Since I read TFIOS (The Fault in Our Stars) by John Green I’ve become something of an admirer of his work. I think I was like everyone else when I realised that it was best to read the book in the privacy of my own home, the reason being all the ugly crying I did. That’s right folks; I’m an ugly crier. Afterwards I really wanted to read more of his work, so I went on to read Looking for Alaska, which took my breath away. It seemed so unfair and frustrating what happened in the book, but when you think about it, that’s the emotion John wanted us to feel, in order to fully empathise with Miles. So picking up Paper Towns, I was both excited and somewhat reluctant.
Quentin has lived next door to Margo Roth Spiegleman his whole life, and whilst they were close friends as children, growing up they seemed to grow distant. Q loves Margo, so when she stops by his bedroom one evening and the duo share a night of adventure, pranks and revenge, Q can’t help but feel he and Margo will once again be friends, and hopefully much more.
‘I mean, at some point, you gotta stop looking up at the sky, or one of these days you’ll look back down and see that you floated away too.’
But when Margo doesn’t show up for school and appears to be missing Q starts noticing clues that appear to have been left for him. It seems that Margo wants to be found, and she wants Quentin to be the one to find her. With the help of his lifelong friends Ben and Radar, and newbie friend Lacey, they venture into the world of Margo. A strange world with many layers and sides, which leaves Q questioning if he ever really knew the real Margo or just his version of her.
‘To find Margo Roth Spiegelman, you must become Margo Roth Spiegelman’
John Green helps build the tension as slowly but surely the clues are deciphered and the gang know where Margo is, but it’s at this point the book becomes quite convoluted and somewhat disappointing. It’s anti-climatic and it made me feel disappointed. It all seemed too cliché and easy, and did I mention disappointing, oh yes I did.
It’s a well-written book that provides plenty of food for thought, and it will introduce a whole new generation to the poetic beauty of Walt Whitman, but I felt it lacked the charm of his other work. I’d recommend this if you are a big John Green fan or are looking for something that wraps your time in school.
Star Rating out of 5: 3
‘This was the first time in my life that so many things would never happen again.’
Until next time, happy reading bookworms.