Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan

This book was okay I suppose, It wasn’t unreadable, but it felt like the young adult cliches that I’ve read so many times before, and I’m starting to think I might have outgrown them. Not all young adult literature – I don’t think I could ever outgrow that – but the really trying-too-hard-to be-a-different-love-story novels, and then somehow ends up being a really cliche love story anyway.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson is written through the perspective of two characters with the same name; Will Grayson.  One Will Grayson has the childhood friend, Tiny Cooper, who isn’t actually tiny. The other Will Grayson is suffering from depression, is gay and has some friends who doesn’t have his best intention at heart, but has a mother who loves him.

While it had it exciting parts, it just wasn’t all that great, but I would recommend it to people who really like novels like Let It Snow. It could also be good if you really have nothing else to do with your time or if you are into the aforementioned cliches. It has its inspirational moments and its good moments, but overall it’s quite meh.


“‘So keeping the box closed just keeps you in the dark, not the universe.’” – page 196

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Quotes I liked – Lord Of The Flies

“They knew very well why he hadn’t: because of the enormity of descending and cutting into living flesh; because of the unbearable blood. […] Next time there would be no mercy. He looked round fiercely, daring them to contradict.” – page 29

“The assembly was lifted towards safety by his words. They liked and now respected him.” – page 36

“‘After all, we’re not savages. We’re English; and the English are best at everything. So we’ve got to do the right things.'” – page 42

“‘There’s nothing in it if course. Just a feeling. But you can feel as if you’re not hunting, but – being hunted; as if something’s behind you ask the time in the jungle.'”- page 53

“He wanted to explain how people were never quite what you thought they were.” -page 55

“Piggy saw the smile and misinterpreted it as friendliness.” – page 68

“Against this weapon, so indefinable and so effective, Jack was powerless and raged without knowing why.” – page 77

“‘I know there isn’t no beast – not with claws and all that, I mean – but I know there isn’t no fear, either.’ Piggy paused. ‘Unless.’ […] ‘Unless we get frightened of people.’ – page 90

“Simon became inarticulate in his effort to express mankind’s essential illness.” – page 96

“‘Because the rules are the only thing we’ve got!'” – page 99

“Percival Wemys Madison, of the Vicarage, Harcourt St. Anthony, lying in the long grass, was living through circumstances in which the incarnation of his address was powerless to help him.” – page 102

“The desire to squeeze and hurt was over-mastering.” – page 125

“The greatest ideas are the simplest.” – page 142

“The beast was harmless and horrible.” – page 162

“Piggy and Ralph, under the threat of the sky, found themselves eager to take place in this demented but partly secure society.” – page 167

“Memory of the dance that none of them attended shook all four boys convulsively.” – page 175

“They understood only too well the liberation into savagery that the concealing paint brought.” – page 191

“This was a savage whose image refused to blend with that ancient picture of a boy in shorts and shirt.” – page 203

“‘Fun and games'” – Page 223

Lord Of The Flies by William Golding

I have to admit every time I go about reading a classic, I worry that it will be – to be blunt – boring. Not because it was/is a bad or unimportant book, but because it might not be a timeless book, but more a revolution of its time. Or maybe it just isn’t for me. Luckily I am often wrong.

Lord of the Flies follows a group of boys stranded on an Island after a plane crash. We experience the boys’ attempt at a life away from civilization; making rules, appointing a chief, coming up with ways to find food and to find a chance of rescue.

It’s interesting to read through the boys left to their own devices in the face of trauma, and see how they handle it surprisingly well at first – considering their age – and then surprisingly bad – still considering their age.

We have a few characters playing men, and two trying wholeheartedly to be the “alpha”, causing the story to go from boys doing their best to survive to survival of the fittest and strength in numbers.

For me this story is about the “true nature of man”, when the boys are left on their own without any sign of consequence for them. This isn’t saying that the “true nature of man” is found in some of the horrific acts this book depicts, but merely the true nature of a boy having to become a man too soon. It shows a development of sin in innocence, and throughout the story we get to question, who’s beast and who’s man.


“The beast was harmless and horrible” – page 162

Quotes I Liked – Miss Peregrines Home For Peculiar Children

“I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.” – page 12

“All I could think was that grandfathers were supposed to die in beds, in hushed places humming with machines, not in heaps on the sodden reeking ground with ants marching over them, a brass letter opener clutched in one trembling hand.” – page 36

“‘When someone won’t let you in, eventually you stop knocking.’” – page 88

“[…] how many more like him these fields held, undiscovered, arrested in death; how many more had given up their lives here, looking for heaven.” – page 105

“All because of a seventy-year-old hurt that had somehow been passed down to me like some poisonous heirloom, and monsters I couldn’t fight because they were all dead, beyond killing or punishing or any kind of reckoning.” – page 108

“’We’re peculiar,’ he replied, sounding a bit puzzled. ‘Aren’t you?’” – page 146

“’If you must fail,’ he said grandly, ‘fail spectacularly.’” – page 326

“I had always known the sky was full of mysteries – but not until now had I realized how full of them earth was.” – page 342

“Sometimes it’s better not to look back.” – page 350

“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.” – page 351

“I wondered how such calm could belong to a world of war.” – page 352

Miss Peregrines Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrines Home For Peculiar Children is good, dark and slightly disturbing, with a twist of sadness and the supernatural, told through Jacob in his search for answers.

Following the death of his grandfather, sixteen-year-old Jacob is looking for answers. Odd stories from his grandfather, that he had previously dismissed, sends him to the Island where the children’s home, his grandfather supposedly spent his youth in, is placed.

It has that young adult book feel, but it isn’t overdone or full of cliches. It is darker than most young adult novels I have encountered so far, and it is the moments hidden in the darkness, that makes it haunting. There are moments of this book that will stay with me forever. Disturbing moments produced by characters I liked, making so that much more disturbing.

It isn’t a perfect novel, but it has its great moments that makes you want to read on and it’s worth a read.


“I had always known the sky was full of mysteries – but not until now had I realized how full of them earth was.” – page 342

Quotes I Liked – When God Was A Rabbit Part 2

“‘Memories, […] no matter how small or inconsequential, are the pages that define us.'” – page 122

“I am here but I am not yours” – page 131

“I watched him weave in and out of parents holding cigarettes and lager instead of their children’s hands.” – page 133

“‘Do I believe in a mystery; the unexplained phenomenon that is life itself. The greater something that illuminates inconsequence in our lives; that gives us something to strive for as well as the humanity to brush ourselves down and start all over again. Then yes, I do. It is the source of art, of beauty, of love, and proffers the ultimate goodness to mankind. That to me is God. That to me is life. That is what I believe in.'” – page 141-142

“‘There is absolutely no reason at all why a rabbit should not be God.'” – page 142

“That’s what she wrote; with an ironic exclamation mark. It had the power to break a heart.” – page 185

“The sound of the trunk fracturing and splintering and falling to earth was the sound his heart would have made, could it speak.” – page 215

“His own death he’d made peace with years ago, but everyone else’s still frightened him and so he held her hand to not let her go.” -page 217

“‘I have the not-knowing again and I feel scared.'” – page 248

“I saw them hold hands and jump; witnessed the last seconds of their friendship and they never let go.” – page 254

“Everyone had a story of grief. Everyone else’s was worse than yours.” – page 259

“When sweets were a penny and god was a rabbit.” – 269

“‘That’s the person I know, and through him is the way you’ll know me, because connected to all these things are moments, and for so many of them, I was there. And that’s the thing that hurts so much. […] You see, you were the only person who knew everything. Because you were there. And you were my witness.'” – page 308

Quotes I Liked – When God Was A Rabbit Part 1

I am splitting this post into two parts, as there were a lot of quotes I liked in this book, and some of them are a bit long, so here are the first twelve quotes I liked from When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman:

“‘Without a reason, why bother? Existence needs purpose: to be able to endure the pain of life with dignity; to give us a reason to continue. The meaning must enter our hearts, not our heads. We must understand the meaning of our suffering.’” – page 13-14


“‘You said I could be anything I wanted when I was older.’ I said.

She smiled and said, ‘And you can be. But it’s not very easy to become Jewish.’

‘I know,’ I said forlornly. ‘I need a number.’

And she suddenly stopped smiling.” – page 15


“‘Are you going to die?’ I asked, and she laughed as if I’d told her a joke, and that laughter meant more than any No.” – page 33

“She was always late because she had unmanageable hair” – page 33

“She loved moments like that. The inclusiveness of family. I guess because she had none.” – page 49

“They lived in a temporary world of temporary men; a world that could be broken up and reassembled as easily and as quickly as Lego.” – page 51

“This was a world of drama, where comedy and tragedy fought for space.” – page 52

“[…] that strange day, the day when I discovered that even babies could die.” – page 56

“’I don’t want people to know I’m different’” – page 74

“It was an excess energy born of the dangerous, an energy that could unexpectedly turn play into war.” – page 103

“I wanted to be liked. But I was an outsider. And people didn’t miss outsiders.” – page 111

“‘Nothing stays forgotten for long, Elly. Sometimes we simply have to remind the world that we’re special and that we’re still here.’” – page 115

When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman

I am very conflicted about this book.

When God Was A Rabbit tells the story of Elly, her family, her best friend, and the people she meets along the way. Split into two parts, we follow Elly as a child and as an adult.

This was a semi-good book, but it wasn’t a great book. There were so many stories and storylines, and sometimes it felt like it was trying to grasp too much.Some of the stories felt either unfinished or finished too quickly or too simply, making it a bit of a hot mess.

Despite that, there were parts where the book really pulled me in. Sometimes I really understood Elly and her frustration with certain things, I don’t want to spoil in case, you’re considering reading it. It has humorous moments that I really enjoyed, and even though I call this book a bit of a hot mess, it was still a good read. The different storylines in this book were intriguing, which is why it was a bit disappointing, when the stories didn’t feel properly finished.

If you like stories about family drama, comedy and tragedy, this book might be something for you. It’s bittersweet and at times heartwarming. Not an incredible read, but a good read for passing the time.


“She was always late because she had unmanageable hair” – page 33

Quotes I Liked – The Five People You Meet In Heaven

“But all endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.” – page 1

“No story sits by itself. Sometimes stories meet at corners and sometimes they cover one another completely” – page 11

“But scenery without solace is meaningless.” – page 37

“‘Do you understand? Why we’re here? This is not your heaven. It’s mine.’ Take one story, viewed from two different angles.” – page 44-45

“‘Fairness,’ he said, ‘does not govern life and death. If it did, no good person would ever die young.'” – page 50

“‘Strangers,’ the blue man said, ‘are just family you have yet to come to know.'”

“Young men go to war. Sometimes because they have to, sometimes because they want to. Always, they feel they are supposed to. This comes from the sad, layered stories of life, which over the centuries have seen courage confused with picking up arms, and cowardice confused with laying them down.” – page 59

“He learned how to take a prisoner, although he never learned how to become one.” – page 66

“‘Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s supposed to be. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to.'” – page 97

“‘Sometime when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else.'” – page 98

“All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers.” – page 109

“‘Things that happen before you are born still affect you,’ she said, ‘And people who come before your time affect you as well.'” – page 130

“Parents rarely let go of their children, so children let go of them.” – page 133

“‘Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside.'” – page 149

“‘[…] no one is born with anger.'” – page 150

“‘Lost love is still love'” – page 184

“‘Life has to end,’ she said. ‘Love doesn’t.'” – page 185

“[…] the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one.” – page 208

The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

If you just want my opinion in one sentence, here it is: If I didn’t have to work, I would probably have read this book in one sitting.

I didn’t know this book existed, until Nicks and I were looking for a book to read next for our bookclub, but as soon as our eyes graced this book we knew it was perfect. My expectations were huge – which is a very dangerous thing, as it increases the chance of crushing disappointment -, and they were completely and utterly met. If only every book was as captivating as this.

This book tells the story of Eddie. Eddie dies at the age of 83 at the seaside amusement park, where he has spent most of his life. He does this in the hopes of saving a little girl from being crushed. In the afterlife, Eddie is set to meet five different people, who has impacted his life and whose lives he has impacted in one way or another. Not all of these people are, who Eddie expects them to be, but they each have a lesson for him about the life he has led.

An enthralling story of overlapping lives and the unexpected impact people have on each others lives without even realizing it. It is sad and lovely and I want and am going to read it again at some point, definitely more than once. This book left me with a lump in my throat more than once. It made me smile through my tears, and I am so thankful to Mitch Album for writing it. The only bad thing about this book, is that I’m afraid Nicks and I will never find a book so perfect for us as this one. It is the book of a lifetime. You should not – unless you are unable in every way – miss this book.

Britt said she’s not a fan of what she refers to as “abstract books”[Footnote: Britt never said she wasn’t a fan of abstract books, she just doesn’t like them to such an extent as Nicks] . I am utterly fascinated by them, and I love them to death. This one is abstract enough for me to build a religion around it, and concrete enough for Britt to like it. I know, I know. We are talking this book up and your expectations will be massive. That’s never good.But let me tell you some thing to get blood on your teeth – The Five People You Meet in Heaven (TFPYMIH) will change the way you look at a lot of things.

TFPYMIH also has a love in it. It’s only a subplot, but that love is so pure and beautiful that it almost made me redefine my romantic interests forever. With vivid description, I almost felt the deep infatuation and love Eddie shows. I felt how real love must feel like.

Mitch Album is a genius, and I think he deserves to have an afterlife in the kind of heaven we find in TFPYMIH.


 

“That’s what heaven is. You get to make sense of your yesterdays” – page 96