Tag: Formulaic

John Green – Paper Towns | Review

Title: Paper Towns

Author: John Green

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 312

Rating: 3/5


John Green - Paper Towns

John Green – Paper Towns


The first thing to say about this is that you can definitely tell it’s a John Green novel. I’ve heard critics of his who say he can’t write, but whether that’s true or not, he does at least have a distinctive voice that makes sure that you know whose book you’re reading.

I wasn’t much of a fan of Paper Towns, mainly because I really didn’t like Margo, but I also thought that the plot was a little weak. I’ve read four of Green’s books now and this is my least favourite of the lot of them, but it’s still not so bad that it’s unreadable. I guess I can also see why other people like it, because I think that parts that I disliked are the same parts that other people do like.

For me, though, this read more like a YouTuber’s novel than like a writer’s novel, which is a shame because I think he’s got better at it as time has gone by. None of the characters are particularly likeable or even believable, and it also feels more “YA” than most YA novels. It’s almost formulaic, and I can’t say that I was surprised by any of it.

But still, I kept on reading, and I guess that’s all you can ask for in a book like this. I certainly don’t regret reading it because now I can tick it off the list, but I also doubt I’ll be re-reading it any time soon. I think the only two John Green books that I have left are Will Grayson Will Grayson and the story he has in Let it Snow, and after reading this, I’m in no particular rush to read them. But I’m also a completionist, so there’s that.


John Green

John Green


Click here to buy Paper Towns.



Agatha Christie – The Thirteen Problems | Review

Title: The Thirteen Problems

Author: Agatha Christie

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 320

Rating: 4*/5


Agatha Christie - The Thirteen Problems

Agatha Christie – The Thirteen Problems


This book takes its title from the fact that it’s a collection of thirteen short stories featuring the inimitable Miss Marple. And as you might remember from when I read Miss Marple’s Final Cases, I’m a big fan of Miss Marple short stories. It feels like it’s almost the perfect length for something that features her. After all, she’s at her best when she’s brought in at the end of a case and asked to provide a solution. She lets everyone else do the preliminary work so that she can just come in at the end and tell people what actually happened.

This wasn’t quite as good as Miss Marple’s Final Cases, but it was still pretty fun all the same. The only thing that I wasn’t too keen on was the almost repetitive nature of the stories. Somebody would tell the start of the story and then they wouldn’t have an ending, because real life doesn’t work out like that. Luckily, Miss Marple would always be on hand to tell you what actually happened.

That means that the setup to the stories felt kind of formulaic, but the stories themselves felt fresh and original. I feel like I’d read one of them before somewhere because I was able to figure out how something happened. It involves the colour of a flower changing on a strip of wallpaper and I’m convinced I’ve seen that used before somewhere.

All in all these are some fun short stories and I do love Miss Marple, possibly even more than I love Hercule Poirot. And, because these are all standalone short stories, you can also read this book as a standalone. It’s as good as any other Marple book to get started with and I enjoyed it more than some of the novels.


Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie


Click here to buy The Thirteen Problems.


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