Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Book Review: Paper Towns by John Green

In John Green's new book, Paper Towns, Margo Roth Spiegelman did eleven outrageous things in one night. She righted wrongs, and wronged a few rights, and brought Quentin “Q” Jacobsen along for the adventure. In Q’s eyes Margo was, in a word, awesome. For sixteen years Q lived next door to Margo, and for sixteen years, he had been in love with her. After all, she was the only living legend to ever live next door to him, and was the only one to recruit him in the middle of the night to go on an adventure. It was the best and longest day of Q’s life. The next day, Margo disappeared.
Margo Roth Spiegelman had been known to run away before, but she had always come back home. This time, it didn't seem likely that she would return. But before she ran away this time, she left something for Q: a clue. He begins following clue after clue, desperate to find Margo again and bring her back home. He enlists his two best friends, Ben and Radar, to help him, but after awhile the chances of the clues leading somewhere begin to dwindle. Some of the group wonder if Margo really wants to be found, or if she even can be found. Quentin, however, can't let go and continues the mission to find Margo, but along the way, he also begins to find himself.
The author, John Green, is well-known in the world--mostly for his YouTube correspondence videos with his brother, Hank--but also for his award-winning books for teens. In his few books Green has created some of the most memorable, lovable, and realistic characters in teen literature. One of the best things about Paper Towns was reading the funny interactions between Q, Ben, and Radar. These conversations make the characters believable--they talk and act like regular teenage boys, and the dynamics of their friendship are rarely exemplified so well in teen literature. Even with three guys as the main characters, Green is careful not to make the book gender-specific, so that it can be enjoyed by all. Additionally, the plot was well done and interesting, with very few dull moments, but rather kept the story flowing in a way that makes the reader want to keep going. The story itself is a cathartic roller-coaster, with its ups and downs along the way, with events ranging from a hilarious road trip with great characters, to melancholy reflections of the world and the loss of a friend.
Overall, Paper Towns is well-written and keeps the reader interested with its adventure, mystery, and witty characters. This new book is a great read for teens and adults.

Related links: My favorite quotes from Paper Towns and Let it Snow

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