A Collection of Book Reviews

If you follow my twitter (here) you may have seen me mention All The Bright Places after I finished it a while back- probably about a month ago now, and I've been planning on doing a review of this since then but decided to wait and do a big one including a couple of John Green books that I read on my holiday as well. As with most book reviews, this will contain a few spoilers to the three books mentioned, however, I haven't given away any plot lines or details for All The Bright Places or An Abundance of Katherines, so if you haven't read them yet, this review probably won't give away too much for either of those two books. However, I'd suggest reading Looking For Alaska before reading the review if you haven't already as I do give away major spoilers.

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
I’m sure many of you will have come across this book somewhere, even if you haven’t read it. Personally, I spotted this book a good few months ago and loved the blurb but at the time, I didn’t have much money and had a lot of unread books (I still do but oh well) so I didn’t pick it up, instead I made a note of it, ready to purchase when I got the chance. Fast forward a couple of months, I found myself in waterstones with my friend after having heard many wonderful reviews of the book, and I decided I had to get it. 

One thing I can say for certain is that I was definitely not disappointed by this read!

I was able to get into the book straight away and found myself intrigued by the characters and the plot. Whilst Finch did get on my nerves a couple of times throughout the first half of the book, I still loved his character and thought he was incredibly well written and by the second half, I loved both him and Violet.

I also love the quotations and character's interpretations woven into the novel which add more depth and character to the story. They are also chosen and applied beautifully.

All the Bright Places brilliantly tackles a number of issues that many people face despite being seen as taboo subjects within society. It takes a sensitive but quite direct approach with the whole subject of mental health, suicide and loss being explored throughout the novel without exploiting the characters or the readers. I think it's a book that should be read by so many people in order to try and make more people understand that mental health issues are fairly common and affect most people in one way or another at some point in their lives, and enable people to see that anyone can be affected and that there are ways of dealing with it. In my opinion, if more people read books like this one (and I'm sure there are many others that would be just as effective as well), it will help move society forward, and improve the acceptance of mental health as an open subject; even if it takes a long time.

I'd say this is definitely a must read!

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

I must admit, this book took me a very long time to get into it, I'm not sure what it was about it, it just didn't grip me... until I got about half/ two thirds of the way through and then I was hooked.

I think it's a book you have to stick with as there is a lot of intelligent and unique language used throughout, including a lot that is referenced and explained more clearly at the bottom of each page. This meant I had to concentrate on each individual word more in order to make sense of the whole thing, which I think made the book a bit harder to read and therefore harder to get into. However, once I got passed the structure and was able to understand things more easily, I was able to become more interested in the plot and therefore enjoy the book.

The characters were extremely well written and were able to be explored vicariously by the reader in order to help shape the overall story line. I also thought the last half and the very end of the book were very intriguing and were particularly pleasant to read and be a part of.

Overall, I'd say this is my least favourite book by John Green that I've read but I'm still glad I read it and think it is well worth reading as long as you stick with it and get past the first few chapters/first half of the book. I also think that if you have a high IQ, know a wide range of vocabulary or are interested in learning a lot more, you will find the book easier to read and get into and will probably enjoy reading the whole thing.

Looking For Alaska by John Green

On the opposite end of the scale is Looking For Alaska, which is actually my favourite John Green book so far. There was very little (if anything) that I disliked about this book; it was easy to get into and had me from the first word. 

The characters were so easy to get into and fall in love with despite the fact that for me personally, if the characters were real, I probably wouldn't feel the same and wouldn't particularly be good friends with them, simply due to differing personalities.

The book was incredibly emotional and exciting from the start, and only got more and more tense through out the novel.

I was so shocked by Alaska's death and never saw it coming... not sure how given the signs (I just thought she would runaway or something). The whole plot was incredibly compelling, particularly the 'After' section which really tugged at the heartstrings and made me feel very emotional towards the characters and their own feelings, as well as intrigued as to what had actually happened. 

The ending was beautifully written and allowed the reader to interpret the situation in their own way which usually would irritate me in a book but in Looking For Alaska, it actually made it even better and added to the storyline and to Alaska's mysterious character.

I would 100% recommend this book to anyone.

Thank you for reading these reviews, I hope you enjoyed them. Let me know if there was anything you agreed with or disagreed with about the books or anything you particularly loved about them.

Love, Steph x

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  1. I have just finished reading An Abundance of Katherines and it took a while to get into but once I did I was hooked, I loved it. All the bright places sounds so good.

    Olivia // BLONDE LA MODE

  2. Yep, I thought the latter part of the book and the ending were very good and I loved them too. Oh my gosh, it is amazing... I definitely recommend it! Xxx

  3. I read All the bright places a couple weeks ago and loved it but was so annoyed with the ending, i guess I just worked myself up hoping for more haha. I've just finished The Manifesto on How To Be Interesting which also brings up the mental health side of things, it's a really good read and surprisingly about a girl starting a blog. I recommend! :)
    Charlotte x


  4. Fair enough, I've felt the same with books in the past. Ohhh that sounds interesting, I'll have to check it out and give it a read :) xxx


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