Paper Towns

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Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.

My opinion: After reading The Fault in Our Stars last year I was intrigued by John Green’s writing, even though I have only really just got into young adult books. I liked the premise of this book and am very glad that I gave it a go.

This book is well paced and full of detail. It’s like a detective meets and adventurer and goes on a crazy road trip. It is full of moments that kept me on the edge of my seat, and more importantly kept me guessing. It is obviously well researched and I loved the detail about map makers adding in a pretend town as a way to keep ownership of the design of the map.

The characters were well formed and I liked that the main character Q was a bit of an underdog and really seemed to have a lower opinion of himself than other people did. I found that really endearing and in some ways reminded me of myself.

I will definitely be reading more from John Green, and my Amazon wishlist has already got somewhat longer!

My rating: Four stars

I originally reviewed this book at Reading in Progress.

The Fault in Our Stars

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Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

My opinion: I was a little bit wary about reading this book as I was worried that it could be upsetting and a bit depressing as it is about a teenage girl with cancer. I need not have worried.

This book was my firsty foray into reading some of John Green’s writing, and it definitely won’t be my last! I was drawn into the story straight away and really loved the friendly writing style. In fact, I could barely put this down when I was reading it.

We follow the story of Hazel who is a 16 year old terminal cancer patient. She is convinced by her parents to join a support group to meet some fellow sufferers and give her chance to get out of the house. She meets a new friend in Isaac and subsequently meets his best friend Augustus. Hazel gets close with Augustus and they eventually start going out.

The book is very funny in parts and there are also parts that made me cry. It is wonderfully written and I especially liked the parts about Hazel’s favourite book and going to meet the writer. A lot of the time you were able to forget that she was any different to other teenagers, until something popped up to remind you.

The book has a bittersweet ending, and I will warn you, don’t read it in public, you may not want to be around people when you read it. The book is in no way depressing and leaves the reader wanting more. This book will stay with me for a long time and I would certainly recommend it to others to read.

My rating: A big fat tear inducing five stars!

I originally reviewed this book in 2012 at Reading in Progress.

An Abundance of Katherines

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When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy–loving best friend riding shotgun—but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

My opinion: This was the third John Green book I have read after getting hooked after reading the amazing The Fault in Our Stars last summer.

In this one we meet teenage boy Colin, who astonishingly has not only had 19 girlfriends, but all of them happened to be called Katherine! Following his break up with Katherine number 19, he embarks on a road trip with his best friend Hassan. Adventure ensues and we get to follow Colin on his journey to becoming a man.

Although I enjoyed this book, I found Colin’s luck with women a bit unbelievable as he is portrayed as being a geek with few friends. I also found Colin a bit whiny and overall thought the book was a little long winded (even though the page count is fairly small).

This was nowhere near the best young adult book I have read, but I can see the appeal for some readers. For me, it just didn’t sit in quite the same league as TFiOS and Paper Towns. It hasn’t put me off reading more of John Green’s work though.

My rating: Three stars