Paper Towns by John Green
Published in 2008
Book 13 in my January Kindle Challenge (ok, I know it’s February now but I did start this one in Jan!)
Who is the real Margo? Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life – dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge – he follows. After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. She has disappeared. Q soon learns that there are clues in her disappearance . . . and they are for him. Trailing Margo’s disconnected path across the USA, the closer Q gets, the less sure he is of who he is looking for.
This is the first John Green book I have read – although I did buy The Fault in our Stars last week as I have, of course, heard such a lot about it. And this book turned into a bit of a rollercoaster for me as I found myself liking it and getting fed up with it from section to section…
I fell in love with this book straight away. I adored all the characters, especially Q and his funny, self-deprecating friends. Margo was mysterious and cool, and I loved how we were thrown straight into the action with Margo and Q running around town carrying out a list of random and ridiculous errands.
Then Margo disappears – and I slowly started to fall out of love with the book. She leaves a series of clues as to where she’s gone, and these were so obscure that it seemed a bit unbelievable that Q and his friends managed to decipher most of them. One of the clues involved a lengthy poem, which then led to many thoughtful passages about the poem and its possible meanings. I’m not a big poetry fan at the best of times, and these pages became dull and repetitive – and also quite frustrating at times.
Then we get on to part 3 – the big road trip to find Margo. And then I fell back in love. This section of the book is crazy and funny, and it was like the first section of the book all over again – the three friends (and one extra character) with their banter and unique dynamic, and it became fast-paced and very readable.
And then the grand finale. I can’t say much without giving something away, but sadly I found myself leaving the book on another low.
I feel a bit deflated after reading this book, as it had so much going for it, and I absolutely loved some sections. But the middle section dragged and I did feel let down by the ending. I will read The Fault in our Stars, but I don’t feel so excited about it now, having finished this book and been a bit disappointed. I do feel inclined to check out the film version of the book though, as I’m interested to see how it translates to the big screen.