September 11, 2012

Paper Towns by John Green

Title: Paper Towns
Author: John Green
Ships launched: 791
Pages: 305
Publisher: Dutton Books
Year published: 2008
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Synopsis: 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 Q gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew.

Wow. John Green. Wow.
I'm sitting here, staring at his author picture on the back of this book, and thinking. What goes on in that man's head? How does he imagine these fantastical and wondrous stories and characters and...
Excuse my rambling. How about this: John Green rules. End of story.
The first story I ever tried to read of his was An Abundance of Katherines. Notice how I said "tried"? When I picked it up, I was tired. I was moody. I was upset. And I was not used to the awesomeness that is John Green. So I read about a chapter before setting it down and picking up a dependable, soothing, cliché chick lit book.
But I severely misjudged our dear friend Mr. Green. I did not realize that until recently, when I picked up The Fault in Our Stars and took it with me to the beach. It was amazing, to say the least.
Coincidentally, I read Paper Towns at the beach, earlier today. 
I have to say my favorite part was the gas station stop. I am not usually a giggle-out-louder, so I received some strange looks from my sister as I was reading that section.
I love how Quentin develops as a character. He seemed kind of young and ignorant at the beginning of the story, and he really grew into a more understanding human being. He understood, at the end, that Margo was just a person with thoughts and feelings, not some amazingly perfect thing that could never do anything wrong. Plus, he was a sweetheart. 
I loved how thoughtful Quentin was. He wasn't the kind of thoughtful where you remember someone's favorite candy and buy them some, or anything. He was the kind of thoughtful where he processes everything around him and tries to see the world differently. He thought all the time, about little things and big things. I loved his comparison of the minivan to a house, where he described all the little "rooms" inside it. I loved how much he understood about everything: the way he sat in the minimall and thought, the way he read Walt Whitman so thoroughly and thought. He was the true meaning of thoughtful: full of thoughts. 
I'm still not sure how I feel about Margo. I respect her, but I'm not sure if I actually like her. Her little games and plans and things just seem a little, well, mean. I don't know. It also seems like running away is her go to thing when times get hard.
Ben and Radar are awesome. I mean, they are pretty disgusting quite often. They're guys. But they are quite awesome. 
At first, I didn't like Lacey at all, but she grew to become one of my favorite characters. She was sweet and honest and caring and just plain cool. 
When I look back on the novel as a whole, it doesn't seem that special. But when you examine it closely, you see all the beautiful little things about it that make it special. 
I didn't much like the ending, but I can't really see how it could have possibly ended any other way and still have been a good story. 
Overrall, though, it was awesome. I kind of want a minivan now. ;) (GASP! I did not just type that... Haha)

This quote from the book really made me stop and think:
"'I'm not saying that everything is survivable. Just that everything except the last thing is.'" (pg. 301)

+20 - the hilarious bits
+ 9 - margo's Awesomely random Capitalization, because It Isn't fair to The words in the Middle, is It?

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