Book Bites

My Recipe For: Non-macabre Mortality.

I had a difficult time titling this week’s post, particularly because these are the kind of books that could be easily spoiled (in the first book’s case, my friend literally handed me the book and said, “read this” without another word). “Love” seems to undersell the books. “Afterlife” seems to oversell them. Both of these books deal with immortality in a way, but that doesn’t seem to encompass the truly human element presented. So, non-macabre mortality describes them as best as I can think of: mortality and death without verging on the grim and gross. 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Hazel is living in a bubble of depression and disease and has been for years. As a terminal cancer patient, Hazel seems to simply go through the motions because she feels more like a burden than a human – she describes herself as a grenade: anyone too close to her might get caught up in the explosion when she passes. Everything changes when she meets Augustus Waters, a seriously awesome kid that reminds me of a less-mean Jess from Gilmore Girls.

If you’re not a John Green fan yet, prepare to become addicted.  Of course, how could I not love a book with a title derived from my favorite Shakespeare quote? This book manages to be adorable and awesome without verging on gag-reflex-inducing-romantic-gush.

You’ll like this if: you’re a fan of Jodi Picoult, you like Nicholas Sparks and you like your humor mixed with a bit of sadness.

Quote: “As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.“

The Girl Who Stopped Swimming  by Joshilyn Jackson

Laurel is all about keeping everything in its neat and tidy place. Thalia is all about chaos and catastrophe. Due to their completely conflicting personalities, these two sisters are estranged and have been for some time. However, Laurel’s life gets turned upside-down when she is visited by the ghost of her 14-year old neighbor Molly – well, Laurel is kind of used to the whole ghosts-from-her-past-hanging-around thing.

This book is one part ghost story, one part Southern-Gothic and one part mystery. The book goes somewhere a bit unexpected, but that’s what I like about Joshilyn Jackson. She spins a great tale, and there are usually a few twists on the way. I’d recommend you pick this one up on audio book and freshen up your southern accent.

You’ll like this if: you’re a fan of good southern drama, you like ghost stories and you want a mystery that’s not too CSI/Law & Order.

Quote: “Saying it out loud, she felt every inch of distance between them.”

Images via Goodreads 1 and 2

  • Victoria Cerilli

    <3 John Green.

  • Julie Hanneman

    TFiOS is quite possibly my favorite book of all time. I think from now on I’m just going to steal your friend’s approach to getting others to read it, because as soon as I say “teenager” or “cancer”, whoever I’m talking to just checks out. I was so happy to see it on here.

    • Rebecca Kuitems

      I seriously couldn’t put the book down. I think if she had explained the book to me, I may not have given it as much of a chance. So, I highly recommend her method :).

  • Amanda Alguire Vredenburgh

    Oh I love John Green. I read “Looking for Alaska” last fall (which made me cry so much!) and now I’m reading “An Abundance of Katherines”. I’ll def. have to download this one to my Kindle too!

    • Rebecca Kuitems

      You should definitely check it out!

  • Ellen Lewis

    Oh my gosh, John Green and Hellogiggles are two of my current favorite things on the internet, and now they’re combined onto one post!

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