Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Paper Towns by John Green

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together until all living humans read the book.”
-John Green, The Fault in our Stars

 I read this quite a while ago, but I’ve been too shy to blog about it because I wanted my review to reflect the awesomeness of this book. This was my very first John Green book, and it blew my head off. Emily Dickinson once said, “If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.” Nope. That’s a John Green book. After I finished this book, I sat on the couch with it in my hands, thinking about how amazing it was.

But I digress.

Margo Roth Spiegelman is the admired, popular queen bee of Quentin Jacobsen's school. Everyone tells stories of her daring escapades, and the many times she ran away, leaving clues hinting to her whereabouts. Quentin is absolutely besotted with her, but she barely registers his existence. One night, completely out of the blue, Margo drags him along on an adventure of revenge, and he thinks that things might start to change for him. The next day, Margo disappears. As he searches for her, he realizes that she may not have had the perfect life he imagined she did. Through his journey, he learns about understanding and accepting not only her, but also himself and his friends.

This is a heartwarming story with great messages mixed in with killer humor. The interactions between characters are both hilarious and authentic. The boys are joke-cracking and raunchy, yet caring characters that you will remember. This book has the trademark John Green quirkiness added in by way of an extensive collection of black Santas and a kidney infection, just to name a few (how do those two things manage to exist in the same story? Hilariously.). The three metaphors for understanding others were so cleverly woven in, and I still think about them sometimes now. There are many subtle hints of profoundness (is that a word?) that made me- and I barely ever reread- read the bit again, to soak up the meaning conveyed in so few words. I also have to say that this book wins my award for best last line EVER (The Sweet Far Thing is second). I am totally OCD over last lines, so when I tell you this one is fantastic, you better believe it’s fantastic. This is the kind of book that, when finished, makes you want to cry not out of sadness but because they learned so much. A great read with a lasting impact, and definitely one of my all time favorites.

Loved this book? Then you’ll like:

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Looking for Alaska by John Green
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
The Fault in our Stars by John Green
Swim the Fly by Don Calame (and series)

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