A BOOK : Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan

It’s Friday and you know what you should read this weekend?

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Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel
by Sara Farizan

Here’s why:

  • You have first love + confusing crushes
  • You have a funny and interesting main character, Leila, who narrates the trials of high school. She is absolutely adorable and super smart.
  • Even though it’s 304 pages the pages are shorter, so this reads quickly. Perfect to finish in a weekend!
  • Along with romance it has some pretty awesome friendship and familial story lines.
  • It has a perspective that I haven’t ever read from– an Iranian-American girl who is still in the closet– which was super refreshing- especially when it came to Leila sharing her experiences at school and her fears with her sexuality.
  • It’s funny! And wonderfully awkward in all of the real life ways.


This came into my life after listening to episode 8 [“Why Are Samosas in Every Book”] on the podcast See Something, Say Something. Check out the episode! It’s good :).

 

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A BOOK : I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I’ll Give You the Sun
Jandy Nelson
Published September 2014

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

Photo and Summary from Goodreads.com

I. Loved. This. Book. So much.

The narration is split between twins Noah and Jude, Noah’s sections being when they were 13 and Jude’s sections being from “the present” when they are 16. Both of the characters are poetic messes of people, struggling with parental attention, growing up, and trying to figure out how to live in the world. Maybe it’s through the use of the dual narration, but Jandy Nelson does a good job of breathing these two into real life, giving me a good idea as to their inner worl, and how they interact with the outer world.

I am trying to put my thoughts into words, but my ability to string them together is FAILING today. Instead I am just going to throw fragments at you.

-Jandy is a good writer. Really good. She uses a more unique style from what I’ve been reading recently, which to me personally was a breath of fresh air. Having just read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart I would say the language and the that were tools used come from a very similar place. I loved it.

-The family dynamics were really interesting, because from the two different narrations of siblings you end up getting two perspectives of the same thing. I found it really enjoyable that as a result of this you get to see the tension between perceptions the characters have versus reality in the book.

-The characters that fill up Jude and Noah’s life are really interesting. From a mysterious gruff stone sculptor to a boy with a mismatched face to a kid that searches for space debris- these characters shine in their own ways on their own. Sometimes it feels like all of the characters in a book are just created to build up the narrator and progress the story. This book didn’t feel like that. It felt like I had zoomed into a town, and then just chose to zoom into Jude and Noah’s lives.

I’ll Give You the Sun is all about art and creating things and understanding people and understanding yourself and falling in maybe love and being okay with who you are and guilt and responsibility and it is just bursting with beauty. Bursting! Plus, the cover. Look at that! Plus plus, I love the title even more now that I understand how it relates to the book. So read it. Okay?

Add it to your to-reads shelf on Goodreads!

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

Will Grayson, Will Grayson
by John Green and David Levithan
Published April 2010
Dutton Juvenile
Young Adult Fiction

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.

Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both them legions of faithful fans.

Photo and summary from goodreads.com

 

I’m still not sure how I feel about this book.  It was done really well.  I liked the characters.  The ending was a little over-the-top but fit the story well.  Still, I had a hard time liking it as much as I feel like I should like it (does that make sense?).  Here are some thoughts:

1.  This thought walks on the spoiler line, so if you don’t want an aspect of the book potentially spoiled I’d advise you to skip this (I tried as hard as I could to be general enough to not give anything away but specific enough so people actually know what I’m talking about.  I’m not sure how effective I was though, hence the warning!)

I like to go into books fairly clueless so I have as little bias as possible, which is why I knew nothing about the formatting of the book and how it would incorporate the two Will Graysons.  The thing I loved THE MOST about this book was how J. Green and D. Levithan wove the two Graysons together.  It is a masterpiece.  I’m not sure if I’m just very oblivious, but my word of advice: don’t read while you’re sick.  It will make you feel like you’re going crazy (I speak from experience!).

2.  The book had a great overall message about caring for people and friendship.  In the Naperville side of things Will Grayson and Tiny Cooper’s friendship is so interesting.  You have a boy who loves the world and has such a zest for life (Tiny), and then you have pretty much his polar opposite– a boy who’s goal is to get by unnoticed (Will).  Since Will is the narrator, I love that at one point in the book you get to see Tiny’s viewpoint of their friendship.  Also, an interesting addition to the book is the character Maura who seems to go at any length to become friends with Will Grayson.  While I don’t like her at all, I find her fascinating and do kinda wish her motivations would have been laid out more clearly for me.  She could just be moving from loneliness or the embodiment of one idea in this book- “You don’t get to pick your friends.”  She might be picking Will Grayson, but he sure isn’t picking her back.

3.  I like it when books have something that I can take and think about in my every day life.  For me it was this line: “Love is tied to truth.” This line is evident in the entire novel; the more the characters learn about themselves, each other and their situations, the more capable they are of love.

4.  While there are several gay boys in this novel, being gay wasn’t the focus at all.  I liked that.  I feel a lot of times when you read a novel featuring someone who is gay in high school that becomes the main storyline and point.  This just had to do with growing up.

5.  I’m still not sure why I don’t like it more.  I really only have positive things to say about the book.  I guess some books you just connect with and others you don’t! 🙂

Overall Review: I’m probably not going to read this again, but I’m not in any shape or form sorry I read it.
Random Fact: I totally have been to Naperville, which is one of the settings of the book.