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Paper Towns by John Green This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

To Quentin everyone gets a miracle. Either winning the Noble Prize, not getting stuck by lightning, becoming a dictator on a small nation, curing cancer, stuff like that. Some come early in life, other later; some might not even realize it was their miracle until it was already passed them. You might wish your miracle is to win the lottery, only to find out it was really your significant other surviving cancer. In other words, you cannot control your miracle, but only wait and hope one day they will find you. Quentin knows his miracle, in fact, he known it for a long time. His miracle was that his parents chose this house, out of all the houses, out of all the subdivisions in Florida; they chose that one, which happens to be next door neighbours to Margo Roth Spiegelman.

When you are little you do not choose your friends, your parents do. They chose based off of what parents they want to spend time with, how far away they are, and how much they truly love you. For Quentin his first friend was Margo, as their parents were friends, forcing the two little three year olds to become pals. From three to nine Margo was seen over at the Jacobsen’s house, riding the streets with Quentin, and so forth.  It stopped when they were nine as the two children found Robert Joyner, a thirty-six year old lawyer, who shot himself, and left his body to be found in the local park.  That is the point where the two children went separate ways, as Quentin took a step back; Margo went closer, closer to the body and to mystery itself.

John Green tells us the story about an everyday person, who is changed by someone unrealistic. Quentin was like most boys you can find at your local high school. Not good-looking, but not ugly either, hung around the band kids (but was not actually in band) had two supporting parents and a bright future. Margo was the messed up person, who on the outside looked whole, but inside was a whole mess of things. She was reckless, crazy, and did not believe in the standard future, and decides to go her own way. Margo had this deep hatred for the town she and Quentin grew up in. She called it paper, from the people to the houses they lived in; they were all made of paper: fake. “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.” For Quentin, who had a life-long crush on Margo, did not understand her whole “paper-rant” until it was too late, and she was gone. Quentin, unlike Margo parents, never gave up on her, determine that he was going to find her and bring her home safely. As Quentin, with the help of his friends, look deeply into Margo clues, Quintin realizes Margo was not the girl he remembered or had envisioned: “I don’t know who she is, anymore, or who she was, but I need to find her.”

The story was divided into three parts: The Strings, The Grass and The Vessel. Each part was a theory about how life was supposed to work. Starting off with Margo’s string theory of how everyone is connected by strings, and once all your strings are broken you have nothing else to live for. Part two: The Grass, was all about Walt Whitman Leaves of Grass poem’s especially the Song of Myself, a poem that played a major role in this story. John Green who writes fairy well for contemporary novels, this one fell a little short. Margo was an amazing character, with my favorite part being everyone always said her full name: Margo Roth Spiegelman. Unless talking directly to her, Quentin thoughts and to his friends he always said “Margo Roth Spiegelman” and never just Margo. That gave it the Mean Girls type edge when the characters talked about Regina George. Still Margo was not the main character, Quentin was, and he was the one who fell flat. He just had no guts, no glory, he was just a normal kid obsessed with his neighbour. It was no wonder Ben would not answer his calls anymore as all Quentin wanted to do was talk about Margo. His obsession with her, killed the story, as other plot lines like prom, family and graduation fell off the planet, as Quentin eats, breaths, and dreams about Margo Roth Spiegelman. I know the story talked earlier about prom was not Quentin thing, but going to, it would have given the story a bit better during the middle instead of being completely about Margo. If Margo was not missing and wanting to be found, this story who has a completely different genre as it would be Quentin: obsessing about his neighbour Margo, and stalking her everywhere she goes. Still the story had grit as it talked about the mental struggles Margo went through, and Quentin realizes the girl next door was not who he in pictured after all, but still loves with his thin paper heart.




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