Book Club: Paper Towns Review

Back in June, I mentioned that I was going to start my own personal book club that would involve me, myself and I. Fortunately, I’ve managed to knock one book off my list. Yay for me.

After crying through The Fault In Our Stars (and the movie as well), I decided that it would be necessary to read some of John Green’s other novels. I quickly jumped into Paper Towns.

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Paper Towns took me only a few days to finish while on vacation last month. I really enjoyed the book and John Green’s writing style. Yes, John Green’s novels may be a wee bit on the darker side at times, but I thoroughly appreciate someone taking a risk and going in that direction. If you’ve read some of his books then you’ll most likely understand where I am coming from.

Let’s get to my review of Paper Towns*Spoiler Alert*

The book is about Quentin Jacobsen and Margo Roth Spiegelman, two high school teens that grow up together in the same neighborhood, but are just neighbors.  Quentin secretly envy’s Margo’s adventurous side and yearns to become more than just a neighborhood friend. Everything changes one night when Margo shows up at Quentin’s window luring him to join her on a late night joy ride.  This joyride soon turns into an all-night prank on a number of individuals who Quentin thought were her friends.

The following day, Margo suddenly disappears only leaving clues for Quentin to find and decipher. Quentin soon brings his friends into the situation to help him find out where Margo went. After a few weeks of scaverging to find clues, Quentin finds a clue that is bigger than ever. He remembers Margo mentioning the term “paper towns” and discovers that there is a town in New York that she references as being called “paper towns.” He locates the general location of this so called town and gathers his friends on a long road trip. Oh, did I mention that this road trip begins on the evening of their high school graduation? Yes, it happens. Everyone piles into Quentin’s van and they drive hundreds of miles to find Margo.

After driving all night, the vans full of teenagers locate Margo. Unfortunately, Margo’s expression to them finding her isn’t what they thought it would be. Margo was in shock and confused why they would even come. Margo’s old best friend who joined in on the road trip was mad about Margo’s expression and couldn’t believe she would do this. After time, Quentin and Margo talk and he finds out that Margo hated their home state and was going to leave after graduation anyway. Quentin begins to understand that they are going in different directions and will never be together. They kiss and part ways.

Overall, I would give the book a 3.5 out of 5 stars. Unfortunately, I felt that the book dragged on longer than it should. At times, I wanted to skip a few chapters just to see what happened. Personally, I need to be sucked into a book to truly “love” it.

Since finishing Paper Towns, I’ve started reading another novel by John Green called Looking For Alaska.

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Stay tuned for another review soon!

Have you read any of John Green’s novels?

If so, do you like his style?

What genre do you like?

Are you apart of any book clubs?

Have a great Thursday!

XO, Tara

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Fun Facts Friday- Friday the 13th Edition

Happy dance, happy dance!

Today is FRIIIIIDAYYYYY—–>Friday the 13th to be exact! Watch out for the black cats and level 13 or whatever else freaks you out on this day.

I’m pretty stoked for the weekend. How about you?

It’s time to get to Fun Fact Friday

1. Look at that good ol’ bruise on my upper thigh. Totally ran into the corner of my side table. I know that I’ve ran into it many times and I still haven’t learned. 

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2. Breakfast. I’ve had smoothies everyday this week so far for brekkie. I never used to eat breakfast, because I wasn’t always hungry. However, since I am lifting more I know that it would help me physically to consume more protein/food throughout the day.

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3. #OITNB- OMG!!!!

4. Escape Club is the dumbest show ever. There was nothing else on last night, so I had to cringe my teeth and listen to this show (background annoyance).

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5. Virtual Book Club! I need to figure this out. According to my last post, people are interested in this. Thoughts? How many books a month? Interested?

6. I’m going to a country concert on Saturday and I am pretty stoked for it.

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10 bands in one day. Heck yes. However, we will probably show up in the later afternoon.

What are you up to this weekend?

Does Friday the 13th freak you out?

Are you in a book club?

XO, Tara

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My Summer Book Club

Good morning!

Does anyone else agree that this week will never end? Yesterday was a very long day. Ugh!

After reading The Fault In Our Stars  over the weekend, I decided that I need to get back into reading. I forgot how easy it was to get through a book so quickly while doing cardio. Time just flies on by.

It made me remember how much I was reading a few months ago. Fortunately I got caught up in watching TV shows on Netflix. However, I’ll admit that I was having a hard time finding a book or author that would suck me in. Luckily,  The Fault In Our Stars caught my attention real quick and reminded me how much I love to read.

That being said, I decided to put together my own book club. I’ll be the only one in the club. HA!

I’ve come up (with the help of others, you know who you are) a list of books that I am interested in reading.

Tara’s Summer Book Club

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Allegiant by Veronica Roth

I’ll admit, I’ve started the book, but haven’t finished. However, it is a hardback which is harder to hold while working out. I will finish it though, don’t worry about that! 😀

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Orange Is The New Black by Piper Kerman

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What Happened To Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

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Paper Towns by John Green

I’m pretty confident that I’ll finish all four of these books in a month or so; however, I don’t want to overwhelm myself.

Reading should be enjoyable and I love to get lost in books.

Do you love to read?

What are you currently reading?

Any recommendations to my list?

Have a great Thursday.

XO, Tara

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The Chobani Challenge Rap-up for October!

Poop. Sadly, I didn’t achieve my goal for October and read two books. Fortunately, I did achieve 50% of my goal by reading one book! 🙂 At least I did that. Hello, I am trying to juggle two jobs, a social life and stay mentally sane. Lol.

I managed to finally finish The Job Offer by Eleanor Webb.

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Spoiler alert. If you are planning on reading this book, then come back later once you’ve finished and let me know what you think.

The novel begins by introducing us to one of the main characters; Dr. Anne Conner. Anne returns home to Seattle, where she will be having an interview at Stanford Enterprises. After arriving in Seattle and going through the first round of interviews; Anne decides to spend some time in Orcas Islands with her family. Anne soon finds out that old friends of the family; Lily and her brother Ben (an old crush) would be in town for Lily’s wedding.  Would this old crush become something more? We’ll soon find out.

During Anne’s stay at the resort; Ben and she decide to spend a more time together. The passion and chemistry between them becomes unbearable. Both Ben and Anne understand that this must be a vacation romance, because she lives in Boston and he lives in Seattle. However, they do fall madly in love with each other.

Ironically, we come to find out that Ben Carlson is actually Ben Stanford, the CEO of Stanford Enterprises. Anne has no ides that she is sleeping with the CEO of the company whom she was interviewing with. Throughout the week of wedding madness, Anne is offered the position at Stanford Enterprises and starts making arrangements to move back home to Seattle. She keeps this news a secret from Ben, because she doesn’t want to take the spotlight away from his sister Lily’s wedding.  Unfortunately, the news breaks and Ben’s reaction isn’t what Anne expected. Ben reaction is reasonable yet not fair to Anne. He believes that she used him to get the job, when she had no idea that he worked for the company. Ben’s reaction causes Anne to leave OrcasIsland and try to determine her next move. Does she continue to work at Stanford Enterprises or go back to Boston for good?

Anne decides to stay at Stanford Enterprises. However, it wasn’t easy seeing Ben from time to time let alone work for his company. Also, she finds out that she is pregnant with Ben’s baby. Ultimately, Anne decides to put in her two weeks and pack up and move back to Boston. Ben hears word of this and desperately tries to find Anne before she leaves. They end up reconciling and Ben asks her to marry him.

There had to be a happy ending right?!

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Overall, it was an easy read that was quite predictable. However, aren’t most romance novels like this?

What’s your favorite genre?

What was the last book you read?

XO, Tara

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Chobani Challenge: OCTOBER

Back in June, I decided to hop on the bandwagon and join the Chobani Challenge!

Here is a re-fresher on what the challenge entails: 

The Details:
“In a nut shell: we’ll set one attainable goal each month. These goals can be totally simple, or larger, fitness/lifestyle/growth goals. Join us and set whatever works for you! Different strokes for different CHOlks.”
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#5. October– Read and write reviews for two books! I love to read, but sometimes it goes on the back burner. Any book recommendations are appreciated!!

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Ok, it is already the October 7th….luckily, I am about halfway through a novel as we speak. I’ll give you a hint. It is a romance.

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I’ll have that book finished any day now and my review will be up. I need to find a second novel though. Any recommendations?

I want to read Wild by Cheryl Strayed.

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I’ve heard it is a great novel. It was only listed on Oprah’s Book Club!

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Another novel I am excited to read is Allegiant. Allegiant is the 3rd novel in the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. It comes out on October 22, 2013. I am sure that I can finish it and write a review in a few days. Last time, I finished Insurgent in 2-3 days. I was sucked in! I highly recommend this series, plus there is a movie coming out in March 2014.

On cold, rainy or snowy days, I love curling up with a good book. I think this feeling comes with it being fall.

Are you a big reader?

What is your favorite genre?

XO, Tara

Past Book Reviews:

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

The Art of Racing in the Rain- Book Review!

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

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The Plot:

We meet Enzo, a philosophical dog who strives to be able to communicate with his family. He narrates the emotional story of a family that experiences both highs and lows. Enzo starts his story at the end, when he is on the brink of death and ready to start his new life. He then switches gears and moves to the life changing moment when his owner Denny picks him up from the farm in Sprange, Washington. As time progresses, Denny falls in love, becomes a father and experiences tragedy after tragedy. Unable to speak, Enzo continues to watch and be the best friend and support that Denny needs.

First Impression:

From the moment I started this book, I knew it would be a very hard one to put down. It captured me in a way that I haven’t experienced before. This book really helps you begin to understand the mystery behind dog’s thoughts. It makes me wonder, “How much do animals truly understand?”

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A great way to relax in the sun.

**Spoiler Alert for those of you whom plan to read this book!**

Enzo is unlike any other dog. Through watching, learning and living life along side his owner Denny, Enzo begins to master the human condition by understanding the variety of emotions that a person or animal goes through.

The book follows the Swift family as they go through a series of highs and lows. Denny is a thriving race car driver whom doesn’t want to sacrifice his dreams of becoming Formula One driver on day. Enzo is his best friend who will never leave his side. Eve is Denny’s wife and mother of his daughter Zoe.

Denny’s life changed when he married Eve and has his daughter Zoe. Around this time, Eve’s health begins to deteriorate. Her attitude changes, she becomes erratic, unstable and depressed. Due to a fall on the rocks, Eve is rushed to the hospital where the unthinkable happens. Eve is diagnosed with Brain Cancer and has to stay at the hospital indefinitely. Denny is then left with some hard decisions regarding his daughter, his work and Enzo. Throughout the difficult diagnoses, Enzo continues to try to heal the family by being a great support system and protector.

To makes things a bit easier for Denny, Eve’s parents decide to take care of Zoe while Eve is in the hospital. Unfortunately, upon Eve’s passing, her parents decide to that they should have full custody of Zoe. They believed that Denny wasn’t a suitable father, because of his job at BMW of Seattle and all the traveling that racing cars brings. To top it off, Denny is accused of having relations with a 15 year old girl, named Annika and is arrested. Eve’s parents jump on the opportunity to use this against Denny in the custody battle.

At this point, Denny is a huge mess, but he does the best he can not to get completely drowned in the quick sand. We see that Denny has his moments where he uses substances to ease the pain, but then Enzo comes in and encourages him that that isn’t the best path. Throughout the tragic event’s, Enzo and Denny’s bond gets stronger. They have specific cues that they only understand. For instance, “Bark twice means let’s go faster.”

At the end, a few years later, Denny has a conversation with Annika that opens her eyes. All the charges against Denny are dropped and he gets custody of Zoe back. To top it off, Denny is offered a job in Italy to test drive Ferrari’s. This is where the story ends, Denny, Enzo and Zoe move to Italy to for a fresh start.

After thoughts:

Enzo is a remarkable animal. I couldn’t help but laugh at some of his thoughts. Especially the one about how he doesn’t believe that humans evolved from monkeys. Enzo comes up with this humorous yet intriguing theory about how humans evolved from dogs.  I’ll admit, it did make me think a little bit. There were many times throughout the book when I would get frustrated and didn’t understand why the author included certain events, but in the end everything came around for the better.

Would I recommend The Art of Racing in the Rain? Absolutely!

I truly believe that dogs are a man/woman’s best friend. I don’t know where I would be without this little one. My Kasa bear.

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Her eyes light up when she sees me and it always puts a smile on her face. All she wants is to be held for hours on end with a few belly scratches mixed in.

Have you read The Art of Racing in the Rain? Share your thoughts.

What are your thoughts? 

Anyone have books recommendations?

XO, Tara

Having a book in your hands

“Yes: The race is long- to finish first, first you must finish,”

This is my favorite quote so far from the latest book I am reading. You know what is a plus? It is an actual paperback, not a Kindle  E-book.

I just re-read what I just wrote and was shocked. Why? Because I am talking about the fact that having a book made of paper in my hands instead of some electronic device is a rare thing. I remember the days when I would sit by the pool and read book after book in paper firm. Now, I have a tablet which is great, but my issue is that I have to remember to charge it.  Ahh, technology. It is a love-hate relationship I swear.

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I’ll post a book review later this week. I am about 110% positive that I will be done tomorrow. I’ll follow up with a review of this novel!

Sorry for the short post today. I’ll have more tomorrow!

XO, Tara