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.
I know it’s already been reviewed, but I figured that in honor of the recent announcement that Paper Towns was going to follow in The Fault In Our Stars‘ footsteps and be made into a movie, it’s about time to put in my two cents!
First off, I want to say that I’m definitely a fan of John Green. TFIOS was probably my favorite book of his, but I’ve mostly enjoyed the rest of the them as well. There’s definitely some huge issues with his books, as well as just the way that the YA community has turned him into a sort of writing-god, but that’s a rant for another time. This is about Paper Towns, which I thoroughly enjoyed (for the most part).
Paper Towns kind of follows in the footsteps of TFIOS, Looking for Alaska, and An Abundance of Katherines, in that it follows the story of nerdy, quiet Quentin who is looking for something more than his average life. He’s always been a little in love with the quirky next door neighbor, Margo, and when she climbs through his window one night, he has the adventure of a lifetime. But then she disappears, and with only a few clues to go on, Q embarks on a journey to find Margo (and discover more about himself in the process).
I really did enjoy this book! Q had me laughing quite a bit, and Margo was the kind of girl that I would want to be best friends with. And their friends were just as full of personality and life, which made for a very fun read. There were definitely some parts where I was like…okay…no teenagers I know talk like that (or are that pretentious). BUT sometimes you just have to roll with it and make believe.
The plot was interesting as well, from Q and Margo’s night of adventuring, all the way to the craziness that unfolds as Q gets closer and closer to finding Margo. John Green had me guessing for a lot of it…I honestly had no clue where Margo was, or whether she was even going to be alive or not when Q finally figures out her clues. I won’t say what happens at the end, but I will say that I was mostly satisfied with it and thought it was appropriate, all things considered.
I guess my only complaint lies with the characters themselves. Or more than that, I think it’s the formulaic way that John Green tends to write. I’ve read all of his books now, and to be honest, Margo could’ve just as easily been swapped out by Alaska or one of the Katherines and I probably wouldn’t have even noticed. Same goes with Quentin (/Miles/Colin). It’s all the same story. I’m not saying it’s not a good story! But it’s very similar: a cute, yet decently nerdy and intelligent boy becomes infatuated with a crazy, wonderful girl that doesn’t quite have her life together, and through this he learns about himself. The girls in these books are honestly just plot devices so that the male protag can grow up and figure himself out, and if you’re cool with that, then you’re gonna enjoy John Green’s books a lot! But otherwise, it may bug you like it bugs me.
Anyway, despite my grumbling about the lack of a legit female character and the formulaic-ness to all of John Green’s books, I DID actually enjoy Paper Towns. It was a fun read, and I loved the whole concept of paper towns themselves.
Pick this one up if you’re a John Green fan, or if you’re interested in light (and yet at the same time deep and a little pretentious) contemporary stories!
Date Published: September 22, 2009