Recent Reads: Paper Towns (#10 of 2013)


Happy Double Digits!

I’ve made it through 10 books this year. According to my Goodreads profile, I’m right on schedule.
I’ve been ahead, I’ve been behind…who knows where I will be after the next 10 books.

My 10th book is Paper Towns by one of my personal favorite authors, John Green.

For Christmas, I received the box set of John Green’s books. I was extremely excited about this present, as A) I hadn’t read one of the books yet and B) I love his books and I only have them on my Kindle (save for Paper Towns) and was happy to add it to my physical bookshelf.
I don’t know why I put off reading Paper Towns…I guess I was sort of scared to close the John Green door until his next book (who knows when…and I don’t 100% count Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which he co-wrote with David Levithan who wrote this book, and I definitely want to read!).

I didn’t expect to love John Green.
My first Green was The Fault in Our Stars, his most recent book that received both critical and reader acclaim. As an avid follower of whatever Entertainment Weekly recommends, I figured it was time to grab a copy. It was one of the first books I purchased on my Kindle last March. I very much enjoyed it, and was ready to embrace another of his books. As I read the descriptions of his 3 other books (Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, and, of course, Paper Towns), I found myself…un-amused. Nothing hit me. I settled on
Looking for Alaska, which actually ended up being one of the best books I’ve ever read in my 25 years of life. So, my point is, descriptions don’t do the entire books justice. There’s always so much more to the general idea of the story given in one paragraph. I guess that’s the case for most books, but for me, this really applies to Green. No one can actually go ahead and explain how many emotions will be stirred. I laugh, I cry, I get surprised…and man, does this guy have a way with words. I had to keep myself from basically highlighting every page.

Onto the actual book:

Paper Towns is about Quentin Jacobsen, our narrator, and his attempt at solving the mystery of the disappearance of his next-door neighbor, Margo Roth Spiegelman. As a young boy, he spent tons of time playing with Margo and they happened upon the body of a man who killed himself. They were too young to truly understand what happened, but it had a strong impact on their young lives. Despite this, they grow apart in a comfortable, common way. Margo is the ultra-cool girl who does what she wants (and has disappeared in the past on random adventures) while Quentin spends time with his band member friends, Ben and Radar.
One random night, Margo shows up at Quentin window, begging to use his parents’ car and to complete a mission. Quentin, being his uptight self, is skeptical, but ultimately his attraction to Margo wins him over. They end of having a crazy night filled with mischief and mayhem.
Quentin believes it will be the start of something great…but then Margo doesn’t show up to school the next day…or the next…

What follows is a mixture of mystery and self-discovery and Quentin and his friends try to find Margo, or at the very least find out where she went and why, and learn some pretty great lessons about themselves and how each person sees every person differently.

I don’t even know if I really scratched the surface, but I’ll say this:
Read John Green’s books. I don’t care where you start, but I guarantee you will enjoy them.

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