Sunday, 22 February 2009

Paper Towns - John Green

Summary - When Margo Roth Spiegelman, the über-cool and very beautiful queen of school and town, chose Quentin, her next-door neighbour to accompany her in one night of wild misdemeanor and witty revenge, he wondered how things would be changed between them at school next day. But Margo Roth Spiegelman never came back, leaving the only clues to her whereabouts in an old Bob Dylan poster and the poetry of Walt Whitman. Quentin and his friends search for her in paper towns and abandoned subdivisions, while Quentin tries to puzzle out who she is – this beautiful paper girl.

Review - Looking for Alaska was my introduction to John Green-ville and I fell hard. I fell hard for his unique turn of phrase, for his rich characters and the broad spectrum of ridiculous, yet plausible events. He has this way of writing quirky...depth (if that makes sense at all). I gel with the characters and I learn something about the human condition as well.

I love that this novel was an exploration of the object of one's love term affection versus the cold, hard reality of day. Haven't we all adored someone from afar (or in Q's case, next door)? Margo is an incredibly selfish, narcissistic girl with a great sense of frivolity and life about her. She's like the moth that flutters too closely the flame and meets a ashy end. Q's too good for her and yet I could see myself being friends with her, being drawn within her sphere. The main and supporting characters are all extremely well crafted, endlessly amusing and thought provoking.

The plot of this narrative sprints along at a rapid pace through the first magical evening to the clue ridden days (then weeks) that follow. I did feel that it got bogged down in the middle section but then it picked up again once the road trip started. The road trip was my favourite aspect of this entire novel, the gas stop stop of three thousand tasks was particularly amusing. We've all had a family member or friend that suffers from a never ending need to pee on car trips.

The protagonist, Q, is a darling but he didn't grab my interest as much as Miles did in Looking for Alaska. I was much more interested in Ben and Radar. I was hoping against hope that Q might do something against type and cut Ben's lunch (Lacey) but alas it didn't happen. I liked this novel a lot, recommend it highly and wish I had a Black Santa.

Published: 2 February 2009
Format: Paperback, 358 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins Aust.
Origin: USA
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John Green's Website


Lenore Appelhans said...

I loved the black santa collection! My grandmother collected santas (until she moved into a nursing home) and she even had a couple of black ones in her collection of over 1000 santas.

Carrie said...

This is probably my favorite book from 2008. I loved it. It got me hooked on John Green and now I have to wait for a new book.

Janssen said...

I read all of his books last year, but Looking for Alaska was definitely my favorite.

Yan said...

maybe I'm the strange odd ball that's not as adoring to John Green as everyone else...? I'm definitely going to try Paper Towns though :)

and your cover is so much darker than the US version, I actually think I like it more ;P

Anonymous said...

I just read and loved Paper Towns. I've read Looking for Alaska, but I have yet to read An Abundance of Katherines.