Saturday, September 6, 2008

the much-anticipated Paper Towns by John Green

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back 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.

When entering this novel, my expectations were high for a favorite author and vlogger John Green. After reading Steph's review I was even more expectant of a major wow-ing.

And I wasn't completely disappointed. This novel comes in three parts (I was actually just imagining John saying that in my head as he does for his videos) and the first of which is astoundingly resonating. Margo Roth Spiegelman is the most dynamic character ever presented by John or any other author and as she leads Quentin through a whirlwind of adventures throughout this part and the rest of the novel, pieces of her start to form together, creating a whole new person no one ever knew.

I can't deny that Paper Towns shows resemblance to Looking for Alaska, John's first novel, but I can't deny, either that it is a book of it's own and should be judged so. Not only Margo, but every other character in this world has his or her own role (just as is pointed out near the end of the story). Quentin's two best friends are Ben, a tragically confident band geek that can't live up to his own hype, and Radar, a computer whiz who spends all his time editing Omnictionary articles on his handheld. And then you have Quentin himself, a regular high school guy on the bottom of the food chain, whose only friends are in band when he has no apparent talent at all and enjoys boredom.

John Green has yet to put together a cast so familiar of a high school and yet so spectacular as he has now done with Paper Towns.

And while the middle drags a bit, as Quentin follows Margo's trail, John's writing transcends this pause in action as he ponders poetry, metaphors, the human nature, and how we're all connected. He uses his brilliance (because John Green has a brilliant mind) to ask questions that reach far beyond the simple mind-set of a typical YA novel.

I can't tell you if Paper Towns is any better than John's other novels because it sits on a different plane. It doesn't have the same hilarity of An Abundance of Katherines, nor the pain and sadness of Looking for Alaska, but it does have it's own unique in between story of a girl and a boy whose lives run parallel for the longest time and finally intersect one night, leaving them both changed forever.

5 large cups of bookstore coffee.

To pre-order your own copy of Paper Towns online, you can go to Amazon, Books-A-Million, or Barnes and Noble.


The Book Muncher said...

eek!! sounds so good :D i must read this!

Khyrinthia said...

Whenever I say the book is in three parts, I heard his voice in my head saying it too! (Well, that makes me sound so sane.)

Amee said...

Anytime I hear someone say "this [whatever] comes in [any number] parts" makes me think of John Green. :P

Readingjunky said...

Can't wait to read it. Great review!

AK Faison said...


*heart bursting with pride*

Anyway, can't wait to read it. Curse you for getting an ARC!

AK Faison said...

I know I'm not a very good nerdfighter for having not gone to the ning in so long.

*Heather* said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone.

Khyrinthia and Amee: It's like a reflex now. Just thoughts of John come flooding in when that phrase is used. It's a disease, almost.

Anna: I hadn't gone for about two months since gov. school and then I forced myself to sit down and watch all 10 videos I had missed and now I'm all caught up.