February 25, 2012

Review: Paper Towns by John Green


Release Date: October 2008
Publisher: Penguin | Speak
Pages: 305 pages
Source & Format: Library; Hardcover
Amazon | Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads)
When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night - dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows her. Margo's always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she's always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q... until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they're for Q.

Thoughts on Paper Towns
The was my first John Green book. The first third follows Q and Margo on a night of revenge, and I absolutely loved this section. It was interesting to see how far Q would go to impress Margo, and the dialogue was enjoyable. Margo isn't an easy person to figure out, and she seems to revel in being a mystery to others. I'm the farthest thing from rebellious, but their antics made me want to take off on a midnight adventure.

Then, Margo disappears. And the book went a little downhill for me. The search for Margo was okay, but I wasn't as fascinated with her as Q was so I felt like he was wasting his time. I liked the mystery aspect, but I also wanted them to just find Margo already and slap some sense into her.

The characters were interesting, but I found a few of them a little annoying. I just didn't like Margo. In the beginning, I could see why Q was enamored with her. On their little revenge trip, I could see why she was someone you'd want to be around. And then she disappeared, and I was so frustrated with how incredibly selfish she was. She got on my last nerve. By the end of the book, I was completely over Margo. And I was kind of frustrated with Q for being so infatuated still.

Green's writing was really enjoyable. It's sharp and witty, and it's the kind of writing that people like to quote. He also fills his pages with deep thoughts and big ideas - capturing, in my opinion, the melodrama of the teenage mind. However, I don't think teenagers really talk like this. It was so over-the-top, let's talk about the complexity of life... and I just wanted them to get to the point.

I did, however, love one of the points that Green makes - we can imagine someone from afar, but that doesn't mean that's who they really are. And that making a person more than a person does a disservice to you and them.

All in all, I enjoyed reading this, but I wouldn't read it again. I know a lot of people absolutely love John Green, and I can see the appeal, but I don't know that I'll be reading any more of his novels unless I find them at the library. Most people won't agree with me, but I don't mind being in the minority on this one.

So Quotable
"What a treacherous thing it is to believe that a person is more than a person."

"That was perfect, I thought: you listen to people so that you can imagine them, and you hear all the terrible and wonderful things people do to themselves and to one another, but in the end the listening exposes you even more than it exposes the people you're trying to listen to."

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