Author: John Green
Publisher: Bloomsbury, 305 pages (May 3rd 2010)
From: On loan from my sister
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Order a copy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK
Synopsis: After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar and always an enigma, has now become a mystery. She has disappeared. Q soon learns that there are clues in her disappearance ...and they are for him.
Review: 3.5 stars - I had heard about John Green ages ago but it’s only in the last 12 months I’ve started to read his books.
I have mentioned previously on the blog that I prefer to read fantasy/sci-fi and am only just getting to grips with reading contemporary fiction. Green’s work comes so highly recommended that you can’t help but want to read it.
My initial thought when I saw the cover of Paper Towns was I love it! I judged a book by its cover- how bad am I? I love this cover- probably because I love travelling and it’s a map with a pin marking somewhere.
Margo is an enigma, an uncontrollable, unpredictable force. She likes to break the rules, and live on the edge. She’s the cool kid at school that every girl wants to be and every guy wants to date.
Quentin is a quiet, well mannered average 18 year old who likes computer games and hanging out with his friends
When they were 9 years old Margo and Quentin found a dead man in the park. This has been one thing that always tied them together and yet, Margo’s reaction to the man was one of wonder and not of fright. Margo has always been different.
The evening after they found the man, Margo told Quentin to “shut his window” and has never spoken to him since, despite the fact that they were always close as kids.
9 years on and one night Margo knocks on Quentin’s window and tells him she needs his help completing 11 tasks before morning.
This was the most exciting part of the book for me, and I was wondering what would come next at the turn of each page. They arrive home in the early hours of the morning, a successful evening and Quentin on a little high because he has done things that would normally be out of his comfort zone.
Quentin plans to talk to Margo at school about what happened the night before; only she’s not there. She’s not there the next day either.
Margo is a bit of a free spirit and doesn’t like to be held down by her parents or peers. It’s not the first time she’s run away, but this time Quentin thinks it could be different. Slowly he happens upon clues that might not be obvious clues, unless you can think like Margo Roth Spiegelman. With the help of his group of friends Ben, Radar and Lacey, Quentin sets out to find Margo, no matter what it takes.
Paper Towns includes a cross country road trip, enough intrigue and clue finding to challenge a good detective novel and a story of true friendship and adventure.
Sadly for me, Paper Towns didn’t fully grab my attention from when Margo disappeared. This could be down to my enjoyment of the “task evening”. I did like trying to solve the clues she’d left and discovering about Paper Towns was interesting.
Another point I’d like to mention about Paper Towns is that Quentin lists his reasoning for things- it really bugged me. I know Green is probably trying to enforce the fact that this is who Quentin is and because his parents are therapists they’ve probably taught him to do that when thinking of things, but I just couldn’t read it and started skipping the numbers and just reading the words.
Having said all of the above; I can imagine reading it in the future and would recommend it to other readers. It’s helped me think outside the box and I’d like to have Margo’s bravery even if just for one day.
For fans of John Green’s other books, Elizabeth LaBan’s The Tragedy Paper and Rainbow Rowell.