The Mad Reader
This story is beautiful, deep and meaningful and it will touch you to the core of your heart. It raises issues of life and death, of sickness and health and the utter importance of love.
What is love? How long lasting it has to be to be significant? How do you live a life in sickness? These are all questions that the author tries to answer in this marvelous novel.
Much as An Imperial Affliction, this book provides a different and more real intake to kids with cancer and how we idolize their lives after they’ve passed just because they were sick. It was interesting and mind opening, because as Hazel was always concerned, people should be remembered for who they were, not what illness they “battled”. It also portrayed our need to be remembered by humanity once we are gone, our desire to do great things.
In sum, this book was heartbreaking and compelling, and it got me thinking until way after I finished it.
I loved the characters and the depth they all had. Each one of them had their own concerns. For Isaac it was his broken heart, for Augustus was posterity, and for Hazel was her being a grenade. Apprehensions that signified humanity’s greatest fears towards death.
I particularly loved the way they related, and how they helped each other overcome their toughest moments. You can experience, through them, that love and friendship can change the perspective of everything.
This was my first audio book ever, and I’m so grateful I took the risk and got it, because I opened up to a whole new and wonderful world I was missing. I’m officially an audio book lover! Anyhow, even if it was my first audio book, I didn’t need to be an expert to tell that the narration was impeccable! Kate Rudd, did an excellent job, especially with the gender roles. It’s hard for a woman to portrait good male voice, and she did it superbly not only with one, but with several characters. I particularly enjoyed that you could immediately tell who was speaking. Not one voice was like the other, and I loved how she played Peter Van Houten and Lidewij, because she did a great job capturing their accents. Finally, I will like to add, her rhythm and breathing were smooth. I will be keeping my eye out for other narrations of her.
4.5 stars for the Book and 5 stars for the Narration.
This plot is every teenage girl dreams come true! Who didn’t dream about dating a superstar back in the time? I know I did, and the circumstances of their encounter are the perfect meet cute, and totally in synch with today’s technological and social media dependant world. Plus, I can’t help to gush over Graham’s absolutely romantic grand gesture. I would die if a movie was set in a particular place just so the star could be near me!
It was great that the story wasn’t only focused on the romance part, but it also has an intricate subplot that I wasn’t expecting. It captured marvellously the hell celebrities and public people go through with paparazzi, it’s just awful.
The only downside to the plot is that once all the elements are put into play, its development is too predictable. It’s so easy to see what’s coming next, but it is still oh so enjoyable to attest.
I loved that the author was focused on showing a different face to fame, and that it portrayed accurately how lonely and hard a celebrity’s life could sometimes be. I’m not a Britney Spears fan, but it sort of reminded me of her song “Lucky”.
That being said, what stands out the most with these characters are their relationships. How they are intimate but fragile. How they aren’t perfect. But my absolute favourite character was Ellie. She was so responsible, but it was easy to the teenage in her. It was just so simple to relate to her. I was rooting for her all along.
Whenever we get two narrators the gender role problem disappears. We have a clearly identifiable voice for each character. Nevertheless, they did have to play the other characters voice, even if it was for a brief a moment, at times; and both, Andrew Sweeney and Marcie Millard, did a great voice. I barely noticed it wasn’t the same voice because I was deeply involved with the story and their representation was good. It wasn’t the same of course, and at moments it was a bit weird that the voices changed a bit, that’s the downside of having two narrators. But they still made it work. I have to praise them both, because I felt they truly captured the essence of their characters, they sounded like two teenagers. They made the story come alive, and it was beautiful.
John Green is an author genius! I haven’t read a book of his I haven’t loved so far, but I have to admit I am starting to discover a certain pattern.
This book, as all the others, features a great group of friends were values like loyalty comes through.
So, this book is about Q, a regular teenager about to graduate from High School who has never done anything extraordinary. He has good grades, is going to a great university but hasn’t done anything a High Schooler would deem as awesome.
On the other hand we have Margo, who is practically a legend for all the unconventional things she has achieved.
Put these two together and some crazy things may happen.
Basically this story is the crazy journey Q goes through to find Margo. It involves mystery, some self discovery and the worst road trip ever! Seriously, who goes on a road trip but doesn’t stop anywhere? Ok, ok…they had a mission, but for what road trips are worth, this is definitely the worst.
This plot was enticing and got me hooked from page 1. I just needed some more. This is the kind of book that will leave you thinking about it long after you’re finished.
I did find a lot of resemblance to Looking for Alaska, but it’s not quite the same. It deals with different issues like self discovery and the perception we have of others, and the sense of adventure these characters have is different.
The characters, as always, are very rich. They have even more dimensions they can see. They are so tangible you can imagine them easily. They could be any kid out there, which makes the story more beautiful.
Margo is my favourite. Even though Looking For Alaska remains to be my favourite John Green book, I found Margo much more exciting and real than Alaska. She is not as cryptic as her, and she seemed to have lived more, in the sense of enjoying life at its fullest. I was also able to grasp her personality and relate to her much more easily.
I would definitely want her to be my friend, no doubt. Life could never be boring with her. She is smart, interesting and with substance. Plus, you definitely wouldn’t want to cross her. No, no, this girl is a spiteful one.
As always, this book is insightful and kind of addicting. I want some more! And I can’t wait for the movie.
John Green is becoming one of my favourite authors fast!
Dan John Miller did a great job with the narration. I loved how he did Radar so smooth and chill. I think he nailed the character. He also did an excellent job with the girl’s voices and never mixed any characters. My only complaint is that I felt his voice was too manly to play Q, I kind of needed him to sound a bit younger. But overall, this narrator is one of the best I’ve heard so far.