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Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems
David Rakoff
Lock and Key
Sarah Dessen
How Music Works
David Byrne
Michael Grant

Paper Towns

Paper Towns - John Green After all the awards heaped on John Green's "The Fault in our Stars," I felt I should give one of his novels a try. I didn't want to being with Stars because it's about people with cancer, and quite frankly I don't enjoy being sad. So I picked up this one instead, which promises a quirky coming of age story.

Quentin is in love with Margo, and has been for most of his life. She's a bit of a stereotypical wild child, a popular girl who has some hidden secrets. When she disappears (after one night of mayhem with Q) he sets out to solve the mystery of her disappearance.

I really enjoyed Quentin and his friends, who were nerdy band geeks. I liked that they were smart and funny, though they didn't always sound like actual high school students.

My problem with the book? It was Margo. Although she comes across fairly well at the beginning, by the end of the book she has revealed herself to be selfish and (quite frankly) not very likeable. Not that she has to be, but I get the impression that we are supposed to sympathize with her - Quentin certainly does.

The book aims at some deep thoughts and conclusions about life, but I fear it doesn't actually get very far beyond the trite. It's true, we don't ever really know the inside of someone, but what of it? The book doesn't tell us much beyond that observation. And as Margo was treading dangerously close to Holden Caulfield territory, it wasn't to my taste. (Please note: I loathe "Catcher in the Rye" beyond all books, so I avoid any similar characters.)

I might try a different John Green novel, but I worry that I just don't enjoy his formula. Maybe I should try the sad one?