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The Book Vortex

“Push yourself. Don't Settle. Just live well. Just LIVE.”

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

The Spectacular Now - Tim Tharp

What is The Spectacular Now about? Well I'll let Sutter tell you a bit about it.

So, my girlfriend, Cassidy, is threatening to kick me to the curb again, my best friend suddenly wants to put the brakes on our lives of fabulous fun, my mom and big sister are plotting a future in which I turn into an atomic vampire, and my dad, well, my dad is a big fat question mark that I’m not sure I want the answer to.

Some people would let a senior year like this get them down. Not me. I’m Sutter Keely, master of the party. But don’t mistake a midnight philosopher like me for nothing more than a shallow party boy. Just ask Aimee, the new girl in my life. She saw the depth in the Sutterman from that first moment when she found me passed out on the front lawn. Okay, so she’s a social disaster, but that’s where I come in.

Yes, life is weird, but I embrace the weird. Let everyone else go marching off into their great shining futures if they want. Me, I’ve always been more than content to tip my whisky bottle and take a ride straight into the heart of the spectacular now.

 

So, I've read it people and I can say with absolute confidence that I love and hate Sutter at the same time! It actually felt like the voice of a teenager and not that of an adult, everything Sutter did made sense to me - I may not have liked it, but it was what I would've done too. I'm a little pissed about not finding out what happened to Sutter after Aimee left, but I would like to believe everything turned out well for him, even though the ending may not suggest so. 

 

The truth is I can empathize with Sutter more because I've been where he is in this book and it's a hard place to crawl out from. His drinking just numbs out the reality of everything and he really does believe in living in the NOW. Sutter is afraid of growing up and becoming an adult, he doesn't want to but who in their right mind would really want that? Unfortunately it is unavoidable and that results in Sutter just deciding to forget about the future, it doesn't matter what's going to come. Why make plans for the future when you can just enjoy the now?

 

now

They really do, at least for Sutter.

 

His relationship with Aimee was just a little bit weird for me. He wants to save her by showing her how to live in the spectacular now. She is his little project, because he feels like he cannot save himself. He cannot help but fall in love with her, but in the end he still doesn't see how much Aimee loves him.

 

Their story brings back so many memories for me. I'm sure he wanted what's best for Aimee but didn't quite know how to provide it for her. Also, I loved the paper route scene...

 

paper

 

And the way he just kissed her at their first party together. Everything just falls in place for him without ever planning it. Of course the ending is sad because he has to let her go, her wings are now strong enough to fly on her own. 

 

It was overall a great book, I've enjoyed reading Sutter's thoughts and I cannot wait to see this movie. (needles to say, I have a huge crush on Miles Teller)

Do I recommend this book? Definitely, this is the best contemporary coming of age book that I've read. 

Spectacular Now It Is!

I cannot wait to get to the part where Sutter falls in love with Aimee! I love him so much already!

 

exciting

"Our whole society's a training ground for addicts."
The Spectacular Now - Tim Tharp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I plan on reading this book next and I gotta say I'm so excited. 

Have you seen the trailer for the movie? If no, just click here.

SPOILER ALERT!

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones  - Cassandra Clare

Summary:

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

Read more on Goodreads.

 

 

I have to say that the first book from the Mortal Instruments sequel surprised me in a very pleasant way. I actually did not expect it to be this good or to like it so much as to give it almost 5 ★s. I loved the characters and the story they were telling, I got so into this book that I did not want to put it down.

 

There are reviewers out there giving this book a lot of heat and while the last thing I want to do is defend it, I have to say that there are some stuff out there that are not true. Maybe I'm not the best judge, but this book is not poorly written. It may very well be that my standards are lower than the Mariana Trench, but seriously have you read Twilight? Because I did, it was shit. Have you read Fifty Shades of Gray? If you haven't, don't. It's not worth it.

Then of course there's the plagiarism scandal and if you don't know what I'm talking about I'll direct you to The Cassandra Clare Plagiarism Debacle. I don't give the slightest f*ck about it being plagiarized, I won't praise her and this wonderful idea she had because as it looks like it wasn't her idea. The fact of the matter is that knowing this will only prevent me from becoming her so called fan. Actually there is only one writer I love and would marry, so while I may call myself a fan of some writer, I hardly ever feign interest in their lives - I simply do not care. I received her books as a gift, I didn't give my money to her, no reason to feel bad.

 

So, about the book:

While there's definitely room to improve on the world-building, I feel like she nailed it with the characters. I found them likable and funny, you could easily empathize with every one of them. The main character, Clary was definitely depicted as almost a handicapped person but it didn't really bother me because in this new found world that's what she was. Her mother tries to keep her away from the world she hates for as long as she can, but you know... when you have a calling, you have a calling. Incapable of defending herself she mostly relies on a rebellious boy, Jace Wayland who frequently questions the status-quo. Of course they have a crush on each other and of course there's a love triangle (Clary's BFF Simon is a Muggle or Mundane as they call it in this book, who is completely and utterly in love with her and oh Princess Naive does not know). While this whole concept may seem cheesy and overused, it was laid down very cleverly and the romance stuff didn't get to bother me at all (and it usually bothers me A LOT).

We later on find out that Jace is actually her brother, at least that's what the baddy of this series tells us: Valentine Morgenstern (father of Clary Morgenstern). I always found that Voldemort was so uni-dimensional, pure evil and nothing more. Well, while Valentine is also the Hitler of the world he belongs to, he is not only evil. Or at least that's what I thought.

I really loved the rune thing - they use what they call a steele (I just imagined it is a wand) to write runes on various body parts (like a tattoo) in order to give them certain powers. Pretty awesome shit if you ask me. So yes, they all look badass which is always a plus.

 

I don't have much else to say, this is definitely developing into a guilty pleasure. I love how this book made me feel. There aren't a lot of good fantasy books out there and I really missed wanting to just stay awake and read through the whole night.

Would I recommend it? Yes, definitely. Step away from all the plagiarism, borrow it from someone and just read it like young adult fantasy books are meant to be read.

Let's talk about City of Bones

City of Bones  - Cassandra Clare

So I haven't been reading a lot and because of that I'm starting to fall behind on my reading challenge. Well not really behind because I'm still 4 books ahead, but anyway. I just haven't been feeling up to reading any of the books that I put on my Currently Reading shelf. I'm not particularly enjoying any of them so I guess I don't feel motivated enough.

 

Anyways, I've been hearing a lot of talk about the movie City of Bones and I really want to read the book but if I'm going to start another sequel and not finish it, I think my head will explode. I started reading the bad reviews to see if there's something wrong with this book that would actually bother me - interesting fact: almost all of my friends on Goodreads rated this book 3 stars or less and that raises a flag for me. So, I did a little research and apparently there has been some plagiarism and of course everything goes back to some Draco Trilogy I haven't heard of before - some HP fan I am, I know. People say that the writing is bad, that means it's even worse in my native language so no need to bother with the translated version.

I don't know what to do, I guess I'll be re-reading some Hannibal books and be waiting for my desire to finish Insurgent and Sea of monsters to come back.

 

Happy reading and oh, if you happen to read City of Bones - fill me in!

 

The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success - Kevin Dutton
"Personality disorders are characterized by deeply ingrained, inflexible patterns of thinking, feeling, or relating to others, or by the inability to control or regulate impulses that cause distress or impaired functioning. They may not be exclusive to those who piss you off. But if someone’s got one, they will."
The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success - Kevin Dutton
"You talk about 'doing the right thing'. But what's worse, from a moral perspective? Beating someone up who deserves it? Or beating yourself up who doesn't? If you're a boxer, you do everything in your power to put the other guy away as soon as possible, right? So why are people prepared to tolerate ruthlessness in sport but not in everyday life?"

Things you hate

I've been doing some character hating lately (it seems that's all I talk about) and it got me thinking - what is this hating all about? Do we hate characters because we cannot empathize with them or is it because we are trained, so to speak, to not like certain types of characters?

 

Well, I have a great quote for you, it's from Mark Twain and it goes a little like this...

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”

 

So, for example, I'm quite concerned about the fact that I HATE, that's right H-A-T-E, Christian Grey from Fifty Shades of Grey. I'm not in the majority here, but I still have to say that it's not because I cannot empathize with him, it's because he "embodies" everything I don't like about the other half of this population - men. When I realized my hatred for this fictional character I had to stop for a second and think - am I not enjoying the story because of my opinions and beliefs? The story was shit too, so whatever, but I hope you get my point.

 

Even before I've learned about this quote, every time I found myself on the side of the majority I started thinking of reasons I agree with the general opinion. Why do I believe in God? Is it because I actually think there is a higher power that will save my mortal soul or is it because I want to be accepted? For this particular question, my case was the latter. I felt the need to be accepted by my peers.

I have to ask myself these sort of questions at every step I take.

 

So, when reading a book, ask yourselves why do you agree, like everyone else, that Sally is a soul-sucking bitch? And that applies to TV show characters too. 

 

P.S. I usually don't HATE characters, I just don't like 'em, but if I hate them it's because I feel like they attack my beliefs. I don't go overboard with this hate, I always know where fiction ends and reality starts - but Shane Dawson says it better in his video Larry Shippers. I hope you enjoy it!

 

kiss

Check-In

I'm so, sooo bored with Insurgent. I feel like I'm going to die, am I going to die while reading it?! AM I?! 

 

I overreacted, sorry. Totally inappropriate... but still, AM I?!

 

booored

Source: http://www.adazing.com/inspirational-reading-quotes
Reblogged from Angels With Attitude Book Reviews

Divergent by Veronica Roth: Review/Rant

Divergent - Veronica Roth

Summary: In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves... or it might destroy her.
from Goodreads.

 

Who else thought, after reading the first half of Divergent, that this story is amazing and it can only get better?

 

raise

Yeah well, haha you were wrong and I was wrong and I am reasonably pissed about it. I've been talking a lot about this problem I seem to have with every character from almost every book I read nowadays, but in case I did not make myself clear I'll give it another go. 

 

I'll start with the Likes, 'cause you know, it's easier to start with the good stuff. 

 

So, Likes:

 

  • I like the whole separated into factions idea, clever stuff

 

  • I felt like I could actually connect to Tris (that is until I got to the second half of the book), I totally understood why she chose the Dauntless and I actually enjoyed their whole initiation process (I think I'm a Dauntless at heart)

 

  • Rivalry - always a plus, stabbing Edward in the eye was a really nice touch, Ms. Roth

 

Dislikes:

 

Oh well, I have a lot of dislikes despite the fact that I just rated it 3 and half stars and that's because retarded romance books totally ruined me for objective rating.

Let's start with this trend or whatever, where writers create stupid characters. No, it's not that they're ridiculous, it's that they are stupid, so stupid. I cannot emphasize the word stupid enough.

I'm not a writer, one day maybe, but the fact is that I'm not, so I couldn't possibly understand how hard it is to create a person out of thin air and make that person believable. But for the love of all that is good in books, MUST she realize TWICE that her mother was Dauntless?

FOUR - all he talks about are fears, one of the Dauntless members actually tells Tris that it's not much that Four fears nowadays, but by the time Tris realizes what his nickname actually means I was practically screaming FOUR FEARS, FOUR FEARS, FOUR FEARS. Must you be SO stupid?!

Actually, the part where Marcus, one of the Abnegation leaders, is Tobias/Four's father was pretty obvious for me too, but I've got an eye for detail. I get distracted by these details, that's why I couldn't enjoy this book as much as everyone else. I want writers to write me characters that catch on to certain facts before I get annoyed and scream my head off because of their intrinsic stupidity.

Oh, I almost forgot about those lip biting parts. 

 

lipbiting

Is this what you do when you're anxious too? Anxious to have sex maybe. 

 

"Oh Four, how did you figure it out I LIKE (to be read LOVE) you?"

"I don't know, OH OH I think it's because you look like you want to suck my... soul every time our eyes meet."

 

Phew, I felt like they needed to have this conversation. I love that she's not pretty, but powerful. She takes control of her fears and even though she comes from Amish land, she adjusts to her new way of life pretty quickly. I guess she's so amazing, Veronica Roth just had to make her slow, you know, to compensate for all the GREATNESS.

I don't know, there were a few facepalm moments and it totally ruined my reading experience. 

 

“We are all awed by your incredible wit,” says Will - indeed. 

 

Another thing that really got to me was that Erudite got to be the big bad intellectual wolves. Abnegation, the God-fearing people got to be the victims. Sounds familiar? Nope? Then you're, most probably, not an atheist. It's just the first book so it could go either way, nothing is set in stone yet, but I know that the writer is religious so I fear that I'm going to roll my eyes a lot more than I did reading Divergent.

What else? I should really write down my thoughts while reading. 

 

Oh, the romance was shit. "Why do you like me, Tobias? Why? Why? I'm not pretty, I'm ugly, why? why? why?" Blah, blah, blah *puking* "I hope that he doesn't see how much I like him" *lip biting* 

 

eye

 

I'm exaggerating - it was NOT that bad, I just didn't like it at all. It's me. It's JUST ME, apparently. 

 

Do I recommend this book? I don't know, do you like corny romance in a super-cool dystopian world?

Day 30 - Finish line!

harry potterFavorite book of all time

Day 29

pygmyA book almost everyone hated but I kinda liked

 

Reason? It's Chuck Palahniuk, I like Chuck. :D

The lightning thief by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson and the Olympians Boxed Set - Rick Riordan

First of all, I don't know why would anybody rate this less than two ✰, unless you're uptight and conservative. I mean this is a book about a boy named Percy Jackson, who has dyslexia and ADHD and that happens to be because he's the only living half-blood son of a Greek god, Poseidon. Apparently, all half-bloods (half human, half god) suffer from dyslexia because their mind is set on Ancient Greek and ADHD because their senses are overwhelmed. See what I mean? This is a YA book people, it has a lot of Greek mythology in it, resembles with Harry Potter here and there, but it is a well-written, funny and witty book. I would not shelter my children from it like it is the spawn of Satan just because it doesn't meet my conservative ideas. I got a bit pissed off reading one ✰ ratings, needless to say they were ridiculous. 

 

This is not the best book I've read, it wasn't amazing and that's mainly because I'm 21 years old and I'm a bit old for this book. I would actually go and say that this is a children's book, but a very good considering. Rick Riordan is a good writer, the story was clever, the characters evolved like they should in a novel. It wasn't even cheesy and that's 3 ✰ right there. Actually it wasn't even predictable, I knew they weren't quite on the right track, but when I realized what was coming it was already happening. You know how many GOOD books do that for me? Not a lot. I like that feeling, when your 21 year old brain knows something is not right, but still you cannot figure it out. That's a 4 ✰ book for me. Never mind it's a children's book or that it gives the child/teen/adult a polytheistic view of the world, can't you just enjoy it as the FANTASY FICTION and adventure book that it is?

 

Now let's see what happens to the sweetest hero of all times, Percy Jackson. 

Spoilers here and there 

 

Percy's 12 years old, obviously not the brightest student and a victim of our education system. He gets into fights a lot and he has been kicked out of six schools mainly because of his temper. Not quite your typical hero, but everything is about to change for him once he takes a field trip with his class to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where his pre-algebra teacher Mrs. Dodds transforms into a Fury and attacks him. 

Later on, Percy finds out he's more than just a human, he's a demigod and not any kind of demigod - he's the son of one of the three: Zeus, Poseidon and Hades who swore on the river Styx to not ever conceive a baby with a mortal being (and that's because the demigods born were too strong and they affected the fate of mankind too much. See: Hercules). Of course, both Zeus and Poseidon effectively broke this promise by conceiving Thalia and Perseus.

Unfortunately, Thalia dies to protect two of her fellow half-bloods before she gets to Camp Half-Blood - this happens three years before the arrival of Perseus.

 

camp

What is Camp Half-Blood? Well it's a training facility for our young heroes. Once they become aware of what they are, other monsters can spot and attack them. This training camp shelters and protects them from all evil doers until they are ready for a quest given by their gods. 

So Percy ends up going on a quest to retrieve Zeus's lightning bolt, which was stolen on the day of the winter solstice, to prevent a war between his father, Poseidon and Zeus. A lot of interesting things happen to him and his companions, I will not spoil this mainly because there would be too much to write down. 

 

If you're into fantasy fiction, you'll probably enjoy reading this book. I recommend it to fantasy fiction lovers and all children and pre-adolescents - you'll like this one!

 

percy

Day 28

My favorite title of a book is The Perks of being a Wallflower, I think it says it all. Very nice book too. I rated it 4 ✰ :)

perks

The fault in our stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

I recently finished rereading this amazing book by one of my favorite contemporary writers (I feel like I keep saying this, well I have a LOT of favorite writers), John Green. 

When I first started reading this book I just knew I will like it, I've been following John and his brother Hank on youtube and I've read other books written by him as well, so I was sure it cannot suck in any way. Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed. 

 

So, 16-year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster suffers from terminal, stage IV thyroid cancer that has metastasized in her lungs thus making it a very difficult job for her to breath. She was diagnosed with this at the age of 13, but thanks to an experimental drug called Phalanxifor, Hazel's been able to live with her disease. 

Her mother, who wants Hazel to be a normal teenager, forces her to go to this support group which Hazel absolutely loathes. It is there that she meets 17-year-old Augustus Waters, this beautiful and charismatic boy who will change everything for her. 

I liked the character of Hazel very much, she's this insightful young lady with short hair and green eyes. She's not quite ready to die but knows how inevitable that is, so we frequently read about how this or that is just another side-effect of dying. Hazel loathes going to the support group because it's making her feel depressed and although depression can be a side-effect of cancer, she insists it is dying. She's a witty and funny character, never mean but always blunt and honest. I was quite impressed with her. Also the fact that she likes ANTM (America's Next Top Model) made her one of my all time favorite female characters. 

I'd hate to spoil this one for you guys, it has a beautiful ending and yes, you'll probably end up crying but it is worth it. Happy reading!!!

thefaultinourstars