Monthly Archives: June 2014

Looking for Alaska & Paper towns

I feel kind of mean clumping these two books together, but they were pretty similar and I read them close to each other (time wise). Similar, in the sense that they were good in the same ways.  Not as good as The fault in our stars, but then, few books are.

Let’s start with the plot, which is pretty much the same in both books: Shy, smart and skinny teenage boy (perhaps inspired by John Green himself?) meets confident, brave, curvy girl with swaying mood and a secret. He falls in love. She is friendly and kind of flirty, brings boy along for one incredible prank, and then she disappears. Teenage boy sets out on search for her. (not to spoil anything, but going looking just might be an allegory), backed up by his epic friends.
I swear I didn’t make that sound boring on purpose – it is a fairly good plot. The real greatness, however, is in the details; John Green has a lovely way of writing. Not only do the words flow simply and without effort. He paints vivid images in my head that really create that sense of “presence”. Some things – such as the way parents usually act  – are easily relatable, no matter how they are described. Other things are far from my reality, but they become close and perfectly understandable. It takes some skill, to move little me to an alligator pitch in Florida next to my crush, trying to break into Sea World. He makes me feel like I’m part of the John Green universe, which is just like this one only slightly more fantastic.
The characters too are kind of like real people, only slightly better, with more good ideas and pranks in store than anyone I know. Or maybe I do know people who plan escapades as wonderful as the ones Alaska and Margo and Colonel plans, they just won’t tell me….