Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Paper Towns by John Green

Cindy: Which cover art do you like best? The sunny smiley yellow one or the somber blue cover? Margo Roth Spiegelman, like many of us, has many sides to her personality, but which one is the real Margo? Quentin has known her for years but doesn't really know her. After a night of pranks that involve the daddy-sized Vaseline, dead fish, and The Club (steering wheel lock) among other implements of destruction, Margo disappears. Quentin follows the clues she left that lead him on a path to Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass and on a hilarious road trip with his friends. Just as funny and smart as his first two Printz winners, this one has teens raving already. John Green fans may want to check out his vlog created in tandem with his brother Hank at www.nerdfighters.com. Hank's song, "Accio Deathly Hallows," is worth checking out.

And for what it's worth. I like the yellow cover best. The model has a very mischievious glint in her eye that intrigues me.
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Lynn: I find the yellow cover more eye-catching but I think the blue cover reflects the atmosphere of the book better, which had a slightly melancholy undertone for me. I love books about road trips and smart practical jokes so this started out dynamite for me. It kept on being dynamite but the mood shifted so much after Margo leaves and felt like a much different and more serious book. Exceptionally well done was the portrayal of that sense of passage that many teens feel so strongly as they graduate high school and look to begin their adult lives. I again found myself really enjoying the secondary characters - in fact I think I liked them better than I liked Q - and the dialog between the friends was dead on! I'd really like to reread this and take more time with the themes and imagery which was so intriguing. I do have the audio and can't wait to listen. I think Green's writing is getting better with each book and this one is his best yet.

5 comments:

Sarah said...

Hi Lynn and Cindy! Great to see your blog, I'll be sure to keep up with it. (I had to skim this post though as I'm only midway through Paper Towns myself) Sarah Debraski

Morgan said...

Paper Towns didn't really do it for me. Honestly, I felt it to be a bit far-fetched. Maybe that's the appeal? But if it was meant to be incredibly believable and realistic, I think it missed it's mark.

Reading Fool said...

I'm looking forward to reading this blog. And for what it's worth, I found Hassan to be the most interesting character in KoA. I don't know if it's a strength or a weakness that John's secondary characters pull focus so often. On the one hand, some authors put so much energy into making their main character(s) into believably three-dimensional characters that the rest of their cast suffers, weakening the book as a whole. That's not going to happen in a John Green book. But when you find the secondary characters more fun/more interesting to read about than the main character, that could be a bit of a problem. I'm waiting for my copy of Paper Towns to come downstairs (and then I have to give it a patron), so it'll be a while before I can see who I'm most intrigued by this time. I'm getting impatient!

Angiegirl said...

Nice review. I agree, the yellow cover is the coolest but the blue reflects the book itself better. John's secondary characters are gems. I loved Radar so much. And though I really liked Pudge and Colin in Alaska and Katherines, I never really liked Q. Or at least felt like I got him.

Hollis said...

I think it's purposeful that the narrator/main character is vague. He is just a lens through which readers can see a bunch of kinds of people, almost all with paradoxes that are revealed piecemeal, as the lens (or, you, the reader) grows.

I think now that I have read PT, I understand the other 2 better. That might be a weakness in me, though, that I am better able to appreciate JG's works as a whole.

Oh yeah, love the blog, ladeez!