Number of Stars: 5
Paper Towns is easily one of my new favorite books. I have a lot of favorites, but this book has definitely made it onto that list. Not only were the plot and characters amazing, but the messages throughout the book about friendship and identity were very eye opening. Now, onto the review.
THERE MAY BE SPOILERS SO CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN RISK
Quentin Jacobsen: smart, nerdy, and insistent. Margo Roth Spiegelman: a complete mystery. Throughout the entirety of the book, you sit and wonder who Margo is. In the beginning, you get the “cool girl” vibe. The girl with the school jock as a boyfriend, but it soon becomes clear that there is so much more to her.
Margo comes to Quentin in the dead of night (they are neighbors) and wants him to drive her around to complete 11 tasks. She was one for the dramatic, and needed to get back at some people who had hurt her. What does she do? She leaves FISH in their cars and wrote “Your friendship with MS sleeps with the fishes.” on each package. Clever, very very clever.
The final task was simply insane. They break into Seaworld. How they even pulled that off is beyond me, but it is a book so you just gotta use that imagination!
Throughout all 11 tasks, I wanted Margo and Quentin to become a thing SO BAD. Their playful banter was just so cute. They had some serious moments, which just made them seem like an even better couple. Their friendship went way back because they were best friends as kids. They also found a dead body when they were kids, so you could say that they have a special bond. It really showed.
Then, Margo Roth Spiegelman leaves. She just doesn’t show up to school. She wasn’t at home. Her parents were quite awful and changed the locks, saying they were tired of her dramatic escapades (this wasn’t the first time she left). But, this time, her leaving wasn’t temporary.
Another thing about her leaving is that she always left discreet clues. Quentin starts to find clues, feeling as if they were left for him. He thought Margo wanted him to go find her. So, he did just that. He spent so many days deciphering her clues, and he never once gave up. He feared she was suicidal, making me fear it right along with him. This book was such an emotional roller coaster.
Fast forward to when he finds the final clue: he drives 20 some hours with three of his friends to go to her. (Sigh…so heroic.) There’s a problem when they find her, though. She is PISSED. Everyone except for Quentin leaves and goes to a hotel because she just goes off on them about coming to find her (she was actually just really, really scared). At that moment, I hated Margo. I HATED her. She was being so selfish.
Then, Quentin and Margo have the cutest heart to heart. They bond over who Margo really is (which I still can’t put my finger on…she’s imaginative, unique, adventurous, independent). They bond over the guy they found dead in the park oh so many years ago. And then I loved Margo all over again. Witty, cocky, VULNERABLE Margo. There was so much more to her.
This book takes place in Orlando. Margo calls Orlando a Paper Town, the people Paper People, and the buildings Paper Buildings. She called herself a Paper Girl and wanted to leave that Paper Girl behind. Her leaving was final.
Then, Quentin and Margo have to say goodbye. It was the sweetest goodbye, but also the saddest. Tears came to my eyes as their goodbye came to a close, and as the book ended. It was so amazing and the ending was perfect.
I know I didn’t mention any of the other characters in the book, but Margo and Quentin were the reason everything happened. Quentin’s two best friends, Radar and Ben, were hilarious and added comic relief throughout the entire book. I loved those two and they made the book into a comical one. They were by Quentin’s side throughout the whole entire process of finding Margo.
Radar was a super smart kid and had an addiction to Omnitionary (basically Wikipedia) and I always found him so funny. The boys would be hanging out and he would sit there and say something like, “sorry, I’m currently de-vandalizing a page on Omnitionary.” He was great.
Ben was not the brightest, but he was equally as funny. He loved the idea of becoming popular and towards the end started dating one of Margo’s best friends, Lacey. She was a sweet girl who wasn’t as superficial as it seemed. She really cared about Margo.
This book was simply amazing. It made me laugh and almost cry. I got so emotionally attached to the characters. This book was so good that I read it in two days while I was on vacation. It kept me from wanting to swim in the pool and ocean; it was THAT good.
Anyway, I highly highly HIGHLY recommend this book to everyone! John Green, you are amazing.
What is your favorite John Green book? Have you read Paper Towns? If so, did you enjoy it? Favorite character? Favorite scene (mine was definitely the last couple of pages)?