305 pages, paperback
Published by September 2, 2009
Summary: 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.
My thoughts: Now, any one of my friends can tell you I have a secret (not so secret anymore) crush on John Green. And Paper Towns was my first John Green book and is undoubtedly the foundation of my crush. Okay, so I know people say all of his books are the same story re-told with different characters and a slight slant. (I'm one of those annoying people who gasp and shake their head at people like that) But all repetitiveness aside, Paper Towns being my first of Green's books and all, I'm not going to compare it to his other novels. Getting on with the review now.
Quentin, or Q as his friends call him, was hilarious, quirky, and smart. He's also been in love with Margo, who used to be his best friend when they were kids. The prologue to Paper Towns was absolute genius in my opinion. It introduces the characters and the story line perfectly, and while Green writes hilariously, he also incorporates surprising revelations and metaphors, throughout the novel. Q realizes quickly that Margo is even more of a mystery than she used to be when they hung out, and when she appears one night in his window, it doesn't suffice to say he's surprised by her re-entrance into his life.
The love story was cute and quick and I was totally rooting for Q all the way. I loved the whole premise of going for an all-nighter and doing crazy, random things like sneaking into Sea World past midnight. Margo was just as quirky as Q and I loved the enigmatic air of her. I think Q got it exactly right when he says: "...she loved mysteries so much that eventually she became one." The clever way she makes herself a mystery was cool and smart and I loved the whole premise in general. Plus, near the end there was a major road trip. I love books with road trips, because so much can happen.
As always, Green writes with a flair for humorous anecdotes and characters. I love "Bloody" Ben, and his story and just how funny, odd, and awesome he was. His loyalty to Q worked well into the story and his presence lightened the mood. Surprisingly, Green does a great job of making the story seem deep and kind of meaningful. In a teenage romantic-comedy way.
The story was funny and while I complained a little that sometimes Q seemed a little too hopeful that Margo intended him to find her, it was cute how faithful he was. I loved how the mystery unfolded, with twisted and slanted facts that eventually revealed the whole. Another thing that bugged me was the sudden change from past tense to present tense. I'm sure it was intentional, but it didn't flow very well with the sudden change. One thing I thought was kind of amazing was how Green even managed to make the book kind of eerie and creepy at points. Also, the ending caught me a little off-guard, and while it wasn't my favorite part of the novel, it was well-written and the characters acted just like themselves.
Paper Towns is a mostly light, cute, quirky romantic comedy of a novel that delivers the perfect package for teen readers. It was funny and light at all the right moments. The subject was mysterious and interesting and the characters were three-dimensional and goofy. Of course, the writing was hilarious and filled with surprising metaphors. Oh, and here's something interesting: the definition of a paper town is: deliberately incorrect towns or landmarks inserted on maps for copyright reasons. Just thought I'd share, even though it's mentioned in the book.
Cover: 5 stars
Characters: 5 stars
Plot: 5 stars
Writing: 5 stars
Overall rating: 5 stars