February 13, 2012

An Abundance of Katherines

I'm so glad for this year's TBR Double Dare.  I'm definitely getting books off of my pile that I don't know when I'd have gotten to otherwise.  I actually started another book before this one.  It was a well-recommended mystery novel from one of those respected mystery novelists who write many books in a series about an interesting detective in an interesting place.  I tried.  I really did.  But I was nearly a fourth of the way into it and I just did not care.  I may go back to it someday, but it really wasn't doing it for me.  So in desperation, I went looking for something I knew would be lighter and more fun.

Nerdfighter John Green to the rescue!  This is definitely light.  It tries a little too hard at times and there are things that got a bit annoying, but overall it was a welcome relief from the ponderous abandoned murder mystery.

I first came across John Green through the Vlogbrothers Youtube channel he does with his brother Hank.  Hank wrote a song about Harry Potter back when the last book was coming out and it went viral on Youtube. Then many of us who love books, nerds, and brothers went back and watched these videos.  At some point in the recent past they had both gotten video cameras as a Christmas present and had started sending these videos back and forth.  But since they are so smart and  funny  it became more of a thing and it's popularity exploded.  It was also around the time I was deciding to switch from straight teaching to becoming a school librarian.  Since I was open to becoming a librarian at any school K-12, I thought I should catch up on some YA books and got the first three John Green novels but up to now had only read his first, Waiting for Alaska.

In this one we realize that John Green's main characters are going to be very similar people with different various obsessions looking for excuses to show of their random stores of knowledge.  Much like John Green himself.  We also realize that the main characters are always going to be obsessed with girls.  Especially beautiful unattainable girls.  And if the girls are in any way attained, it will usually not be in any believable way.  But there will be lots of humor and some thoughtful insight and interesting situations along the way.  So they're basically Woody Allen movies for the YA crowd.  Except they are books rather than movies, of course; at least for the moment.

I have one more John Green on my TBR pile and he just had a new one come out that is getting rave reviews.  So it'll be nice to read those and watch a writer mature before our eyes.  And if that doesn't appeal to you, then you can just follow he and his brother on Youtube where he does things like talk really fast about The Great Gatsby.