Monday, February 21, 2011
Heather reviews Paper Towns by John Green
Name: Paper Towns
Author: John Green
How I got it: bought at Borders
Why I read it: I read Looking for Alaska a couple years ago and was interested in reading more by Green.
Rating: 4 stars
Summary (from Goodreads): Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life--dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge--he follows. After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues--and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.
This is the second novel that I have read by John Green. He has his own style of writing and characters that are fairly similar among his books, but in my opinion this method works perfectly for him. I like Green's approach to writing because I feel like I would be friends with his characters. His protagonist is always the nerdy and likable underdog.
In Paper Towns, Quentin Jacobsen (Q for short) has been in love with his next door neighbor, Margo, all his life. The pair were childhood friends who grew apart after an incident that occurred when they were mere ten year old's. When the mysterious Margo climbs through his window a few weeks before graduation with a plan for an evening of revenge, Q is sucked into a whole new world. He spends one amazing night with this girl and wakes up the next morning thinking that life will never be the same. Margo has been known to disappear for days on end, so when she goes missing that morning nobody thinks twice at first. Soon though, Q finds himself consumed with theories of Margo's disappearance. He speculates that she must have carefully constructed this mystery for him to solve and so he sets out on his own journey to find the girls of his dreams.
I loved Q's passion for finding Margo in Paper Towns. He was willing to skip some of the most important events in a high school senior's life in order to focus on searching for clues that would help him find Margo. I was on the edge of my seat for much of this book, very eager to discover if Margo was okay and whether or not she and Q would find their happy ending. The way in which Green worked Whitman's Leaves of Grass into the story was interesting. I don't remember much about reading it in high school, but I'd be curious to revisit it now.
I loved Margo for her sense of adventure and the planning she put into all of her wild ideas, but I also felt sorry for her. She was this normal teenage girl who felt the pressure of high school and popularity closing in on her. I have definitely felt like disappearing off the grid for awhile to get my thoughts straight or start fresh. Q had this romanticized idea of the girl he thought she was, but really she was full of flaws and insecurities. It was a very realistic portrayal of how people think about their crushes, especially in high school. Despite beginning to see that Margo was not the girl in his head, he continued on his journey to find her along with the company of their best friends.
I love a book with a good love story or a road trip, so this was a win for me. While Margo went on this adventure to find herself, she was able to help Q find himself as well. I thought the ending was perfect, but I won't spoil that for you if you haven't read it yet!