book review

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Chapter Summary)

Chapter 1:

Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth spend their Christmas without their father around, which means a lonely Christmas for these girls as their father is away from home, serving and fighting at the army. Each girl shares what they wanted to get for themselves for Christmas, as well as the hard times they have to go through just to earn money.

Meg was the eldest of the four children and acts as a mother to her siblings. Jo was more of a tomboy, who despises having to wear long gowns and look as prim as Miss March. Beth was described to be timid and Amy, the youngest, is demure and lady-like.

These four girls agreed on getting something special for their mother instead for themselves. Jo suggested doing a play as well, which she thinks would be a wonderful surprise.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) slang: words, phrases or meanings that are new, flashy and popular, usually only for a short time. (page 4)

2) reproving: showing disapproval of; finding fault with (page 4)

3) prim: precise; neat, proper or formal in a stiff way (page 5)

4) frolics: merry pranks or games (page 7)

5) asunder: in pieces; into separate parts (page 7)

6) arsenic: a violent, tasteless poison that is a compound of this element (page 7)

7) simper: to smile in a silly, affected way (page 8)

8) chaplain: a clergyman or layman authorized to lead religious services in public assembly (page 8)

Chapter 2:

The March girls woke up to find their Christmas stockings or pillows filled with books given by their mother. Jo, Beth, Amy and Meg help in preparing breakfast while their mother was out helping the poor and needy family.

That night, the four girls held a play called “Operatic Tragedy” which stars Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth themselves as the main cast or characters, which earned an applause from the audience.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) creeter: a weird or strange person (page 12)

2) vittles: food or provisions (page 12)

3) gruel: a nearly liquid food made by boiling oatmeal or other cereal in water or milk (page 14)

4) baize: a thick, coarse woolen or cotton cloth resembling felt; used especially for curtains, table covers and as a lining (page 15)

5) philter: a drug or magic potion which is supposed to make a person fall in love (page 16)

6) warble: a melodious song with trills and quavers (page 17)

Chapter 3:

Meg receives an invitation from Mrs. Gardiner, asking Meg and her sisters to be at the little dance on New Year’s Eve, to which their mom gave her consent. Jo decided to go without a fancy dress as she cares less about the dance. Meg had to remind Jo to behave in a lady-like manner when at the party.

The girls keep themselves busy preparing for the New Year’s Eve party , with Jo trying to curl Meg and Beth’s hair, but only ends up burning Meg’s hair, much to her horror.

During the dance, Jo just hides herself behind the curtains, unaware that someone was also there –Laurence boy. Jo ended up chatting with Laurence instead of dancing as she disliked the thought of being in crowds and stepping on other people’s toes. The two seem to enjoy each other’s company until such time Meg, who is in pain, searches for Jo.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) garret: a space in a house just below a sloping roof (page 20)

2) russet(s): a kind of winter apple with a rough , brownish skin

3) poplin: a ripped fabric, made of silk and wool, cotton and wool, rayon or cotton and used for making dresses, pants, suits, coats and other clothing, curtains and tents (page 20)

4) frizzle: to form the hair in small, crisp curls (page 22)

5) petulantly: insolently or irritably (page 22)

6) snood: a net or bag worn over a woman’s hair (page 22)

7) thrash: to beat as punishment ; flog (page 24)

8) blunderbuss: a person who blunders, especially habitually (page 26)

9) bonbons: pieces of candy that’s usually soft and often has a fancy shape (page 28)

10) redowa: a Bohemian dance popular in the 1800s (page 28)

11) arsenic: a healing liquid applied to bruises and sprains, prepared from the dried flowers, leaves or roots of the arsenic plant (page 29)

Chapter 4:

Meg and Jo complained the next morning about having to go back to work after their holiday break. However, Jo reminded Meg and herself as well to be cheerful in working instead of grumbling, which Meg ignores and continues to complain about not being able to make herself pretty and having to put up with spoilt children.  Apart from Meg and Jo, Beth and Amy have their own burdens as well, with Beth having a hard headache and Amy worrying about not learning her lessons in school and missing her rubbers.

Along their way to work, Jo and Meg bickered about using dreadful expressions such as rascal and wretch, to which Meg scolds her sister not to say such words. They part ways as they are nearing their workplace, with Meg working for the children as a governess and Jo as a caregiver to Aunt March, who is a childless old lady. Beth was just like any other girls who would shy away from other people and sit in a corner of the room, living cheerfully for other people whilst Amy was the most artistic among the four children and a spoilt child as well.

That evening, each girl told or shared stories of how their day went. Jo told of the queer time she had with Aunt March, Meg shared about having heard one of the children report what her brother did which caused disgrace to the family, Amy wailed on how terrible Mr. Davis was to his students and Beth on a good deed that Mr. Laurence had shown to the woman who was asking for fish.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) dismally: miserably or gloomily (page 29)

2) trudge: to walk heavily, wearily or with effort (page 29)

3) burr: a washer placed on the small end of a rivet before the end is swaged down. (page 30)

4) implored: begged earnestly for (page 30)

5) governess: a woman who teaches or trains children in their homes (page 31)

6) chronic: having suffered long from an illness or other afflictions (page 33)

7) lark: a small, songbird of Europe, Asia, America and north Africa, with brown feathers and long, hind claws (page 33)

8) harum-scarum: too hasty; reckless (page 34)

9) droning: making a deep , continuous humming sound (page 34)

10) frivolous: lacking in seriousness or sense (page 35)

11) carnelian: a red or reddish brown variety of chalcedony; used in jewelry (page 35)

12) morsel: something to be enjoyed, disposed of or endured (page 38)

Chapter 5:

Jo had taken a liking to Laurence boy ever since she met him at the New Year’s Eve party and decided to get to know more about him. She had also pitied him as he was always locked up in his room by his grandpa, without anyone to play with.

So, Jo decided to visit Laurie at their house to keep him company, bringing along with her Beth’s three kittens and a covered dish which had the blanc-mange Meg had made. As the two enjoy each other’s company, Jo and Laurie share stories, to which Laurie opens up that he envies Jo and her sisters as he grew up without a mother. Jo invites Laurie to come over to their house and have fun with them so that he won’t have to feel so lonely. After a while, Jo meets Mr. Laurence, Laurie’s grandpa, who doesn’t seem to be bad as she thought he is.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) betokening: being a sign or token of ; indicating (page 39)

2) wistfully: longingly or yearningly (page 39)

3) pate: the top of the head (page 40)

4) blanc-mange: a sweet dessert made of milk boiled and thickened with gelatin, cornstarch or the like, flavored and cooled in a mold (page 40)

5) vivacity: liveliness; gaiety (page 44)

6) conservatory: a school for instruction in music (page 44)

7) heliotrope: any one of a group of herbs or shrubs with the clusters of small, sweet-smelling , purple or white flowers (page 46)

 

 

book review

A Walk To Remember – Nicholas Sparks (Chapter Summary)

Chapter 1:

Landon Carter narrates his teenage life in Beaufort, California and describes the kind of life people live in that place.

He also describes Hegbert Sullivan as an old man through his physical features —clammy, translucent that kids could see the blood flowing through his veins and hair as white as the bunnies that could be seen in the pet stores during Easter.

Landon Carter was a naughty boy way back when he and his friends were younger, making fun of Hegbert and calling him bad names. He also narrates about the play that Hegbert Sullivan wrote.

Another thing wrong about Landon is that he resents his father for not being there when he grew up. He bore this ill-feeling against him (Landon’s father) for a very long time.

Until then , he meets Jamie Sullivan, Hegbert’s daughter and a senior high school student just like him. Landon didn’t take a liking to Jamie  at first, nor did he consider the thought of hanging out with her for fear of losing or destroying his reputation to his friends.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) clammy: cold and damp (page 3)

2) scribes: teachers of the Jewish law (page 4)

3) retribution: a deserved punishment (page 15)

4) muumuu: a long, loose-fitting cotton dress (page 18)

Chapter 2:

Landon goes to his father’s alarm mater, University of North Carolina, right after school. He didn’t want to go to Harvard or Princeton like his dad pressures him to, as he thinks his grades are not enough for him to pass into those kinds of universities.

He hated the idea of having to spend time with his father as well, as he (Landon’s dad) would always pressure him to do something worthwhile like running for student body president and when it comes to his dad, he doesn’t have any choice but to follow whether he likes it or not.

Landon narrates his story when he was in junior high school, where he had a steady relationship with a  girl named Angela Clark who happened to be his first real girlfriend. However, he got dumped by her during the summer for a guy named Lew. He also tells about the homecoming dance he’s been dreading about since he still doesn’t have any date and been having difficulty in asking a few girls out since either of them already have dates or are unattractive. There were even some who are busy with college.

Not wanting to waste time, Landon thought about going to Jamie Sullivan’s house and ask her out for the homecoming dance before his opponent, Carey Dennison, could.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) tines: a prong or sharp point, such as that of a fork or antler (page 29)

2) asphalt: a mixture of dark bituminous pitch with sand or gravel, used for surfacing, flooring, roofing, etc. (page 30)

3) deranged : mad or insane (page 35)

4) gawky: nervously awkward or ungainly (page 37)

5) wheezing: breathing with a whistling or rattling sound in the chest, as a result of obstruction in the air passages (page 38)

Chapter 3:

Before the homecoming dance, Landon was already having concerns about what Jamie would wear and whether Jamie knew how to dance. He didn’t want Jamie to be wearing the same thing she’d been wearing to school as he didn’t want Jamie to be made fun of, especially by his friends. This is one of Landon’s good side.

Landon even turned down Eric’s offer to double date with him and his partner so as to avoid any chances of Jamie being teased or made fun of. He knew how Eric could be a jerk sometimes.

When the day of the dance came, Landon kept himself busy by helping in decorating the gym and went to the Sullivan’s house to pick up Jamie about half an hour as her dad would want to have a word with him (Landon) without him having any clue why.

By the time Landon had arrived, he and Hegbert had a good talk before picking up Jamie for the dance. At first, Hegbert hesitated to let Landon take his daughter to the dance, thinking that he might, or would, embarrass Jamie in front of the crowd as he knew what kind of people Landon and his friends are.  Upon their arrival at the homecoming dance, most of Landon’s friends kept their distance from him, seeing that he was with Jamie.

Landon had a bad feeling upon seeing Lew and his ex-girlfriend coming to the dance. He didn’t trust Lew right away and got his instincts right when he saw Lew spiking the drinks and leaving Angela when he heard her throwing up in the bathroom.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) lax: not sufficiently strict, severe or careful (page 45)

2) bourbon: a straight whiskey distilled from a mash, having at least 51 percent corn in addition to malt and rye (page 47)

3) dimwit: a stupid or silly person (page 52)

4) glop: a sticky and amorphous substance, typically something unpleasant (page 54)

5) sneered: smiled or spoke in a contemptuous and mocking manner (page 56)

6) retching: made the sound and movement of vomiting (page 59)

Chapter 4:

Two weeks after the homecoming dance, Landon was back to his old ways now that his father was back to Washington D.C. He was back to sneaking out the window and heading to the graveyard, eating boiled peanuts with his friends.

Eric teased Landon about his date with Jamie Sullivan in the middle of their conversation.  He (Landon) didn’t like the way his friends, especially Eric, talked about Jamie. The only thing wrong about Landon here is that he was only using Jamie to impress another girl.

Landon spent his Sunday in his room preparing for his college application to University of North Carolina, most especially on essays. In the middle of his essay writing, Landon receives a phone call from Jamie , asking if he could come over to their house in the afternoon. Hesitant at first, Landon agrees to meet Jamie at her house by five o clock.

Jamie asked Landon for a favor, which was to play the role of Tom Thornton in the school play her father had written. He couldn’t agree or say yes  at the first place just yet, but remembering how Jamie had been there to help him in the homecoming dance, he finally conceded.

Jamie had wanted the play to be special, for her father, especially when she is playing the role of the angel. Not wanting to hurt Jamie’s feelings, Landon agrees to play as Tom Thornton.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) foray: a raid or plunder;  any incursion into another’s domain (page 63)

2) highbrow: a person who cares, or claims to care, a great deal about knowledge and culture (page 64)

3) smitten: to be suddenly impressed, as with a strong feeling or sentiment (page 66)

4) penance: a punishment borne to show sorrow for sin (page 67)

5) hushpuppies: small balls of corn meal fried in deep fat (page 69)

6) squinch: to screw or distort–as the face or eyes (page 73)

Chapter 5:

Landon auditioned for the role of Tom Thornton and got the part, replacing Eddie Jones, who was then relieved. Their rehearsal for the play started the next week in their classroom.

Their teacher, Miss Garber, was in charge of the play’s actual production instead of Hegbert Sullivan who was busy with all his ministering duties. She kept reminding Landon and the rest of the senior students involved in the play to memorize their lines as they only have three weeks to polish it and that they don’t have much time for more rehearsals.

Jamie and Landon rehearse their parts. Landon had a hard time memorizing his lines and had to go over the pages whereas Jamie knew all her lines by heart, as well as Landon’s and everyone else’s lines in the play. Landon’s friends didn’t like the idea of him (Landon) doing the play with Jamie Sullivan , especially Eric.

Due to the teasing and gossip, Landon started to avoid Jamie again, even though he knew it wasn’t any of her fault. He refuses to learn his lines and messes up with it, making everyone in the class except for Jamie and Miss Garber, laugh.

He and his friends would often tease Jamie behind her back, unaware that her feelings get hurt too, even though she doesn’t show it. Despite their teasing, Jamie still remains friendly to Landon and his companions. She also willingly helps Landon go over his lines for the play.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) downtrodden: tyrannized over; oppressed (page 79)

2) rickety: liable to fall or break down (page 79)

3) tacky: unpleasant; disagreeable (page 83)

4) fibs: lies about some small matter (page 83)

5) scorn: mockery or derision; a feeling that a person, animal or act is mean or low; contempt (page 85)

6) furrowing:  tightening and lowering the eyebrows in anxiety, concentration or disapproval, so wrinkling the forehead (page 88)

Chapter 6:

Jamie and Landon approached Miss Garber the next day regarding their plans for the orphans—which was to perform the play in front of them as well. Miss Garber thought this to be a wonderful idea and asked the other senior students involved in the play if they would also be willing to do their parts.

Then after, Jamie and Landon headed off to Morehead City , where the orphanage house was located, to talk to Mr. Jenkins regarding the same thing. Landon wasn’t excited as Jamie was , but he didn’t want to be regarded as the Grinch who spoils Christmas either.

While waiting for the director of the orphanage , Jamie and Landon had a conversation once more, with Jamie praising Landon for doing well in learning or rehearsing his lines for the play, then changed the subject by talking about the future this time. Jamie asks Landon what he plans to do for the future or after he finishes college and suggests that he should become a minister, seeing how good he is with people. Landon laughs at this idea, thinking that becoming a minister is a ridiculous thing to do. Jamie shares her plans for the future as well, which was to get married in the same church where her parents did. To be fair, Landon was getting used to spending time with Jamie and having conversation with her, though there’s still a part of him that hesitates.

Landon describes the orphanage house office they have visited to be almost like a hospital room for its black-and-white tiled floors, white walls and ceilings and a metal cabinet against the wall. Mr. Jenkins, upon Jamie’s requests that they perform the play, opposes to the idea that they do so since it would remind the kids what they’re missing during Christmas season. However, he offered another activity for them that they would enjoy such as sharing or exchanging of gifts and that they could come to visit the orphanage on Christmas Eve.

Landon, seeing Jamie feeling dejected, realized that she wasn’t always the happy and cheerful type and that she also has different emotions like any normal person does. They visited the kids for a short while before leaving the orphanage and going back to their respective homes, as Landon offered just to make Jamie feel better.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) pandemonium: a place of wild disorder or lawless confusion; wild uproar or lawlessness (page 92)

2) conspiratorially: of or having to do with conspiracy or conspirators (page 92)

3) julep: a drink made of whiskey or brandy, sugar, crushed ice and fresh mint (page 95)

4) inquisitive: asking many questions; curious (page 96)

5) dejected: in low spirits; sad; discouraged (page 97)

6) perplexed: bewildered; puzzled (page 102)

7) sparseness: occurring, growing, or settling at widely spaced intervals (page 105)

Chapter 7:

Just over the two weeks of their rehearsals, Landon had to walk Jamie home for her security, though he was against the idea of doing so. But then again, he couldn’t refuse without hurting her feelings or making the next day miserable for either the two of them.

The play was fast approaching and a lot of people were already talking about it. Miss Garber was impressed or delighted with Jamie and Landon that she kept telling everyone how the play was going to be a great success and that she even asked the school newspaper to write an article about the play. Landon doesn’t seem to be excited as everyone in the drama class was and wanted to be out of it as soon as the play was over, as his friends kept on teasing him about the whole Jamie situation, though he felt good about doing the right thing.

Jamie heard about Landon and his friends sneaking out to the graveyard at night and eating boiled peanuts, to Landon’s surprise, when she asked him about it. They had another conversation while walking home from school , which included their usual activities when not in school and their plans for college. Jamie admits that she has doubts about going to college, much to Landon’s dismay.

Throughout their conversation, Landon realized that he and Jamie have something in common –their parent—him without a dad and Jamie without a mom. Landon admits to Jamie he misses his dad somehow as he wasn’t around when Landon grew up whereas Jamie misses her mom, even though she never heard of her that much.

Just before reaching their house, Landon’s friends—Eric and Margaret, caught up with them and teased Landon about walking Jamie from school right after rehearsals even until the next day in school. Landon hurries back to his house after dropping Jamie off at hers.

That late night of their last rehearsal, Landon was in a foul mood that he messed up with his lines once again, refused to walk Jamie home and even raised his voice at her for the first time, to which he felt guilty after, and hating himself for being such a jerk  towards Jamie.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) hotbed: a place or atmosphere that favors the rapid growth or development of any condition, especially something evil (page 108)

2) welshed: cheated by failing to pay a bet ; evaded the fulfillment of an obligation (page 109)

3) flair: natural talent; keen perception (page 110)

4) cider: the juice pressed out of apples, used as a drink and in making vinegar and applejack (page 120)

5) speculation: careful thought, reflection (page 121)

6) suffice: to meet the desires, needs or requirement; to be enough; let it suffice or be sufficient (page 123)

7) kinks: mental twists or queer ideas (page 123)

8) spiteful: full of spite; eager to annoy or behaving with ill will or malice (page 126)

Chapter 8:

The night of the play came for Jamie and Landon, and he had been feeling bad all day for being such a jerk to Jamie and saying mean things to her. He hates himself for being so mean to a girl who’s been nothing but nice to him.

Jamie, thinking that Landon meant those words he have said to her that night before their play, starts avoiding him. Just before their play, Landon mustered up the courage to approach Jamie and apologized to her, which Jamie accepts.

As they begin to perform, Landon was still going  over his lines until it was his turn or part. He was even struck by Jamie’s beauty as she emerges from her dressing room. To be fair, Landon got his lines right, making the first night of their play turn out to be a success.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) lethargic: un-naturally drowsy; sluggish or dull (page 128)

2) trepidation: nervousness; dread (page 128)

3) flub: to do something very clumsily; spoil (page 130)

4) pivotal: very important (page 131)

5) eerie: causing fear; strange or weird (page 133)

6) unscathed: not harmed; un-injured (page 133)

Chapter 9:

The second night of the play was even more successful as the first night as more people came to watch the performance, including Landon’s friend Eric who even congratulated him for the job well done.

When Landon was about to approach Jamie, he saw her off to the side talking to her father. Jamie approached Landon right after talking with the rest of the cast involved in the play, thanking him for doing the play with her. Landon began to like Jamie and was worried about her that people might treat her even worse,  now that she’s back to her usual self after the play. He was still feeling guilty for the things he had said to her that previous night before their play and wished he had the opportunity to walk her home after the night of their last performance. He even came to this realization that he’d been wrong in treating Jamie very badly.

Right after school, Jamie approached Landon , reminding him of his promise that he’d make it up to her and suggested what he could do—gather the pickle jars and coffee cans she’d set out in business all over the towns as the collected money goes for the orphanage. At first, Landon was hesitant , remembering how he and his friends would trick Jamie by putting paper clips and slugs, making Jamie think that they had put money in it. But then, he kept reminding himself that he was the one who made a promise that he’s make it up to her and how Jamie had helped him when he’s in need. He then agreed to do it, as there’s nothing much for him to do.

Landon was disheartened when he counted the amount of money collected in the first day and was about to give up the next day as it got worse but then again, he had to continue picking up the jars in Jamie’s favor and brought them over to her house so that they could count the total amount of money , to which Jamie was overjoyed as she counted them, totaling to $247.

The next day, which was Christmas Eve, Jamie and Landon came to visit the orphanage, bringing along with them the presents for the kids. Little did Jamie know that Landon had something for her as well, from which he’d spent his last dollar just to get her a nice new sweater. Much to Landon’s surprise when he visited the orphanage, the rec room looked so much better than it did during his first visit with Jamie. He was even more surprised to see Jamie with her  hair hung loosely and wearing a red V-neck sweater instead of the old brown cardigan she use to wear in school.

Right after the story-telling, Jamie and Landon handed out the gifts, which the kids excitedly opened. Landon admitted to himself that it was the best Christmas Eve he has ever spent. With the kids off to bed, Jamie and Landon exchanged gifts with each other. Jamie gave her Bible to Landon as a present, thanking him for giving her the best Christmas. Landon then suddenly realizes he has fallen in love with Jamie Sullivan.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) forged: moved forward slowly but steadily (page 139)

2) wince: to draw back suddenly or flinch slightly (page 141)

3) proprietor: a person who owns something as his possession or property (page 143)

4) hounds-tooth: having a broken check pattern (page 146)

5) tinsel: a glittering copper, brass or some other metal in thin sheets, strips or threads (page 147)

6) rapt: lost in delight; enraptured or ecstatic (page 148)

7) frenzy: near madness; frantic condition or very great excitement (page 150)

8) squeals: long, sharp and shrill cries (page 150)

9) ethereal: light, airy or heavenly (page 150)

10) mesmerized: hypnotized (page 153)

Chapter 10:

Landon and Jamie started dating, even though Hegbert was still hesitant in letting his daughter go with guys like him (Landon). He had also noticed that Hegbert s sermons were shorter than usual, like he’s always tired and sad, which makes Landon feel that something’s odd about Jamie’s father.

Jamie had asked Landon if he ever thought about God and His plan, like why things always turn out the way they do, to which Landon gave a very good answer—they just have to have faith. Landon once again asks Jamie out on a dinner date with his family. Jamie was beginning to enjoy Landon’s company as well at that time.

During the dinner, Jamie had noticed that Landon’s parents were not as bad as they were. She praised Landon for having such a nice family. Landon asks Jamie out of curiosity if her dad likes her, wondering if Hegbert would allow Jamie to see him again, to which Jamie honestly responds that Hegbert worries both about her and Landon.

Landon drops by Jamie’s place the next day. Instead of walking towards the side of the porch, he sits next to Jamie and reaches for her hand, taking it in his which surprises Jamie for a bit. They kissed for the first time.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) bluff: try to deceive someone as to one’s abilities or intentions (page 158)

2) volition: the faculty or power of using one’s own will (page 160)

3) sallow: of an unhealthy yellow or pale brown color (page 161)

4) gnarled: knobbly, rough and twisted, especially with age (page 166)

Chapter 11:

While on their date, Jamie asks Landon if he had ever been in love, to which Landon didn’t know what answer to give, as he was unsure on how he would answer to her question. However, he  then finally admits that he had which makes Jamie asks another question –how does he know that it’s love. Landon gives a simple answer—he knows that it’s love when all he wants to do is spend time with the other person and that he sort of knows that the other person feels the same way, that of which Jamie thinks about deeply and considers.

Landon takes Jamie out to a real dinner date at Flauvin’s, as suggested by his mom. He asks permission from Hegbert first, who was hesitant for the mean time, but then allows it only for one condition that he doesn’t see Jamie hurt and that he brings her back home by ten. Landon seizes the opportunity to apologize to Hegbert for the things he and his friends have done when they were younger and for not treating Jamie nicely as how she should be treated.

During their dinner date and the succeeding other dates, Landon had noticed that Jamie seemed tired and listless. There were times when she’d sleep in the car before they reach home. At this point, Jamie’s condition was showing signs and symptoms –slight fever, fatigue, feeling sick, loss of appetite, weight loss and bruises. Despite this and unaware of Jamie’s illness , Landon finally confesses his true feelings to Jamie , that he loves her and that she’s the best thing that ever happened to him. Jamie, upon hearing these three words, tears up and tells Landon that he can’t fall in love with her as she’s very sick and that she’s dying.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) dunes: a mound or ridge of sand or other loose sediment formed by the wind, especially on the sea cost or in the desert (page 172)

2) slick: done or operating in an impressively smooth, efficient and apparently effortless way (page 173)

3) listless: lacking energy or enthusiasm (page 184)

4) blustery: characterized by strong winds (page 185)

5) bruise: an injury appearing as an area of discolored skin on the body, caused by a blow or impact rupturing underlying blood vessels (page 187)

6) despondent: in low spirits from loss of hope or courageous (page 187)

7) queasy: nauseated; feeling sick (page 187)

Chapter 12:

Landon finally learns about Jamie’s condition and everything starts to make sense to him –why she wanted him to do the play, why Hegbert had called Jamie his angel, why he looked so tired all the time and why he was worried every time Landon drops by their place. It also became clearer to him why Jamie wanted Christmas at the orphanage to be special, why she had given him her Bible and why she didn’t think she’ll be going to college. Jamie Sullivan is sick and dying.

Landon finds it hard at first to accept what was happening between him and Jamie, angered and hurt she didn’t tell him in the first place about her condition. Jamie admitted being diagnosed with leukemia seven months ago and that’d been the one who decided not to tell anyone and requested her father to do the same.

On Monday , during school, Landon never saw Jamie in school, making him realize that he’d never see her again walking in the hallways, reading her Bible and even wearing her brown cardigan. It all sinks in to him that she’s finished with school and will never receive her diploma.  When Landon dropped by their place, they talk about her illness again and Jamie admits that she’s not going back to school as she needs to spend more time with her father as much as she can before she dies. She admits as well for the first time that she’s afraid but doesn’t show it in public as she doesn’t want Landon to worry that much.

The following day that came, Jamie’s condition worsens, with no chances of recovery. Visible signs like weight loss, skin turning grayish, bones starting to show through her skin, bruises and intolerance to cold weather were starting to show once more.

Landon’s friends—Eric and Margaret—had also learned about Jamie’s illness. They came to apologize for their mean demeanor towards her. By early February, Jamie felt even worse as the effects of the medicine didn’t seem to help and her visit to the hospital became more regular, though she insisted she didn’t want to stay overnight and that she wanted to die at home.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) fretted: constantly or visibly worried or anxious (page 192)

2) anguish: severe mental or physical pain or suffering (page 193)

3) compulsion: an irresistible urge to behave in a certain way, especially against one’s conscious wishes (page 202)

4) petition: a formal written request, typically one signed by many people, appealing to authority with respect to a particular cause (page 203)

5) valiantly: boldly courageous; stout-hearted (page 205)

6) fluke: unlikely chance of occurrence, especially a surprising piece of luck (page 215)

7) gleam: a faint or brief light, especially one reflected from something (page 218)

8) euphoric: characterized by feeling intense excitement or happiness (page 229)

9) disheveled: untidy; disordered (page 229)

Chapter 13:

Jamie and Landon got married on March 12, 1959 at the same church where her parents wedded, with the permission of Hegbert and Landon’s parents.

Landon knew Jamie had changed his life and the kind of man he is. She changed him from a naughty and irresponsible boy to a grown up and God fearing man. With Jamie’s help, Landon and his father reconciled and built a stronger relationship with him. He also learned the value of forgiveness the way she did when Eric and Margaret came by her house to apologize to her, as well as not to hold any grudges against anyone.

Jamie slowly walks the aisle with her father as she makes her way to Landon—her groom and husband-to-be. Hegbert finally gave his blessings to both Jamie and Landon.

Days later after their wedding, Jamie dies. Landon narrates himself once again, this time as a fifty-seven year old man, sharing his memories of Jamie Sullivan.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) cynical: believing that people are motivated by self-interests; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity. (page 234)

2) surge: to move very quickly and in a particular direction; to suddenly increase to an unusually high level (page 237)

3) perched: to sit somewhere, especially on something high or narrow (page 238)

 

book review

The Fault In Our Stars – John Green (Chapter Summary)

Chapter 1:

A sixteen year old cancer patient, Hazel Grace Lancaster, narrates about her life and how it is like living with a thyroid cancer.  She resents being forced to attend a cancer support group  where she finds herself surrounded by fellow cancer patients or survivors. Hazel describes this as a hellish experience.

However, she meets a friend, Augustus Waters, a fellow cancer patient who has been dealing with osteosarcoma.

Unknown words in this chapter:

1) improbable : not probable or not likely to happen  (page 6)
2) cannula: a tubular instrument of any one of several types introduced into a body cavity  or tube,especially to permit drainage or irrigation. (page 8)

3) osteosarcoma: a sarcoma derived from bone or containing bone tissue . Osteo = “bone” ; sarcoma =“tumor” (page 11)

4) hamartia: the error of judgment or tragic flaw in the character of the hero of an ancient Greek tragedy. (page 19)

Chapter 2:

As days go by, Hazel and Augustus seem to like each other’s company. They trade books with each other, watch movie and talk about the diagnosis of their illness.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) enchiladas: a tortilla rolled around a filling of meat, cheese, peppers, etc. , served with a peppery sauce.  (page 27)

2) toroidal: of or having to do with, or characteristic of a toroid (page 30)

Chapter 3:

Hazel faces the next day like a normal day, unaware and unexcited to celebrate her thirty third and a half birthday. She would usually focus on reading a book while her friend, Kaitlyn, shops for shoes.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) herpes: any one of various virus diseases causing spreading blister-like blotches on the skin or mucous
membrane, such as shingles and cold sores. (page 39)

2) fraught: a burden or load (page 41)

3) dysmorphia: deformity or abnormality in the shape or size of a specified part of the body. (page 44)

Chapter 4:

Hazel spends her time in bed, reading a book written by her favorite author, Peter Van Houten, who doesn’t know about her existence. She had written letters to him regarding what happens to the other characters which however remains unanswered.

Meanwhile, she pays a visit to Augustus’ house, only to find him consoling his best friend, Isaac, who has been recently dumped by his girlfriend who can’t seem to handle his dilemma or situation.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) perpetuity: the condition of being perpetual; existing forever (page 50)

2) gargantuan: enormous/gigantic/huge (page 56)

3) bereft: deprived or bereaved (page 58)

Chapter 5:

Augustus shares to Hazel the email he received from her favorite author, Peter Van Houten, through the care of his assistant, Lidewij Vliegenthart. Unable to believe her ears, Hazel asks for the email address of his assistant and starts writing, sharing her disappointments that Peter didn’t fully finish the book.

Augustus and Hazel also plan to visit Amsterdam through Lidewij’s invitation and without Peter’s knowledge. Augustus pays for their trip ticket in going to Amsterdam.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) sobriquet: a nickname (page 64)

2) insipid: without any particular flavor; lacking interest or spirit; dull (page 68)

3) bacchanalia: a wild, noisy party; drunken revelry (page 68)

4) insidious: seeking to entrap or ensnare; wily or sly (page 86)

Chapter 6:

Hazel grows curious about Caroline Mathers and views her page, only to find thousands of condolence messages for her and learn that Caroline had died of a brain cancer a year ago. She felt jealous upon finding Augustus’ message and a photo of him with her but then shook the feeling off.

Hazel thought of Augustus Waters and felt that she might hurt him every time they are together and decides whether to avoid him or not.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) oncologist: a person who studies, or knows much about, oncology (page 92)

2) vernacular: a native language;  language used by people of a certain country or place (page 93)

3) pre-emption: the act or right of purchasing before others or in preference to others (page 95)

4) lascivious: inclined to or feeling lust (page 95)

Chapter 7:

Just the night before their trip to Amsterdam, Hazel suffers from a headache and pleural effusion which caused her another trip to the hospital. She woke up only to find herself in the ICU, feeling alone as her parents were not allowed to stay with her inside the intensive care unit for the whole time.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) coterie: a set or circle of close acquaintances; group of people who often meet socially (page 109)

2) sarcophagus: a stone coffin, especially one ornamented with scriptures or bearing inscriptions (page 112)

3) digress: to turn aside from the main subject in talking or writing (page 113)

Chapter 8:

A cancer team meeting was led by Dr. Maria to discuss about Hazel’s cancer situation and decide whether to let her travel to Amsterdam or not as this may pose another risk to her health.

During that meeting, Hazel recalls the time she almost or was about to die from her cancer. She saw how her parents were worried and suffering with her and hated the feeling of having to hurt them. The doctors were hesitant at first in letting her go to Amsterdam without any medical assurance that it will be safe for her to travel.

Unknown words in this chapter:
edema: an abnormal accumulation of watery fluid in the tissues or cavities of the body, often causing visible swelling (page 115)

Chapter 9:

Hazel went back to the Support Group before she travels with Augustus to Amsterdam. One of their fellow cancer patient, Michael, had passed away after battling with leukemia while the rest of them either had a relapse or had gone NEC (no evidence of cancer).

Isaac invites Hazel over to play with him and talks about the game and his relationship with his ex-girlfriend, Monica. Hazel reprimands Isaac about what he did to Monica, i.e. going blind.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) leukemic: of or having to do with leukemia (page 129)

2) relapse: to have a return of the symptoms of an illness following convalescence. (page 129)

3) remission: a decrease by lowering or lessening, as of pain, force or labor (page 131)

Chapter 10:

Hazel and her mom prepare for their trip to Amsterdam together with Augustus and drove over to his house to pick him up. Hazel and Augustus spend their time watching movies and reading a poem while on board the plane.

Augustus then confesses his true feelings to Hazel , who then dismisses the thought of him falling in love with her as she didn’t want to hurt him in the end.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) stubbly: bristly ; like stubble (page 138)

2) ludicrous: absurd but amusing, causing derisive laughter (page 145)

3) homebody: a person who prefers the pleasures of his home and family to outside attractions. (page 146)

4)  flummoxed: confounded or bewildered (page 146)

Chapter 11:

Upon arrival to Amsterdam, Hazel, her mom and Augustus were driven to their hotel which is the Hotel Filosoof. Hazel and Augustus later on spend their dinner at Oranjee which was set up by Lidewij Vliegenthart. They continue talking about each other’s cancer situation and what would their death outfit be in their funeral.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) ubiquitous: present everywhere (page 156)

2) midriff: the diaphragm separating the chest cavity from the abdomen ; the middle portion of the human body (page 160)

3) gnocchi: dumplings (page 165)

4) narcissist: a person characterized by narcissism or has an excessive love or admiration of oneself (page 170)

Chapter 12:

Hazel prepares for the day she will be meeting her favorite author, Peter Van Houten, together with Augustus. She felt nervous at the first place that they would never find his house as all the houses in Amsterdam almost looked the same and that they’d never find their way back to their hotel in case they get lost.

Together, Hazel and Augustus set off to Peter Van Houten’s house. Much to their surprise, Peter Van Houten is not the man they expect him to be. He turns out to be a miserly old man who spends his life drinking alcoholic drinks. Aghast by his rude behavior, Hazel and Augustus ended up arguing with Peter Van Houten, especially when he insulted Hazel’s medical condition and refused to give answers to her questions regarding his novel’s ending.

Wanting to make up for their spoiled trip, Lidewij takes Hazel and Augustus to Anne Frank Museum.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) reedy: sounding like a reed instrument (page 180)

2) ontologically: philosophically dealing with nature of reality (page 182)

3) douche: an obnoxious and contemptible person, typically a man (page 184)

4) putrid: thoroughly corrupt or depraved; extremely bad (page 190)

5) addled: muddled; confused (page 191)

6) vermouth: a white wine, either dry (pale yellow) or sweet (usually reddish-brown), flavored with wormwood or other herbs and used as liqueur or in cocktails (page 194)

7) fetish: anything regarded with unreasoning reverence or blind devotion (page 207)

Chapter 13:

Hazel, her mom and Augustus spent their last full day in Amsterdam strolling and exploring other places they haven’t visited yet. While in the middle of the middle of their strolling, Augustus opens up to Hazel about his relapsed cancer, stating that it had returned before the time Hazel went to the ICU.  He, however, reassures her that he will fight against his illness.

Augustus also confessed that he was supposed to have chemotherapy treatment but he gave it up for the sake of going to Amsterdam even though it would make his parents furious.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) bluster: to talk noisily and violently; a noisy and stormy commotion (page 210)

2) machismo: manly self-assurance; masculine drive (page 210)

3) hunker(ed): to squat on one’s haunches, or with the haunches brought near the heels (page 213)

4) paisley: a soft, woolen cloth with a very elaborate and colorful pattern (page 213)

5) palliative: useful to lessen or soften; mitigating (page 215)

Chapter 14:

Upon returning home from their trip to Amsterdam, Hazel discusses with her dad that Gus’s cancer had recurred, to which he admits being told by Gus’s parents and apologizing for it. Her dad also admits reading An Imperial Affliction while they were away and wished the same thing as Hazel.

Hazel drops by her friend’s, Augustus, house, to check on how he’s doing only to find out that he was asleep on the living room couch , with the medicine pumped through his body.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) recurrence: an occurrence again ; repetition; return (page 222)

2) oncogene: a tumor-producing gene (page 224)

3) barf: to vomit (page 224)

Chapter 15:

Augustus was rushed to the ER for his chest pain a week after having dinner with Hazel’s parents over his house and was admitted overnight. Hazel drove over to the Memorial after having heard about the news. Emily, Augustus’ mom, tells Hazel that she can visit her friend but not at the moment when they needed to be a family.

Two weeks later after Gus had been released from the hospital, Hazel drove him to the Funky Bones where they once hang out. Augustus opens up to Hazel about imagining himself to be the skeleton, which signifies that he is close to dying.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) nostalgic: feeling or showing nostalgia; homesick (page 231)

2) prematorium: common hall (page 231)

3) goading: anything that drives or urges one on; inciting (page 233)

Chapter 16:

Augustus Water’s condition gets worse as his cancer progresses to the last stage. He shares with Hazel his pre-Van Houten analysis of An Imperial Affliction. He promises as well to write a sequel for her but couldn’t as he’s tired all the time.

Downstairs, Gus and Hazel play a video game he would always play with Isaac.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) memoir: a biography, now especially a relatively short or limited one; biographical note (page 235)

2) eponymous: giving one’s name to a nation, tribe or place (page 237)

Chapter 17:

Hazel drops by Gus Water’s house to check on him, only to find her friend writhing in pain and she calls her parents for help. In the middle of their game, Augustus opens up once again, talking about death and mentions about having an obituary written about him.

This makes Hazel get a bit frustrated with Gus, offended that Gus thinks he doesn’t mean anything to her as a friend and that he won’t make it to write a eulogy about her.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) excruciating: causing great suffering; torturing (page 239)

2) mortified: ashamed, humiliated (page 240)

3) obituary: a notice of death, often with a brief account of a person’s life; necrology (page 240)

Chapter 18:

Hazel receives  a call from Gus, asking for help and saying that he’s at the gas station. Sensing that something is wrong, Hazel dresses up and switches her BiPAP with her cannula, heading off to the gas station that Gus had mentioned.

Upon reaching the gas station, Hazel rushes over to her friend’s side to see what’s wrong and finds him covered up in his own vomit and that the skin of his abdomen is warm and bright red, signifying an infection. She immediately calls up 911 for emergency.

Augustus Waters breaks down and keeps telling to himself that he wants to die so as to end the suffering.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) annihilated: destroyed completely; confused (page 242)

2) waiver: to give up; relinquish (page 245)

Chapter 19:

A few days later, Gus Waters was discharged from the hospital and was permanently moved upstairs to the living room. He was, however, deprived of all his ambitions and put under more medications to alleviate the pain.

Gus and his family, together with Hazel, went out for Gus to enjoy and have some fresh air.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) irrevocably: irreversibly; unalterably (page 248)

2) fleece: a fabric with a soft, silky material, used for lining outer garments.

Chapter 20:

Hazel gets a day off from visiting Augustus as she herself wasn’t feeling well and a bit tired. However, she receives a call from Gus, asking her to be at the Support Group and prepare a eulogy for him. Hazel hesitates at first, but then gives in to his request.

While preparing to go, Hazel gets in a heated argument with her parents for the first time, stating that they were the ones in the first place who asked her to get a life outside instead of being just a homebody.

Hazel meets up with Gus and Isaac at the Support Group room, with her eulogy prepared. Gus told her that he thought of arranging a pre-funeral service. Isaac was the first one to eulogize, describing how Augustus Waters is as a friend to him, then followed by Hazel who breaks down almost in the end of her eulogy.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) inexorable: not influenced by prayers or entreaties; relentless (page 253)

2) eulogy: a speech or writing in praise of a person or thing, especially as a set oration in honor of a deceased person (page 254)

3) self-aggrandizing: aggrandizing or magnifying oneself; the act or practice of enhancing one’s own importance, power or reputation (page 257)

4) lectern: a stand that serves as support for the notes or books of a speaker

Chapter 21:

Augustus Waters, or simply called ‘Gus’ , passes away just a few days later after his pre-funeral. This news leaves Hazel shocked and devastated.

She checks on her friend’s wall page and reads the condolence messages written by other people and receives a call from his parents regarding his funeral that will be held for five days.

Unknown words in this chapter:
clarion: clear and shrill (page 263)

Chapter 22:

Gus Water’s funeral was held at the Support Group’s chapel or church where a lot of people visited and took a close look at him in his casket.

Peter Van Houten shows up at Gus Water’s funeral, much to Hazel’s surprise. Later in the middle of the funeral, each of Gus Water’s family member and friends gave a eulogy about him. Hazel was still pissed at Peter Van Houten’s arrival and didn’t like the idea of him showing up right after what he did during their meeting in Amsterdam like nothing happened and hitching a ride with them after Gus was buried.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) casket: a coffin (page 269)

2) lanky: awkwardly long and thin; tall and ungraceful (page 269)

3) pulpit: a platform or structure in a church from which the minister preaches (page 271)

4) rotundity: roundness or plumpness

5) titter: the act of tittering or laughing in a restrained manner (page 272)

6) pall-bearer: one of the men who walks with or carries the coffin at a funeral, so called from the old custom of holding up the corners or edges of the pall carried over the coffin. (page 274)

7) infernal: of the lower world (page 275)

8) precocious: developed earlier than usual in knowledge (page 276)

9) booze: an intoxicating liquor; a drinking bout (page 277)

Chapter 23:

A couple of days later after Gus Water’s burial, Hazel drops by Isaac’s house to play a video game with him and talked about how they were coping up with their friend’s death. Isaac also mentions about Gus writing a sequel about Hazel’s favorite book An Imperial Affliction.

Hazel hurriedly rushes to her car , though she was aghast to see Peter Van Houten in the backseat, wearing the same suit he had worn during her friend’s funeral. From there, Peter Van Houten opens up to Hazel that he wrote the book in memory of his deceased daughter who died from leukemia.

After realizing this, Hazel decides to forgive the old man and after Peter Van Houten gets off from the car, she drops by Gus Water’s house to search for his written sequel but finds nothing, to her dismay.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) labyrinthine: of or forming a labyrinth (page 279)

2) depraved: having very bad morals; corrupt (page 281)

3) beatified: made supremely happy or blessed; declared to be among the blessed and entitled to a specific religious honor (page 285)

4) leukemia: a rare , usually fatal disease characterized by a large excess of white blood cells; any of several cancers of the bone marrow that prevent the normal manufacture of red and white blood cells and platelets, resulting in anemia, increased susceptibility to infection and impaired blood clotting (page 285)

Chapter 24:

Hazel receives a call from Gus Water’s dad regarding a black Moleskin notebook where Gus used to write his sequel or eulogy for her. She hurriedly drives over to Isaac’s house to pick him up and headed to the Support Group before their session with Patrick begins. She kept looking for the torn pages from the notebook around the room but couldn’t find it.

She spends the rest of her time listening to Patrick’s testimonial about living with cancer, feeling bored like she usually does. She feels out of the mood to share her memory of Augustus to the group and wishes that she would just die. At home, she watches her favorite TV show with her parents while eating dinner.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) hover: to stay in or near one place; wait nearby (page 296)

2) revile: to call bad names; abuse with words (page 299)

3) fumbled: felt or groped about clumsily; searched awkwardly (page 299)

Chapter 25:

Hazel writes a correspondence to Peter Van Houten’s former assistant to ask if she had, by any chance seen the letter or sequel that Gus wrote for her to which Lidewij (Van Houten’s former assistant) responds to later in the afternoon, indicating that she hadn’t seen any but will try to find it and apologizes as well when she heard the news from Hazel that Gus Water s died.

Right after checking her email, Hazel spends time with her family by having picnic in commemoration of the Bastille Day and visiting Gus Water’s grave at the Crown Hill Cemetery.

Upon reaching home, Hazel receives another email from Lidewij Vliegenthart, notifying her about what happened when she visited her former boss’s house . She (Hazel) reads the attached files which included Gus Water’s letter to Peter Van Houten days before he died. It was his eulogy for her.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) unconscionable: not influenced or guided by conscience (page 301)

2) monolith: a single large block of stone, especially one forming a monument or used for building or sculpture (page 305)

3) voracious: very eager; unable to be satisfied (page 305)

4) indefatigable: never getting tired or giving up (page 307)

5) mercenary: a soldier serving for pay in a foreign army (page 307)

6) bequeathing: giving or leaving by means of a will when one dies (page 310)