Gwen & Kate's Library

Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.

Gwen’s Summer Challenge: Paper Towns by John Green (Realistic Fiction)

I really enjoyed this book. Q’s adventures and the mysteries he had to solve were fun, exciting, nerve-raking and a wonderful contemporary contrast to the other mysteries I’ve been reading lately.


Series: None

Genres: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Mystery

Rating: 4.5 stars


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.

Book Review:

I really enjoyed this book. Q’s adventures and the mysteries he had to solve were fun, exciting, nerve-racking and a wonderful contemporary contrast to the other mysteries I’ve been reading lately.

However, I did feel that same feeling I felt when reading Looking for Alaska, but even more so. That feeling that John Green has this amazing formula that makes the perfect contemporary young adult book. The problem is when he uses the same formula on all of his books, and they begin to feel repetitive and unoriginal. First of all, as I mentioned in my Looking for Alaska review, it seems that all of John Green’s books end the same way, with a final essay, letter, or in this case, unofficial speech, that wraps up the entire book and illustrates the character’s final realization. In this way, it feels a lot like the conclusion of an essay, and less like a young adult novel.

The Fault in Our Stars remains my favorite John Green book, mostly because I read it first, and the characters have different personalities and a different feel about them than Margo and Q and Alaska and Miles. While listening to Paper Towns (yes, I listened to the audiobook, which was fantastic), I kept getting Miles and Q confused, and found many similarities in the way Alaska and Margo spoke and acted.

I think what I loved most about this book is that now I can rely on it as a light (at least compared to his others) John Green book that is well written, has a good pace and plot, and keeps you interested. This will not be the last time I read this book. My favorite part about it is the sense of mystery and the constant hilarious chatter between best friends to which I can so easily relate.

Genre Review: Realistic Fiction

The thing I do enjoy about contemporary fiction novels is that even if they aren’t also realistic, it makes them feel more possible to happen in real life. I find them good summer reads, and reading Paper Towns was a good breath of fresh air for me after reading some heavier adult fantasies. I loved the mystery Margo left for Q and his friends to solve, and the exciting all-night adventure Margo and Q share. I’m looking forward to reading Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins soon, and creating my own Paper Towns inspired adventures!


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This entry was posted on August 25, 2014 by in Author: Gwen, Gwen's Summer 2014 Genre Challenge, Review, Young Adult and tagged , .
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