Paper Towns- John Green
Quentin Jacobsen considers the fact that he lives next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman the miracle that he has been granted in his life. Even though they don't talk much anymore, he still thinks of her. So he is understandably apprehensive when she waltzes back in through his bedroom window- intent on taking him out on the town for a night of ninja antics and vengeance.
He thinks that things will be different after that.
Until he wakes up the next morning- and Margo is gone.
Through a series of clues, Q finds himself racing across town, trying to follow the trail she's lain. Becoming more and more confused as her clues lead him to a girl he isn't sure he ever really knew.
I honestly have mixed feelings about any book by John Green. On the one hand, the man writes beautifully moving stories about people who seem so very real. On the other, he also has a tendency to make me want to fling his book across the room and curl into a ball until it doesn't hurt so much.
I first came across this duality with The Fault in Our Stars (which I will be seeing at least twice in the first week that it comes out). The books I've read from him since then- Let it Snow, Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines- were all consumed while bracing for tragedy. It came, of course, but it never hurt as much as TFiOS.
Until Paper Towns.
Paper Towns wasn't as... tragically emotional as Fault. It wasn't as traumatic. But it still hits hard enough that even a year after first penning this review, despite not having re-read it since, it still makes me stop and think.
It seems that my thoughts this time revolve more around the author than the book- but sometimes you really can't separate the two. I find myself not so much unable as unwilling to separate the choices and events in Paper Towns from Green's ability to deal with Big Issues without proclaiming I AM DEALING WITH A BIG ISSUE HERE SO PAY ATTENTION. Instead, the issues grow and evolve naturally with the story, in repeated metaphors of mirrors versus windows and meditations about grass and hands that span continents and minds that correctly imagine.
Paper Towns is a feast for a tired soul, a book that looks at the way we see others- and how that can say more about ourselves than them- within a beautifully told tale of a boy looking for a lost girl who once lived next door to him in a paper town.
P.S. It seems that this book will also be made into a movie. Well done, John Green. Well done.