This is the first John Green book I've ever read -- my thanks to Hannah for her review of this on her blog, Reading in the Dark! She made it sound very interesting, and so I picked it up from the library. And I'm glad I did! Green has a definite talent for capturing the way teen life works, at least from what I remember. I never went to a public high school, so my experiences were not exactly like those portrayed here. However, much of what his characters think and feel definitely strikes me as very much how I used to think and feel.
So the story revolves around a kid named Quentin, who has had a crush on the girl next door since they were toddlers. She's popular and inscrutable, while he hangs out with band geeks and wears his heart on his sleeve. And yet, she chooses him to go on a wild night of righting various wrongs within their high school sphere. And then she disappears, just a few weeks before they were supposed to graduate.
Quentin enlists his friends to help him figure out why she left, where she went, and whether or not she's even still alive, and that makes up the bulk of the story.
If this was a movie, I would cast a slightly younger Nicholas Hoult as Quentin, and someone like Julia Stiles to play Margo, the girl who disappears. That's who I envisioned while I was reading this, anyway.
As far as YA fiction goes, this is remarkably hopeful. No horrible fates crashing down on people as adulthood looms, no dystopian world full of menace, no dreadful consequences for doing things like driving all night long while hopped up on energy drinks or breaking into amusement parks. By the end, I did wish there had been a few more consequences for people's actions, but I also love characters being happy and not in trouble, so this didn't hinder my liking of the book any.
Particularly Good Bits:
It is easy to forget how full the world is of people, full to bursting, and each of them imaginable and consistently misimagined (p. 257).
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: a hard PG-13 for discussions of minors having sex, drinking alcohol, and engaging in reckless activities.
This is my 15th book read and reviewed for the I Love Library Books challenge!