Friday, June 6, 2014

Paper Towns by John Green

After reading this book, I only have two questions (okay, it might be more than that, but bare with me here). 1. Where was this book when I graduated college last year? Or better, where was this book when I graduated high school five years ago? And 2. Why the hell was this book so freaking long? I mean, I get that a story had to be told here, but did it really need that many pages?

Some of the reviews for Paper Towns on Goodreads haven’t been kind. A lot of people said that John Green continued the storyline of An Abundance of Katherines and Looking for Alaska in this book, and in some ways I get where they’re coming from, but in others I feel like a new story was told here.

Quentin or ‘Q’ for short is going through the last month of his senior year in high school. One night he goes on an adventure with his next-door neighbor Margo as she exacts revenge on her boyfriend and some of her friends who knew that he was cheating on her. It’s an insane plan – one that involves breaking and entering (but not breaking and entering the felony), vandalism, hair removal, and various other things. When the trip comes to an end, Q is left wondering by things that Margo has said. His wonderment continues when she goes missing…again. Her parents are fed up and change the locks refusing to look for her. But Q notices clues and starts to put things to together.

Most of the second part of Paper Towns I could have honestly done without. Q thinks that he’ll never find Margo alive. That she has gone off for the last time to off herself. But it’s the last four or five chapters in the second part, that I absolutely adored. Q’s wittiness with his friends, them hosting parties like usual high school seniors, was fantastic. And when Q does finally figure out where Margo is twenty minutes before graduation – or so it seems – Ben, Radar, and Lacey come with him for an epic road trip.

The ending was sort of disappointing. Q doesn’t get the girl. Margo never wanted to be found. At least she wasn’t dead and she’s been planning this since Q and her found that dead body in the park when they were ten years old.

Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. Compared to Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars it was okay. A little too long for my liking, it did drag on in some parts. I kind of wished Q’s friends Ben and Radar had been in it more.

Bookshelf worthy? I’m passing on this one, so support your local library.

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