By John Green
Don’t be fooled by the fact that our protagonist is in high school. This is not a YA book.
Instead, it is a wonderfully written examination of human goals, perceptions (both of self and others), ideas, and connections.
It is a coming of age story, a hero’s quest story, a road trip adventure story, and a story about life. With universal themes, witty dialogue, complex and yet toally believable characters, and an ending that is pitch perfect, this is a modern classic.
I cannot say enough good things, but I want to say something specific about the characters.
We have a host of high school troupes. We have the friendship dynamic, the boyfriend girlfriend dynamic, and we have the unrequited love dynamic. We have characters who fall under the LGBT umbrella who are fully accepted. Every single character is written in a realistic compelling way. These are people we know and people we wish we knew. The dialogue is so real (and at ties hilarious) that it is hard to believe that this is a book.
The plot is well paced with the story having clear acts that shift in tone and purpose but work together almost seamlessly. Incorporating literary classics like Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” as well as pay pop culture homage and use modern day tech (the internet plays a significant role) in a totally plausible way, the story manages to still be timeless.
I highly recommend this very quick read to anyone who has felt lost, anyone who has wanted to peer behind the sets of their own lives, anyone who has hidden behind a public mask.