Independent Reading Book Reviews

 

Emma:

      Emma, by Jane Austen is a classic story about a young high society woman living in the 1800s just north of London. It revolves around her endeavors to find a new friend after her confidant, and governess, Miss Taylor marries and becomes Mrs. Weston and moves out. The protagonist, Emma Woodhouse chooses a young woman named Harriet Smith. She introduces her into her high society circle and attempts to alleviate her as much as possible in terms of social standings even though some of her friends say it is a bad idea. Things get tense when Emma attempts to meddle in Harriet's love life and makes a mess of things. When the handsome son of her close friend Mr. Weston comes to town things get even more complicated and for the first time Emma is unsure about her feelings. Eventually all of her mistakes catch up with her and she is forced to face them.

      At the beginning I was opposed this book because I severely disliked the main character. I found Emma to be too influenced by the class system and was perturbed by how well she thought of herself in comparison to others. When proposed to by Mr. Elton one of her biggest internal thoughts was that “he must know that the Woodhouses had been settled for several generations at Hartfield, the younger branch of a very ancient family-and that the Eltons were nobody.” This made it really hard to read the book because I did not want to read about such a pretentious person who could comfortably think so well of herself and think of some else as a nobody. Also when considering matchmaking she considered it “the greatest amusement in the world.” This was an idea she maintained for most of the book and it was very aggravating to read because she finds meddling entertaining and does not realize how her meddling is hurting people and greatly affecting their lives. This made it very hard to read especially as she continued to make mistakes and hurt more and more people.

      As strange as this may be although I spent the first half of the book greatly disliking Emma and not really caring what happened to her by the second half I could not be more interested and invested in the character. The change is almost instantaneous. All of a sudden you start to see Emma in a new light and start to really like her. It happened for me right after Emma accidentally let slip a cruel insult to an old acquaintance in front of all of their friends. This is because right after that Emma felt terrible about it and was very upset and embarrassed when Mr. Knightley brought it up. For the first time I could really relate to Emma which automatically made my interest in her increase. Everyone can empathize with Emma when she thinks that “never has she felt so agitated, mortified, grieved, at any circumstance in her life...as she reflected more, she seemed to feel it more.” Almost everyone has felt super embarrassed at some point and replayed an event over and over again in their head. This new side of Emma was so relatable, so true to actual embarrassing memories that we still try to repress and held so much compunction for what she had done you could not help reversing your feelings for her.

      I highly recommend reading this book because although it is angering at first it later on becomes an amazing book that will captivate and thrill you. Although it can appear dull compared to books with fights and danger if you focus on each sentence and phrase it ends up being more exciting than you would think. It is also written so extremely well especially the part where Emma feels remorse for the mean thing she has said to her old acquaintance. It so perfectly captures the feeling you get when you say something mean and regret it and makes you go from hating her to liking her almost instantaneously. The skill of the writer is so great in capturing that feeling that it brings back those feelings to the reader because most people have one moment that every time they think of they feel mortified about and incredibly embarrassed no matter how much time has passed. Jane Austen brings back this feeling like no one else. Even if you dislike it at first it is definitely worth sticking with it because it may just surprise you and you may just end up wanting to know what happens to her and how or if she comes back from her mistakes.

                                                                                                                                                         -I.W.

 

 

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:

      Arthur Dent was a normal man living in a normal house in a little town in England on planet Earth. All he wanted in life was to stop Mr. Prosser of the town council from demolishing his house to build a highway, and it seems Arthur will go at lengths to do so. But little did he know that his whole world was about to turn upside-down. More specifically, his world, Earth, was to be destroyed to build an intergalactic highway bypass. Arthur, with the help of his friend Ford Prefect, manage to hitchhike their way onto the ships that initiate the destruction, thus saving themselves. However, the rest of the planet is completely annihilated. Arthur learns that his friend Ford, who is actually an alien known as a Betelgeuse, is a hitchhiker who travels the galaxy doing field research for the ultimate traveling book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The book’s motto? “Don’t panic”. Whether it’s Vogon poetry or the best place to get an alcoholic beverage in the galaxies, this book has you covered. And Arthur needs it. Now that Earth has been destroyed, Arthur is forced to learn to live in this new way. Arthur follows Ford on adventures through the galaxy, meeting all different species and cultures, flying on a ship that travels through dimensions to find the most improbable improbabilities, and learning more about his planet Earth than he had ever expected.

      I enjoyed reading this book because it used lots of irony and humor. This science fiction book was short, but it captured my interest immediately, first with its’ abrupt destruction of the planet Earth, and then with its’ weird and quirky characters, including Marvin the depressed robot, Zaphod Beeblebrox, the eccentric Galactic President, and Trillian, the mysterious Earth woman who is the only other survivor of the obliteration. The book seems to make fun of it’s own characters by putting their problems in perspective and by making them seem more ridiculous in doing so. In a satirical manner, it asks big questions about the meaning of life and where we came from in bizarre ways. It disrupts your views with weird conspiracy theories and random insight from The Hitchhiker's Guide itself. Though its’ dystopian ideas are at least a little far-fetched, they are fun in a fantastical sort of way and make for an interesting read. This book also has a lots of deeper ideas and analogies, so it is a book that you can read at different ages and get different ideas out of.

      The hardest parts of reading this book were the transitions between perspectives of characters because sometimes you would not expect the story to be switched. A few times the story is just quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide, which can also catch you off guard. It also switched a couple of times to the perspective of a character you hadn’t met yet. Sometimes these switches in perspective were confusing, but it always ended up coming together to explain itself. I also thought that this book was a little hard to follow in the rhythm that it was written in, but as I read it became easier and easier to follow.

      Overall, I thought that this book was a great quick read and it was a really fun Independent Reading Book. It was a book that people had recommended to me for a long time, and it lived up to my expectations. It definitely gives you a bit more perspective, or at least something to think about next time you are looking up at the stars, or wondering about the meaning of life.

                                                                                                                                                            -KGW

 

 

Love Letters to the Dead:

      May, the ebullient and protective older sister of Laurel, died in her sophomore year of high school. Right in front of Laurel’s eyes. Two years later, Laurel enters high school (decidedly choosing to attend the high school in her aunt’s district rather than the one May attended) and forces herself to become someone new. Someone brave, daring, brilliant in her essence, and beautiful. Someone like May. Laurel experiences true friendship, true love, and the process of developing into oneself as she moves through the heart-wrenching stages of grief (including the ever-restraining guilt).

      The protagonist falls in love, has a relationship that most people would be envious of, and loses it, a rare finding among many books. The protagonist also loses her mother, who moves to a California ranch soon after the incident, leaving the teenager grappling for a foothold in the oceans of sorrow and blame that are constantly inflicted upon her. Laurel, that protagonist who doesn’t have a merry life at all, continues to blame herself for her sister’s death, her mother’s avoidance, her father’s self-inflicted isolation (his schedule consists of: construction work, lounging in the living room watching baseball, and sleeping in his bedroom), and every broken relationship she encounters.

      In this famous YA novel, Ava Dellaira perfectly portrayed multiple ideas, but it was really how she described success and motivation, through her character Laurel, who began writing letters to the dead after assigned to write a single letter to a dead person, her first English assignment. Laurel refuses to turn in the single letter, instead continuing the assignment on her own as she writes of her experiences, a method of spilling her thoughts onto paper. Laurel contemplates how "a lot of people want to be someone, but we are scared that if we try, we won't be as good as everyone imagines we could be," (142). I must admit that I disliked, but slightly admired, the switch of the idealization of love that Tristan, one of Laurel’s close friends, spoke of. Tristan, who had been dating Kristen for his whole high school career, told Laurel that “when we are in love, we are both completely in danger and completely saved” (151), but later decided that “no one else can save you, not really. Not from yourself,” (227) because the ‘wolf’ we try to run from is the very wolf that hides within us. However, I found that the main point, or person, who made the book most lovable was Kurt Cobain and his band Nirvana. Laurel loved Kurt and his band ever since May put on “Heart-Shaped Box” from the album In Utero and introduced her to the soulful, diverse music world. It’s later in the book that Laurel acknowledges Nirvana, instead of just Kurt Cobain, and discovers that “Nirvana means freedom. Freedom from suffering,” but her anger quickly surfaces as she realizes that “some people would say death is just that [freedom],” and she despises the fact that “the rest of us are still here, grappling with all that’s been torn up” (190).  It was the imperfections of the protagonist, Laurel, and the actions she took to elude her grief, guilt, and anger (towards her sister) that made this book truly memorable and I know that I will reread this amazing novel sometime soon.

      I recommend “Love Letters to the Dead” because it paints a realistic picture of the grief people experience after a loved one has passed (especially the overwhelming grief and over-analyzation that comes with it). The protagonist writes these countless letters to deal with the overwhelming memories and experience of losing her idol, pouring out her soul on the sheets of notebook paper.

If nothing else, one could simply fall for the brilliant metaphors, poems, quotes [from famous artists], and sentences interspersed among this astonishing novel. You’ll want to keep a thick stack of sticky notes (or a pen/pencil if you annotate in the book) at hand because the amount of beautiful quotes and paragraphs from this book is astoundingly large.

      “Love Letters to the Dead” is definitely worth reading and I recommend this, especially, to anyone who still maintains the ‘The world is perfect and kind and no pain will ever be inflicted to me’ mindset because this book will change that perspective.

 

                                                                                                                                                      -SK

 

Ender’s Game:

      Ender Wiggin is the third child in his family. His oldest sibling is his brother Peter, he hates Ender and often beats him up vigorously and violently.  His sister, Valentine, is as sweet as can be. Ender and her get along very well together. Each of these children were born with a purpose, to be bred to fight against the buggers. The buggers are an alien race that wants to eliminate the human population. In the early years of Peter’s life, a monitor was planted into his brain. This monitor was designed to observe his every move, his every decision and report his thought making process back to the government, who decides if he was worthy of being shipped off to battle school. Peter ended up being far too aggressive to be considered a good fit for battle school. This was why Valentine was born, she was meant to be a nicer version of Peter who would be a better fit at battle school. It just so happens that Valentine was considered too nice and too sweet to be a successful commander. Finally Ender was born as the third child, and a last hope. He was a perfect mix of Peter’s aggression and Valentine’s kindness and compassion.  He was sent off to battle school and forced to leave his family. However, he only really cared about leaving Valentine, because their relationship meant the world to him. Ender thrived at battle school, he quickly moved up the ranks and impressed teacher after teacher. He missed Valentine constantly and he almost never got to see her because battle school was located in outer space. Ender goes on to become a well respected commander, and he must continue working hard to prepare to fight against the buggers. He ends up being tricked into doing things that wouldn’t even seem imaginable, and it is these actions that changed the course of human history in the universe forever.

      I loved how Ender’s Game pulls the reader in on an emotional level. Orson Scott Card does an excellent job of making the reader feel empathy for Ender, I found myself not being able to put the book down most of the time because of how engaging Ender’s life was. He had to overcome so many unfair obstacles and so many personal details are shared that the reader is forced to develop a very personal connection with him as the main character. I also enjoyed tremendously the plot that Orson Scott Card drew up. Although it seems like a very basic “futuristic alien invasion” fantasy novel, he was able to make it so interesting and new and that really impressed me. Humanistic qualities enveloped as themes throughout this book as the reader got to get a close look at multiple people's decision making skills, especially under dire circumstances.

      I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys science fiction novels. Ender’s Game is an intense, high paced book that Orson Scott Card manages to stretch into ecstatic bursts of excitement, followed by connection development that gets the reader deeply involved in the text. This was an extremely hard book to put down, and I find myself just daydreaming about all of the conflicts and decisions that were made by its many characters. Through the eyes of Ender Wiggin, Orson Scott Card pulls off giving the reader their own experience at battle school. Ender’s Game is an extremely unique book and I have never read anything like it. I definitely recommend this book to anyone. Even if you think fiction isn’t your kind of genre, I can almost guarantee this book will drag you into its immense and complex plotline.

                                                                                                                                                -ER

 

 

Jazz:

      Geoffrey Ward’s Jazz is a non fiction book pertaining to the history of music in America. This book attempts to capture the distinct culture of jazz in America from the beginning to present day. Ward begins this piece with background on slave chants and the early formation of jazz in New Orleans. He continues to capture the lively jazz culture within its roots and moves towards the undefinable progression of jazz. Ward focuses in on many distinguished jazz legends as he walks the reader through history. He spends lengthy amounts of time explaining the lives and musical accomplishments of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Bix Beiderbecke, Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane. Ward also distinctly covers the downfall of many musicians and the tough lives they endured to ensure a balance of music and jazz culture.

      In my opinion, Jazz, is a thoughtfully constructed piece containing interesting and compelling facts. Being a passionate musician myself I really enjoyed discovering many new facts about the lives of these various jazz legends. Jazz history has always fascinated and baffled me because of the drastic amount of metamorphic change that took place in a relatively short period of time. Having a reasonable amount of prior knowledge on this subject, I found some of the sections in the book slightly boring. Another thing to note is that the entire history of jazz is a very long and complex period of time that I think could have been more effectively distributed among two or more books. At times I felt the book struggled to move forward and lacked excitement. Balancing the music facts and the more sociocultural aspects of the jazz era was a necessary part of the book that was in my opinion well executed.

      Overall Geoffrey Ward’s Jazz, is a thoughtful and detailed book that accurately portrays the musical aspects and the cultural aspects of the jazz era. It dives deep into many personal experiences and breaks down the meaning of jazz. The book is quite long and at times feels slow. It spends lengthy amounts of time focusing on the roots of jazz to give the reader a clear understanding and background on the topic, but sometimes can feel boring. The book is also more focused on individual jazz artists rather than broad overviews of the styles of music. If you are into music, especially jazz, this may be the perfect book for you.

                                                                                                                                                              -AP

 

Everything I Never Told You:

      Everything I Never Told You is about a family living in Ohio. The father, James, is Chinese-American, the mother, Marilyn, white, and their children, Lydia, Nathan, and Hannah, biracial. They are the only non-white family in their town, and experience the effects of that in their daily lives. However, the racial and cultural problems in their lives really show up when Lydia goes missing and is later found dead. Her death causes James and Marilyn to reevaluate their marriage and relationship with their other two children, who didn’t receive much attention prior Lydia’s death.

      This book is heavy. Each character is dragged down by deep-rooted issues that are largely unknown to other people. Even within the Lees, the parents are completely oblivious to their children’s problems, but the reverse is not exactly true. Of course, every book character has some sort of problem, but the abundance of personal obstacles these characters face is astounding. Even the side characters face incredible dilemmas, and honestly it’s exhausting to read.

      Nath, the oldest son, believes that their neighbor Jack, known virginity thief at their school, is involved in Lydia’s death because of all the time he and Lydia spent together. Nath actually gets in physical fights with Jack about this. However, we then discover that Jack is gay and in love with Nath. In our current day and age, this doesn’t seem to be a big deal, but in 1977 Ohio, where even being Chinese is problematic, Jack’s sexuality is something that will have to stay hidden for a while.

      This is just one example of the hurt and difficulties that each character faces. And while all this sadness gives the novel a lot of beauty and depth, it also makes it unrealistic, which is not the author’s intention.

      Another detail that really infuriated me was how the parents were totally oblivious to their children’s problems. James is too busy wanting his kids to be American, popular, and well liked to notice that Lydia has no friends but Nath. Marilyn is so angry at her mother for trying to mold her into a good wife and homemaker that she doesn’t realize Lydia is miserable. Marilyn has spent Lydia’s entire childhood forcing her to take advanced science courses and trying to get her to become a doctor. However, she is blind to the fact that Lydia is failing her science classes and has been faking her enjoyment of science.

      What I did like about this book was the structure of it. It opens on a seemingly normal family, but quickly falls apart. By the time it reaches the middle, each character’s life is in shambles. But, she does tie it up nicely in the end. Marilyn realizes that she really didn’t know Lydia at all, James ends his brief affair, and they realize how much they neglected their other children. Nath leaves for Harvard, and Hannah, the most ignored of them all, is finally going to have her parents’ full focus, which she richly deserves

                                                                                                                                                                  -EN

 

Think Like a Freak:

      What are the benefits of thinking like an eight-year-old? Can quitting your job really be good for you? How do you persuade people who don’t want to be persuaded? Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner team up again after publishing Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics to teach you how to think more productively and creatively in your day to day life. If you’re lucky, they might even teach you how to think like a freak!                                               

      To put it frankly, I enjoyed this book. The ideas were constantly grabbing at my attention and the stories really pulled me in. Although, I unfortunately haven’t been able to actually use this new information in my day to day life. Even the authors stated “...if you come to this book hoping for the equivalent of a magician spilling his secrets, you may be disappointed”(10). When using some of the information in this novel, be sure that you are using your information at the appropriate time. “You might occasionally say things that make people squirm….Perhaps, for instance, you meet a lovely, conscientious couple with three children, and find yourself blurting out that child seats are a waste of time and money(at least that’s what the crash-test data say)”(10). Luckily, this book had tons of upsides to consider. After I read Think Like a Freak I was able to think about some problems I was faced with in a multitude of ways. “The fact is that solving problems is hard...Furthermore, it takes a lot of time to track down, organize, and analyze the data to answer even one small question well (2).” Often when reading, I would be amazed by the way the authors thought about complex problems like: Why “I don’t know” is so hard to say, Why American kids know less than kids from other countries, and Why moral incentives are so weak, in such a simplistic way. It also amazed me how the authors made facts, which some people might consider to be boring, seem incredibly interesting. An example would be chapter 7: “What do King Solomon and David Lee Roth have in common?...1. Both of them were jewish, 2. They both got a lot of girls, 3. They both wrote the lyrics to a number-one pop song, 4. They both dabbled in game theory (137).” In short, this novel was often hard to put down. It had loads of detail and enough background to make the theories in it seem do-able. Just like Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics, I think this book was a hit!                                                              

      Even though I enjoyed it, this book might not be for you. However if you are interested in psychology or you just like learning about theories and ideas that are somewhat peculiar I suggest giving it a read. And even if you aren’t, you should probably still read it. As far as the dialogue goes, there is little to no profanity in Think Like a Freak so it is “appropriate” for all ages. However, if I were to consider the reading level of this novel, I would say that it is more appropriate for teenagers (probably 15+) because younger readers might not be able to understand what, exactly, the authors are trying to say. At least once while I was reading this book I got lost and did not understand what exactly was happening. Still, I think a little difficulty is worth it in the end. Think Like a Freak is a popular book that is loved by adults, children and everyone in between!          

                                                                                                                                                 -IV

 

Animal Farm:

      Animal Farm, by George Orwell is not a story given away by it’s title. The tale begins on a small farm in which all the animals work day and night for their owner, Mr. Jones. One night, the respected animal pig Old Major, gives a motivational speech about how the source of all the animals problems come from the ill-nature of humans. The animals respond in uproar and zeal, for this was the start of what would be known as the Great Rebellion. In revolt the animals kick out their owner by force. With a new constitution in place the animals now work for themselves. As soon as the humans are driven away for good, life on the farm is peaceful and work could never be more satisfying for the animals. However the competition for power between two pigs begins to blur their idealistic vision for the future of the farm. This story explores the nature of leadership, power, and corruption.

      From my perspective this novel had only one negative aspect to it.  While reading Animal Farm, I noticed a formulaic pattern emerge. For example, a disaster would occur , “The windmill was in ruins…. Do you know the enemy that has come in the night and overthrown our windmill? SNOWBALL!”(Orwell 46). The leader, Napoleon, would repeatedly blame any tragedies on someone or something out of his control, to deflect any responsibility and boost his popularity. This was a very predictable pattern and somewhat dulled my reading experience. Despite this annoyance, this book is quite entertaining. The battle scenes captured amazing images of fighting between humans and animals, “they flung themselves on their tormentors. Jones and his men suddenly found themselves being butted and kicked from all sides.”(Orwell 12) The descriptions of these little battles are unique, in that the animals work together and defeat the humans. The animals drive the humans away because of the human’s greed and corruptibility. Throughout the book the pigs slowly start to take more and more privileges away from the laboring animals, “Once again all rations were being reduced except for those of the pigs and dogs.”(Orwell 72). It was sadly ironic that the laboring animals were still being mistreated by their so-called “elected leader.” The shift in leadership roles was interesting to see progress and evolve as different characters interacted and dealt with the changes that affected their everyday life.

      Animal Farm is a great book for anyone interested in the dynamics of civilization and how mistrusted power can easily be taken advantage of. This story can be easily related to the nature of governments throughout history falling into corruption. It can also be understood by anyone regardless of their historical knowledge. For example, in an ideal communist society the goal is for everyone to have complete equality, yet as we’ve seen in countries like Russia, that is not the case. When a government is formed by the people without any checks and balances for the leaders in power it’s plausible for that leader to become corrupt. In this novel we’re given a new perspective on a previously existing hierarchy. Animal Farm allows the reader to understand humane actions through the eyes of animals. In this fun story, an underlying trend can be directly connected with policies of established governments in today's world. Even if the reader does not make those connections, the plot serves as an intriguing series of events played out on a little farm. If interested in politics, you will find your head buried in this book until the day you finish it.

 

                                                                                                                                                -EtG

 

The Hunt for Red October:

The Hunt for Red October is a novel written by Tom Clancy. The story follows a man named Captain Marko Ramius. Marko Ramius is a Soviet submarine captain, in command of the revolutionary USSR sub, the Red October. When his wife failed to receive medical attention, resulting in her death due to a drunken doctor, he realized the Soviet communist system is broken. This motivates him and his top officials to defect from the Soviet army and take the Red October with them to the United States. He then kills the Soviet political officer on board and informs his crew that they will be going on a top secret training exercise to New York and that they need absolute radio silence. He then sends a letter to the Soviet Navy, informing them of him and his officials deserting the Navy. In return, the Soviets initiate a hunt for the submarine, trying to prevent it from leaving. The Americans become alarmed by all the activity in the Atlantic and are informed by the Soviet ambassador that it is a rescue mission. On the other side of the story, A man named Jack Ryan from Britain informs the American president of Red October and its advanced capabilities. Red October is a very powerful nuclear weapon and could be catastrophic is in the wrong hands. Read the rest of the book to find out who wins the race for Red October; the Unites States or The USSR!

Overall, The Hunt for Red October is an okay book. I like that it is advanced but also pretty easy to follow. I also like how Clancy switched rapidly between characters and settings, From city to city and vessel to vessel, each time with more and more significance. He portrays the reality of being on a sub well, liked the cramped rooms and expanse of metal. He did his research too, like knowing the effects of having a propellor going at high speeds in the water causes noise, vibration and decay of the screws, all things sub pilots hate. Noise and vibration is bad because enemy subs can pick up vibrations to track the subs. That is why the Red October is so revolutionary. It does not make sound and therefore can’t be tracked. That topic alone is very interesting. Also, it is a very cool plot as it is basically a big game of chase between the U.S. and USSR. The dual protagonists is also a very nice touch and is something you do not see in a lot of books similar to this. The problem with this book in my opinion is that the writing quality isn’t great and wasn’t overly stressful like a thriller should be. the plot was interesting at some points but also extremely hard to get through at points because it is so boring. I may have a better experience if I was more into the Cold War, but for someone who doesn’t know much about war, parts of the book were extremely dull. To me this book has a great plot but could’ve been written better.

I would recommend this book to people who are generally into the Cold War. The problem is that for being such a long book, it is not gripping enough. Although, this book was extremely popular and that means that you may end up reading it and love it. This book has a very intriguing plot and would be great for some people who want a good thriller type book. Be aware before you read this book that it is a long book and you have to be committed to reading it. For me, at least, I am not too into it. If you like thrillers, this is the book for you!

 

                                                                                                                                          -CW

 

Paper Towns:

The book Paper Towns by John Green takes place in a neighborhood in Orlando, Florida. Quentin Jacobsen, the narrator and main character of the book, has had a big crush on Margo Roth Spiegelman for a long time, but they never really talked after elementary school until one night, when Margo shows up at Quentin’s window. They spend the whole night getting revenge on people that mostly Margo didn’t like like her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friends. It was the first time they actually spent time with each other ever since Margo and Quentin saw a dead man who had committed suicide at the playground. The next day, Margo mysteriously disappears, but no one really pays attention to it at first since she has run away multiple times before. After a couple days though, people start becoming worried about her, especially Quentin. All throughout the book, Quentin and his friends Ben, Lacey, and Radar (Marcus) find clues that Margo has left behind for them to help find her.

What I like about Paper Towns is that it has the perfect amount of humour in it. Ben, one of Quentin’s best friends, was especially witty and comical which kept the book exciting and fun to read. Also, I like how poetic and expressive John Green’s writing style is. A perfect example of this writing style is when Quentin reflects on what fear actually is and he thinks, “this is the fear that made fish crawl out onto dry land and evolve lungs, the fear that teaches us to run, the fear that makes us bury our dead”(140). Another thing that I found interesting while reading was how strategic John Green was with Margo’s clues. This made everything more compelling and engrossing. Lastly, I really like how unique the story is. It doesn’t have the typical, cheesy outline most romance stories have and it actually wasn’t too romantic which I enjoyed because I don’t like most romance novels. Unfortunately, this was a little bit below my reading level and it was pretty easy to read. Also, some parts were a little repetitive and boring, but overall, I thought that this was an excellent book and it is definitely worth reading.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading mysteries. Paper Towns is also written in first person which I find is more interesting to read and it also very humorous. This book made me laugh many times. I also recommend this to anyone who is or has gone to high school or middle school because it has many things that students or former students can relate to such as graduating. There was one part in the book that I could especially relate to and that was when Quentin was leaving his high school for the last time. He wrote about how it was the last time he would eat lunch in the cafeteria and how it would be the last time he would have this class. I haven’t graduated high school yet, but I could relate to this moment to when I graduated middle school and elementary school. So if you like relatable books, read Paper Towns! Lastly, I recommend this book to anyone who has read a book by John Green before and liked it since this book is similar to the other books he wrote. There is also Paper Towns movie if you would like to read the book before watching the movie.

                                                                                                                                       -BB