Paper Towns by John Green | Teen Ink

Paper Towns by John Green

October 29, 2015
By Anonymous

Quentin Jacobsen is a typical nerdy high school boy; quirky, smart, and shy, unless it’s towards Margo Roth Spiegelman. Q is timid for a senior in high school, and doesn’t get out much, but when he does it’s to hang out with the band geeks. In Paper Towns by John Green, Margo tests Quentin’s social skills, bringing him out of his comfort zone.

John Green is an award winning young adult novelist, writing The New York Times Bestseller The Fault in Our Stars, YouTube video blogger, and educator. “Paper Towns” is Green’s first venture into mystery novels, and has been quite a success so far. Green’s work never fails to please me. Being debuted at number five on the New York Times Bestseller list and winning the 2009 Edgar Award for best young adult novel, this book is impressive.

After becoming friends with Margo, life for Quentin is anything but ordinary. Up until their senior year of high school, Quentin was always the creepy-neighbor-kid with a crush on his next door neighbor, Margo. “I thought maybe if I could be confident, something might happen between us”- something being more than just a late night adventure. She is the opposite of Q, she’s the most popular girl in school. Margo’s spontaneous, outgoing, and adventurous; something she doesn’t hide from anybody. Their friendship didn’t develop until a month before their high school graduation, when Margo and Quentin went on a spontaneous journey around Florida in the middle of the night. “3 whole catfish, Veet (shaving cream), Vaseline, Mountain Dew, one dozen tulips, bottle of water, tissues, and a can of blue spray paint (31-21)”, all on Margo’s list of things to buy, before heading out on their exhilarating adventure.  Margo and Quentin take a number of stops on their trip to ‘friends’ houses, leaving a surprise for each. The journey was enticing and kept me on my toes, I couldn’t put the book down. Green explained it in detail, which helped me create images in my head. Q is left thinking things could be different between him and Margo. After a wild night, Margo flees the state, leaving Quentin. No one is surprised by Margo’s disappearance, but Q is left with a series of questions.

The search for Margo begins with help from the band geeks. Days go by before Margo’s parents give up, knowing that this prank is nothing unfamiliar. “‘I’m done’ says Mrs. Spiegelman, ‘She’s eighteen. I mean, the detective has just said there’s nothing we can do- (101).”  But Quentin is determined, as he does anything he can to find her. “‘Listen Ruthie, we need to look in Margo’s room (111).”  Quentin and the band geeks find a stash of Margo’s hidden treasures, and believes there’s a clue hidden inside. He spends long days and nights fighting for Margo, and comes close to giving up, until he finds a blog post.

Green was bothered by the way he saw people idealize the people they were interested in.  Green writes his first mystery novel where Quentin fantasizes over Margo, but miss imagines her as someone different. She's hard to find out because she’s not the person Quentin thought she was, but he discovers who she is over the time he spends searching for her. Green connects his interest with Paper Towns to Margo, and invites the reader to become attracted as well. The book gets me interested and involved with the characters, but keeps me connected to the plot line. "Will Margo be found?" continued to ponder in my head, which made me want to read more. Paper Towns is like a cigarette to a smoker, it’s addicting and hard to put down. After a surprising ending, an abundance of questions still ponder in my head. Hopefully a sequel will be coming out soon.


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