Monday, May 2, 2011

Review: Paper Towns

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Title: Paper Towns
Author: John Green
Release Date: October 16, 2008
Publisher: Dutton
Cover Designer: Christian Funfhausen
Age Audience: YA
Genre: Contemporary 
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 of the girl he thought he knew.

My Review:
I discovered Paper Towns about a year ago, but I had no interest in reading it until I saw a fan-made trailer (which was very well-done) for it during a presentation at TLA 2011. I didn’t know what to expect (remember that I generally don’t like contemporary fiction), but I was absolutely blown away! It was so fascinating, I really couldn’t stop reading.

The characters were awesome. I loved being drawn into the world of Quentin, Ben and Radar, all of whom made me laugh several times throughout the book. I loved how they weren’t ashamed of their intelligence and general nerdiness. I’m not sure how I felt about Margo though. I think it was selfish of her to run away. Even though it wasn’t the first time…Quentin missed her so much! He even though for a while that she was dead! (See? Look how attached I am to him.)

But behind the witty dialogue and captivating writing, Paper Towns had a profound message. It teaches that you should see people as people, and not expect them to be anything but who they are.
“What a treacherous thing it is to believe a person is more than a person.”
Here are a couple more quotes that are worth sharing:
“It is easy to forget how full the world is of people, full to bursting, and each of them imaginable and consistently misimagined.”
“When did we see each other face-to-face? Not until you saw into my cracks and I saw into yours. Before that, we were just looking at ideas of each other, like looking at your window shade but never seeing inside. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out.”
The ending was bittersweet and a little bleak, but hopeful. I may or may not have gotten a little teary-eyed. Paper Towns was a compelling and meaningful book that both young adults and not-so-young adults should read.

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