Tuesday, 23 October 2012

"Paper Towns" by John Green

Who is the real Margo?
Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificent, adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she opens his bedroom window late one night and summons him to join her on an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows. After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to find that Margo has not. Always an enigma, she now becomes a mystery and Q learns that there are clues to be followed in his search for Margo.

Let me start this review by saying I had pretty high expectations for this one. I LOVED The Fault in Our Stars so much, and John Green is awesome. So, I liked Paper Towns a lot. John Green is seriously talented. His writing is sharp and witty, but every now and again he adds that little bit of description that just adds to the depth of what you're reading. Paper Towns has a pretty simple plot. It revolves around Quentin Jacobsen, aka Q, a senior about to graduate from high school in Orlando, Florida. He's been in love with Margo Roth Spiegelman for as long as he can remember. After one night where he helps her in her campaign of vengeance against those who have wronged her, she basically drops of the face of the planet, and Q is left wondering where she went.
Quentin was a really great character. He was well-rounded, smart, and generally a nice guy, despite having moments of being totally self-absorbed. His friends Radar and Ben were hilarious, and I loved them. They added just the right amount of humor to any situation and some of the book's funniest moments were with these three together. Over the course of the book, Ben starts dating Lacey, a popular girl who Margo is friends with. Lacey was a really nice addition to the group and had her brilliantly funny moments.
Now, Margo. Margo was such a complex character who was really quite hard to like. Sometimes, she came out with these brilliant statements and I totally agreed with what she was saying, but most of the time she came across as being a bit of a self-obsessed bitch. I really couldn't understand why Quentin loved her so much, as she was pretty awful. I got really fed up in the second part of the book because all Q does is talk about her, think about her, and generally whine about where he thinks Margo might be. Yes, she might be dead, Q, but really? Has she ever properly given you the time of day? I think this is why it took me so long to finish it (Q's incessant pining for Margo). It annoyed the hell out of me, but I got through it, and the book got better. I absolutely loved the group's road trip, it was so entertaining and generally brilliant.
So, overall, I'd say that I really did enjoy this book, but I lowered the rating because of Q's Margo-induced whining, and the fact that she wasn't really worth all the hype. 

Rating: A-

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