Monday, 1 December 2014

Paper Towns - John Green

Published: 2010
Publisher: Bloomsbury 
Pages: 305


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 John Green's third book for young adult readers, and in my opinion has many parallels to his first book, Looking for Alaska. The protagonist of the book is Q,    
a culturally stunted sort-of looser in his final year at high school. The similarities between Pudge, the narrator of  Looking for Alaska are staggering. Both characters are fairly plain, lacking culturally ( but both develop a love for poetry and the insight and meaning it can give life) and of course they are both madly in love with an extremely unrealistic and unbelievably cool girl. Because these characters are painfully boring to begin with, it does leave massive room to grow, which  Q does, in leaps and bounds over the course of the novel. 

The aforementioned "cool girl" in Paper Towns is Margo Roth Spiegelman, Q's next door neighbour , undisputed queen bee of the school and a unfathomable mystery. While Margo is an excellent character and is intrinsic to the plot and the message of the novel, there's something about her that annoys me, and she reminds me of Alaska, a lot.

On the other hand I love Ben and Radar. Ben is a guy that loves prom! Not exactly realistic but still fascinating to watch .Finally  I really loved the whole concept of the novel. Margo disappears and leaves Q a treasure trail of clues to find her. 

Overall I loved this novel and would recommend it to anyone who likes John Green's work or any young adult fiction.

Four Stars ****

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