Give me books, fruit, french wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors. --John Keats

Thursday, March 6, 2014

"Paper Towns" by John Green

I have no idea when I bought this book (although I do know it was before Tuesday, September 21, 2010). I do know why I bought this book: first, the author is John Green, and second, it was on sale for $2.97.

The spine of Paper Towns caught my eye on my bookshelf (not my Future Reads shelf, which is where I'm supposed to be finding my next selections, if only to make the choice less agonizing, but that's my own rule so I am welcome to break it) as I was putting my youngest to bed on Sunday night. I knew absolutely nothing about the story, but I felt sure it would be a good read and I was fairly certain I wouldn't get stuck on it for weeks.

I was right on both counts: I enjoyed the book and finished it last night. And because I would really, really like to pick up another book now (though I haven't even given a thought to which one will be next), and because the rule I made in my last post is too new to break even if it is my own, I am proud to be posting about this book within 24 hours of completing it!

John Green is so good at capturing the anguish of teenage love. And the voice of a teenager. Or . . . I don't know, it sure has been a long time since I was a teenager, so I could be wrong about that. There were times where the "witty repartee" seemed a bit too slick to be believable. But it can't be denied that he tells a good story!

I find it difficult to describe the book's plot without giving too much away, so I'll err on the side of saying too little: a slightly nerdy teenage boy is starry-eyed about the beautiful girl who lives next door to him. For the first half of this book I was thinking Paper Towns was merely a variation on Green's Looking for Alaska, right down to the dynamics between the main characters. But, happily, I was wrong, and this turned out to be its own unique story, full of its own secrets.

And what do you know? On the very first page I found out the story begins in Orlando. Can you believe it? (Did I mention I'm going there next week?) But I only had to turn one page to discover it's not about the Orlando I'm going to. (At least that's my hope.) This is definitely not a Disney story. But I liked it (probably more than I would have liked a Disney story) and was absorbed by Quentin's hunt for clues. Paper Towns won't join the ranks of my Most Favorite Books Ever, but it was fun without being fluffy.


Ti said...

Funny that you bought it so long ago and that when you happen to finally get around to it, it's right before heading to Orlando! Talk about timing.

John Green and I do not always mix. I did not care for Looking for Alaska all that much but I plan to read more of his work anyway because, how can you not? As you said, the teen angst thing. He has it down.

Kathy said...

Have you read any John Green books that you do like?