Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Paper Towns by John Green

Released: 16th October 2008
Publisher: Dutton Books
Pages: 305
Buy The Book: Amazon

"Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life--dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge--he follows. After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues--and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew."

I am definitely on something of a book binge; surely five separate novels in five days must be some sort of record? Today I finished Paper Towns and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since. One of the most profoundly moving books I've ever read, John Green is a truly gifted and wonderful writer and I've already bought everything else he's written, ready to absolutely devour.

Having read Looking for Alaska not long ago, I was very excited to read this book. It has many similarities with Alaska, with certain themes strongly represented in both books; loss, abandonment, love, solving a mystery, the idea of trying to get into someone else's head and figure out what they're thinking. The male leads are quite alike in both novels too - I preferred Paper's Quentin to Alaska's Pudge, but I can't quite put my finger on why. 

My favourite aspect of the book was the exploration of how we relate to people and how different people see us in different lights. Everybody had their own idea of who Margo really was, and who's to say any of them were right? The idea of people seeing us through mirrors and windows was an enthralling one for me. John Green's novels are not only entertaining, they also make you evaluate areas of your own life.

The plot in parts manages to seem far-fetched whilst also being entirely realistic. It's been a long time since I was so nervous to finish a book for fear of what the ending might be, but like in Alaska, the ending, when it eventually arrives, feels bittersweet and perfect. This isn't to say it's a depressing story; there were some genuine laugh-out-loud moments from really stand-out supporting characters. Radar and Ben are the perfect foils for Quentin's character and are wonderfully genuine and believable. It's one of the best representations of high school life I've ever read (and I've read a few!). John Green is fantastic at creating beautifully likeable characters, especially his protagonists.

I would recommend this book to teens and adults alike. It is one of the few books I can see myself reading over and over and finding something new each time.

1 comment:

Jesa said...

I'm such a book nerd too! lovely :)