Looking For Alaska – by John Green

21 10 2019

I read a load of John Green when The Fault In Our Stars was a big thing, and at the time bought several of his books, this one has sat there a while, but at only 260 pages it seemed a good one for my Dark Materials break!

It’s a John Green book, so of course it’s got teenagers and drama. Miles hasn’t got many friends at school in Florida, so at 16 goes off to boarding school in Alabama. He has a thing about famous peoples last words, and reads a lot of biographies to collect them. He quickly makes friends with people very different to his previous life (think stereotypical smoking and drinking), one of whom is a girl called Alaska, who is a bit unpredictable. I won’t go any further because of spoilers, but I read this in 3 or 4 days – crazy fast!

A couple of days ago I saw an advert on TV for a series they’ve made of the book which literally went live on Friday and is available on iPlayer, so that’s something else to fit in!

He writes books that are so easy to read and just enjoy. I have one more of his books on my shelf, so I think I’ll be picking that up again in the not too distant future.





Perfect – by Cecelia Ahern

22 04 2017

I told myself I’d wait for this to come out in paperback, I was definitely going to wait. I went into Waterstones, WHSmiths, just to see if it was there, I wasn’t going to buy it, just to look. But then someone told me it was going cheap in Tesco and that she’d read it in one afternoon…. so I went straight there and bought it!

I’ve been waiting for this book since the second I finished Flawed, which was left on such a cliffhanger! I was worried I couldn’t remember a lot of the detail but fortunately she recaps very well so it’s very easy to pick the story back up.

At the end of Flawed, Celestine had gone into hiding from the authorities, and this book follows her as she tries to find somewhere safe, and then works out a plan to help prove that the system itself is Flawed. There are plenty of twists and turns, I’ve been picking up the book whenever I can to see what happens next! I don’t really want to litter this post with spoilers so all I’ll say is if you’ve read Flawed you’ll love this (and probably be desperate to read it anyway!), and if you haven’t, go and read Flawed first! There’s a link to it in the second paragraph up there Ꙟ.

Some of my favourite quotes which give nothing of the plot away are below:

  • “It can take a lifetime to build up a friendship – it can take a second to make an enemy.”
  • “When you’re a teenager, what makes you different can be the worst thing int he world. The older you get, the more you realise that it’s your weapon, your armour, your strength. Your gift.”
  • “Whenever I’m confused, I look at what I know.”
  • “Every person has a space for every person they meet – sometimes the capacity is deep, sometimes it is shallow. […] People who are loved can eventually be hated in equal amounts. […] If the space is there for us, a we have to do is alter the feelings. […] If they hate us this much, they could love us equally.”





Flawed – by Cecelia Ahern

3 10 2016

Cecelia Ahern published another book, so of course I had to read it!

The difference this time is that this is her first “Young Adult” novel. This is a concept I’m struggling to get my head around – Wikipedia defines “Young Adult” as age 12-18, but as someone in my 20s, I’d like to think that makes me an adult who is young?! Anyway, I loved hunger games and that’s technically young adult, so I wasn’t going to avoid it just because I’m “old”.

As all of these books seem to be set in a dystopian society. As well as a criminal system, they also have the concept of people who are “flawed”. These are people who have made done something immoral. If someone is flawed, they are branded as such, and wear a red armband to show who they are. I’ll let the book explain further:


“For bad decisions, it’s their temple.
For lying, it’s their tongue.
For stealing from society, it’s their right palm.
For disloyalty to the Guild, it’s their chest, over their heart.
For stepping out of line with society, it’s the sole of their right foot.”

“They are not imprisoned; they haven’t done anything illegal, but they have carried out acts that are seen as damaging to society.”

They live a life of reduced quality. They live by a curfew, they can only eat plain food, they have to sit on certain seats on the bus, and they can only ever have 2 of them together in one place, any more and there must be a “perfect” person. Even sat in a row, you couldn’t have more than two sat together.

We meet Celestine, who is dating the son of the head of the Guild and totally believes in the system. And yet, she has a moment where she helps a Flawed, which itself is a crime, and she is taken away to be tried. I don’t want to go much further because it would give away some of the major twists, but just to say that I couldn’t put it down as it progressed.

I cannot *wait* for the sequel!

Some of my favourite quotes below:

  • “The trouble with being punctual is that there’s nobody there to see it.”
  • “I’ve learned that to be courageous is to feel fear within, every step of the way. Courage does not take over; it fights and struggles through every word you say and every step you take. […] It takes courage to overcome, but it takes extreme fear to be courageous.”
  • “Piano always seemed to stress me out. I played it for other people. I played it for Angelina in class, I played it for my parents when I practised. […] I never played for myself.”
  • “If you make a mistake, you learn from it. If you never made a mistake, you’re never the wiser.”
  • “I had enough friends so that I wasn’t a weirdo, but not too many so that I was popular. I was average. I worked so hard to be average.”
  • “If you can’t solve a problem, there is an easier problem you can solve: find it.”

flawed