Two on Tuesday Book Reviews: Paper Towns and Crooked Little Lies

Two on Tuesday

–     A few weeks ago I ran across the book Paper Towns in my Kindle Recommendations and requested a sample. I was reading so many books at the time I did not give it a second glance, saving it for a future date.  I did however, notice that Cara Delevingne was on the cover of the book and that it was about to become a motion picture.  I like to read books before I see film adaptations.  A few days after that initial encounter, I was reading the July Vogue and there was a several page spread on Cara and her transition from injured teen to being a top model.  She is depicted as a big personality that takes her work seriously.  In the interview she discusses how she is ready to begin a new chapter as an actress.  After reading about Cara I was intrigued and began to read the first few chapters. I immediately understood why they would cast her as Margo.  The sample hooked me and I read this book in about three days.

“As long as we don’t die, this is gonna be one hell of a story.”

Book One:  Paper Towns by John Green

Kindle Edition: $3.99                                                Paperback $5.72

Hardcover: $11.16                                                      Audio $14.95

     Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificent Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life—summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. When their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Margo has disappeared. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Embarking on an exhilarating adventure to find her, the closer Q gets, the less he sees the girl he thought he knew.”

–     There is so much to say about this book but I promise I will keep it short and let you explore on your own.  Right from the beginning this book is unusual, then it turns a bit fun as the reader gets to know Margo and Quentin in a very adventurous way. You can see that Quentin also known as “Q” is absolutely awestruck when it comes to Margo, so much that he is willing to risk his future.   The second part of the book is focused on solving the mystery that is Margo.  At times there were moments I just had to stop and think.  The words on the page just jumping at me.  Was she alive?  Why did she leave? Does Q have any idea who or what he is dealing with?

Here are a few of those moments: 

You know your problem, Quentin? You keep expecting people not to be themselves. I mean, I could hate you for being massively unpunctual and for never being interested in anything other than Margo Roth Spiegelman, and for, like, never asking me about how it’s going with my girlfriend – but I don’t give a shit, man, because you’re you. My parents have a shit ton of black Santas, but that’s okay. They’re them. I’m too obsessed with a reference website to answer my phone sometimes when my friends call, or my girlfriend. That’s okay, too. That’s me. You like me anyway. And I like you. You’re funny, and you’re smart, and you may show up late, but you always show up eventually.”

“I’m starting to realize that people lack good mirrors. It’s so hard for anyone to show us how we look, & so hard for us to show anyone how we feel.”
–     There are many more moments that made me pause.  The ending was a bit anti-climatic, but I still would read this book again.  I noticed in the movie trailer they had changed quite a few things from the book, I am so glad I read this first.  I will definitely go see the movie.
Book Two:  Crooked Little Lies by Barbara Taylor Sissel

Kindle: $4.99

Paperback: $7.83

–  I received Crooked Little Lies from Amazon Prime.  Once a month they send out an email offering you one of four books, your choice.  I have found some amazing authors through this feature.  My husband actually became concerned as I read this book, because I would not go to sleep.  I had to know what happened to Bo and what in the world was going on with Lauren and her sister Tara.

On a cool October morning, Lauren Wilder is shaken when she comes close to striking Bo Laughlin with her car as he’s walking along the road’s edge. A young man well known in their small town of Hardys Walk, Texas, Bo seems fine, even if Lauren’s intuition says otherwise. Since the accident two years ago that left her brain in a fragile state, she can’t trust her own instincts—and neither can her family. Then Bo vanishes, and as the search for him ensues, the police question whether she’s responsible. Lauren is terrified, not of what she remembers but of what she doesn’t.Unable to trust herself and unwilling to trust anyone else, Lauren begins her own investigation into the mystery of Bo’s disappearance. But the truth can prove to be as shocking as any lie, and as Lauren exposes each one, from her family, from her friends, she isn’t the only one who will face heart-stopping repercussions.”

–     I love books that take a reader on a mysterious journey.  Lauren was a bit scattered at times but that was the point.  I wouldn’t say this book was fun, but it reaches down and lights a fire inside of you.  You need to know what is going on, you want closure for Annie, Bo’s sister.  The characters are written in a way that they could be people you know and love, they touch you, and you begin to become invested.

“When a terrible thing happened, life just charged at you, running full out, clobbering you, usually from behind. You were down then. You were left sick in your stomach and broken in your heart, trying to pick up your wits, your scattered pieces, and when you looked back, you saw that you didn’t have a clue, not one inkling.”

Paper Towns and Crooked Little Lies are two books that will engage readers and leave a little something behind. Highly recommend both!

–  J

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