Books, YA Fiction

Paper Towns, by John Green

Rating:

“The town was paper, but the memories were not.”

Who is the real Margo?

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs 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 the girl he thought he knew…

Paper Towns was on my reading list since forever, and I am pretty proud of myself for finally reading it. I was actually planning on reading later on, but due to temptation, and the movie coming up in June, I decided to go for it earlier.

I personally have mixed feelings about this one. While John Green does create the same characters in each of his books(the nerdy main character, the gorgeous, smart, damaged heroine, the goofy best friend, etc.), he somehow manages to captivate me every time.

The first part of the book drew me in quickly; it was funny, exciting, and Margo seemed like the best thing that ever happened. The second part, ehh, not so much. Most of it consisted of Quentin trying to gather information to find Margo, and it was somewhat interesting, but never managed to entertain me entirely. I haven’t read much realistic fiction these days, so the writing certainly wasn’t lyrical, but I enjoyed the straightforwardness nonetheless. The musings of the main character(there’s got to be some musings, it’s John Green), weren’t as convoluted and overdone as I expected them to be(courtesy of TFIOS), so they were made much more relatable and teenager-like.

Yes, the characters are more or less replicas of Green’s past characters, but they were still somewhat enjoyable. Quentin(or Q) was funny, smart, and charming, everything I like in a guy. I am ever so glad there were no unnecessary reflections on the smallest things of life(remember Hazel’s mini-rant on breakfast foods in TFIOS?), but also glad that Q learned things on his journey to find Margo. Margo was complicated, eccentric, and sometimes frustrating. I really wish she played a bigger part, because she was absent for most of the book, and it was hard to understand Q’s obsession with her since we didn’t know much. But, I guess that’s the point. Quentin’s friends were the best part of this book, and was ultimately what added the fourth star. They were hilarious! Ben was a bit annoying sometimes, but mostly he was very entertaining and a huge comic relief. My favorites were Radar and Lacey. They were totally real, funny, and great additions to the story.

Overall, <u>Paper Towns</u> is laugh-out-loud funny, inspiring, and completely John Green. I think your liking of this book solely depends on the number of Green books you have read, but I am sure you will enjoy it anyway. Now, I just have to wait for the movie to come out! 🙂

This review can also be found on my Goodreads here.

-Haven

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