And this was Book 2 of my vacation reads. LOVE LOVE LOVE it! And thank you, Fredrik Backman, for a wonderful book which did NOT have me ugly crying at the end--I appreciate it.
I love the spunk of Elsa, the 7-year-old main character who is obsessed with Harry Potter and lives in an apartment building across the hall from her absolutely off-the-wall-crazy grandmother. Granny has spent the last seven years with Elsa creating a magical kingdom called Miamas, populated with magical creatures and fantasy characters. When Granny suddenly dies and Elsa is tasked with delivering posthumous apology letters from Granny, she learns that the stories Granny created were metaphors for the people who populate Elsa's actual world. And she learns much more about her Granny than she ever imagined. One of the last things her Granny asked of Elsa was, "Promise you won't hate me when you find out who I've been." It's a struggle, but Elsa keeps this promise. And she learns that there is real power in being different. And that all seven-year-olds should have superheroes.
I spent the first part of my recent vacation getting my John Green on, because aren't beach vacations all about the good books you pack? They are for me! The premise behind the title Paper Towns is that, at one time, map companies actually placed fake towns on their maps so they would know if other map companies plagiarized their work. Keep this in mind as you immerse yourself in the story of Quentin (Q), who has been in love with his next door neighbor Margo Roth Spiegelman (yes, you need to say her whole name each time you refer to her) forever. And then Margo disappears. I loved most of the book, as Q follows the clues that he believes Margo has left for him alone. After a 21-hour, 1,100+ mile dash across the country with his friends Radar and Ben and Lacey . . . well, I'm not going to throw out any spoilers here, but I was not happy with the ending. And it's not that I have to have a happy ending to be satisfied with a book, but I just felt the ending was a bit underwhelming. HOWEVER, I would still recommend the book, because it's John Green, and you might like the ending more than I did!