I've been reading a bunch of different books simultaneously, but I finally finished two of them. I read 2666 by Roberto Bolaño and Looking for Alaska by John Green. I'm feeling a bit lazy though, so I'm just reposting the reviews I put on Goodreads.
Bolaño's 2666 has received monumental praise. Much of it is justified, but some of it, I think, is exaggerated due to the fact that he died soon after completing the book.
I found parts of the book incredibly interesting, but other parts felt disjointed and I found them difficult to get through. I guess my main complaint is that this did not feel like one cohesive work. The introduction states that Bolaño wanted it to be published as 5 separate books, but after his death, his family and publisher decided to publish it as one final work. As some other reviews mention, it doesn't feel like 2666 was complete at the time of Bolaño's death, and if that is truly the case, then perhaps bringing cohesion and tying all five parts together was one of the final steps that Bolaño did not reach.
I put off reading Looking for Alaska for a really long time. Generally I have issues with the built-up character of a gorgeous, yet quirky and intelligent troubled girl with whom everyone is enamored, so I approached this a bit warily. For the most part, I was pleasantly surprised. I thought that it was an interesting portrayal of a different kind of teenage life. There were times when the characterization of Alaska made me want to bang my head against a wall, but it didn't completely glamorize a troubled mind.