Years ago when writing my thesis my favourite procrastination tool was blogging. I always thought I couldn’t write book reviews, but after reading Shannon Hale and John Green’s thoughts on reviewing books, I gave it a go.

First, I came up with some rules for reviewing:

  1. Frantically try to remember the names of characters. It helps if you have the book on hand. If the library threatened you with a debt collector because you still haven’t returned the book, or some annoying pup chewed it up – this can be problematic.
  2. Write “I loved [insert title of book].” Alternatively try “This book captivated me” for a bit of variety.
  3. Because you’re writing this online, highlight “loved/captivated/etc” and go to thesaurus to find a word with more syllables. Writing online fixes your sp. mistakes (very unproffesional) basically the computer writes for you.
  4. Add lots of spoilers: the best bits of books are always at the end.

I tried out my rules on Paper Towns by John Green.

Paper Towns by John Green

When Paper Towns came out in Australia in 2009 I saw the HarperCollins cover designed by Louise McGeachie (above) and had to read it (I always judge a book by its cover). John Green was one of my fav writers back then, and my current memory is Paper Towns was spectacular. At the time, my blog tells me I didn’t like it.

This was my mini-review:

Unfortunately I couldn’t remember Mr Protag’s name. (The library wanted the book back.)

It was first person (I think!?) so that didn’t help, but I’m pretty sure his name was something weird. I do remember Margo Roth Spiegelman (sp. might not be right).

And I remember their all night adventure – a fiendishly funny way to start a book and not part of my dislike. It was months after reading Paper Towns that I realized me thinking

Her strings will not break.
Her strings will not break.
Her strings will not break.

most of the way through the book is not conducive to a good reading experience. That was when I decided to re-read Paper Towns again sometime, when my strings weren’t so close to breaking.

Back to present day:

I like to think my book review skills have improved since then, but I still haven’t re-read Paper Towns, even after buying a copy last year when the movie came out. I also planned to see the movie, but that didn’t happen either.

IMHO Louise McGeachie’s cover is still the best design of Paper Towns with its multitude of incarnations. That font! That curtain of hair! The map that almost looks like a tattoo on her arm.