Paper Towns by John Green ~ YA Fiction Book Review

Paper Towns by [Green, John]John Green can write. I don’t think anyone disputes that. He creates characters that feel authentic and real, but this book left me severely underwhelmed. I’ve never read another book that won the YA Edgar Award, but I can’t help but feel like the bar may be pretty low after reading this ‘winner’.

This book wasn’t a total waste of time, it’s a good coming of age story that held my interest, but it pales in comparison to Green’s other books that I’ve read, and the ‘mystery’ left me wondering about my definition of mystery. I suppose that maybe his other books set my expectations too high. 3.5 stars.

Looking For Alaska by John Green ~ Fiction Book Review

99561Like all books that get a lot of hype, this one has received mixed reviews. A lot of love, a lot of hate, and plenty of middle of the road, “Mehs”.  Personally, I really enjoyed it. It didn’t make me cry, but then again, The Fault In Our Stars, the book for which author John Green is most known for, didn’t either. What this book did do was make me both think and feel.

It reminded me of my own youth, that tumultuous time of constantly being in emotional overload, sometimes without even knowing why, and of making piss poor decisions against my better judgement. (I blame it on my ‘not quite fully developed’ frontal lobe.)

What I love most about this book, and this whole new crop of awesome  books that are taking over the YA market, is that they treat teenagers as humans.  Imagine that. Those grumbly little misfits may actually be intelligent creatures with pain, frustration, and other feelings that adults may identify with. Go figure. 5 stars.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green ~ Fiction Book Review

wpb11I don’t often read YA books, but I’m wondering if I should change that, because every one I read turns out to be an unexpected delight. Although I haven’t seen the movie, I heard enough about this book – both good and bad – to be familiar with the general plot. Sick girl meets sick boy, romance and tragedy ensue.

I knew I was in for a depressing ride, but it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. Although a heavy tale, there was something light and fluffy about the wisdom I took away from this book. The writing was beautiful in its simplicity, the dialogue was catchy and engaging, and, as a whole, I thoroughly enjoyed the story.

Was it realistic? That was one of the biggest complaints that I had heard going in. No, it wasn’t entirely realistic. But neither is Harry Potter, and I’ve heard far less complaints there. The other major issue other readers (all adult) of this book have shared with me is that they couldn’t identify with the characters. As an adult who is not dying of cancer, I didn’t try. I just accept the book for what it was, and I feel like I was reward with an engaging story in return. Five stars.

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