Published by Dutton
Date Published: October 16th, 2008
I find it a difficult thing to sit down and write a review for a book like this. I feel like my words won't do it justice. That my expression of love isn't enough. That no matter how hard I try, I won't be able to describe jut how much I adored this book. John Green has made a name for himself in Contemporary YA and nothing I say can live up to this book, but I will try.
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. Printz Medalist John Green returns with the trademark brilliant wit and heart-stopping emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of readers.Quentin "Q" Jacobsen is head-over-heels, unconditionally in love with his neighbor Margo Roth Spiegelman. He has been since they were nine years old. But a lot has changed since they were nine. Margo is one of the most popular girls in school and Q hangs out with band geeks, Ben and "Radar". Yet he is still in love with her. He seemed to think everything in Margo's life was perfect until one night, just a few weeks shy of graduation, she showed up at his window, face covered in black paint, inviting him out for a night he wouldn't soon forget.
John Green can do no wrong. At least when it comes to writing books. He writes such great characters that they are not just names on a paper. They are people existing (at least in our psyche). They are as real as you imagine them to be. Three-dimensional characters with unique personalities and emotions. And it's not just the main characters that are great. Even the "sidekicks" are awesome. You have Quentin with his love for Margo and loyalty to his friends. Radar with his intelligence and utter embarrassment for his parents' Black Santa collection. Ben, the best friend all the way to the end. And Margo Roth Spiegelman (you are required to say her whole name): what a character. She is so complex and full of hidden layers. She's like a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a mystery. Though at times, she could be a bitch.
Having to write a book that followed Printz Award winning novel, Looking For Alaska, that lives up to its predecessor would be hard for anyone. Luckily, John Green is Shakespeare, Vonnegut, Twain, Whitman, and Thoreau all wrapped up in one. I may be one of the few to say this, but I actually think I liked Paper Towns better than I did Looking For Alaska and I LOVED LFA! So that's saying something. I can't say for sure though seeing as it's been a year since I last read LFA, so I am a little foggy on it. I need to reread it soon.
I loved the plot progression of Paper Towns! I was up for hours past when I should've gone to sleep because I just couldn't put it down. We are literally in the dark from the beginning like Quentin is and are forced to sit through his journey to find the truth behind Margo's vanishing act. I really liked all the foreshadowing that is set up in the first third of the book that kept subconsciously nagging you throughout the story as it went along. And I couldn't help but feel like a nerd when I got all of the Nerdfighter references that are still being used today by the Vlogbrothers themselves.
I was just in awe the entire time I was reading this. John Green is a mastermind.