Saturday, November 7, 2009

Book of the Week


I have a theory: John Green is the best American writer à la J. D. Salinger since, well, J. D. Salinger. (Salinger is most famous for his novel The Catcher in the Rye.) I have not read a book about realistic American teens that's more profound and engaging than Paper Towns by John Green.

Paper Towns is a story told by Quentin, who's a bit of a nerd, about Margot, who's pretty and popular. Okay, so this seems like a pretty typical story, right? And, you probably guess that these two end up hitting it off and realizing that they have more in common than they thought. Well, sorta. But this story is so much more than that! It's mystery and hope and silliness and intelligence and creativity and youth and reality. It's all of this and more.

In addition to all of this, Green also makes some serious references to American Lit. He quotes Walt Whitman in a way that makes me want to spend more time reading Walt Whitman. He talks about The Bell Jar and Moby Dick and there's even a little Slaughter-house Five reference. And he does it in a natural way, like these characters are really using and applying the ideas and messages contained in these immortal texts to their real lives. It's not about school. It's about life. And I love, love, love it. Thank you John Green. Please keep writing!

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