Available Copies: Malletts Teen, Pittsfield Teen, Traverwood Teen
One month before graduating from his Central Florida high school, Quentin "Q" Jacobsen basks in the predictable boringness of his life until the beautiful and exciting Margo Roth Spiegelman, Q's neighbor and classmate, takes him on a midnight adventure and then mysteriously disappears.
Overall, I thought this was a superb book. The characters are great, and really capture the antics and drama of the teenage world, including the high school caste system, love from afar/girl next door conflict, finding your niche in life, and overall, finding yourself. There's a bit of humor, a bit of mystery, a bit of romance. Personally it didn't quite hit the mark that "The Fault In Our Stars" made, but I enjoyed it more than "Looking for Alaska." It was also a bit more thought-provoking than Green's other stories, which I enjoyed as well.
I must say though, with Green's books, I never get the endings that I want. I guess the same could be said about life, too; it's just disappointing at times when you just want the good guy to win and for love to conquer all (realistically, anyway).
It'll be interesting to see how the movie plays out.
Just a few weeks before graduation, Q's next door neighbor and longtime crush Margo Roth Spiegelman comes through his bedroom window at midnight and drags him along on an all-night adventure of revenge against her unfaithful boyfriend and disloyal friends. The next day, Margo disappears, leaving a few cryptic clues that Q, and a few of his closest friends, attempt to follow to track her down.
Green is the master of teen fiction engages boys, girls, and adults alike. His ability to craft relatable, realistic, and amusing characters makes readers feel connected and care about the fates of Q and his friends from the beginning. The book is fast-paced and suspenseful, and not at all predictable, making it an ideal choice for reluctant readers.
John Green's writing was not only spectaculat, with great figurative language, and interesting tidbits, it also asks very deep, pyschological questions about judgement and the biggie: death. As Q tries to find his childhood friend and love, Margo, he realizes she is a different person than the one that he unfairlly idealized and imagined. Scared that she may have killed herself, like the dead man they found when they were young, he desperately searches and attempts to decipher clues left behind by her. On the day of his graduation, he rushes off to NY with his best friends and Lacey, to attempt to find her before it is too late. Along the way, they become close with Lacey, who until recently, was a stranger. When Q finds Margo, he learns she never wanted to be found, she merely wanted to not make him worry. He discovers a very different person than the one he thought he knew. This book features a very good poem by Walt Whitmann, titled, "Song of Myself".
"Paper Towns" was written by a smart, smart man. I've heard about John Green before, but this is the first time I've read one of his novels, and I can hardly articulate how impressed I am. He writes flawed, nuanced characters that spout off highly quotable dialogue. In short, this is a book you quite simply need to buy. To elaborate a bit...
The book is divided into three sections. In the first, Margo Roth Spiegelman takes Quentin, our protagonist (who, sidebar, is in love with her) on a crazy, 'spontaneous' journey that changes his life forever. In the second part, Quentin tries to make sense of the events that follow that glorious night. In the third and final part, he goes on a road trip with his friends in order to meet up with Margo. All of this seems rather simple, but it's packed so tight with bittersweet poignancy, insight, and intelligence that you can hardly believe the book is only three-hundred pages long. And really, when a book can incorporate Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself" as well as this one did, and offer more insight into Whitman's words than any literary criticism possibly could... what more could you ask for?
The book is just overflowing with ideas, literary references, deep understanding of the way senior year in high school feels, and--most importantly--insight into the way people perceive things. What I love most about Green's writing is that he never has the characters settle on these big, life-changing revelations. When Quentin discovers something vital about understanding life, his finds are often refuted by a new realization, that is later refuted itself. It's a very "in the moment" novel, written about a boy in love with a very "in the moment" girl. I love how there are so many ideas at work here that you never feel talked down to, because Green isn't really giving his readers a message. He's just encouraging them to ponder things in order to, hopefully, connect with one of these ideas. Because, in the end, this intricate and insanely well-written book is just about someone connecting with something else.
I thought it was amusing and entertaining at times; Green certainly has a way of pulling the craziest ideas out of the clouds and running with them. I thought that the plot fell a little flat and the conflict wasn't well-developed enough. The ending was a bit of a letdown. However, I did think that the characters were realistic enough and true to themselves throughout the book.