Saturday, January 7, 2012

Paper Towns

Paper TownsTitle: Paper Towns     
Author: John Green 
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Audiobook Narrator: Dan John Miller
Audiobook Publisher: Brilliance Audio   
Publication Date: 2008   
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Novel  
Goodreads Summary: When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night - dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows her. Margo's always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she's always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they're for Q. Printz Medalist John Green returns with the trademark brilliant wit and heart-stopping emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of readers. (taken from Goodreads on 1/6/12)
What Jen Thinks: I'm not sure if I'm supposed to like or dislike Margo Roth Spiegelman! There were parts when I liked her and then there were probably more parts when I really didn't like her. Most of this book is all about her even though she's mysteriously absent for most of the book. I'm glad I loved Q, the main character, and all of his friends. I think this book ends up being more about friendship and being there for each other and willingly going off on time-crunch road trips and loving the journey than on how it all ends up. And since a large part of the book centers around Walt Whitman, this seems like the perfect point to be illustrated.
     I'm not a huge fan of J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye. I read it in high school and didn't get it so I reread it not that long ago thinking maybe now that I'm older and wiser I might understand why everyone loves it. But I didn't. It still is a book that was hard for me to identify with. I kept thinking of Holden Caulfield as I listened to Paper Towns. And since I didn't really care for Holden as a character maybe it makes sense that Margo Roth Spiegelman didn't really appeal to me either.
The best part of disliking Margo Roth Spiegelman is that it brings life to this awesome John Green quote:
“I don't know where people got the idea 
that characters in books a supposed to be likable. 
Books are not in the business of 
creating merely likeable characters with whom 
you can have some simple identification with. 
Books are in the business of creating 
great stories that make you're brain go ahhbdgbdmerhbergurhbudgerbudbaaarr.” 
     It was really hard for me to identify with Holden Caulfield...and really, we don't have much in common so I get that it's hard for me to sympathize with him. In the same way, I don't have much in common with Margo Roth Spiegelman. Like John Green says, it doesn't matter if I like or dislike the characters - it's that I've read the books and realize that there are people out there who can relate to Holden and Margo and who feel like those characters are written for them. It's about recognizing that the world is not made up of people exactly like me and loving the world just a bit more because I get it.
What Kellee Thinks: This is my favorite John Green book.  (This is like saying my favorite Harry Potter book- they are all amazing...)  I do think that one of the reasons why I really enjoyed it is that it takes place in Orlando so I was truly able to visualize Margo and Quentin's adventure.  

I can see how Jen could have felt the way she did about Margo, but I found her intriguing throughout most of the book.  At other points you hate her.  At some you love how she makes Quentin feel.  But I find the power of a good book is that you feel about the characters.  

I love listening to John Green's books on audio.  I've listened to them all and I really find his works perform so well orally.  They always make me laugh out loud.  And Paper Towns was no different.  I found myself laughing out loud and sitting at the edge of my seat (not literally because I was driving) throughout the story.
Read Together: 9 - 12  
Read Alone: 7 - 12 
Read With: Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks by E. Lockhart, An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Snatch of Text:  
"What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person." 

"When did we see each other face-to-face? Not until you saw into my cracks and I saw into yours. Before that, we were just looking at ideas of each other, like looking at your window shade but never seeing inside. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out." 

"I'm not saying that everything is survivable. Just that everything except the last thing is." 

"If you don't imagine, nothing ever happens at all." 

"Peeing is like a good book in that it is very, very hard to stop once you start." 
(I don't have page numbers because I listened to this book.)
Mentor Text For: Making Connections, Characterization, Dialogue, Voice, Simile, Personal Narrative 
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when a friend let you down. Write about a time in your life when someone turned out to be different than who you thought they were. 
Topics Covered: Friendship, Love, Relationships, Family, Adventure, Taking Risks, Identity

Jen "hearts" it

Kellee "hearts" it


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