Book Report #8

Book Equivalent # 8            

Words: around 69,023

Date: Oct 9, 2015

Title:  Looking for Alaska

Author: John Green

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Realistic Fiction/Romance

Opening Sentence: The week before I left my family and Florida and the rest of my minor life to go to boarding school in Alabama, my mother insisted on throwing me a going-away party.

Favourite word / phrase / sentence: “Y’all smoke to enjoy it. I smoke to die.”

“Shoot, you coward. You are only going to kill a man.”

“I am going to take this bucket of water and pour it over the flames of hell and then I am going to use this torch to burn down the gates of paradise so that people will not love God for the want of heaven or the fear of hell, but because He is God.”

Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:

Paradigm (noun) – a typical example or pattern of something; a pattern or model.

Insurmountable (adj) – too great to be overcome.

Placid (adj) – pleasantly calm or peaceful; unruffled; tranquil; serenely quiet or undisturbed.

Entropy (n) – is a measure of the number of specific ways in which a thermodynamic system may be arranged, commonly understood as a measure of disorder.

Soliloquy (n) –  a device when a character speaks to himself or herself, relating thoughts and feelings, thereby also sharing them with the audience, giving off the illusion of being a series of unspoken reflections.

Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: 

I’ve already read this book before, so it wasn’t too surprising to me. There’s mentions of drugs, sex and smoking in it, which is kind of more mature than I should probably be reading. As always, I’ve really loved Alaska and Takumi. Also, re-reading, I now love Katie (who only get’s like 3 sentences in the book) just because she kneed Pudge in the place where the sun don’t shine because she didn’t like how he cheated on Lara.

I also love the Colonel, so much. He’s so truthful and honest, in the way that hurts. At some point (and, warning for spoilers) when Pudge mourns Alaska’s passing, the Colonel goes something like “you don’t miss her, you miss your now idealised version of her that only focuses on her good, not the whole truth of her” and describes her faults and yes, it’s so cruel to do that, but it’s the truth. Also, the Colonel is like, 5 feet.

Every character has a small quirk to them. Pudge remembers people’s last words, Colonel memorises countries, their capitals, and their populations. Alaska hides wine in the ground in the forest, and Takumi can rap amazingly well. It’s really nice that these characters are special in their own way. The plot of the story is not so good, in my opinion. It’s more reflective and romance, sure, but not in the way I like reading it? It’s kinda more hardcore for me. Still a nice book, though.

(Also, I found a surprise bookmark in my old copy. It was a nice discovery.)

Book Report #5

Book Equivalent # 5                         

Words: 49,485

Date: Oct 6, 2015

Title:  Weedflower

Author: Cynthia Kadohata

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Historical fiction

Opening Sentence: This is what it felt like to feel lonely.

Favourite word / phrase / sentence: “But the more important part of a garden is the things that live and die.”

Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:

I don’t think I learned any new terms, because the writing is pretty simple. (Unless Japanese words count?)

Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: 

Weedflower tells the story of a girl named Sumiko who lives in America during WW2. After the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, she and her family get sent to concentration camps, where they must reflect on their lives and Sumiko must learn to understand more about friendship.

I read Weedflower because it was one of my Battle of the Books book. Overall, it was very nice, with a bit of a cliffhanger. I really liked one of the characters, Frank, because he seemed kind and honest (even if pretty mean at first.) The language in this book was really easy and probably meant for people of levels lower than me (sorry if I sound arrogant!) but it was still a delightful read. Cynthia Kadohata is a really great author, I loved her ‘Kira-Kira’ and ‘A Million Shades of Grey.’