Paper Towns – John Green.
I wish I were half the writer John Green is.
That was a reoccurring thought that niggled its way into my brain whilst I was reading this. To be honest, I don’t know why it took me so long to buy it and get into it. Looking for Alaska is one of my favourite books and I wanted to see what else John Green had done so finally I got round to getting a copy of this.
Anyway, Paper Towns is the story of Quentin, a kid living in Orlando about to leave school and head into the big wide world. He’s smart, funny and he’s completely disillusioned by the mundane material things that his class mates deem to be cool. He and his best mates are actually what me and my mates are like so that was already ticking major boxes for me.
Quentin also happens to be in love with his next door neighbour a girl called Margo, with whom, on a child hood trip to the park he discovers a suicide victim. The whole story can be attributed back to this moment and how it shaped the two characters. Together, in the present, they have one amazing adventurous night out and then she disappears.
Quentin discovers a series of clues supposedly leading him back to her and to the truth of who she really is which in turn lands him the biggest adventure and greatest lesson of his life.
I am no where near articulate enough to be able to do this book justice, you’ll just have to trust me when I say it is capital A amazing. John Green’s words and ideas have a habit of getting under your skin and haunting you. I happen to be a bit weird and collect quotes, after reading this I managed to fill another two pages in my quote book. So many amazing things that made me stop and actually reconsider the way I see people, life, the universe and myself in an entirely new way.
The only thing that bugged me – and this is probably more a me thing that a flaw – is that Margo is a little too similar to Alaska for my liking. The whole idea of leaving clues and giving your worrisome neighbour one massive adventure just seemed to be the exact thing that Alaska would have done for Pudge. But that said, that notion probably comes from over thinking Looking For Alaska too much.
On another note, I loved the ending. It would have been far too easy to turn it into some Disney fairytale, so I loved that essentially the characters remained true to themselves.
So, to sum up, Paper Towns is fantastic, John Green should be honoured with the likes of Dickens, Edgar Allen Poe, bloody Shakespeare even. He is phenomenal and doesn’t receive half the credit that he deserves.
Now I’m off to add the rest of his work to my amazon wish list.