Title: Paper Towns
Author: John Green
ISBN - 10: 0525478183
ISBN - 13: 978-0525478188
Margo Roth Spiegelman and Quentin "Q" Jacobsen. They used to be friends, until Margo ditched Q for the cool crowd. This has been the story of Q's life, until one night, Margo appears on his window and takes him to an all-nighter, righting wrongs and committing the perfect revenge. Q thought this will become a new chapter in his secret love for Margo, but come next morning, he finds Margo gone. However, she left clues for him, but he is not sure if they will lead to her, or to something else.
Humor-filled, exciting, and intelligent, this book will surely get you thinking and laughing all at the same time. Not just once did I find myself laughing aloud at the exchange of banter by Q and his friends, and not only once did I also find myself thinking about the mysteries and clues that unfold as the story progresses. Q and his friends are typical band geeks and nerds, but they have a coolness about them that makes them more likeable than the cool kids. Margo, on the other hand, is as mysterious and as lonely as she is beautiful. This adventure of finding clues, uncovering truths, and trying to make sense of a very long poem will demand you to never put it down once you open and read it.
The story never loses its rhythm, each word taking you to the next with the same intensity and urgency, pulling you deeper into the story that at times, you'll feel like you need to give Q some input about what you think of Margo's clues. I am such a mystery geek but by the end of the story, I still haven't figured out any answer, which makes the outcome very exciting. The story does not digress, focusing at the events at hand, and drawing remarkable images as it goes on. You feel the fear, you hear the laughter, and you sense the tension.
Q's parents are both psychologists. Which brings up one of my 'stupid questions': "What if both your parents are psychologists?" This story did not answer my question, but it does gives humorous examples of Q's parents' conversations, all filled with amusing psychological observations:
"Those are some very troubling dynamics, eh bud?"
"Margo's parents suffer a severe narcissistic injury whenever she acts out."
Not very satisfying examples, I know, but once you read the book, you'll see what I mean.
The characters' personalities and development throughout the story are consistent but not predictable. They may be shallow at first glance, but reading through the book, we see another dimension of their being: Ben may be as shallow and as attention-seeking as the next person, but he has the most presence of mind in the most difficult of situations. And just look at Q. The scaredy-cat now turned Sherlock Holmes.
To read Paper Towns, you'll know that the author is very smart. Interesting and witty dialogue? Check. Direct, focused writing? Check. Highly quotable sentences? Check. Flawed, engaging characters? Check. Imaginative, unique premise? Check. I can go on and on forever, but tell me, can a regular person interpret Song of Myself by Walt Whitman as intelligently as the author had? I don't think so. I am definitely a regular person and I could not look at it as he had with such meaning. He writes a highly intellectual yet fun story around it, expertly and effectively making events, clues, and conversations with this poetry at its core.
This book has definitely elevated itself to one of my favorites this year. And you know the best part? I got this 20 percent off!