Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Review of Paper Towns by John Green

Dutton Books
Paper Towns
By John Green
5 Stars

When Q spends the night helping gorgeous Margo Roth Spiegelman, his next door neighbor and secret crush, get revenge on her peers, he sees a side of her that he never imagined existed. He can’t wait to return to school and really become part of her world—but suddenly—instead of Margo, Q has a series of clues that lead him on a bizarre quest to find out who Margo really is behind all of the illusions.

Quention, aka, “Q” has idolized Margo since they were children; to him she is beautiful, brazen, and perfect. And it’s not just Q; everyone at their small Florida high school either worships or envies Margo, and why not? Tired and perhaps broken, Margo has no desire to perpetuate the “paper girl” image that others have substituted for who she really is.  And so, through a brilliant series of clues that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat, Margo forces Q to “find her”—to begin questioning his view of first Margo and then other people he thought he knew. And yet, despite heavy and incredibly insightful themes about projection, roles, social norms and growing up, the story has no shortage of hilarity that will be sure to result in peals of laughter. Each character contributes to the fun; best friend Ben is obsessed with scoring a prom date and insists on calling women “honey bunnies,” best friend “Radar” has his own obsession with Omnictionary, an online wiki constantly in need of Radar’s intellectual gifts, and even Q’s clueless (yet strangly intelligent) parents contribute to the humor.  The fantastic dialogue that parleys between these three friends, coupled with the typical high school culture of recklessness  and adventure make this an authentic and entertaining road trip no high school senior will want to miss.  Fans of Green's previous works like Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines will not be disappointed.

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