Paper Towns, by John Green

paper towns

Grade: A

Doing it at: N/A this is a classy real book, guys

Catnip: Girl Next Door; Mystery; YA; High School Confidential; Road Trips

Shame Scale: No shame, any shame I had over reading YA as an adult disappeared after I plunged full force into trash.

Fantasy Cast: Nat Wolff; Cara Delevingne

Book Description:

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.

We decided that since neither Mary or I had read Paper Towns, even though I think we’ve read every other John Green book, one of us should definitely read and review before the release of the movie on Friday. I was happy to bite this particular bullet, I’m a big John Green fan and frankly my brain was happy for a break from trash. Just a tiny break, not an all night break.

It had been probably a year since I finished my last Green book, An Abundance of Katherines, and I had forgotten what a good writer he is. Witty, funny, deeper than your average YA book, great characters who feel fully fleshed out. If you only know him from The Fault in Our Stars, consider this me urging you to dig a little deeper into his catalog. Augustus Waters is really the least charming of John Green’s book boys.

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Stripped Bare, by Tabatha Vargo & Melissa Andrea

stripped bare

Grade: C

Doing it at: 80%

Catnip: First Love; Virgin; Dual Narratives; High School Confidential; But it was 99 Cents

Shame Scale: This book starts out wonderfully dirty and then doesn’t deliver, low shame but high annoyance.

Fantasy Cast: High School Blaine & Chelsey: Dylan McKay and Brenda Walsh (Because I can)

Book Description:

Blaine Wesley
If you love something… leave it. Because in the end, love tears you down.
Those were my exact thoughts the day I walked away from the only girl I ever loved. The boy I used to be is long gone, and now I’m the Jack Hammer. Exotic dancer extraordinaire. The teaser and the pleaser. The paid for penis for play.
I have to be these things to survive. It’s who I became when I lost her. But now she’s back, and I can’t decide who I want to be more. The Jack Hammer or Blaine Wesley. All I know is she’s foreplay at its finest, and it’s my job to get them wet and ready.

Chelsey Ford
Liar. That’s what I called him when he walked out of my life. He left me when I needed him the most, and I’ll never be the same. Losing your first love will turn you into someone bitter. Hateful. Angry. But now he’s back, and he’s determined to torture me. The only problem is, I’m enjoying his form of torture too much. And the hatred for him that holds me together is slowly starting to dissolve.

Stripped Bare opened up better than almost any trashy book has ever opened. Page one had a cock in our heroine’s face and an explanation of penis vs. cock.

He had a cock – a thing of beauty – standing tall with the confidence that any woman who took a ride would be more than thrilled with the results. He had a cock that throbbed with want and arousal – ready to explode like a fountain of pleasure.

I was so excited, guys, I sent a picture of the highlighted text to Mary and Paperback Purist and settled in to devour this book.

Chelsey has just run into her first love for what must be the first time in years, at a strip club, where he is grinding his dick in her face. Sorry, his cock. Chelsey looks up at the strippers face for the first time (who cares about faces amiright) at the same time that Blaine realizes that the girl he’s grinding on is Chelsey. Their eyes meet, and the next chapter we flashback to high school, to Blaine and Chelsey meeting cute their senior year of school. Chelsey is a good girl, she has her nose to the grindstone, and barely looks up to notice anything that isn’t going to help with her ultimate goal of attending Columbia. Which is why she has never noticed Blaine before, despite him being drooled over by most of the girls in school. And him having slept with a good number of them. This book is dual perspective and we get some high school senior narrative RE: how many girls Blaine’s been with. I’m old now and this teenage bravado gave me a little LOLOL, this is why I strive not to pick books set in high school.

I was ok with this being a flashback though, when you have an old loves meet again story you expect to get some back story on their first time around. Blaine plays the hero for Chelsey, fixing her book bag, but then makes her late to class for the first time ever by flirting with her. He gives her first kiss (and she slaps him), he acts disinterested even though he’s very very interested. Blaine has never had a girl like Chelsey for himself, girls sleep with him for sex – those crazy sex starved teenage girls! – or to piss off their parents. Blaine isn’t a bad guy, he loves his family, he works in his dad’s auto repair shop, and he gets just good enough grades to graduate because he doesn’t want to disappoint his parents. There’s cute banter, there’s up and down will they or won’t they drama. It was all fine for a back story flashback.

When we started chugging towards 50% and we were STILL in high school I got a little worried, how much flashback were we getting here? I mean, look at that synopsis, it says nothing about the heroine inching towards her 18th birthday so we can finally get with the doing it. I felt betrayed and misled.

Mary and I had agreed that we would each read our respective books until we got to the sheet dancing. We like to read books together, nudge each other along to stay on schedule, and offer commentary even on the books we aren’t reading. We’re book bae. So, I wanted to keep my agreement. But I was also really tired, and there was a podcast on farming hippos for meat in the early 1900′s that I wanted to listen to. My C rating might reflect this personal vexation.

Really, the book is fine, the couple is cute. There’s plenty of drama, it isn’t a D- because of no dick. The book ends before we get to current day Blaine and Chelsey, if you want to know what happens you need to read part two, which I probably will. In a month or two when I’m done being salty about being tricked into a high school romance and not nearly enough cock talk.

Additionally: points deducted for Chelsey’s lip biting driving Blaine crazy. In a post-Fifty world, this is an unforgivable cliche.