With the movie Paper Towns coming out in theaters in just a couple days, there seems to be a buzz in the air about John Green once again. Paper Towns, like all Green’s books, holds its own right up there on my bookshelf along with An Abundance of Katherines, The Fault in our Stars, and Looking for Alaska.
The movie is directed by Jake Schreier and is based on the 2009 Teens’ Top Ten winning title by John Green. I love how the story is cleverly declared as an American comedy-drama mystery film. That seems to sum it all up right? Paper Towns features the adorable Quentin Jacobsen who has loved his gal-pal neighbor Margo Roth Spiegelman since they were young. One night entices Quentin to go out on the town and play a bunch of revenge pranks on her cheating boyfriend. The night is a whirlwind of fun and outrageous pranks that brings the two closer than ever. Then Margo suddenly decides to disappear without a trace. What I love about Quentin is that he never gives up on Margo and that is so darn romantic. After Margo turns up missing Quentin soon unravels the pieces of the puzzle (literally) that she has left in her wake. Paper Towns comes out Friday, July 24, so don’t miss this coming-of-age story that you know you won’t want to end!
Here are five books that satisfy your taste for the young and the restless until the Paper Towns movie comes out.
- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults) – Cath struggles to survive on her own in her first year of college while avoiding a surly roommate, bonding with a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words, and worrying about her fragile father.
- Looking for Alaska by John Green (2006 Printz Award winner) – Miles’ first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School includes making good friends and playing great pranks. A sudden fatality shakes Miles to the core and he contemplates what life and death are all about and how to carry on after you lose that one person that lights up your life.
- The Spectacular Now by Tim Thorp – In the last months of high school, Sutter Keely stays drunk or high most of the time, but that could change when he forms a friendship with his classmate Aimee.
- Struck by Lightning by Chris Colfer – Carson Phillips decides to create a literary magazine to bolster his college application, which means he needs submissions. Carson resorts to blackmailing his classmates and he doesn’t realize how his actions will be the cause and effect of his plans for the future.
- Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (2008 Best Books for Young Adults) – Clay Jenkins finds a mysterious box with his name on it filled with 13 cassette tapes recorded by Hannah a classmate who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Clay must listen to the tapes and follow the clues that Hannah leaves to find out the mystery of her suicide.
OK, it’s time for a little make believe. I’d ask you to close your eyes, but I know that will make reading the rest of this fairly difficult. Imagine it’s Christmas morning and you just noticed that your stocking is filled to the brim with goodies. Upon closer inspection, you notice that it’s not just any random gift. Santa has stuffed your stocking with books upon books. It truly is a merry Christmas.
Everyone makes their own personal Santa. One Santa would only ever bring candy and never socks. Another Santa would leave the sweets at home and fill up the stocking with silly little knick knacks. In my imagination, Santa stuffs as many books as possible in my stocking. The question is, how well does Santa know your personal reading tastes? Below are several of our favorite holiday characters. Let’s see what books Santa stuffed in their stockings.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – Rudolph’s story is a familiar one. I mean, the basics of his life are squeezed into a song. Aside from the magical ability to fly and his glowing nose, Rudolph’s story is about trying to fit in when others make you feel like an outcast. This is a common theme in many teen books. Rudolph would definitely enjoy science fiction stories that include other characters with powers. For example, I guarantee there were several “X-Men” graphic novels. Who wouldn’t want to relate their issues with the issues of superheroes? In addition to the “X-Men” graphic novels, I bet Santa would throw in the “Maximum Ride” series by James Patterson, starting with The Angle Experiment. Similarly to the X-Men, Patterson’s books are about kids with powers that would normally exclude them. Instead, these powers bring the kids together. Who could forget about Harry Potter? Harry Potter spends his whole life up to the age of ten thinking that he wasn’t as good as the other kids. Then he discovers in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling that he is actually more special than his rude family. Also, just like Rudolph and his reindeer friends, Harry gets to do the same things as the other wizards, but still must deal with being treated different. Rudolph’s nose will always glow and Harry’s scar will always remind people that he was not killed by He Who Must Not Be Named. Of course, let’s not forget the parallels between Rudolph’s relationship to Santa and Harry’s relationship with Dumbledore. The similarities are definitely there. Obviously, Rudolph will have quite a few books to read in the time before next Christmas. Continue reading What Would They Read?: Holiday Edition
Those of you familiar with the lives of the employees of the Pawnee Parks Department know how they feel about the Pawnee Public Library. The presence of Ron Swanson’s crazy ex wife, Tammy, doesn’t help to mend the fences between these two village departments. However, I would like to believe that this rivalry between the parks Department and the library would in no way hinder Leslie Knope and staff in their love of reading. I mean, obviously they would probably have to get their books through Amazon or a bookstore so as not to encounter Tammy. Let’s see what books the Parks Department would read!
Leslie Knope – Leslie is a very powerful woman who strives at excellence in everything she does. When I think about Leslie, I immediately think of Frankie Landau-Banks. In 2009 Printz Honor book The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart, Frankie orchestrates a mission to infiltrate The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, an all-male secret society on her school campus, of which her boyfriend is a member. Of course, being a member is not enough for Frankie’s ambition. Instead, she starts to design school pranks and directs the Bassets in carrying them out. Frankie is definitely a teen Leslie would be proud of if she were a citizen of Pawnee. Another title that I would set aside for Leslie is Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer. Bauer’s story includes a mayoral race in a small town. When Hope moves to the small Wisconsin town from a fairly big city, she does not expect to get caught up in the situations of her new home. However, when the owner of the diner she works at decides to run for mayor against a corrupt politician, Hope jumps into local politics with both feet. Bauer’s book combines two of Leslie’s loves: politics and diners. Continue reading What Would They Read?: Parks and Recreation