Tag Archives: john green

Review Paper Towns by John Green

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 Q gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew.

Genre: YA Fiction
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Release Date: October 16, 2008
Page Count: 305
Source: My copy.
Rating: 3/5

There’s a few things I’ve learned about John Green’s books reading Paper Towns:


-I don’t agree with the common opinion that all Green’s characters are the same.
Quentin Jacobsen (anxiety) is very different from Will Grayson (typical) who is very different from Miles Halter (the great perhaps) who is extremely different from Augustus Waters (oblivion). However:

-I do think that Alaska Young and Margo Roth Spiegelman have a lot in common, or are, essentially, the same character.
And I don’t get it. Not that they are the same really – that’s fine, it happens – but I don’t get their appeal. As Miles is with Alaska, Quentin is absolutely enamored with Margo. And I understand she’s beautiful and popular and spontaneous and adventurous and all of these wonderful things that might lure in a teenage boy, but she’s also really self-absorbed. She’s careless about the ones who love her. She knows that Quentin is actually obsessed with her (and that’s what this book borders on, obsession) and she doesn’t care. She actually plans to hang out with him and blow him off in the same night. And maybe, maybe I can understand their appeal a little bit – on the outside these girls are these free, beautiful spirits, but that’s not enough if you’re just going to walk all over everyone to get what you want, while thinking you’re better than everyone else. The point is, while I may never understand because I’m obviously not a teenage boy, I think there are plenty of beautiful, eccentric, free girls out there that won’t stomp all over your heart the first chance they get. I guess I’m rooting for the underdog. And this is mainly where my rating comes from. Because I truly dislike Margo, and therefore dislike Quentin for stooping to her level.

-I read Green’s books in the wrong order.
Unfortunately, I only discovered John Green last year. The Fault in Our Stars, my favorite book, was the first book I ever read by John Green. Then Looking for Alaska, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and finally Paper Towns. I’m sure every author wants their next book to be better than their last, and such was the case. Except I read them backwards.

To conclude, I never really thought I’d rate a John Green book three stars. But as it turns out, Paper Towns is my least favorite. And that’s not saying it’s a bad book – there are plenty of books I rated three stars that I really liked – just not my favorite.


Review Every Day by David Levithan

In his New York Times bestselling novel, David Levithan introduces readers to what Entertainment Weekly calls a “wise, wildly unique” love story about A, a teen who wakes up every morning in a different body, living a different life.

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl. 

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

With his new novel, David Levithan, bestselling co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, has pushed himself to new creative heights. He has written a captivating story that will fascinate readers as they begin to comprehend the complexities of life and love in A’s world, as A and Rhiannon seek to discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day.

Genre: YA Fiction
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Page Count: 336
Source: My copy.
Rating: 3/5

This book was just okay for me. I’m unable to point out anything that I particularly loved about the book, but wholly, besides a few gripes I have with it, it was a good book.

What stands out to me the most though, was how unrelatable A was. Not being able to pinpoint A’s gender was very frustrating. Had A been a girl with raging hormones, or a laid back teenage boy that just wanted to hang out with his friends, I could relate to A’s emotions. Yet A was in limbo. A’s actions portrayed A as a girl, with how quickly A fell in love with Rhiannon (and yes, this book suffers from insta-love – on A’s part, not on Rhiannnon’s), yet I got the sense that, deeply, A was a boy. This confliction was not only confusing but frustrating, as I said, and I desperately wanted to know which side of A I should hold on to.

I also think A’s expectations of Rhiannon were unrealistic. A expected Rhiannon to accept their situation without question – love conquers all etc. – without really thinking of her feelings. I’m a big believer in true love and destiny and all that, but I just wasn’t buying it. I couldn’t see their relationship ever working.

I had no quarrels with the way Levithan told this story. He certainly can write a sentence. Though I thought the world building could have been better, I have noticed lately that authors in YA contemps are focusing more on their characters than their worlding, so I won’t fault him for that. I can forgive a less-than-perfect storyline. I cannot forgive bad characters.

I thought the ending was very rushed, and totally incomplete. So incomplete that, I think there is enough of an adventure left in A that there could be a sequel. That there should be a sequel. I have no idea if there is a possibility of a sequel, but I think I would definitely read it to find out what happens.

Overall, it was an okay read. I read Will Grayson, Will Grayson, a book Levithan co-authored with John Green, and I know the man can write. I also admire him. I know he has taken a stand on homosexuality in YA literature and I think the YA community needs more advocates like him. Despite my issues with this one book, I would definitely read more of his work.


Review The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now. 

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. 

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

Genre: YA Fiction
Publisher: Dutton Books
Release Date: January 10, 2012
Page Count: 313
Source: My copy.
Rating: 5/5

This has been my second experience with this book. My first, was in Target’s limited YA section, at which time I discovered John Green. I have since read Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, and Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and while they have been all at once wonderful and funny and touching, they have not been life changing. They have not altered my perceptions of the world.

The Fault in Our Stars has.

I didn’t write a review the first time. I just didn’t know what to say. I’m not even sure I know what to say now, with tears drying on my cheeks.

I don’t cry for books. Movies, yes, a tear may fall (most recently with Remember Me), but books don’t make me cry. And I’m not a stranger to crying, either. I actually cry about everything. But books – I guess they would have to really shock me with their sadness to make me shed a tear for their characters. And I don’t really remember if I cried the first time, but I can say with definitiveness (?) that, while reading this book, I cried for a solid fifty pages. I never stopped reading – this was not an option – but I cried for so, so long. And I sniveled. It was all very pathetic. So much so that my husband stopped me.

“Baby. BABY!-” when I refused to look up- “I love you.”

“I love you too.”

I have said nothing about the book. Absolutely nothing.

I read The Fault in Our Stars the second time around to underline my favorite quotes of the book, because there are so many. I have never done this before. Written in books. But I did it in pencil, so it’s sort of okay. Anyway. In my opinion, The Fault in Our Stars is the most quotable book. And so, I have underlined approximately 39 passages in a 313-page book.

And maybe it’s not about the books. Maybe it never was. John Green once said “Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than about the stories and people we’re quoting.” And I think that’s true. I think it’s the way in which the books make us feel, is what really counts. And I think this book makes me feel really sad, but also really real. It makes me feel like fearing something like oblivion or even death is sort of a normal thing – not really that crazy – and yes, we leave behind scars, not legacies, but those scars are remembered and that lets us be true to ourselves even in death because the scars don’t lie. They can’t. They just are. The people we truly love carry those around with them until they die and when it’s over it’s okay because we have lived on vicariously through the people we love. Love… has granted us remembrance.

So, yeah, I like this book. I do agree that John Green is one of the best writers alive and I want to meet him someday. Mostly, though, I want more books like it. More intelligent YA novels that delve into the human condition and electrify our very souls. But that’s just it, I guess. There is no book like it.

I’m in love with you,” he said quietly.

“Augustus,” I said.

“I am,” he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. “I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”