Review: Paper Towns

paper-townsTitle:  Paper Towns

Author:  John Green

Published:  October 16, 2008

# of Pages:  320

ISBN:  978-0525478188

Rating:  4.5/5

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 he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.

Like Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns is full of amazing characters that feel truly alive to the reader.  John Green has a true talent for writing characters that come to life on the page; that feel like just the people you wish you were friends with.  I definitely felt that way about these characters, as I did with those in Looking for Alaska.

Paper Towns also had a great adventure throughout the book, an adventure that I happily participated in along with Quentin and his friends.  I don’t want to give too much away, because this is the kind of book where you really shouldn’t know a lot of the plot details going in, but I’ll just say that there truly are a lot of fun twists and turns in the story.  I am still not sure how I feel about the way the book ultimately turned out, but I’m willing to be unsure about that because of how excellent the rest of the book was.

I’m so glad I stuck with John Green after reading his first two books, and I’m absolutely excited to see what else he does from here on out.

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Review: The Law of Similars

law-of-similarsTitle:  The Law of Similars

Author:  Chris Bohjalian

Published:  March 14, 2000

# of Pages:  336

ISBN:  978-0679771470

My Rating:  3.5/5

From the number one bestselling author of Midwives comes this riveting medical thriller about a lawyer, a homeopath, and a tragic death.  When one of homeopath Carissa Lake’s patients falls into an allergy-induced coma, possibly due to her prescribed remedy, Leland Fowler’s office starts investigating the case.

But Leland is also one of Carissa’s patients, and he is beginning to realize that he has fallen in love with her.  As love and legal obligations collide, Leland comes face-to-face with an ethical dilemma of enormous proportions.  Graceful, intelligent, and suspenseful, The Law of Similars is a powerful examination of the links between hope and hubris, love and deception.

Here’s the thing about The Law of Similars – it’s a good book, it’s interesting and page-turning, and definitely compelling.  However, it is by far my least favorite of anything I’ve read by Bohjalian, which definitely hindered my enjoyment of the book.  Bohjalian is one of those authors that, in general, I love.  I plan on eventually reading everything he’s written because everything I’ve read from him thus far has been fantastic.  But in comparison to the three books by Bohjalian I’ve previously read, The Law of Similars, to me, was a disappointment.

I feel awful saying that because it truly is a good book.  The story did hook me, but just not to the degree that I was expecting.  The premise was compelling, but just not to the degree that I was anticipating.  Notice a pattern here?  I think my expectations were just a bit too high because of my experiences with his other books.  And it’s not that I didn’t like it – I absolutely did – I just didn’t love it, and I wanted to love it.

Here’s the bottom line… I still highly recommend Bohjalian as an author.  And if you’re the type of person who likes to read everything by a favorite author, The Law of Similars is not a waste of time.  By far.  But if you’re planning on experiencing Bohjalian for the first time, I would suggest starting with Midwives or Trans-Sister Radio instead.  In my opinion, those books showcase his talent much better.  This is a good book, but definitely not his best.

I couldn’t find any other reviews of this one, so if you’ve reviewed it, just let me know in the comments and I’ll link to ya!