John Green and I don't generally get along, although An Abundance of Katherines is my 7th grader's 6th favorite book. I had high hopes for Paper Towns, since everyone else loved it. My conclusion-- this is more of a high school book, and that's why I was not excited about it.
On the eve of his high school graduation, Quentin (rather geeky, with geeky friends) is approached by Margo, his neighbor for whom he has long pined, who wants him to drive her around town on a mission of revenge. Her boyfriend had a relationship with her best friend, and other friends didn't tell her, so all of them deserve fish in their cars/closets, and some spray paint. After this night, Margo disappears, and leaves clues for Quentin to follow to find her.
I didn't like Margo. She is immature, vindictive, and callous to the feelings of those who care for her. I didn't like Quentin for liking her. Her spree and resultant running away seemed like a poor way to deal with the issues in her life. I am in the minority here. For sparkling reviews, read:
Hip Librarians Book Blog
Fyre Fly Books
Bookshelves of Doom
Felt similarly about Michael Grant's Gone, which was donated by my principal when he realized that post apocalyptic tales are not to his liking. My 9th grader liked this one.
During class, all of the adults in the school disappear. When students leave the school to find out what has happened, they find that not only everyone over the age of 15 is gone, but there is a force field surrounding the area that will let no one out, as well as mutating animals and children who are manifesting strange powers. Students from a local school for troubled children arrive in town and try to rule, creating tension among the town children, who are trying their best to care for the smaller children, keep people fed, and perform other adult tasks. There is a lot of action in this book, and there is sure to be a sequel, but half way through I just no longer cared. Again, in the minority. People who loved it include:
Teen Book Review
YA New York
The YA YA YAs
From the library shelves, I did polish off Wister's The Virginian, which was on the best seller list for over a year... in 1902. It had some charming stories in it, and I can see why it was popular, but I can't envision students today enjoying it much. Also looked at Rosemary Well's The Man in the Woods (1984), and it is moving to a better home. Badly waterstained, dusty, bad 1980s cover, and hasn't left the shelf in eight years.