Let's start off with some of the positives. The writing in this book is great--same dry, clever wit we saw in A Series of Unfortunate Events. The characters and their development are second to none. Handler has the ability to create extraordinarily rich characters. The format is also an appealing aspect--being told from the future and written as a personal journal, with fake essay questions and vocabulary words in each chapter. Unfortunately, despite its many positive qualities, the book did the one cringe-worthy thing I was dreading: a multiple personality plot twist. Really?! Handler is capable of so much better. The entire time I was reading this book, I was so excited, but in the back of my mind, kept thinking that the one thing that would ruin it would be if Natasha and Flan were the same person. What a disappointment. And let's not even get into the mental health implications here. Way to promote a dangerous stereotype. I want to love this book so badly. I want to pretend the ending never happened. How can one small thing have such a profoundly negative impact on what was, up to that point, a great novel? I would love to see Handler try his hand at a similar novel, one that's less problematic and less of a cop-out but in a similar setting."
"So if we're going to be honest here, I fully recognize that this series has horrible writing and the plot is ridiculously contrived, but it's one of those situations where it's a series and you just feel obligated to keep reading. This book did leave some room for future volumes in the series, but also works as a stopping point, but honestly, I think Oh. My. Gods. should have just been left as a standalone. It felt like a good stopping point and I have to wonder if this is more just about money than anything else, as it often seems to be these days with YA series. But it's your typical book 2 formula, continuing bits of the story from the last book, with unnecessary complications added for the couple since there's nowhere else for their story to go, mysterious male character, etc. You've read it all before, it's nothing new. If you want to read about gods/goddesses having mortal connections in youth, just stick to Percy Jackson. The ending was rushed and anticlimactic and mostly it's just a relief to be able to get this off my bookshelf."
"So, off the bat, to be completely honest, I only read this book because it had Hank and John Green's names attached to it. It was really cool to hear so many things that have been referenced in vlogbrothers videos, like famous last words, Hodel the serial killer, child prodigies, using math textbooks as bully defense mechanisms, and most egregiously of all to me, "some infinities are bigger than others", which we now see come full circle in John's 2012 publication of The Fault in Our Stars. These little tidbits made the book a cool read (a friend also brought up the idea that this book may have been the one referenced in John's wedding toast to Hank) for any fan of the vlogbrothers, but beyond the references, it did have its instances where it dragged. Then again, there is something in this book for everyone, so there will be parts where you couldn't care less, but other parts where you'll be completely engrossed in the bits of trivia. But ultimately, I read it because of Hank and John, and they are the ones who I'd like to hear more from in regards to this book. I want to know who was responsible for which parts and what it was like for them to collaborate in this medium and all of the backstory! After learning so much, there's still so much story behind the story that I want to learn."