Sunday, March 11, 2012

Review: Wanderlove

Out of all the books I have ever read, I have never read one the made me want to travel and experience the world as much as Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard.  Beautifully written and completely awe-inspiring, Kristen Hubbard wrote an amazing novel about figuring out who one really is and who one really wants to be.
Before reading Wanderlove I wanted to travel, but after reading it, I want to travel even more.  The reason for this is because Bria, the main character in Wanderlove inspired me.  Bria, at the beginning was somewhat of a mess.  She is trying to run from her past and her future at the same time.  She is stuck not knowing exactly what to do and decides on a whim to take a trip to Central America with a tour group.  Soon after arriving she ditches the tour group and goes off with two backpackers she has just met in the hope that she can somehow embrace her wild side and get off of her own beaten path. As you watch Bria’s character grow throughout the story and learn more about her you as the reader also grow along with Bria by realizing that there are so many things that sometimes we miss out on because of focusing on the big things instead of the little things.
The writing in this book is phenomenal.   Even if you’ve never been to the places that Kirsten Hubbards mentions in the book you will feel as if you are there experiencing and seeing some of the amazing experiences that Bria saw and lived.  Although this book was so captivating that I didn’t want to put it down, I did, because I wanted to savor the story and I wanted to enjoy it.  Each place I read about was new and exciting.   Each location she wrote about I wanted to jump on a plane and go there right away just so I could experience it in its full beauty. 
Although the writing was amazing and the storyline equally awesome, one of my favorite things about this book was the drawings done by the author herself that were placed all throughout the book. The drawings are breathtaking.  Not only does Kirsten Hubbard seem to have brilliant writing skills, but she also seems to have a talent for drawing. Each of the different drawings matched perfectly with the scene she was describing and they were simple, yet elaborate enough to still be impressive. 
I enjoy books with romance in them.  Not the ones where the whole story is solely based on the romantic aspect, but ones like Wanderlove that let the characters get to know each other and the romance just creeps up on you and happens at the perfect time.  Rowan, the male interest in Wanderlove isn’t what you would call the perfect guy, though he ends up being perfect for Bria.   Rowan’s past is a little sketchy and like Bria, he is running from his past.  The two help each other piece back together their lives and put each other back on the right path. 
Wanderlove is magical, heartbreaking, and awe-inspiring.  Kirsten Hubbard has made her way onto my list of favorites with Wanderlove and I will be eagerly awaiting a new book from her.

My rating for Wanderlove is 5 out of 5 palm trees

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Review: The Fault in Our Stars

Friends of mine had been persuading me to read a book by John Green because they thought his previous books were amazing. I finally agreed and picked up John Green’s newest book The Fault in Our Stars. This book was absolutely breathtaking and heartfelt.  Never have I read a book with characters that had such real, raw emotions and experiences. Reading this book makes you look at life with a different perspective and shows you how to enjoy some of the little things/experiences that we have in our short time on earth.
The Fault in Our Stars begins the story with Hazel, a girl who has been diagnosed with cancer. When first diagnosed she thought she was going to die, but then a miracle happened. Her doctor found something to help prevent her cancer.   At the age of 16, Hazel has been homeschooled since being diagnosed with cancer and instead of going out with friends stays home a lot. Her mother, trying to get her out of the house to meet new people and not waste her life convinces her to go to a cancer support group. This is where she meets Augustus Waters.
I knew this book was going to be sad. In the excerpt it tells you that Hazel has cancer and you assume that the book will be sad. What I didn’t assume was that this book was going to be funny and heart-wrenching and magical all at the same time. I assumed that this book would be about dying and how Hazel and Augustus coped with it. I was wrong yet again. This book is about the opposite of dying, it’s about living. The Fault in Our Stars shows us about just how beautiful and amazing life really is. It shows us that life is sad but there are more important things to be doing and experiences we could be having instead of worrying about little things like dying.
The thing I think I like most about this book is just how real the whole story is. John Green portrays the characters so well and doesn’t hide anything even the not so happy parts within the story. This aspect makes the story even more enjoyable because you feel what the characters are feeling and you experience their experiences.
There are some books that after you have read them, they leave you thinking about them for days. The Fault in Our Stars is one of those book for me. As it goes through the story and Hazel and Augustus think about life and death and all the things that they want and wished they could do. This continually makes me think about everything that I want to do and what I would do in their place; how I would handle having cancer and figuring out what to do with myself when I didn’t know how much more time I had.
This is such an amazing book that I think that any kind of reader would enjoy diving into it. It shows such an honest view of cancer and life; how much having a sickness really sucks and how life doesn’t have to be miserable because of it. Hazel and Augustus teach us that being sick doesn’t have to ruin your life and that life is worth living no matter what.

My rating for The Fault in Our Stars is 5 out of 5 palm trees

Friday, March 2, 2012

Special Review: The Lorax

In honor of The Lorax  movie coming out in theaters today I am doing a special review on the book The Lorax by Dr. Seuss.   I love Dr. Seuss books, therefore what a good excuse to review one of his books --  after all, his books have great messages for small children, young adults and even seniors.The messages are good for all.
My generation grew up reading Dr. Seuss’ stories. All those rhymes and silly things in them made the books a favorite to read. Rereading The Lorax  as a teenager made me realize Dr. Seuss’ books teach the readers something important that we don’t necessarily realize as kids. These golden nuggets of wisdom are ordinary ideas like saving the trees that Dr. Seuss turned into extraordinary stories of fiction with amazingly unique characters.
The Lorax speaks for the trees, for they have no tongues. He speaks for the Bar-ba-Loots (bear like creatures), which eat the truffula fruits and use them for shade. He speaks for the Swomee Swans who love to play in the clear air above the truffula trees. He speaks for the Humming fish who love to hum in the pond. The Lorax speaks for all the creatures living in the truffula forest and he tries to convince The Once-ler or the villian in this story to stop cutting down all the truffula trees for these lovely trees provide homes, shelter,shade and food for many creatures.....the trees are all these animals habitats.
While the book looks at the destruction of natural habitats, the book also pokes at the greed of big business and nonsensical material goods that are created that waste our planets natural resources. The Once-ler, when he finds the truffula forest decides to cut them down for his own greedy purposes and create an article of clothing called thneeds which look like footy pajamas. The Lorax predicts that these thneeds will not sell and no one will like them, but they instead become a become a big hit as lots of people buy the thneeds. The popularity of the thneeds causes the Once-ler to continue to ruin not only the lorax’s home, but also the other animals.
    The Lorax  was first published in 1971. Although this book was written such a long time ago it has touched on subjects happening right now. Things that we should be trying to prevent.  Dr. Seuss predicted the future on how things might be for us and by writing this wonderful childrens book, he created a reminder for all of us that trees and animals natural habitats should be preserved and taken care of so they do not disappear altogether.
    The Lorax  is an amazing children book that everyone should read to their children to encourage the value of little things like trees and animals that can’t speak for themselves.  Help speak for the truffula trees, the bar-ba-loot, the swamee swans, and the humming fish or they might not be here soon.

“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is ever going to change. It’s not.” -The Lorax

 My rating for The Lorax  is a forest of truffula trees out of 5 trees