Thursday, 27 June 2013

Review of Paper Towns by John Green

Paper TownsPages: 305
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Released: October 2008 (first published)

Plot: Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life - dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues - and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer Q gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew. (Goodreads)

Good Points: As you probably know a lot of the books that I read have some form of fantasy/ paranormal element to them so it was nice to read something a little more realistic for a change.
 Paper Towns starts of with the story of Quintin ('Q') and Margo as children who stumble upon a dead man in the park. Neither really speak to each other for the next few years, despite Q hopelessly falling in love with her from afar, until one night when Margo climbs through his bedroom window seeking help.
I've got to say, there was a LOT to love about this book. I loved the witty banter between Q and his friends  (Black santa's everybody...) and the way that Green manages to make even the most mundane thing sound somewhat poetic, such as the way Q describes Margo's full name. Everything he writes seems somehow raw. I guess you could say that this book is a sort of mystery. Margo is the mystery that must be solved and throughout the novel we see Q try to slowly piece together information about the girl he thought he knew.
There's definitely themes of expectations and discovery within Paper Towns and the more you read the book, the deeper you get tangled in the mystery of Margo. At times I found myself torn in two mindsets due to her character and her actions, but then I loved her free spirited personality and the development of her character overall throughout the book. One of the main things that I loved about Paper Towns was that despite Margo not physically being present throughout a large portion of the novel, her character still develops as she is explored by Q and his friends as they attempt to find her.

Things I didn't like... At times when I thought the writing and dialogue was just a little too poetic. I'm all for refreshing and thought provoking elements in books, but somehow I just don't think a little girl would look at a dead body and say 'Maybe all the strings inside of him broke'. As lovely and thought- provoking that statement is, I just felt it was a little forced on the character.

To Sum Up... I have to admit although I didn't love reading this as much as The Fault in our Stars, Paper Towns definitely drew me in. The plot I thought, was original and intriguing from start to finish and the mystery of Margo and where she could possibly be was one of the main factors that kept me reading. I'd definitely recommend anyone this book as overall it is a good story and I feel like I have gained something from reading it, one of them being I now know what a 'paper town' is.

Have you read Paper Towns? What did you think? Leave a comment below.

Monday, 3 June 2013

ARC Review of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Pages: 416
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
FangirlRelease: September 2013

Plot: Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn't want to be room mates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly room mate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone. (Goodreads)

Good Points: I didn't really know what to expect from this book having never read anything by this author before but I actually really enjoyed reading this.
The book's tag line 'A coming of age-tale of fan-fiction, family and first love' definitely intrigued me into reading it. I'm not exactly someone who reads much fan-fiction but I still managed to relate to the main character, Cather in multiple ways. Her love for writing and her obsession with the made- up 'Simon Snow' book series echoed my own experience with the Harry Potter franchise. The similarities between the two were uncanny however Rowell manages to make the series seem believable; crafting her own Wikipedia page and supplying multiple extracts from the books. This was one of the main things that stood out when I was reading 'Fangirl'. Rowell has this amazing and rare ability to successfully write in different styles believably. There were three main tones to the book- the main story of Cather and her tale of growing up and finding independence,  the extracts of the Simon Snow series written by the original author and finally Cath's own fan fiction of the series. Each could be easily identified in my opinion without stating so. Cath's fan-fiction was undeniably good yet sought of seeped more humour than the original Simon Snow extracts.
To be honest though I think Rainbow manages to capture the truth of what it really is to be a fangirl and she portrays the obsessive, sit-at-your-computer, slightly unsociable character extremely well.

Things I didn't like...  I did think that maybe the book was just slightly too long. However at no point did I get bored of reading about Cather, Levi and Simon Snow.

To Sum Up... Although it's unlikely that I'll read this book again, I have to admit that I did enjoy it. There were moments within 'Fangirl' where the writing style reminded me of John Green's books which is always a good thing and even after I had finished reading I was stuck in the world that Rainbow had created. Although some may not like the ending because it does leave a couple of things unsolved I thought it worked really well and reflected that not everything in life will end up with a happy ending. I'm trying really hard not to give a spoiler here so I apologise if I sound cryptic.
Basically I would reccomend anyone to read this book especially if you think a.) You are a fangirl and you love fan-fiction, b.) You're heading off to Uni/ College soon or c.) You just really want a good book to become absorbed in for the next couple of days.
I'll definitely be checking more of the books by this author ( Eleanor & Park) and Fangirl is out later this year (September 2013)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...