Paper Towns by John Green

Friday, July 24, 2015

Paper Towns by John Green

Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: 9/22/09
Pages: 305
Source: purchased
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
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... --Goodreads
Margo Roth Spiegelman is the next door neighbor to Quentin Jacobson who has always been in love with her.  They used to hang out as children but as they got older, high school cliques brought them apart.  Still, Quentin pines after her.  When Margo, out-of-nowhere, shows up at his window one late night, she takes him on an adventure he will never forget—which includes taking blackmail pictures of a naked guy, seeing the world for what it is, and breaking into Sea World.  The day after, Quentin believes things to be changed between them but when Margo doesn’t show up to school, he realizes she is missing.  Left with clues that only Quentin understands, he must find the girl who showed him a glimpse of the world she knows.

I haven’t read a lot of John Green novels.  I know enough, however, to believe that something is lacking with Paper Towns.  With both, The Fault in Our Stars and The Abundance of Katherines, John Green’s ever-present poetic style of writing shines through.  As much as this does not take away from the story, Green’s writing style lacks the poetic flow in this novel.  Instead, his voice becomes much more Quentin, an immature senior in high school.  And when I say immature, I mean immature.  Paper Towns will have readers laughing but shaking their heads at the same time. 
Despite it lacking some John Green-ness, Paper Towns is one of those books readers will look back upon and recommend to others.

Even though the protagonist prides himself on being so immature with continuous inappropriate jokes, Paper Towns needs to be looked at differently.  It is not just about the main story, but what runs deeper than that.  John Green creates this title on a few speeches Margo announces to Quentin.  The philosophy behind paper towns and for Margo’s personality is genius.  The message which Green brings forth is something that a lot of people forget.  It is not about living a cookie-cutter life; it’s about doing what you want.  Think outside the box.  Do what your heart tells you to.  As seniors in high school, John Green chose the best sort of characters to tell his message from. 

With this, Paper Towns became about a girl trying to live outside the box.  This is extremely relatable.  If readers can’t relate to Margo, they certainly can relate to Quentin.  With the complete opposites that are Margo and Quentin, readers were able to witness a character pushed out of his shell, in which he realizes that there is more to life than his small little town.  John Green creates an original coming-of-age story like no other. 

Overall, Paper Towns may not be John Green’s best work but it is certainly a work that should not be overlooked.  Its movie, based on the book, is being released July 24 which I definitely look forward to.  Paper Towns takes readers on a wild ride across Orlando, Florida and New York and shows them a little piece of the world.  

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