book review

Book Review: Paper Towns - by John Green

5:40 PM

Summary from Goodreads:
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...

Rating: 3.5/5
This is a novel people would generally want to read because the author of Paper Towns is the very same mastermind responsible for the heart aching journey that was The Fault in Our Stars. To be honest, a person never truly knows what to expect when it comes to books written John Green. It could either be a ridiculously uncomfortable story that makes the readers cringe with second hand embarrassment or a ridiculously sad story that makes the reader curl into a ball and cry for nine days straight. Paper Towns is no exception.

When a reader first begins to read Paper Towns, they would most likely assume that it is a romance since the storyline revolves around a soon to be high school graduate, Quentin Jacobsen,  who is madly in love with an adventurous girl, Margo Roth Spiegelman, who has no limits when it comes to carrying out a scheme she has carefully planned out. Upon closer reading however, the reader comes to realize that Quentin is not as in love with Margo as he is infatuated with the idea of her. In fact, it could be considered a border-line mystery novel. Throughout the book, the protagonist tries to find out who Margo really is  when he is hit with the realization that he didn't know the real Margo, he just accepted the portrayal he was given of her.

Paper Towns, like all of John Green's work, has a wide range of diverse and round characters that sometimes overthrows the main character's likability. The novel doesn't focus solely on Quentin, but it give the readers insight on his friends' personalities as well. This is particularly interesting because Paper Towns is written in first person point of view, so naturally one wouldn't expect much background on any character that wasn't Quentin. Granted the reader's were not given specific details about their back stories, the way the characters spoke and acted with or around Quentin was more than enough for the readers to understand their characterizations and have opinions on all of them based on these simple aspects. 

Alongside the amazing characterization was engaging writing. The way in which John Green wrote this book drew in the readers, not necessarily through the plot (although that did play a pretty large role), but through the way it was written. The protagonist, Quentin, had an unfaltering voice that was consistent throughout the book. The same could be said for all the other characters, major or minor. Because of this, it could easily be said that John Green is an unbelievably talented writer and deserves all the attention he has been getting recently.

The one and only thing that was slightly bothersome while reading some John Green books in general is that the middle portion of the stories tend to be quite bland. The middle is when nothing in particular is really going on (aside from angst and occasionally self pity) and the reader is tempted to skim through it to get to the good parts again. This problem does occur in Paper Towns, although it is, to a certain extent, much more tolerable than any other story. 

Even though Paper Towns is not an outright romance, it would be extremely exciting if this was made into a suspenseful romantic comedy. It had an entertaining storyline, varied characters, and amazing writing. What more could you want from a book? If you are the kind of person that likes cute stories with meaningful plots, this is definitely the book to read.

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1 comments

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