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.