Monday, November 23, 2009

Top 60 Novels of 2000-2009 Countdown No. 38

Looking for Alaska/Paper Towns by John Green

I listened to both these books over the summer as I was taking a Young Adult resources class for my library science degree. Green has a wonderful voice, and he captures the lives of smart teen guys who crush on unattainable or wholly wacky women. I had one of those crushes. I thought Paper Towns was more accomplished than Alaska, but both were hilarious, particularly the Major in Alaska and the "honeybunny" kid in Paper Towns. I am familiar with the part of Orlando where Towns is set, and Green demonstrates the ability to depict a landscape in a way that brought back many memories for me. His sense of place is strong: After listening to Alaska, I drove to the area south of Birmingham where the novel is set; because it was summer, the boarding school was open to people driving through. I recognized many sites at the private school from my memory of Alaska. Plus, Paper Towns as a great road trip, and I love road trips in novels. 

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