Paper Towns… You follow the main character, Quentin or Q, throughout the story as he stays inside his own head while describing his world to you. You learn early on about his obsession with one thing, well person really, Margo. The whole of Paper Towns is spent with him trying to find her after she runs away because she showed him some attention for one night. Q spends the last few months of senior year searching for Margo, following the clues she left him… if only crushes worked like that in real life.
Paper Towns is a good read, meaning the plot hooks its readers enough to keep them interested to continue reading until the end. John Green does a fantastic job at keeping his readers entertained. In his search to find Margo, Q is joined by his two best friends and Margo’s best friend, Lacy. Margo and Lacy are very much apart of the popular crowd is high school where Q and his friends are not.
For me this story consisted of very singular characters maintaining the status quo, even if they did end up changing a few things about themselves. Q thinks linearly and even though his thoughts can be passed off as being able to think deeply into important concepts his actions don’t always quite reflect that.
John Green has a talent for prose. Every now and then during his novels there will be a portion that is so well written it speaks to every experience you have ever had in your life and by consequence you feel utterly understood in that moment. As Q follows the clues Margo left him he ends up abandoning may parts of his life. (I think a crush did that to me once too.) And in the process has many of these “profound” thoughts and revelations that has really nothing to do with him or the others around him and definitely cannot relate to the reader.
And that’s the whole key I think why I couldn’t give this book a 5 star rating. So many of us wish for an adventure during high school or our senior year and many of us have never gotten that adventure. Q is almost coerced into that adventure and all that follows from that first taste with Margo is unrelateable. Honestly, I couldn’t relate to a single character or event, especially since my adventure day dreams in high school never involved the situations and complete character changes within a few days as Q and his companions went through.
For a book of 305 pages (Paperback) I was only ever able to truly enjoy it because it was an interesting story that flowed well. Who knows, maybe some of you out there will be able to see something in it that I did not or may even be able to relate to some of the shenanigans that Q and his gang got up to… would be quite crazy if you could. This is a book I enjoyed reading during the process, but it is not one I will ever go back and reread (I have quite a few that I re-visit every year). Although this is a book that I would recommend you read at least once and also would be one I would happily lend out for others to enjoy. Having said all this I am indeed going to see the movie adaptation in theaters as soon as it hits my town. Let me know if you would like to see a review on the movie.