Posts tagged ‘papertowns’

May 21st, 2011

Fictional Characters I’d Name My Daughter After

by Madeleine Rex

Isn’t this a fantastic topic? I’ve robbed it from Audrey. I have definitely spent time contemplating this. After all, I’m a girl – it’s natural to daydream about baby names. Even more importantly, I’m a reader – so it’s natural to adore fictional characters to the point of ridiculousness. Hence, this post.

Fictional Characters I’d Name My Daughter After:

Anne Shirley from the Anne of Green Gables series. I actually plan on naming a girl after her. I absolutely love everything about her and love everything about the series and love everything about the people and have I mentioned I love her? See? I adore her to the point that I’ll throw punctuation and sentence structure right out the window. This is serious stuff.

Macy from The Truth About Forever. If I were being more literal here, all the names would be from books written in the 1800s. I love the old-fashioned ones. However, Macy is one of the more modern names that I really like. It’s unique and has a short-and-sweet quality to it that appeals to me. Plus, The Truth About Forever is an irresistible book.

Another name I absolutely want to use for a child someday! It’s short for Caroline, and I first came across it when attempting to read Shirley by Charlotte Bronte. I’ve loved the two other books I’ve read of Charlotte’s, but I couldn’t seem to get through this one. All the same, great and unusual name!

Margo from Paper Towns by John Green. Need I say more? Isn’t the name “John Green” synonymous with “never-ending amounts of awesomeness” by now? What? No? That’s not in your thesaurus? Well, they’re synonymous in my scrambled brain, and Margo is awesome by association. Plus, it’s a neat name.

Astrid, the wild flapper from Bright Young Things. There’s also a girl named Astrid on one of my favorite TV shows, “Fringe,” and they’re both inspiring, entertaining, and absolutely lovable.

Honorable Mentions (the following are great characters but have names I’m not crazy about): Andi (Revolution), Alex (Revolution), Rhine (Wither), Francesca (Saving Francesca), Frankie (The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks), and Mia (If I Stay/Where She Went).

I would certainly read any posts similar to this one, should any of you decide to write one! If you do, let me know in the comments, and I’ll take a look. Happy Apocalypse!

June 11th, 2010

The Chirps of Other Wordbirds

by Madeleine Rex

I’ve been gone so long that all my readers must:

  1. Really miss me
  2. Really hate me
  3. Have forgotten me

No matter how you feel or what you’ve forgotten, I am back, if temporarily, with The Chirps of Other Wordbirds, my weekly collection of the fabulous posts I’ve read recently. Most, if not all, are writing/publishing related, and I can assure you that every one is a gem!

First off: I’m sorry. Next week is my last week of Middle School (this is the best sentence ever), and I’ve been busier than usual lately. I haven’t neglected my blog for this long since last year, at which time I shouldn’t have been deemed a blogger. I’m hoping this upcoming week is more prosperous, but, if not, I’ll be back after the 18th!

The Greatness this Week:

The Post: Nathan Bransford, aka Mr. Literary Agent Celebrity, posted about his psychic agent-powers that have told him The Rejection Letter of the Future Will Be Silence. I find this idea incredibly interesting, and Nathan’s thoughts on the incredible nature of publishing in the digital era are well-put.

The Quote:

No one sits around thinking, “You know what the problem with the Internet is? Too many web pages.” Would you even notice if suddenly there were a million more sites on the Internet? How would you even know? We all benefit from the seemingly infinite scope of the Internet and we’ve devised a means of navigating the greatest concentration of information and knowledge the world has ever seen.

So what’s the big deal if a few hundred thousand more books hit the digital stores every year? We will find a way to find the books we want to read, just as surely as we’re able to find the restaurants we eat at and the movies we want to see and the shoes we want to buy out of the many, many available options.

The Post: One of the most discussed topics of the year is the digital publishing revolution. Eric at Pimp My Novel has an interesting take on not just e-books, but on the death of particular publishing formats, particularly audio books and large print.

The Quote:

As we progress further into the Most Glorious Digital Age, mes auteurs, I can’t help but feel that some book formats and practices are going to be made obsolete. Now, before anyone gets started with “Kindle-this” and “iPad-that,” I’m not suggesting that 1.) these changes will render print books in general obsolete, or 2.) these changes will be specific to any one e-reader, company, or file format.

They are as follows: large print and audio books (as they currently exist) are goners.

The Post: Titles catch my eye. Book covers catch my eye. These are the things that make books pretty and shiny and appealing. As a writer, I love titles. Occasionally, I come up with titles before even a fragment of an idea presents itself. Eric (again) posted about the crucial nature of titles and why it’s important to get them right in A Rose by Any Other Name. (Plus, he gives tips!)

The Quote:

Sad but true, author-amigos: sometimes the title you pick for your book is terrible.

Sometimes an author selects a title that simply doesn’t work for his or her genre (e.g. titling a romance Guns and Bros and Explosions). Occasionally an author unwittingly (or worse, wittingly) gives his or her book a title that’s uncomfortably similar to the title of a very different, much more widely known work (e.g. naming a memoir about directing a summer camp for disabled youth in Germany Mein Kamp).

The Post: Kathleen at GotYA posted “I am not Margo… Or John Green,” a post in which she ogles over Paper Towns (review forthcoming here at Wordbird… hopefully) and talks about how, as readers and writers, we’re destined to find authors we want to kill but hug before we do so. They’re too good to be true. Worse yet, their general awesomeness is about ten times what you imagine you could ever achieve. (And I actually said something to that effect to Miranda the other day, and, coincidentally, I was talking about John Green, too.)

The Quote:

It’s not that I don’t love John Green. If anything, I love him too much. You see, John Green is the author who makes me want to fall to my knees and cry, “I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy!”

I have this theory that everyone has an author like that—even if they haven’t come across them yet.

You know that line in “Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen” where the narrators says, “The race is long; in the end, it’s only against yourself.” I believe that line. I really do. Almost all of the time. I suspect there are a few published writers that I’m better than and lots of published writers who leave me in the dust. That doesn’t bother me. But when I read John Green, there are moments when I stop and think that I’m just not worthy to practice the same craft.

The Post: Take Advantage of the Morning, folks! Sarah Enni published a very true post on how important it is to wake up in the morning, free of the troubles of life, and squeeze out a few words. I’ve been writing 500 words in the morning for months, and believe me, those words are precious.

The Quote:

It doesn’t matter what you write down: dreams; conversations from real life or imagined ones; events of the day before — anything at all. “Your primary purpose now is not to bring forth deathless words, but to write any words at all which are not pure nonsense,” Brande writes. Anything your brain comes up with before it is exposed to the daily deluge of external influence.

Have a great weekend!

May 23rd, 2010

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green; Review

by Madeleine Rex

Title: An Abundance of Katherines

Author: John Green

Published: September 21, 2006

Number of Pages: 256

Rating: 4/5


When it comes to girls (and in Colin’s case, it so often did), everyone has a type. Colin Singleton’s type was not physical but linguistic: he liked Katherines. And not Katies or Kats or Kitties or Cathys or Rynns or Trinas or Kays or Kates or, god forbid, Catherines. K-A-T-H-E-R-I-N-E. He had dated 19 girls. All of them had been named Katherine. And all of them- every single solitary one- had dumped him.”


It should now be a universally acknowledged fact that John Green is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. He somehow manages to hook me, as a reader, in the first thirty seconds. Goodness, after Looking for Alaska swept me off my feet, I’m hooked before I even open the book. I approach a John Green book prepared to be amazed.

Consequently, I could have been drastically disappointed with An Abundance of Katherines, but, alas, I was not, and Green managed to blow me away and into a neighboring galaxy once again. The book didn’t top Looking for Alaska, but I don’t believe many books ever will – at least, within the YA genre.

This novel was a bit less plot-oriented, which is saying a lot, because, in my opinion, Alaska was extremely character-driven. There was the same natural, easy-going hilarity to keep me reading, and the characters were outstanding as well.

Colin is a child prodigy. But not a genius. Definitely not a genius.

After being dumped by his nineteenth consecutive Katherine, he is convinced by his outrageously hilarious and lovable friend, Hassan, to go on a road trip before heading off to college. Eager to be distracted by anything, Colin tells Hassan to take the exit to visit the “official resting site” of the Archduke Ferdinand. Met by Lindsey Lee Wells, a girl whose face is transformed by her smile, they are persuaded to stay the summer with her and her mother.

It’s the very day they go to Gutshot (Tennessee), that Colin has his “Eureka! moment,” and comes up with an extremely mathematical equation that just might be able to predict the outcome of any relationship. Though he tries to focus on developing his theorem, life in Gutshot, and more specifically, life in the very pink house owned by Hollis, Lindsey’s mother, proves to be beyond distracting…

I loved this book. I ate it up like it was the caramel brownie Blizzard I’ve been wanting desperately to try at Dairy Queen.

Colin’s a fantastic main character, and he’s easy to root for, though I occasionally wanted to give him a good slap and tell him to snap out of it. His prodigy-status and his love of anagrams made him quite unique, and it was interesting to be able to watch the proceedings of his mind.

Lindsey and Hassan were light, cheery, and hilarious characters. However, as I read more of John Green’s books, I find that many of the characters carry from book-to-book. An Alaska-wannabe can be found in this book and in Paper Towns. I don’t mean to say that the “wannabes” are irritatingly similar. They’re still themselves, and I love all of them, but they seem strikingly similar at times. Even the main characters seem relatively the same, their voices occasionally so similar that I don’t believe I could tell them apart. Luckily, every character, disregarding the potential over-usage, is so wonderful that you never want them to leave, and their “reappearances” ensure that your want for Green’s characters is satiated.

An Abundance of Katherines is a well-written, humorous, and lighthearted book about a boy who has an unhealthy and unrewarding hankering for girls named Katherine and his subsequent journey to overcome said hankering. It was much more appropriate than Alaska, and the “F” word had fewer mentions, although they did use a replacement for it. As far as sexual content goes, this book wasn’t very dirty, and I felt more comfortable than I did during particular scenes in Alaska.

Overall, I stand by my assertion that John Green has become one of my favorite authors of YA literature. The hilarity that seems to come naturally to both him and his books is something that cannot be ignored, and his collection of characters is incredible.

I recommend this book to all lovers of Looking For Alaska and/or Paper Towns, but I’d like to make it clear that this book is simpler and less convoluted. However, it was fantastic. Fabulous. Fantabulous. Fabtastic.

And, no, that last one wasn’t a word, but, in the spirit of Colin Singleton, here’s a good anagram for “fabulous”:

A Bus Foul

Why don’t you think that one over for a while?