Okay, so after initial "OH MY GOSH" moments of this book, I only have one complaint. The story was great, Sydney (who I've liked from the beginning) w...moreOkay, so after initial "OH MY GOSH" moments of this book, I only have one complaint. The story was great, Sydney (who I've liked from the beginning) was awesome and Adrian...well, you know.
This contains spoilers, btw.
The intense make-out scene between Sydney and Adrian in the spirit dream bugged me. Not that they were making out, that's fine because you know, Adrian. But something felt wrong. I think it's the inexperience of Sydney, even when she was letting go, it didn't quite feel accurate. That's probably just me and it is my only complaint, but this book hooked me so quickly which I come to rely on Ms. Mead for.
Can't wait to find out what happens with the new member of the family sticking around.(less)
I feel like this, as a John Green book, should be five stars, but I'm still processing. But I do feel like confetti should have been dumped on me beca...moreI feel like this, as a John Green book, should be five stars, but I'm still processing. But I do feel like confetti should have been dumped on me because I FINALLY READ A BOOK BY JOHN GREEN.
3/31/13 (from my blog - ecnewman.com)
I don't know why I waited to review this, but I felt like I had to read Looking for Alaska first. The biggest negative in the reviews of Paper Towns I read was that it was so much like Looking for Alaska. I see how the pranks that Margo came up with are in similar vein with the pranks in LFA. And Margo isn't present for most of the book, and Alaska is gone for almost half of LFA. Both girls are daring and quirky and beautiful. Both male protagonists are good students, relatively good kids and struck with a fierce loyalty for the object of their affections. So, yeah, there are similarities.
These are not the same stories.
Paper Towns is my first John Green book. My students adore this writer and I went searching for the videos he and his brother Hank made a couple months ago. And I liked John Green just by his literature crash courses and Vlogbrothers entries. He's funny, engaging and smart. I had nothing other than his personality through video to base that on. In some ways, I felt good that I just liked him as a person as much as I could glean from youtube. Liking an author due to assuming you know them because of their books can be completely misleading.
He's a darn good writer. As I read the beginning of Paper Towns, I'd pause and read sentences and sections aloud to my friends. Whether they cared or not. So many turns of phrase and happenings made me laugh and smile. He balances description and prose with snappy dialogue and wonderful characters. I loved Quentin (Q) and his friends: Radar and Ben. They were funny, loyal, real and just plain entertaining. I liked Margo Roth Spiegelman too. I would never have her boldness to do the things she does, but I admired them, just like Q. I'd would probably have been swayed to join her on her night of revenge as well even though I'm a chronic good girl.
The clues, the truth behind what paper towns are exactly, the road trip, the saying goodbye to high school: I LOVED it all. I guess I relate to Q. Probably not as smart (Duke? Wow), but I also used to love the band kids at my school even though I wasn't in band (they were the only good thing about pep rallies). I never had a true deep fascination for one classmate, but there were definitely guys I was bewitched by. Guys that I knew, for me, if they'd ever liked me back, we couldn't actually date. They were partially tragic and potentially unsave-able. That's probably why I liked this so much. This book wasn't about the romance or Margo so much. It was about growing up, amazing friends, and realizing that not everything is a happy ending.
I'm not finished with Looking for Alaska yet. But I've gotten to the 'After' part and although I want to know how it all ends, I'm not as connected with these kids as I was in Paper Towns. The reason is simple: I'm not like the kids at Culver Creek Boarding School. I was never intensely rebellious. I would never have been Pudge. Which is okay. I was not, am not edgy but some people are. And those will like LFA over PT. And kudos to John Green who can write and paint both worlds with a realism I'm in awe of. (less)
3/31/13 Heavy and I'll need days to sort out my response.
Although, I would say that I like Paper Towns better, but Looking for Alaska deals with heavie...more3/31/13 Heavy and I'll need days to sort out my response.
Although, I would say that I like Paper Towns better, but Looking for Alaska deals with heavier issues, which although I might not like the characters as much, I respect John Green's tacking of the subject matter.
I gave this four stars and not five (like Paper Towns) simply on a personal level. Green's dealing with heavy subject matter: death, underage drinking and teen sexuality. I greatly respect him and how he presents these characters. I just didn't relate. I wasn't that kid and I don't understand the need to rebel and go against the school's rules as Pudge, Alaska, the Colonel and the rest of them do. I didn't cry either (I say that because others have told me that that was their reaction to the book). I was grateful that consequences were shown for the choices that the characters make. It didn't glorify their choices or demonize them. It was just real.
I do like that this is often used in schools to deal with such issues as above. That thrills me because it's hard to find books students want to read that actually mean more than just a love triangle and angst.
I feel bad that this is so short, but it didn't affect me as much as Paper Towns did. (less)
I wanted to give it four stars for the depth of information and how delightful the beginning half was. but my issues with the second half are numerous...moreI wanted to give it four stars for the depth of information and how delightful the beginning half was. but my issues with the second half are numerous. when I have time to process I'll write more later.
*** later 9/26/12***
Well, I've tried to process and I really blame the romance element of the story. Once the characters left Oxford, something changed. I loved the tension between Diana and Matthew pre-France, when finding out about the manuscript was important and all those around them were regarded with caution. Once the romance was spoken (I like you, you like me), the writing, the story, and my attachment was tossed. The writing felt stilted and often too rushed (things, important events happened quickly and were disregarded just as quickly). Matthew leaves to check up on some things and Diana cries like he died and was gone forever. Mere hours after the 'i love you' realization. Seriously? They're adults, with somewhat rational minds. Diana is supposed to be really smart, but sometimes I wanted to slap her for her choices (me, who is not nearly as intelligent and never hopes to be). Matthew as a vampire is not a huge depart from the cliche, i.e. possessive, territorial and arrogant. He does yoga, so you know, good on him.
I just didn't like anyone after Oxford. In Oxford, I felt safe in the hands of a good story, rich in detail and history and character development. After Oxford, I lost interest and there was too many supernatural elements thrown together in a story that started out so wonderfully.
I don't know if any of this makes sense. I just know I probably won't continue with the series. (less)
I didn't finish this book. I got almost 200 pages and I figured if I was still annoyed by the main character that far into the book, it was time to gi...moreI didn't finish this book. I got almost 200 pages and I figured if I was still annoyed by the main character that far into the book, it was time to give up. I thought that the origin of vampires was really different and cool. But the MC just bugged me. I liked her about as much as I like any other character who seems lacking in personality completely. I just couldn't care or relate to her or anyone else in the story. I tried.(less)
Much enjoyed this, although at times I wasn't sure what was going on. Could be the speed at which I read. I'm not sure what I think about Dru's decisi...moreMuch enjoyed this, although at times I wasn't sure what was going on. Could be the speed at which I read. I'm not sure what I think about Dru's decision at the end. Seems very open-ended and I was under the impression that this was the end of the series. I've checked and rechecked and it is the end of the series. Perhaps it's more like real life and nothing is forever and that's why the end is so open. I'll assume that.
Truly one of the better vamp teen series out there. Not sure they could make a movie of it. Not sure I'd want them too.(less)
I do very much enjoy this series. There are times that the explanations of all the different species (and how they work, etc.) puts me off, but this f...moreI do very much enjoy this series. There are times that the explanations of all the different species (and how they work, etc.) puts me off, but this fourth book didn't have much of that. I like Dru and even though she complains from time to time, she has reason. She kicks ass and is terrified and is snarky, and very real. And despite usually hating a love triangle, I cannot decide which guy I like better. They both have their flaws and merits. So all in all, one of the better paranormal YA series out there.(less)
I really do like Sarah Dessen's stories, even if sometimes I find them a little too perfect by the end. The struggles the girls go through are very re...moreI really do like Sarah Dessen's stories, even if sometimes I find them a little too perfect by the end. The struggles the girls go through are very real and I like that she doesn't glorify the bad parts, but is honest. I enjoyed this one, although Lock and Key might still be my favorite. I enjoyed the music stuff and certainly enjoyed Owen. I just wanted Annabel to talk.
I just don't relate to characters that don't talk. lol.(less)
I really do like this series, especially compared to a lot of YA vampy novels out there. My issue with it is that it's a little too complicated. The p...moreI really do like this series, especially compared to a lot of YA vampy novels out there. My issue with it is that it's a little too complicated. The politics and the type of creatures. I find myself often pausing because I'm just to understand the hierarchy and such. So methinks perhaps that's a little detailed, because I get the main story and can follow that. The rest of it seems just overkill.
ANd I love Leontus, Dibs, and Shanks. just saying. :)(less)