Since beginning my new WIP with a teenage male main character, I took the advice of a trusted writing friend and picked up Paper Towns by John Green for some killer first person writing. With what else, but a teenage male main character. Awesome book. Yes, Jamie you were spot on with this recommendation, thank you! I've heard the name John Green on twitter, review blogs, etc. but I'd never read any of his work. After picking up Paper Towns I can safely say I plan on getting my hands on the rest of his books, because it was that good.
Green's story of Quentin, a seventeen-year-old who has a less than predictable end to his senior year, kept me on the edge of the seat, but not in the high action fantasy sort of way I'm used to. It was so completely believable I had to remind myself it was a novel and not a memoir. The fact that one of the key words on Amazon for this book is 'beer swords' tells you there is a healthy dose of humor in place. I kept thinking "oh, so this is how teenage boys talk," or "eww, do they really act this way?" Green captures so much of what high school is and does it brilliantly considering he allows us a glimpse into a diverse cast of high school stereotypes, like the band geek, the popular bitchy girl, the jock, and more. I highly recommend Paper Towns for a read that has no bells and whistles, it's just a really great story with characters you want to hang out with and laugh with, and even slap around once or twice.
For more fun info about Paper Towns and John Green's other books visit his site here.
I'd heard a lot about The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan so I decided to pick that up at the bookstore as well. As you can guess this too has a teenage male MC. (more research) Oh, Nick! While it's not written in first person, Ms. Rees Brennan had no problem snatching me up and carrying me away into Nick's mind. I thought I had him figured out with his dark emotionless behavior. But, how very wrong I turned out to be. And that's just one of the reasons I loved The Demon's Lexicon. Sarah's ability to tell a story that twisted and turned me upside down at the last minute. As I've mentioned before, I am very difficult person to trick when it comes to movies and books, but she got me. And, good. Of course I won't say any more on that aspect since I refuse to give the least bit of information away.
I'm a huge fan of Young Adult Urban Fantasy so I had high expectations of the Demon's Lexicon, especially with that beautiful creature on the cover, and in no way was I disappointed. There is so much I can say about this story, the wicked and dark world, the characters who you know and trust only to discover they too have secrets, ultimately though you just plain need to read this book if you're a fan of any kind of fantasy. And better yet, it's the first in a trilogy. Be still my heart. There is nothing sweeter than a kick ass series.
To read more about The Demon's Lexicon and Sarah Rees Brennan herself click here.