Saturday, May 2, 2015

Paper Towns by John Green

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 Thoughts:
I usually leave a John Green novel feeling like I'd like to be friends with all the characters. They're all normal but funny and quirky and have interesting conversations. These kids were kind of the same. Except I didn't think we could be friends. 

For one thing, Margo was a completely self-centered, self-righteous, self-important, selfish little girl whom I wanted to leave town and never return. What kind of person runs away but leaves convoluted clues telling her neighbor-boy--who she largely ignored for about 10 years--where to find her? Why all the clues and mystery? If she just would have told Q, the neighbor-boy, where she went, or maybe called him or something, I would have found that a lot more believable. And likable. As it was, I hated how she expected this boy that she hardly knew to drop everything and make her the focus of his life. And she was just mean to everyone in general. Infuriating. Why was Quentin so obsessed with her?

And then Quentin. Seriously, why was he so obsessed with Margo? She ignored him completely. They were childhood friends, then they weren't. And still Q obsessed. I don't get it. Other than that I thought he was okay. But his obsession is kind of the krux of the book. Q's friends, Ben and Radar, were fun and entertaining. Lacey seemed like a random addition to the cast of characters, as a kind of after-the-fact "we need a girl in this novel" thing.

I did love all of Quentin's discoveries. He discovered a lot about himself and those around him and some of it was kind of profound. And the thing about the discoveries was that they were real and natural but they're things you don't usually think about. Typical John Green. I love that. There were a lot of random facts in here, as is also typical of John Green aka Mental Floss guy, which was fun and educational. 

Most of this book was set in Orlando. And it was written by a person who actually lived in Orlando. I'm kind of a sucker for books written about my hometown. Especially when the author actually knows about Orlando as a local, as opposed to an I-went-there-once-for-vacation person.

The writing, as always, was lovely. I wanted to keep reading. I wanted to see what would happen. I was entertained and engaged. I just didn't love the characters like I usually love John Green's characters. That's all.

Sexual Content: Moderate (talk but no real scenes)
Language: Moderate
Violence: Mild
Drugs/Alcohol: Moderate

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