week of June Book Wrap Up", but I've decided that I like the idea of doing a book wrap up at the end of each month. This not only allows me to share my love of reading, but also forces me to pick up a book as opposed to surfing the web mindlessly. So without further ado, the first ever book wrap up on Just a Misfit Toy.
The first book I tackled, was Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. I had actually started reading this book at the beginning of the month for my Literary Journalism class, but it got pushed aside as I prepared for SOLs. It is a small book, but it is filled with lots of information, making it worth your (short) while. This book tells the story of Christopher McCandless, a young man that set out to live in Alaska. I had actually seen the movie before hand, which made it a bit harder to finish the book, but both were fairly informative. However, at some points the book and the movie seemed to be telling different stories.
I can also see how some may believe the book to be romanticizing McCandless. At points, it did seem as if the author was praising the young man, but I believe the purpose of the book was to point out a circumstance and address it so that it might not happen again.
My heart reached out for the McCandless family at the end of the book.

Favorite Quotations: "HAPPINESS ONLY REAL WHEN SHARED." -Christopher McCandless
"Some people feel like they don't deserve love. They walk away quietly into empty spaces, trying to close the gaps of the past.”  - Jon Krakauer 

I then picked up Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green, leaving only one more John Green book for me to read. Being a huge fan of John Green, I figured that I would enjoy this book, but I had never read anything by David Levithan, and I was utterly impressed by his Will Grayson. David Levithan's Will Grayson is dealing with depression, and I love that he decided to show a character that was living with it, as opposed to a character that was trying to find help for it. So frequently, books discuss characters looking for answers to their mental health, but they never explain what happens afterwards. Levithan's character is a fresh approach to depression, and being such a strong advocate for mental health awareness, I am so impressed by his writing.
I also found myself falling in love with John Green's Will Grayson, (surprise, surprise), but honestly I felt that he was so easy to relate to. I know that personally I sometimes feel like a Will Grayson in my friendships, and seeing him go through the same things was welcomed. It's just one of those moments when you feel less alone and slightly crazy. However, John Green didn't stop there. He then went on to show the other side of the story, causing me to think about my relationships. If I was Will Grayson, that made my friends Tiny Cooper, and I had a lot of apologizing to do.
John Green and David Levithan's portrayal of teenagers was spot on, and I couldn't be more thankful for that.
Favorite Quotations: "Maybe there's something you're afraid to say, or someone you're afraid to love, or somewhere you're afraid to go. It's gonna hurt. It's gonna hurt because it matters." -John Green
"When I was little, my dad used to tell me, 'Will, you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose.' This seemed like a reasonably astute observation to me when I was eight, but it turns out to be incorrect on a few levels." - John Green
"when things break, it's not the actual breaking that prevents them from getting back together again. it's because a little piece gets lost -- the two remaining ends couldn't fit together even if they wanted to, the whole shape has changed." - David Levithan.

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare was the next book on my list, and let me just start of by saying that I am in love with her books. She is absolutely fantastic, and if I could be a shadow hunter, you better believe that I would.
Moving on, City of Heavenly Fire was hysterical, thrilling, depressing at times, and all together a good way to end this series. I love that the "clique", (If you will), has finally gotten their witty banter on point, and was even more thrilled with the relationships that formed by the end of this book. However, I still have so many questions and I just... I needed one more book... (To be fair, I think I just want the series to continue...)
Clary has never been my favorite protagonist, but she did seem to be more reliable in this book. Also, am I the only person that thought the books were spaced out by at least a couple months? Because when I read that it had only been six months since the first of the six books, I was thrown for a loop. A lot happened to them in six months, and as I reader I found that hard to believe. I figured the books spanned across perhaps two years, a year at least, but half a year had never crossed my mind.
Then again, if the biggest complaint I have is the time span, then the books did well. If you haven't read The Mortal Instruments books, I highly suggest them. If you have, please fangirl with me in the comments below.

Favorite Quotations: "Above her another window opened, and Alec leaned out. 'What's going on?' His gaze landed on Clary and the others, his eyebrows drawing together in confusion. 'What is this? Easy caroling?'
'I don't carol," said Simon.'I'm Jewish. I only know the dreidel song.'" - Cassandra Clare
" 'What we were wearing, what Sebastian was wearing, what everyone was wearing... like phone sex but boring.' " - Isabelle Lightwood by Cassandra Clare
"Alec ignored her. 'There,' he said, pointing to the leafy tunnel. 'That goes farther into Faerie. And that" --he pointed ahead--'is the road to Hell. That's where we're going.'
'I always heard it was paved with good intentions,' said Simon."

I then moved on to If I Stay by Gayle Forman. I had originally picked up this book at Ollie's because it was $1.99, but once I got home and investigated it a bit I found out that it was actually being made into a movie. This revelation fueled me to finish the book before the movie came out, and I'm so happy that I did.
The story tells the tale of a girl trying to decide if she wants to live or if she wants to die. The whole concept is enough to send shivers down my spine, and the book itself is just as moving.
My mom actually read the book first, and she had warned me before hand that it did seem a bit slow in places, and I have to agree with her. While I understood by the end that all of the pieces were essential in forming your bond with Mia and in creating her story, I did feel at some times bored, perhaps. I'm not sure if that's the right word, but I felt like saying "That's nice, but can we get back to her in the hospital now?"
Overall, I was rather pleased with this book, and I can't wait to start the sequel. It's in her boyfriends point of view, and I am so excited about that.

Favorite Quotations: " 'Alice Cooper?' Dad asks. Have we no standards? At least sing the Ramones.' " -Gayle Forman
" 'I'm like the post office," Dad replies, scraping the snow off the car with one of Teddy's plastic dinosaus that are scattered on the lawn. 'Neither sleet nor rain nor a half inch of snow will compel me to dress like a lumberjack.'" - Gayle Foreman
" 'You were both in love with music and then you fell in love with eachother.'" - Gayle Foreman

The last book that I read was How to Lose Friends and Alienate People by Toby Young. I originally picked up this book at a thrift store because I was pretty certain that the title was my life. It's actually Toby Young's memoir, and it reminded me a lot of Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling, so if you liked that book I highly suggest this one.
This book was an interesting look into the magazine world of New York City, which was perfect for me. As someone that is interested in becoming a journalist, it was interesting to see Toby's hilarious take on his experiences. If you think your socially awkward, take a look at Toby's life, because he is the definition of a social casualty. Laughing at his pain was a great way to end the week.

Favorite Quotations: "Indeed it's often said that the difference between London and New York is that in London people are rude to your face but loyal behind your back, whereas in New York they're polite to your face but rude behind your back." - Toby Young
"To use a baseball analogy, America's most successful citizens were born on third and think they've hit a triple." - Toby Young
"On the contrary, Anthony possesses the three essential virtues of a journalist: a plausible manner, rat-like cunning, and a little literary ability." - Toby Young

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