Brandy says... Maggie has just started 9th grade at public school, having been homeschooled K-8. It's a big adjustment and she's not sure she likes it-...moreBrandy says... Maggie has just started 9th grade at public school, having been homeschooled K-8. It's a big adjustment and she's not sure she likes it--the only reason she's not still homeschooled is that her mom has recently left the family. Now Maggie is in a big school, interacting with people besides her three brothers, and she's slowly making a friend. But even with a friend things are complicated--her family has just gone through some major upheaval, her twin brothers aren't getting along like they used to, and she's finally learning what her other brother has gone through at school thanks to his "unconventional" ways (i.e., he does drama). And there's also the matter of the ghost who stalks Maggie for no obvious reason.
And if you liked this one, pick up Vera Brosgol's Anya's Ghost.(less)
Brandy says... Green's characters are richly developed and real, even the one (Margo) who is a little different to everyone--the one person whose ident...moreBrandy says... Green's characters are richly developed and real, even the one (Margo) who is a little different to everyone--the one person whose identity can't be nailed down, the one about whom everyone has a different idea. Margo is the kind of girl a guy like Quentin will get obsessed over, after she plucked him from relative obscurity to help her execute a night of revenge-fueled pranks and then disappears the next day. The clues she left behind, the clues she wants--and maybe doesn't want--Quentin to find, it's all part of who Margo is in Quentin's mind. But who she is to Lacey, or Ben, or any of the others, is someone different. Everyone's got their own canvas, their own projections, and in order to find her, everyone will have to put aside what they know of Margo to figure out who she actually is.
Paper Towns hits a lot of the same notes as Green's earlier books, but more subtly, gracefully. Quentin is a list-maker, which is a lot less annoying than reciting famous people's last words (Looking for Alaska) or working out mathematical formulas and using a million footnotes (An Abundance of Katherines). Green writes about male friendship in a way that seems very true and sincere (though never having been a guy I can't say for sure). (less)