Sunday, 2 December 2012

Book Review: Paper Towns, by John Green

Title: Paper Towns
Author: John Green
Genre: YA mystery
Published: 16 October 2008
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 Q gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew.
Paper Towns is brilliant, funny, thought-provoking and made of awesome.

The story follows Quentin “Q” Jacobsen. He has been in love with his childhood friend Margo Roth Spiegelman for his entire life. By the time they’re in high school, they have grown apart. One night, Margo shows up outside Q's window and takes him to help her on a vendetta. The day after that, Margo stops attending school. Quentin starts to find clues that are clearly for him and begins to try and follow the trail.

As I continue to read John Green’s work, I continue to love him more and more. Paper Towns is thus far my favourite John Green novel. The plot and the writing were just fantastic. The writing is just so John Green-y. When I read it, I didn’t hear my usual inner reading voice, I heard John Green’s voice telling me the story.

As far as characters go, I think they were all pretty relateable. I loved Q. He was smart, witty, caring. I really connected with him. I know what it’s like to be that obsessed with someone. I think I am in love with Margo as much as Q was is. She was just amazing and awesome. Her dialogue was some of the best dialogue in the whole book.

I’m particularly fond of Ben. He was so funny. I almost literally cracked up every single time he spoke. The romance elements of the story, which pertain mostly to Ben and Lacey, were merged perfectly with the mystery elements. It never became too cheesy or romance-y.

The whole book is a metaphor that has gotten really attached to me: we never see people as people. Everyone sees Margo as the adventurous and unpredictable Margo Roth Spiegelman. The Margo Roth Spiegelman who sneaked into a band’s concert by saying she was the bassist’s girlfriend and then rejecting him when he wanted to hook up. They never see her as a person. A person that may or may not like music a lot. A person that may or may not like writing. This applies to me big time. I never see the girls I like as people. I see them as those perfectly majestic beings to whom I am attracted, instead of seeing them as people with their own individual lives and feelings and obsessions and interests.

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