'Paper Towns' by John Green Reviews
Before I started this book, I'd read 3 books by John Green , 'The Fault in Our Stars' being my favourite, and I was adamant that it was going to say that way, however this book has changed my mind, and pushed The Fault in Our Stars into second place. The is something about the writing in all of John Green's books where you enjoy even if there's not much happening, however Paper Towns didn't have many moments like that, as the excitement and sense of adventure continued right to the end.
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. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew...
My Spoiler-free opinions:
Not only were the plot and writing consistently brilliant, but the characters were also likable and relatable. The beauty of many/most of John Green's characters is that they aren't "hollywoodised", but they are very real, you can relate to what they do and say and some of the situations they are in, and you can imagine them being one of your friends or someone you know. Q, Ben and Radar's friendship is amazing and immature, and exactly like a friendship being 3 teenage boys is like, and Lacey -despite initially appearing slightly like a shallow girly girl who is idealized by Ben - becomes one of my favourite characters as her character is developed and becomes more complex. A key idea in the novel is the idea that things and people are not necessarily who they appear to be on the surface, and also the idea of idealising people so that they become someone else entirely. Over all, the book kept me interested all the way through due to the mystery and suspense, and the series of adventures were very exciting and fun to read.
Although most of what I'm going to say is not massively spoilery, I always think it's nicer to go into a book not knowing what's going to happen, even the little things, therefore I've separated these sections.
While some things they did were obviously fairly unrealisitic - as is the way with fiction- such as skipping graduation to spontaneously drive about 20 hours to New York, I found those bits the most exciting to read and didn't care that it most probably never would have happened (because really, how many things that happen in books are ever really likely to happen in real life?)
I loved Margo's list of things that she and Q did, and I thought that would be the most exciting adventurous part, however the bit I loved the most was when Q, Lacey, Radar and Ben went on their road trip, and Radar had everything timed so perfectly, and they had to rush around the petrol station with their list of things to collect.
I also thought that the whole idea of the Paper Towns that were used in Cartography for copyrighting was very interesting and well used in this novel by John Green to add to the mystery and complexity of Margo Roth Spiegelman.
Finally is the ending. I always think it's hard to be satisfied by and ending because if it's a cliff-hanger then you're angry and want more, but if it's a happily-ever-after, you're disappointed and want more, but John Green did it well here. I liked the fact that Margo had actually been escaping, and that she is angry at them for coming. Although my reaction was something like Lacey's at the time, looking back it was clever and added a nice twist. I also liked Q's realisation at the end that , what I see as a message in the novel, understanding the person Margo really is and actually seeing her as a real and equal person rather than the pedestaled person he saw her as through her clues and the exterior she chose to show.
Overall I give this book 5/5 stars and definitely recommend it. It is a quick, fun read , and is not only my favourite John Green book, but one of my favourite books overall.
P.S. I'm also super excited to see the film, because the trailer and the cast looks fab