Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Paper Towns by John Green

Paper Towns

Overview from Barnes and Noble:

From the #1 bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars
Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery
New York Times bestseller
USA Today bestseller
Publishers Weekly bestseller

   When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows her. Margo’s always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she’s always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they’re for Q.

Printz Medalist John Green returns with the trademark brilliant wit and heart-stopping emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of readers.

My thoughts:
After reading The Fault in Our Stars I wondered if I would enjoy other books by Green or if he would turn out to be formulaic.  I have to say that I enjoyed this one and it does not follow any formula.  This is a whole new cast of high school students with their cliques and standing in the social order.  While Fault's protagonists spent very little time in school due to their illnesses, these students spend a lot of time in school, around school and with people from school.  Everyone has their place in the hierarchy and Margo is the head of it all, so when she disappears one day, as she has done many times before, the high school kingdom is a bit bereft.  Why would she leave just a few weeks from graduation and before the prom?  Will she be back in time to walk with her classmates?  Is she coming back?

Margo has left Quentin, her one time childhood friend and next door neighbor, both his memory of the night they spent completing numbered pranks and a few clues.  Q feels he needs to follow them to find her, that she left them for him because she wants him to come to her rescue, but his friends and parents are a bit skeptical.  At one point in the story four of the character, three boys and one girl, go on a road trip to follow a clue.  I found the trip to be hilarious.  Perhaps I was just in the right mood for it, but I couldn't stop laughing about the antics.  The trip was broken down by hours and between  what they were wearing when they started the trip, the boy who had to pee every five minutes, the math calculations they made to get there by the dead line and the choreographed gas station stops it was like a well played out comedy act!

Among other funny random things from the book, one of the characters parents own one of the largest collections of Black Santas in the country and they keep them displayed year round.  Also, Margo has a penchant for random capitalization because she feels bad for the words in the middle of sentences.  The book made high school life come to life, but made the characters less than perfect to show the flaws we all have, but how some people ignore them and some people are crippled by them.

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142414934
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 9/22/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320

Meet the Author

John Green is the award-winning, #1 bestselling author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with David Levithan), and The Fault in Our Stars. His many accolades include the Printz Medal, a Printz Honor, and the Edgar Award. He has twice been a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize. John was selected by TIME magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. With his brother, Hank, John is one half of the Vlogbrothers (youtube.com/vlogbrothers), one of the most popular online video projects in the world. You can join the millions who follow John on Twitter (@realjohngreen) and tumblr (fishingboatproceeds.tumblr.com) or visit him online at johngreenbooks.com.

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