Friday, October 24, 2008
Paper Towns, by John Green
One night toward the end of his senior year, Quentin's sleep is interrupted by the girl-next-door Margo, who wants Quentin to join her on an all-night prank fest. He consents and after the evening is over, she disappears. In the weeks that follow, Quentin becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to her and starts to assemble clues about her disposition. As his last year in high school closes, Quentin realizes that time is running out. Assisted by his odd assorted friends, he embarks on a desperate road trip to save Margo before it is too late.
John Green is a major powerhouse in YA writing and Looking For Alaska ranks in my all-time top ten. However, he seems to be in a rut. While still very funny and endlessly capable of creating quirky and memorable characters, Green's stories end up sounding much the same -- horny but sensitive loser-boy longs after mysterious girl. It's a lovely formula and it rings true (as the male version of the teen angst novel), but it's really time for Green to move on and write a new book. I don't really need to keep reading the same one over and over again.