I love John Green. Of course, this love started with “The Fault in Our Stars” which kept showing up on my “suggested for you” list on Amazon. I have not read all of his books, but the three I have read have firmly sealed my love for his books and brain. I must add here, I am not a fan of YouTube. Well, I was not. Then, I discovered all the stuff that John (and Hank) Green do on there, and I have realized what a great place YouTube is. It has become a non-book-happy-place. Thanks, John!
This book, Green’s second, seems preposterous. Colin dates only girls named Katherine, nineteen of them, in fact. Colin has only one friend, Hassan, because Colin is a prodigy, who has terrible social skills and loves anagrams (which does not endear him to many people). The skills are good enough to repeatedly date girls named Katherine, but terrible when it comes to making friends. After the last dumping by a Katherine, Colin and Hassan go on a road trip, where they end up in Gutshot, Tennessee. (Totally not an actual place). They end up here because they see a billboard advertising the grave of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Yes. You read that correctly. The grave of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in GUTSHOT, TENNESSEE.
Surprisingly enough, Colin and Hassan make new friends while in Gutshot and experience more than they thought they would while on their impromptu road trip. The book has a slight twist that left me surprised.
This book was so funny. I cannot tell you how often I laughed, while reading this book. The best was trying to laugh quietly so as not to disturb anyone. There are many humorous situations, but Hassan is definitely funny. One of my favorite quotes from this book (not said by Hassan) was: “Smartypants, getting a gun in Gutshot, Tennessee, is easier than getting chlamydia from a hooker.” I cracked up when I read that, and had to share it with friends.
This is a Young Adult novel, however, that being said, I think it is a little too mature for junior high. (I mention this because I know numerous middle schoolers who read YA…) It was not quite as mature as “Looking for Alaska,” but there were still a few somewhat mature scenes.
Touching, funny, revealing, stimulating – so much of what I look for in a book. Definitely well worth the time!