Paper Towns by John Green
Paper Towns is your typical John Green book with quirky characters such as a wild yet misunderstood girl and a lovable male protagonist. The book is so similar to Green’s other book Looking for Alaska in the sense that both focus on a boy trying to find the crazy girl that he loves. They both become mystery/ detective type novels in the second half. I thought that Quentin aka Q (the protagonist) and Margo (the next door neighbor girl)were pretty much the same as Pudge and Alaska. Only the names changed.
I read Paper Towns because my best friend read it over winter break. She only read it because John Green is the “it” author in the world of young adult (YA) fiction right now. That’s the same reason why I read his book, Looking for Alaska over the summer. I wanted to know what people were talking about. I liked that book so then I read The Fault in Our Stars. I admit it definitely made me cry and I’m thankful no one spoiled the ending for me, despite the fact that I begged my friends to tell me what happens.
The book is about Q and his relationship with Margo. She invites him on a wild adventure in the middle of the night where they embark on such teenage shenanigans as breaking into SeaWorld. Then, the next day Margo goes missing! She’s run away before and left clues before. So now it is up to Q and his friends to piece together the clues to find out where Margo is and if she’s even alive.
What John Green does best is characters. That’s what any good storyteller should rock at. He makes memorable three dimensional characters that leap off the page.
I read the book mostly in the Columbus airport and on the plane to Orlando. It was ironic that I was flying there since the book takes place in Orlando. The city is central to the story and a lot of Orlando landmarks are recognized.
I found myself skimming a lot of parts because I was eager to find out what happened and because there was a lot of the protagonist’s internal thoughts that I didn’t find worthwhile. He’s sad, I get it. Moving on, now. That was my biggest complaint about the novel. Some parts went on too long and were drawn out too much. I think the novel could’ve been cut down by 50 or so pages and still have been just as good.
I’d recommend Paper Towns for anyone looking to find out what John Green is all about as a writer and to read a solid YA novel. If you like road trips, black Santas, or maps then you’ll get a kick out of Paper Towns.