The Fault In Our Stars: A Role Model For Modern Romance

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I read to live and I live to read. That's my circle of life.

“I read to live and I live to read. That’s my circle of life.”

Greetings Fellow BookNerds!

I know the movie has been out for some time now, and it seems like rather odd timing to be giving my own review for it, but I don’t believe in putting time stamps on these sorts of things. So, without further ado, here is my review of The Fault In Our Stars, which I just so happened to have written as I watched it :)

I used to always mock romance movies, refusing to lay even one eye – let alone two – on them for fear that their cliche storylines and cheesy scripts would infect my brain and influence my writing in a very bad way. That is, until I found The Fault In Our Stars.

It’s more than a story of two people finding each other and falling hopelessly in love. That may be an element of it, but that does not define this story. From my perspective, it’s about overcoming what life throws at us, which can sometimes be a lot, and accepting it all as part of who we are; taking in both the pain and the pleasures. It is, as some would put it, a story about cancer which isn’t about cancer. It’s also a story about exploring our own existence within this infinity in which we have found ourselves, even if our time within that infinity is short lived.

There is so much depth and insight, and I enjoyed seeing it almost as much as I loved reading it. I found myself laughing and crying all the way through, and at one point was even tempted to go out and buy a pack of cigarrettes just so I could stick one between my teeth, my own little tribute to Augustus’ metaphor.

I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to be so young, with an entire life of possibilities ahead of you, suddenly dwindled down to a nuber of days that can be counted on a single calender page. Where suddenly your greatest fear is whether you’ll be strong enough to fight through another day with the people you love. Cancer is merciless. It has taken people from my life whom I wanted to spend many more tomorrow’s with, replacing those days with relentless tears and distant memories… Well, life is too short to remain in a state of grief, and I’m sure they wouldn’t want me to only feel sadness whenever I thought about them, so here’s a happier train of thought.

Although he may never know of this blogs existence, and will likely never even know my name, I would just like to say that John Green has influenced my life in ways that go beyond what words can say. If I were to put it into words, though, let’s just say that his books managed to take a shy, socially awkward, self-conscious, anxiety-ridden, country girl, and bring her into a world that she used to only day dream about; a world with friends, love, laughter, and where the seemingly impossible becomes a little more possible with each passing day. I’ve even gotten to the point where I can look back on some of the worst moments from my personal timeline and smile, because as much pain as they brought me, they suddenly don’t seem so bad. After all, they were moments which brought me to this very moment, and even if I were given the chance to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a damn thing, because then I wouldn’t have today. Thank you John Green for unknowingly helping me to live my life, as opposed to watching with jealousy and envy as others lived theirs.

I wrote this review while I was watching the movie, which I had never felt compeled to do before. It’s amazing how so many coherent thoughts can suddenly come flooding out through your finger tips when your heart and mind are swimming in a turbulent sea of emotions. Now, I say coherent, but for all know this is only making sense in my head. Nevertheless, I think I’ve managed to convey just how much I was touched by this film.

This is what a love story should be, and all I can think of to say to finish off is that I’m looking forward to seeing more of John Green’s books being brought into a new life like this one was, and that there will also be many more books that me and my fellow BookNerds can continue reading throughout our infinity.

Happy Reading Everyone!

Cheers,

BookNerd

A Vision Of What Could Be, And What Has Been

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I read to live and I live to read. That's my circle of life.

“I read to live and I live to read. That’s my circle of life.”

Greetings Fellow BookNerds

Before you dedicate yourself to reading todays post, I should tell you right off the bat that you will not find a book review, and most likely no mention of a book in any way, shape or form. This is more or less just an offering of my own personal thoughts, inspired by one of my all time favourite classic tv shows; M.A.S.H. For those unfamiliar with this 1970’s sitcom, M.A.S.H. is the story of a group of doctors who worked at the 4077 mobile army surgical hospital during the Korean war. What separates it from most other war themed shows or movies is that the events are portrayed based entirely on the perspetctive of the doctors who had to operate on the soldiers, conveying the more gruesome and bloody side of the war that many people during that time were unaware of.

Why do I bring this up all of a sudden? Well, as I often do when I have run out of original shows to keep me entertained during my sudies, I fall back on the ones I have not seen for quite some time. I happened to be in the mood for something with a bit of comedy, and I thoroughly enjoy the quality of Alan Alda’s acting. It was after I had watched a few seasons of it that I was finally hit with a line of thought that has crossed my mind many times before; what is the point of war?

The history of human civilization, or more accurately our progression towards it, has been wrought with battles, violence and bloody turmoil, enough to make ones stomach turn over at the mere thought of it. We have killed in the name of religion, culture, patriotism, ideology, and some have even gone so far as to create an enemy where one did not exist. Many who have doned the uniform and taken up arms proclaim that they must fight in order to ensure peace, for supposedly peace can only be achieved through war.

At the risk of angering those who firmly believe in this truth, I must confess that I just don’t see it. I don’t see a world where war will ever achieve peace. Our history is primarily defined by centuries of killing and slaughtering, and today, nothing has changed. Perhaps it is not taking place right outside our doorstep, but the endless war still rages on.

One of my favourite quotes from the show was a bit done by the character Benjamin ‘Hawkeye’ Pierce about how he absolutely refused to carry a gun. He really couldn’t have said it any better.

These views on the war are told in a comedic fashion, but there is a sincerity in those words that seeps through the jokes and sheds light on the very real horrors people witnessed during that war.

Alan Alda, who played Pierce in the show, really puts it best in an interview about the show and why it ended up doing so well.

My eyes cannot see past the death to the glory and honor that others see. My brain simply becomes scrambled from the confusion of how humans can justfy killing each other for any reason, for I see nothing that is worth taking a life for. There is an episode of MASH where the character Frank Burns is trying to explain why they are in Korea, claiming that the threat of communism will come to the United States if they do not stop it, and Pierce asks what it is that they have that North Korea could possibly want? Burns, thrown off by the question, says that they want their bathrooms, and they will do anything to get them, and Pierce answers by saying he will gladly give them his if it would stop the war. This was one of my favourite episodes, because it shows just how ridiculous war can be, especially when no one really knows what started it in the first place, or what either side is really after.

This could just be my idealism talking, but I really do hope there will come a day when people from every country and continent around the globe will realize that we are all on the same side, and that this senseless war amongst ourselves will never come to an end unless we all throw in the towel and grasp each others hands in friendship.

Thank you for humouring me, for I realize that this rant went on quite a bit longer than I had meant it to. Next time, I assure you it will be of a more literary nature. Until then, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, and as always, happy reading!

Yours Truly,

BookNerd

As One Journey Ends, So Another Begins Again

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I read to live and I live to read. That's my circle of life.

“I read to live and I live to read. That’s my circle of life.”

Greetings Fellow BookNerds

It feels as though eons have passed since my last post, and I suppose in the world of the internet that would be an accurate measurement of time. There is a very good reason for my absence – notice how I say reason, and not an excuse, although more times than not they are one and the same – and that reason is my future.I’d say that’s a pretty good reason ^_^

Time really does seem to fly when you spend four months in a town you’ve never heard of, working for people you’ve never met, trying to meet tight deadlines without succumbing to the stress of the job. Don’t get me wrong, though, I would love more than anything to relive it all again, because as I keep telling people, I learned more about journalism in the past four months than I did during my four years of university. It’s further proof that hands on training is the best learning experience.

So in case you haven’t caught on by now, I am a journalist… or rather, I am training to become one. I spent four months out in Huron County doing an internship with a newspaper in the rural town of Blyth, a place I had never even heard of until I applied, and a place I will not soon be forgetting. It was one of those places where everyone knew each other, and it seemed like they all contributed to the paper in one form or another. Although I highly doubt that any of my future jobs will be anything like it, I still feel that it was a step in the right direction.

The place I got to know and love the most, I think, was Goderich, which apparently has been designated as the prettiest town in Canada. I can see why. Just driving into the town is a breath-taking experience, with trees as far as the eye can see, the glistening Maitland River running through and around it, flowing right into Lake Huron, its shores upon which the town rests. I have never been to a place quite like it, and I hope to return one day to marvel in its beauty once more.

Until that time, however, I shall continue my studies in Ottawa, and time permitting, catch up on my blogging. This is perfect timing, to, as I have officially finished reading the first book in the Mistborn Trilogy. All I could really say when I got to the end was… wow. Just, wow. It was the same feeling I got after watching Joss Whedon’s Serenity; a combination of amazement, shock, tears, giggles, and interspersed with moments of utter disbelief. For those who have read it, I think you understand those sentiments. I hate to sound redundant, but there really is no series out there like it.

I shall bid farewell to you for now, and I need not remind you all that any comments, questions or suggestions are always welcome if you wish to jot them down in the comment bubble, and until next time, happy reading.

Cheers,

BookNerd

I’m Back… Well, Sort Of

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nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

Its been one of those weeks where everyday, I think about posting something on my blog, but then by the time I get back home from work, I’m either too exhausted or have too many errands to run to even think about sitting down with my computer for more than a few minutes. Still, my typing fingers are kept busy, which makes me happy no matter how busy and stressful things get. I managed to get an internship with a newspaper for the Summer, which up until April I was starting to feel was a fruitless endeavor. They’re not kidding when they say it’s hard to get a job nowadays when you get out of university. Even though I got this job, I still have to worry about finding somewhere to work once Summer is over. It’s a never ending cycle. 

On a less anxiety ridden note, there is less than a month until the release of The Fault in Our Stars movie! I am both nervous and excited; nervous because I have no idea if it will live up to the expectations I have for it after having read the book, and excited because… well just because! I’ve only been reading John Green’s books for the past few years, but I’ve been in love with his writing ever since I finished reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson. His master of the English language combined with his innate nerdiness produces literature that is fresh and interesting, something that I feel has never really been done before. He is one of a kind, and I hope he continues to write books for a very long time. If you have never even heard of the TFIOS movie, then I implore you to take a moment and visit the official movie website: www.thefaultinourstarsmovie.com. You can also watch the movie trailer below:

I haven’t had a chance to do much reading these days, not since the first book of the Mistborn trilogy which I still haven’t reached the very end of yet. I’m hoping that the weather this weekend will have bring less rain and more sun so I can take it down to the beach and read to my hearts content. The one thing I love bout this job is that you work from 9 to 5 for five days a week, and then the weekends are yours to enjoy as you wish. I’m sure there will be a time or two when I have to bring work home with me, but as an intern, I’m doubtful that that will happen too often. I’m hopeful that by the end of this summer, I will have finished reading the first book, and gotten through the second installment, which I am really looking forward to.

In closing, I apologize for my blogging silence, and I do hope I will be able to remain more on top of things in the future. If you have any books you would like to recommend, or any suggestions about what you would like to see appear on my blog, feel free to write a blurb in the comments, and as always, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

 

Book Review: Mistborn

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nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

I know it has been a while, but that’s what happens when every single one of your professors thinks it’s a good idea to have all of their projects due in March. For once, I actually can’t wait until April, so that all I have to worry about is studying for exams :)

So, as promised, today’s post is going to be my own personal review of the book Mistborn, the first installment of the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. I still have a little ways to go until the end, but it is just so amazing that I can’t wait. This is literally a book like no other, with memorable characters, a strong female hero, unexpected twists and turns at every corner, garish creatures from your worst nightmares, and thought provoking philosophic discussions that would make you question even your most devout beliefs about human nature. There really is no book out there like it, at least not among all the ones I’ve read so far.

Mistborn Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

stars-5

This is the story of a man by the name of Kelsier who, after nearly dying in the Pits of Hathsin, has vowed to overthrow the Lord Ruler and the empire he has built upon the backs of the beaten, bloodied and impoverished Skaa. His ambition causes his path to cross with that of a young girl by the name of Vin, who possesses a power she is barely aware of, and who may be the key in mounting the biggest rebellion the Empire has ever seen. Although reluctant at first, Vin eventually agrees to join Kelsier’s crew, although more out of curiosity than anything else. He teaches her the ways of the Mistborn, those who can use different types of metals by means of Allomancy towards different ends, whether it is to increase ones physical strength, to sharpen ones senses, or even to use the metals as a weapon by pushing and pulling on them. If one is lucky enough to find the eleventh metal, they can even predict the movements of another before they happen, which has inspired and motivated to join Kelsier and his cause. However, now that things have been set in motion, what will be the final outcome?

This is one of those books where, no matter how insignificant a character may seem, or how briefly they appear in the story, they are still very memorable. It’s hard to say if it’s thanks to Sanderson’s writing skills or his ability to design realistic and charming characters, but if this were to ever be made into a movie, it would be difficult to replicate their personalities. This is not to say that I wouldn’t want to see it if it were ever to make it onto the big screen. I just keep thinking about this one character, a member of the army Kelsier was putting together, who only said a few words but still managed to make me laugh my butt off. I think it has to do with how Sanderson has the main characters interacting with the less noticeable ones, bringing out personality traits that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.

Another thing I love about this book is that even though it’s a fictional story, it really gets you to question things about humanity that you most likely never would have thought about on your own. Ham, who works closely with Kelsier, is always bringing up ethical and philosophical debates, even though it bugs the heck out of Kelsier every time he does. My first reaction is to laugh at what he says, because it just seems like a really dumb question with an obvious answer, like whether the Lord Ruler, or just the members of royalty in general, were born physically and psychologically different than the Skaa (this is basically their version of slaves). Of course, I would instinctively say no, believing that people are born the same but then grow up differently through social interactions and unique environmental factors. But then he brings up the issue of Allomancy, and how only those of a royal bloodline are born with it. That definitely threw me for a bit of a spin!

Lastly, I want to talk about Vin. Now, I have a read a lot of books with female protagonists, and I’d say there’s about a 5o/5o split between those I did like and those I didn’t. Too many of those female characters were just much too typical; they are either too feminine and rely on a man to save them from imminent danger, or they are too masculine and barely resemble a female character anymore. What I like about Vin is that she is cunning, smart, a bit of a wise-ass, wary of those around her, doing whatever it takes to survive, and above all else, she has a genuine charm. I think the only other female character I might appreciate as much as Vin is Hermione from Harry Potter, and that’s only because she is the real yet unrecognized heroine of the series :)

I could write about this book for hours, but I feel like I might let slip too many spoilers if I do. If you have nothing else planned to read this Summer, I would definitely recommend this book. If you have read it already, and would like to share what you think, post your thoughts in the comments. Even if you didn’t like the book, feel free to share why, for even I am rational enough to know that no book exists in the world which is universally liked. That’s all for today, so until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd