Monday, September 23, 2013

Paper Towns by John Green

Release date: October 16, 2008
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
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 Q gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew.
I wasn't going to write a review of Paper Towns, but I changed my mind. The more I thought about it, the more I wondered, "Why do people really like this book?" And I guess I'm hoping someone will tell me. The other two books of John's that I've read were pretty good, and I got that. But, with this one, I'm completely baffled. Completely. Was I supposed to like anything about Margo? Was I supposed to be sad when Quentin thinks she's dead? Was I supposed to be shocked when he solved the mystery?

But, I don't want to stay on the negative (and that's why this is going to be short). I just don't get what's so great about this book in general.

What did I like? I loved the road trip. I loved Radar and Ben. They're what saved the book for me. I loved the progression of Quentin's relationship with them and how his search for Margo somehow makes his friendships better. I could have read an entire book just about this friendship between the three boys and would have been much happier than I was reading the actual book. The road trip had me laughing all the way through; I read that section at least twice as fast as the rest of the book.

I'm not sure how much I'm getting across in this review past my confusion as to why close to 80 percent (according to Goodreads) gave this book four or five stars. What am I not seeing? To me, Paper Towns feels contrived, quirky just to be quirky, intellectual just to be intellectual. I just don't get it.

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