Recently I read the book ‘Paper Towns’ by John Green. I read and loved his famous book ‘The Fault in Our Stars’. My sister suggested that I read ‘Paper Towns’ last year and I just never got around to picking up. But just a little while ago my friend had the book and I asked to read it. After just a few words I fell in love. Much like the rest of John Green’s books, Paper Towns has a movie as well as the book. This movie caught a lot of people’s eyes which had them pick up the book. Paper Towns is a book I would have never read without seeing so many others reading it. It never interested me until I finally put away my judgement and read it. After finishing it I was stunned. John Green managed to write such a compelling and beautiful novel, that I wouldn’t hesitate to read a thousand times again.
The book is told from the perspective of teenager, Quentin Jacobsen. Quentin has an undying love for the girl next door; Margo Roth. Margo is a troubled girl, full of unpredictability and adventure. Q has never managed to figure her out, but he loves her for it. One average night, Margo slips in through Q’s window, after forever of not even noticing him. She begs him to come with her on an adventure, she tells him she’s out for revenge and he’s the only one who can help her achieve it. Quentin hesitates but of course follows Margo. After all when the love of your life swings through your window planning revenge; how could you say no? Q assists Margo in completely all sorts of crazy tasks, many involving dead fish. Margo and Q stay up all night, before quietly slipping back into their houses as the sun begins to rise. Q is thrilled, knowing Margo must care about him, at least more than he thought. He’s eager to see her in school, but is disappointed when she fails to show. Soon Margo’s abtents takes a toll on Q, he begins to believe that maybe there’s more to her story than everyone thinks. Q slowly puts the pieces together, sure that Margo meant for him to find her. On his graduation day he takes off, along with his 3 friends, in search of the great Margo Roth. But what happens if Margo doesn’t want to be found? Is she not who Q thought she was?
I really enjoyed reading this book and found myself laughing out loud as some parts. The characters were all very well written and composed, they were extremely realistic and relatable. In the beginning of the story I was in love with Margo. The way she spoke, the thoughts she had, her mysterious- rebellious attitude. Yet as the story progressed I grew frustrated with her, mostly for causing Q this angst to find her. At the end of the book I hated her, but understood her perfectly. She’s the poster girl for different, independent people. Margo cares for Margo. Yes, she does care about some people, but mostly she’s brutally honest about her opinion, and isn’t going to change herself for anyone. Although I’m not sure that she’s the ‘perfect match’ for Quentin, I do believe that loving Margo was beneficial for him. She helped him break down his last wall into becoming the person he’s meant to be. Whether he ends up with Margo or not, by the end of the book he’ll have changed dramatically.
One of my favorite passages in the book is located in the beginning, the night before Margo leaves. Q and her are standing on top of a building, overlooking their tiny town when Margo tells him this; “‘Here’s what’s not beautiful about it: from here, you can’t see the rust or the cracked paint or whatever, but you can tell what the place really is. You can see how fake it all is. It’s not even hard enough to be made out of plastic. It’s a paper town. I mean, look at it, Q: look at all those culs-de-sac, those streets that turn in on themselves, all the houses that were built to fall apart. All those paper people living in their paper houses, burning the future to stay warm. All the paper kids drinking beer some bum bought for them at the paper convenience store. Everyone demented with the mania of owning things. All the things paper-thin and paper-frail. And all the people, too. I’ve lived here for eighteen years and I have never once in my life come across anyone who cares about anything that matters.’” While reading this I understood how Margo was feeling. It’s almost as if there’s nothing left in that town for her, when all she wants is to escape and find something worth living for. She’s tired of getting up and seeing the same things and breathing the same air and hearing the same noises, she longs for some kind of a change. When I first read this I had a small idea that Margo might not want to be in this town, that she might leave. But I didn’t think much of it.
The book ‘Paper Towns’ is definitely one of my favorite books. My copy is almost destroyed, from me reading it over and over, and from the ink from my pens bleeding through. I’d rate this book a 10 out of 10, and I strongly suggest that everyone reads it. John Green has once again written a mind-blowing piece of art, that I will never tire of .