An Abundance of Katherines and Paper Towns by John Green
Reviews by Lauren
Source: personal copies, but all opinions are my own
Inspired by Aylee at Recovering Potter Addict, who did a Great John Green Read of 2014, I decided to finally read the last two books I had yet to read by this author. Both were quick, wonderful books that are signature John Green. Paper Towns is actually going to be the next Green book headed to the screen.
For those that haven’t read these books, however, I will share a bit more of the summaries and my thoughts. Katherines is about a former child prodigy named Colin who has dated nineteen Katherines. After his last breakup, his best friend Hassan, decided that they need to take a road trip and get away for awhile. This trip leads them to the house of Lindsey, whose mom employs them for the summer interviewing the older residents of the town for an oral history project. While doing so, Colin tries to get back to his prodigy roots in the hopes of creating a formula about relationships (specifically who will break up with who in a relationship).
John Green creates wonderful characters who often talk above their years, as people have stated. However, I think there are people in the world that sound smarter and can voice their inner thoughts more easily, so this doesn’t bother me. I thought Colin’s adventure was great as it shows the importance of learning to move on and recognizing the past for what it was, especially when people tend to remember things the way they wish.
Now, we reach Paper Towns where Quentin Jacobsen is dragged out in the middle of the night by his crush Margo Roth Spiegelman, where they go on a one night journey of freedom and revenge. The next day, Q thinks things will be different with him and Margo, except she’s missing. Margo is known for disappearing every now and then, even leaving clues behind, but this time, the length of time seems too long. Q goes on the hunt for the clues he’s sure Margo has left behind in the hopes of finding and possibly saving this eclectic girl.
Again, friends are important in John Green books and Q has his best friends Radar and Ben along for the find-Margo ride. They might not always be as invested, but they do care about Q and will ultimately do what they can to help. Both of these books involve road trips of a sort, really good friends, and fascinating girls. There are similarities between these books (and John Green’s other novels) but I do feel like they are all worth reading for their own particular “message.”
Between the two of these, I’m not sure what my favorite book was, though I may lean a bit more toward Paper Towns. In general, I think my favorite Green book is still Looking for Alaska (which was my first book from him).
I have only read The Fault in Our Stars; but I have heard incredible things about all of his books!!
I haven't read these yet but they are still on my TBR. Glad to hear you enjoyed
Looking for Alaska is probably my favorite of his too.
I really do need to pick up another one of his books, I have heard so many good thinks about Looking For Alaska. I think I might start with that one since it was your favorite.
One day I'll have to read on o his books!
I haven't tried any of Green's books, but think I might like one of these. I've heard a lot about the older, scholarly voice his characters have. I think that's good, but maybe he should vary it up. I don't know. I guess I will have to give them a try. I'm glad you enjoyed both!
I haven't read anything by him yet but I have Will Grayson, Will Grayson and TFioS.
I attended a talk by him a few years ago and I loved the things that he had to say about An Abundance of Katherine's (Which is apparently banned a lot in libraries/schools) so I would like to read that one day.
Karen @ For What It's Worth
I've heard good things about both and since I just reviewed his TFITS today, 'I am ready to try another but not a sad one.
I've only read The Fault in Our Stars (which I really liked!) but for some reason haven't been tempted to pick either of these up. Your reviews have definitely convinced me though! Thanks for sharing Lauren, and, as always, BRILLIANT reviews! <3
~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf
I'm not at ALL a fan of Looking for Alaska, but I'm the minority there and I know it. I've read and loved An Abundance of Katherines, however, and Paper Towns is sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read. The Fault in Our Stars and Will Grayson, Will Grayson are still perhaps my favorite Green novels, but I've heard only praise for Paper Towns and am looking forward to getting to it soon.
YAYY LAUREN!! So glad you have now read all of John's books and most importantly, that you actually really enjoyed the experience! I just loved reading your thoughts here and I definitely agree! John has a definitely knack for writing thoughtful characters that are well beyond their years (and I agree with your reasoning as to why this works) as well as really enigmatic female characters that have you wanting to know just as much about them as the male leads do. I really couldn't say which of his books was my favourite, but what I DO know is I'm very much looking forward to his next book, whenever that may be! The movie adaptations in the works, too.