What I’m Reading: Paper Towns

From the book jacket:

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs 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 the girl he thought he knew… 

My review:

I’m not generally drawn to YA books, but I really enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars, so when I was gifted Paper Towns I was pleased to take on another John Green read.

I was quiet surprised by how much I actually enjoyed this one, even though at times I thought Margo seemed overly philosophical for a 17/18-year old girl, and most definitely selfish. I wasn’t particularly a fan of her character, but I don’t think Green actually intended for us to cheer for her. The true story, for me, was the bond between Q and his friends.

Green did an excellent job in creating Q, Ben and Radar’s friendship; they are a fairly accurate representation of most 18-year old boys and their friendships – constantly ragging on one another but sticking by each other’s sides when things go a little nuts.

While I’ll never quite understand Q’s obsession with Margo, I can understand why he wanted to find her. I can also see the bigger picture Green wanted us to see – that despite how well you think you know someone, there’s a lot more underneath the surface.

A lot of other reviewers compared Paper Towns to Looking for Alaska, but since I’ve yet to read the latter, I can’t judge. Paper Towns was light enough to breeze through relatively quickly, but still thought-provoking enough to make it interesting and not just a bunch of drivel.

My rating: ★★★★/5

What I’m Reading: The Fault in Our Stars

From Goodreads.com:
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 review:
What can I say about this book?

I picked it up after hearing much hype about both it and the movie. A firm believer in reading the books before watching the movie, I decided to put The Fault in Our Stars on my “Must Read” list.

I dove into it head first, expecting to feel all the feels and be sobbing by the end.

But let me just rewind a little bit and say that I did really enjoy reading this book. Hazel, while only 17, speaks so eloquently and so wisely; which is really not at all surprising. What else do you expect of a teenager who has had her days numbered by cancer? If there’s one thing I’ve learned about cancer, it’s that it not only makes you live life to the fullest, but also makes you grow up faster.

That’s not to say that Hazel doesn’t enjoy being a teenager. I really appreciate that John Green not only made Hazel wise beyond her years, but threw in hints of teenager behaviour as well, such as her love for America’s Next Top Model. And that just wasn’t with Hazel, but with other characters as well. There’s overreaction to breakups, trips to the mall and the likes.

Hazel and Augustus to me, almost felt like they were the same person. They spoke the same way, had the same feelings about certain things, both had cancer … but I suppose that’s why they were meant to be together.

Back again to what I liked about the book: Hazel and Augustus’ story of love is truly amazing, and knowing that yes, it’s possible to find love regardless of what your life’s situation may be is inspiring. I think I read the whole thing in about 3 hours (Over the course of a couple days, that is. Having a toddler really cuts into your reading time!)

But did it make me sob like a lost soul? Well, no. Perhaps it was the hype behind it, but I was expecting it to be gut wrenching and that I’d be reaching for the Kleenex more times than not. I feel a little guilty for not shedding a single tear, after all, it’s a story about kids with cancer, for cryin’ out loud. I’m sure if/when I watch the movie it will be a whole different story and I’ll bawl my eyes out, but the book just didn’t push me to that emotional level.

Still, I’m going to give The Fault in Our Stars 4.5 Stars out of 5. It was super intriguing and not just a book about some kids with cancer. I loved the characters and the message that their journey sent out.

Have you read this book? What did you think??