|I love the other cover for this book with the red push pin. This was the edition the library had.|
Paper Towns by John Green
Overview: I bet you've probably heard of this book before (it was one of the few YA books I knew about when I was too young to read it), but I thought I would go ahead and share my thoughts. This book is about two seniors in high school whose lives exist on very different wave links, though they have a tendency to cross at strange times like when Margo crawls into Q's window one night and orchestrates a chain of spectacular pranks before skipping town. But that's just how Margo works. After going about school normally with his friends Ben and Radar, trying to enjoy his last month of high school, Q starts to feel that something isn't right about Margo's latest disappearing act. With the help of his friend and Margo's friend Lacy, Q tries to piece together Margo's cryptic clues to find her, perhaps, before it's too late. Overall: 4.5
Characters: 5 I thought that Green did a great job with the characters. Q was funny, relatable, and realistic. Ben was the obvious goofy side kick there for comedic levity. Radar served as both the brains and a real friend for Q, and we got to see Lacy come together with a group of outsiders to find her friend, breaking stereotypical bonds.
But where Green truly excels is with Margo. She is probably the reason I love her as much as I do. Margo learned how to play the high school game and she played it well. A popular girl with tons of friends and power, Margo had, conceivably everything you could want, but the charm of Margo is that she realizes she doesn't. She realizes how fake the world is, and she realizes that she is a part of that fake world. In a desperate attempt to flea the ordinary, she plans these elaborate trips that are more fun to plan than actually go on. Margo really searches for the meaning and the thrill of life which is something that we should also be able to identify with.
Plot: 4.5 There are really three plots that go with each part of the book that are all neatly strung together by Margo. First, we see Margo pull boring old Quinton into her adventure. Then we see Quinton search for clues and meaning behind her departure and where she has gone. Finally, the reader sees the group come together for one crazy attempt to find Margo Roth Spiegelman. These are all interesting adventures that provide plenty of mirrors and windows, a theme heavily discussed in the book.
Writing: 4.5 I found the writing humorous yet touching while being all together unassuming. Quinton's voice is really allowed to shine, and Green does a good job of just letting Quinton tell his story, as it should be with first person pros.