Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Fault in our Stars by John Green

Hazel is a walking miracle.  She was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given a short time frame.  But, she is still alive.  Her parents are worried because all Hazel wants to do is stay home and read her books.  She does not want to interact with anyone--even them at times.  Hazel's mom insists that she join a support group.  Hazel grudgingly goes and meets Augustus Waters who is a cancer survivor.  At first, Hazel does not want to hang around with Augustus, but he will not go away.  They develop a friendship, and they discuss everything including a book that has truly shaped Hazel's mindset on life.  Hazel gets sick again, and Augustus decides to give his "wish" to her so that they can meet the author of the book.  This leads them on a life-changing journey that grabs your heart.

This book is so raw and gritty because Hazel does not hold back.  She tells like it is--the anger, the frustration, everything that you can only imagine someone who has been diagnosed with a terminal disease must feel.  What I loved most about the book was how she saw how her disease and ultimate death would affect those around her.  While I don't always like to contemplate my own mortality, I believe it made me look at life a little more closely.  Be grateful--just one of the many lessons in this book that I learned.  Okay--another GREAT READ!

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Sixteen-year-old America Singer is being pressured by her mother to enter into the "random" drawing to be part of The Selection.  In the Selection, thirty-five girls are randomly selected to be a part of the process to find a new wife for the prince.  Of course, every young girl would want to be a part of this, right?  Oh, no!  America is not excited at all because she has already fallen in love with a special boy.  America's family is poor, and all of the chosen girls receive a stipend.  So, she feels like she has to enter.

When she gets there, it is not quite as she thought it would be, but she strikes a bargain with the prince.  She tells him that she will be his friend that will be honest with him to find a good wife.  He agrees to keep her around--but...that is right.  He has feelings for her.  As the story unfolds, America's feelings are shifting, and she is happy.  Until the boy that she loves is now in the picture...and the love triangle is drawn.

Wow!  What a book!  It is a cross between The Bachelorette and Downton Abbey.  I absolutely loved it.  Put it on the GREAT READ list.  I can't wait to read the second book, The Elite.