Before getting this I had heard rave reviews from friends and peers alike, and really hoped that it lived up to its alleged awesomeness. Green's flair for witty dialogue and narration is on fine display here, and this book is good enough in a comedic sense, but that alone is not why I recommend this novel. The themes and messages of people's perception of others can ring true even if you don't personally identify with the characters, and the ending is one of such carefully crafted bittersweetness you have to feel at the very least a twinge of emotion.
Contemporary teen fiction by John Green. Quentin Jacobsen is your average geeky teenager, who has loved his next door neighbor Margo his whole life. But, Margo runs with a different crowd, the popular crowd.
Then, one night, about a month before graduation, Margo enlists Q in an adventure, like he's never had before. Then, Margo disappears. Q becomes obsessed with happened to Margo, the girl he thought he knew, but obviously didn't.
There are lots of things to like about this story. The best part is the humor. Quentin has memorable friends who help him along the way. But, I was oddly disappointed with the ending. While I understand Margo's motivations, I really didn't understand her actions or her end-goals. The book is fair.
This book may seem like just another run of the mill coming of age tale of some random high schooler, but it will surprise you. I couldn't put the book down once I started, I finished it in 3 days which I haven't done in years.
John Green infused "Paper Towns" with his own flavor of wit and insight which will keep you not only laughing but identifying more and more with the characters. This book reminded me of the angst of being a teen, the struggles with conformity, and trying to find your own self through all the chaos.
After reading this book I found myself wanting to reread it. You can't help but want to look for all the little clues and hidden meanings Green sprinkled through the novel.
Reviewed by coollibrarianchick for TeensReadToo.com
I first fell in love with John Green when he came out with the book LOOKING FOR ALASKA. I was equally enchanted with AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES. Last night, I finally finished John Green's latest and greatest addition, PAPER TOWNS. Mind you, I have been trying to finish it for three days crammed between work, work, and more work. It got to the point that something had to give and it was going to be my work, because I just had to finish the book. I read someone else's review and she said that she was tempted to skip to page 305, the last page, to see what happened to one of the main characters, Margo. I want this person to know I was tempted to but, alas, I did not peek either - I was so proud of myself. Besides, waiting until the end made the book even more satisfying.
Reading this book reminded me of the people who I went to high school with - the band geeks, the jocks, the Untouchable popular kids. I knew people that were like Margo, Quentin, Radar, Ben, and Lacey. Some I liked, others I didn't. I get Margo's feeling of needing to get out of the paper town she lives in so she doesn't get even more sucked in.
Would I have done it her way? Probably not, but her way led to some really funny dialogue between the characters and a neat little mystery to figure out.
PAPER TOWNS pulls you in from the beginning. One thing Green does so well is go into detail, painting rich layers seamlessly tying together the characters and their stories.
We read a story about something that happened in Quentin and Margo's childhood and then skip forward many years to a time right before Prom, which Quentin will not go to for any amount of money offered. Things get interesting when Margo shows up at his window dressed liked a ninja, insisting that he has to help her. Mind you, Margo is Quentin's unrequited love, so you tell me, does he go along with Margo's adventure? It only takes a little coaxing, but he sure does. The night, as they accomplish all the things on Margo's list, who is hellbent on revenge, is pretty magical, not just for Quentin but Margo, too.
School the next day was definitely interesting, for lack of a better word. Quentin struggles to say awake in class because their adventure lasted to just about dawn, and then realizes that Margo isn't in school. I am not sure if I would have gone to school, either, after all they had done the night before....
The question will soon become - where is Margo? She has seemingly disappeared, leaving clues for Quentin to find. Will Quentin and his friends figure out the clues, and will they lead to Margo? And if they do, will she be dead or alive? You will just have to read the book to find out.
It will not surprise me one iota if Green walks away with a few awards for this book. Definitely another winner!