Heather's Reviews > Paper Towns

Paper Towns by John Green
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Jan 20, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, suspense, mystery

** spoiler alert ** Margo Roth Spiegelman has always lived next door to Quentin Jacobsen, and he has always been enchanted by her. You know those people who just have something intriguing about them? The people you get almost obsessed with? Margo is that person for Quentin. Unfortunately, she hasn't paid too much attention to him since they were little kids, but Quentin has made his peace with it and is content to admire her from afar. Then, out of the blue, Margo shows up at his window in the middle of the night, dressed like a ninja, with an elaborate, brilliant plan for getting revenge on her cheating boyfriend. It looks like things are finally starting to go Quentin's way with Margo...and then she disappears. Margo, who has always been mysterious, is now literally a mystery. But she's left clues for Quentin, and he's determined to use them to find her.

This is my least favorite John Green book. Granted, that's like saying it's my least favorite kind of pie; there really isn't a bad book in the bunch. Due to my very high John Green expectations I was disappointed, but by any other standards it's a fantastic story. What I didn't like: Margo. I think she's selfish and just looking for attention. Although I understand that teenage crushes don't always exactly make sense, I got annoyed with Quentin because he became so obsessed with her and ignored his friends because he was so busy tracking Margo down. And then I got more annoyed when it turned out she was just camped out up north, making everyone worry. Since this is basically the entire point of the story, it obviously distracted me a bit. I'm probably not being fair to Margo, who obviously had some major problems, and perhaps I just read this book at a time when I wasn't focused enough to pull out the deeper aspects of her character. Still, I'm calling it like I see it; maybe if/when I reread it I will have different thoughts about Margo.

Despite all that, I gave this book four stars. Why? Because as much as the things I just mentioned annoyed me, I loved reading this book. I couldn't put it down. This is because John Green could probably rewrite the dictionary and I'd still read it. His descriptions, his dialogue, and his characters are so unique, so humorous, and so meaningful that I enjoy the simple act of reading nearly each and every sentence. Basically, John Green's writing feels like real life, only funnier and with the meaningful parts highlighted. Can you tell that I like John Green? So, even though this particular story wasn't my favorite, I still loved the book as a whole.
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