Paper Towns

Thoughts   Paper Towns by John Green, Dutton Books 2008, 305 pages

MOTIVATION for READING:    I finally read this for the last year’s Dewey Challenge (along with Looking For Alaska (my spoiler-full review here) and The Abundance of Katherines (not yet read but I do own and am looking forward to it) but didn’t get to it until now.    A big thank you to Nancy the Bookfool for sending me this.

[updated:   I forgot!   This qualifies for Bart’s Bookshelf’s Twenty Ten Challenge!   woo hoo.]

WHAT’s it ABOUT:     High school senior boy who is not of the ‘in’ crowd has crush on girl-next-door, who of course is in the ‘in’ crowd.   They had been friends when they were primary school age, but — their last adventure together was long ago.     Then, three weeks before graduation, she taps him for a middle of the night escapade and the next day, she’s gone!.    (wait – is that a spoiler?    oh well.)   The rest of the story is how our boy attempts to find her or at least discover WHO she is.

WHAT’s GOOD:     Oh, what fun reading a John Green book can be!    I enjoy the style, the humor, and the lovable smart geeky characters.   I love that the kids break the rules yet still respect their parents (most of the kids, anyway).    I love reading what the kids are studying (Ovid, Moby Dick, calculus, Whitman’s Leaves of Grass…).   I am impressed with Green’s masterful re-creation of the high school scene.   And setting!    Green is also very clever about pulling in interesting facts and creating ‘place.’     I loved how simple the concept of ‘paper towns’ was used as a rather complicated theme.

WHAT’s NOT so GOOD:    I both loved and not quite so loved how similar this book was too Looking for Alaska. (see paragraph above.)    but still, I’m giving this 4 pies to LfA’s 5 pie rating.    Only a case of sophomoric letdown?    If I had read this first and then LfA, would I still like Alaska better?   Don’t know and can never know, I’m feared.

FINAL THOUGHTS:   I do think Green is a helluva writer and am looking forward to TAoK.   I hear it has some mathematics in it — OOOOooooooo, I love the maths.

RATING:   4 pie.

.

HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

Copyright © 2010. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.
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12 thoughts on “Paper Towns

  1. This one has been on my wish list since I finished Looking for Alaska. I fell in love with John Green based on that book. Good to know that Paper Towns may not be as good but still worth the read. Thanks!

  2. I keep forgetting to get John Green’s other two books when I’m at the library! Bother bother bother. This and An Abundance of Katherines both sound really good. (If a little bit the same.)

  3. I read this first, and liked it better than Looking for Alaska, so it may well be true that your first Green book is your best Green book. I also have Abundance of Katherines waiting for me to gain enough distance from the other two to fully enjoy it.

  4. I read LfA first and liked it best too, so I can neither confirm nor deny your theory. I hope you like AAoK – it’s lighter than the other two, but just as wonderfully John-Green-ified.

  5. I am constantly flip-flopping on whether I like this one the best, or Looking for Alaska. They are very similar, though. I love the whole boarding school setting of LfA, but the road trip from Paper Towns is just classic.

  6. I’ve enjoyed all his books and didn’t think they were the same in any way, except this one–the parents of the teenagers are always apathetic and/or missing entirely.

    This is like the Victorian children’s books where the parents–especially the mother–often have to be dead to allow the children to go on such adventures!

  7. It’s so funny – it seems like everyone who reads him becomes Green-ified very quickly! I read this one and a Christmas short story by him in close proximity last year so got re-Greened as it had been a while since Looking for Alaska. I find that the first book I read by an author is usually my fave and I prefer Alaska to Towns (and did find some similarities that I thought were going to be a problem for me, but it was okay). The road trip and the black Santas are totally hilarious, though. Katherines is on my TBR list for this year, maybe we’ll read it at the same time! 🙂

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