Posted in YA

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

11870085Synopsis

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind,

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My Review
“It would be my privilege to have my heart broken by you.” ~Gus

Hazel, at 13 was diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer and was prepared to die. But at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs…for now. She still lives with cancer but it’s kept at bay.

Now sixteen, Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tanks and continues to use the medical miracle to keep the tumours at bay. The Doctors have told her she could live for a long time, but she doesn’t have a normal life. Until one boy came and change her life around.
One evening at a cancer kid support group, she meets Augustus Waters. He’s gorgeous, in remission and is in to Hazel. They become friends fast and begin to spend their time together. Their journey together is much needed and they both feel at ease together. Spending time with Augustus has Hazel examining everything in her life. From her sickness, to health, to life and death and how it will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

This book review is going to go a little different today. I have such a book hangover with The Fault in Our Stars that for the first time ever I woke up crying because of it. Baring in mind, I finished this book around 1am (UK time) and went straight to bed, still thinking about the book and trying to stop my tears. Whenever I now think about this book, tears well up in my eyes and I have to do everything not to cry.
So yes, a different review today. I’m going to use GIFs to express my feelings for this amazing book because I don’t have the words right now to comprehend how much this book got to me.

I went into this book kind of blind sighted. I had downloaded TFIOS many months ago and now have I only got around to reading it. I knew it was about two cancer patients but other than that, I didn’t re-read the synopsis, I wanted to go in not knowing what was going to happen. But even if I did read the synopsis, the whole book caught me by surprise. I couldn’t put it down and I was tearing up at parts that weren’t sad, just happy, if you can say that.

THIS was me at the end and as I’ve said, whenever I think about this book.

Props to David Tennant!

Hazel and Augustus were a delight to read. Yes, they spoke like they were so much older than 16/17 years old, but it’s because they aren’t your normal teenagers. Hazel, albeit is still alive with the medical miracle pills, is still carrying cancer around with her. The tumours may have shrunk but for how long? How long until this pill will stop? Having spent 3 years with cancer, its under her skin, in the literal sense. Its not going away and she has to live with the fact that its terminal. Although the Doctors tell her she could live for a long time, she thinks of herself as a grenade. That could go off any second. It was heartbreaking that she thought that about herself.

Shes had a lot of growing up over the years, and its made her see life, especially her life differently. She’s not like us ‘normal’ girls, who can run around for hours on end. No, shes tethered to an Oxygen tank to help her breathe as her cancer has attached itself to her lungs. Although she lives her life normally, there are many thing shes cannot do without the cancer stealing her breath away or filling her lungs with fluid. But despite all this, shes a great character to read, who goes through a journey of self-discovery and a journey that she can do ‘normal’ things. I was so proud of her walking up the steps at the Anne Frank memorial because she pushed herself and was determined to make it up to the attic. Although it caught her breath, I smiled that she had made it up there, because of her strength and determination to prove she could do it.

(I love J-Law)

Augustus stole my heart from the get go. He was so grown-up before his time but he still had that teenage feel about him, much like Hazel. Of course, having cancer is going to make you grow up and think about the world and how you fit in differently, but together, it seemed that they could do anything. I would have liked him to sound like a 17 year old though, because at times, I just wanted him to act like he was a teenager (yes he played video games) but he was so grown up in the way of his speeches that sometimes, it annoyed me. But other than that, he was defiant in the way he was. He said things bluntly, he never held back and he was confident in how he wanted to be with Hazel, about how much he loved her and didn’t want to hide it.

Even in pain he was using humour to hide it. He seemed to brighten up Hazel’s life day by day just by spending time with her and being with her. He was brave and when he said this line to Hazel:-
“I lit up like a Christmas Tree, Hazel Grace.
I was a gonna. Tears streaming down my face. Gus was a great, big part in Hazel’s life and they both loved each other dearly and to think that everything could change just tore me apart.

(I love Santana)

He and Hazel just seemed right together. They seemed to both feel the same way about the world and in terms of their own cancer. They were weird together (Their parents words) and seemed to go through a journey together, trying to see where they fit in this world. I loved how much they cared about one another, would make each other happy and it filled me with joy that they were just…together.

It is beautifully written, you cannot fault that at all. John Green has you hooked from the get-go and the only time I put it down was when I went out for a couple of hours with some friends but then I picked it right back up when I came back home. I felt so many emotions throughout this book. And when it got to the pivotal point, that’s when everything went to pot and I couldn’t stop crying. This has only happened once when I can’t stop crying and that was with The Edge Of Never- J.A Redmerski.

It’s a great book and a fantastic read. You will feel so many emotions throughout this book. You all really need to grab a copy and experience the awesomeness of The Fault In Our Stars. It’s about cancer, it’s about love, it’s about discovery, about death and it’s heartbreakingly good!

I definitely recommend this book to anyone.

Posted in New Adult, Romance

Blackbird – Nicole Salmond

17211048Synopsis

A serious car accident leaves bad boy Nate Williams seriously injured and lucky to be alive. Upon his journey to learn to walk again he meets Claire, a physiotherapist in the last year of University. He’s instantly attracted to her, but Claire is no ordinary girl. She’s resistant to his charms and good looks which only intrigues him more.

Claire is reluctant, to say the least, when Nate comes back into her life again as one of her patients for her clinical placement. A self-absorbed, tattooed, womaniser, he is the last person on earth she wanted, or expected to see again. Nate may not remember her, or the kiss they once shared, but she certainly does. The next five weeks was going to be anything but easy.

Blackbird is a story of self-discovery and the formation of an unexpected friendship between two people who learn that life and love is anything but planned.

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My Review

After being involved in a serious car accident which leaves Nate Williams badly injured and lucky to be alive, he meets Claire, a physiotherapist in her last few weeks on university who will be with him through his journey to walk again. He’s attracted to her but she resists him charms. It only makes him more interested in her.

Nate has been in Claire’s life before but it’s obvious he can’t remember. She’s reluctant to be his physiotherapist but in the end agrees to be professional about it. The next 5 weeks aren’t going to be easy for her. But when a budding friendship develops between them both, it’s getting easier to decide what she wants out of life, even if she finds it hard to begin with.

Blackbird is a story about self-discovery, as the synopsis entitles. It’s about finding yourself in the world and being the person who YOU want to be, not what people want you to be or do. When I read the synopsis the other day, I instantly knew I had to download this book and read it immediately. I was not disappointed at all and Nicole Salmond takes you through a journey about yourself too and what you want in life, as well as going through Nate and Claire’s journey with them. I found this book to be refreshing and it really did have me indulged for the few hours I was reading it, finding it hard to put down even for a split second. I just had to finish it and see what happened!

Oh Nate Williams! He had gone through some tough times in his life. With his father’s death being the main reason he’s gone off the rails a bit. He blames himself for it and that’s why his life doesn’t seem important to him. He puts on a cocky, sexualised front, as to hide his true colours and he never stays with one girl, always jumping from one, one night stand, to the next. But when we see him with Claire at first, he’s, as I said, cocky and flirty and playful with her, trying to wind her up, but the more time they spend together, and become friends, the more Nate changes – for the best. His attitude changes. He’s never really had a girlfriend, let alone been interested enough to have one, but when he’s around Claire, and even when he’s not, shes all he thinks about and all he wants. But with her having a boyfriend, he’s going to have to stay being her friend. But he’s also determined to show her that they should be more. I liked that he didn’t give up on her.

Nate was Claire’s last patient before graduating and when she sees him, she’s angry. They have history but he doesn’t seem to remember. She pushes that aside and is determined to help him walk again. She is a strong character, shes a determined character but she’s also frustrating to read. She had a boyfriend of 6 months (Who was a total douchebag to her) but she has feelings for Nate. When she and Nate become friends, she began to annoy me over her thought process with Dave (her boyfriend) and Nate. It was blatantly obvious that Dave was not the guy for her, as he was still living in the ice ages and that Nate – who gave her time and space to sort her feelings out, hence being friends, was totally the guy for her. He was always there for her, he didn’t push her, he treated her as an equal, but I’m just glad she realized what she had to do to be happy in the end.

I did love their friendship. They had the perfect chemistry and although it was obvious to the reader that they both had feelings for each other, I respected Nate’s decision to not do anything, as she had a boyfriend and to just be her friend and be there for her through the tough times with Dave. They respected each other, had fun, flirted and seemed to spend so much time together, getting to know one another. They really did bring out the best in each other and I loved how they changed one another – to the person they were truly meant to be. They both taught one another how to be free.

The scene that got my gears turning was the dancing in the nightclub. Holy Hell was that steamy! The dirty dancing and the rhythm they both have together and the sexual chemistry just literally poured from the kindle. I want my own Nate to dirty dance with!

I love the book cover. It symbolises the point of this book. To be free to be yourself and to do whatever you want in life, not to be caged up and forced to live your life by what others want of you. You will see why this is, when you read Blackbird. The cover will make sense to you then.

There are a few grammatical issues and at one point Nicole write ‘Nick’ instead of Nate, but other than that, it didn’t particularly bother me. I’m not one to moan about these kinds of issues as the book really caught my attention and had me hooked from the start to finish.

I loved the message this book portrayed and I loved the friendship/relationship Nate and Claire developed and had. It was great to see these two characters change throughout the book with the help and influence they both had on each other. They both eventually learnt that taking a chance will be worth the risk, especially with love and life. If you want to read a quick story about freeing yourself, finding love and discovering yourself, then Blackbird is definitely the book for you. It’s a great read and will leave you thinking about your own life and how you fit in after you finish it!