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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Paper Towns by John Green

I read an opinion piece in the last six months that seriously dismissed adults who read young adult books, stating that those of us who enjoy such reading are shallow and need to challenge ourselves more.  I either disagree completely with the assessment that this literary genre is unworthy of adult attention or I am that shallow person.  Maybe it is both, because I read oodles of books in the murder mystery genre and those are clearly not the height of intellectual stimulation either.

So, assuming that you are ready to stoop to the level of teens, John Green is a great choice.  I can't believe I missed this book by him, since I loved The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska.  He has a wonderful ear for what drives the passions of young adults.  In this book Quentin and Margo were the best of friends in grammar school, but as they grew older they also grew apart.  Margo became a legend for her exploits and Quentin is a mere mortal--a nice guy who has nice friends and good grades.  He also carries a mammoth torch for Margo which she was oblivious to until one night when they share their first adventure in many years.  After that night, Margo disappears and Quentin becomes obsessed with following her.  It is a pitch perfect end of high school novel that will ring true to every reader.

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