No, this book is not related in any way to Fifty Shades of Grey (although perhaps it should have been given a different name). Between Shades of Gray is actually an emotional and traumatic tale of a Lithuanian girl living in a Soviet labor camp during World War II. It has all of the elements of a great YA novel, with the added impact of an important historical message.
In case you’ve been living on the moon for the past two years, The Fault in Our Stars is a wildly popular YA novel by John Green about two teenagers, Hazel and Augustus, who are living with cancer and falling for each other. It explores the awkwardness of young love, the “side effects” of dying, and the meaning (if there is any) of life. I first read TFiOS when it was published over two years ago, but I never wrote a review on it. With the movie adaptation coming out in less than a week, I decided to re-read the book and write down my thoughts on it.
I recently read Esther Earl’s posthumous book, This Star Won’t Go Out, and it definitely affected my re-read of TFiOS. TFiOS is dedicated to Esther, who died of cancer as a teenager and was friends with John Green. Her book is a compilation of letters and journal entries, which chronicle many of the same fears that Hazel and Gus struggle with in TFiOS. Esther was afraid of dying without having made a difference in the world, and Gus, similarly, is afraid of oblivion. Hazel worries what will happen to her parents after she dies, and much of Esther’s writing is concerned with how her illness affects her family. Hazel is clearly not Esther, as John Green has continually said, but the book is definitely inspired by her spirit and a tribute to her life.
I finished the Divergent series over a week ago, but it’s taken me awhile to write this review because I honestly don’t have too much to say. Unfortunately, Veronica Roth didn’t improve upon Insurgent‘s mistakes in Allegiant. While I didn’t hate the ending as much as most people did, I still felt like the whole book was just mediocre and didn’t live up to the hype started by the first book.
Ugh. I believed in you, Veronica Roth. I was captivated by the world you created in Divergent, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Insurgent. But now I’m trying to understand how you turned something so enjoyable into something so frustrating. I finished reading Insurgent last night and all that came to mind was: ugh.
Laurie Halse Anderson is one of my favorite authors, and I recently had the chance to see her speak at a local bookstore. She talked about how her latest novel, The Impossible Knife of Memory, was inspired by her own experiences growing up with a father suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. While reading the book, I could definitely tell that it came from a personal place. In typical Anderson style, the writing is jarring and the emotions are raw. While it is not my favorite book of hers, it was definitely a fascinating and absorbing read.
The cover of Every Day has caught my eye every time I go to the bookstore, and I finally found the time to give it a read. The only other book by David Levithan I had read was Will Grayson, Will Grayson (a collaboration with John Green), which I loved. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about this book. The premise of the story is very original, but it failed to live up to my expectations.
I am one of those people who has to read the book before the movie comes out, especially if it’s a fiction book. Everyone has been making a big deal about Divergent, and I knew I would want to see the movie, so I got my hands on a library copy of the book. And I absolutely devoured it. Maybe there is a part of me that has been pining for a dystopian YA novel since reading The Hunger Games, but I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed Divergent. I am always searching for books that are all-consuming and make you think of nothing else in the world except what is happening in that book. Divergent, while not perfect, is one of those books.