Skip to main content

Paper Towns by John Green

John Green knows how to end a book. You always hear about killer first lines and great beginnings, but it has got to be harder to end a story well. To know what to do with and to the characters and story you've crafted. I thought Looking for Alaska had the most beautiful closing lines. The wrap up in An Abundance of Katherines was just right. And my favorite thing about Paper Townsis undoubtedly the ending. Kind of nice to hear going in, isn't it?

So the story follows Q (short for Quentin) in his life-long quest to love girl-next-door Margo Roth Spiegelman. The thing is, she's sort of too cool for school, let alone Q. But one night she climbs through his bedroom window and absconds with him on a night full of adventure, breaking, entering, and general tomfoolery. Next morning she's gone. Q, with the occasional help of his two band geek friends, Ben and Radar, embarks on a journey to find Margo. Little does he comprehend just what "finding" her will mean. If it sounds like a combination of his two previous books, it sort of is but sort of not. Q engages in quite a bit of philosophical questioning and yet he is, in all respects, pleasantly without distinction as high school seniors go. This made him rather innocuous and a bit hard to like as much as I'd like to have. He exists on the fringes of every kind of stereotypical teen and seems to be perpetually surprised and amused by them all. It is a very calm, almost low-key book and it was over before I was ready. I wouldn't mind hearing more about Margo and Q (and Radar!) because I felt as though I was only beginning to get a handle on them when the whole thing came to a close. But, as I said, it was a perfect kind of ending. 

It's hard including quotes because the humor is so much of the experience of reading a John Green book and you don't want to ruin anything. At the same time, you can't not include at least one or two because they are, well, made of awesome. So here's one:
Now, I'm not sure what you're supposed to say to the checkout woman at twelve-thirty in the morning when you put thirteen pounds of catfish, Veet, the fat-daddy-size tub of Vaseline, a six-pack of Mountain Dew, a can of blue spray paint, and a dozen tulips on the conveyor belt. But here's what I said: "This isn't as weird as it looks."
The woman cleared her throat but didn't look up. "Still weird," she muttered.
See? You know you wanna find out just what all those items are for. 

And here's two:
Radar was leaning against Ben's locker, typing into a handheld device.
"So you're going to prom," I said to him. He looked up, and then looked back down.
"I'm de-vandalizing the Omnictionary article about a former prime minister of France. Last night someone deleted the entire entry and then replaced it with the sentence 'Jacques Chirac is a gay,' which as it happens is incorrect both factually and grammatically." Radar is a big-time editor of this online user-created reference source called Omnictionary. His whole life is devoted to the maintenance and well-being of Omnictionary. This was but one of several reasons why his having a prom date was somewhat surprising.
"So you're going to prom," I repeated.
"Sorry," he said without looking up.

There. You love Radar already, don't you? As well you should. Go read the book.

Comments

  1. I just read my first John Green book (Looking for Alaska) a week or two ago and I'm sold. I can't wait to read his other two!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, man. I laughed so hard while reading An Abundance of Katherines. You have a real treat ahead of you. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. John Green rocks. :) I just read Paper Towns last week and loved it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. great review. i have Katherines, but need to read it...Looking for Alaska was amazing and I can't wait to read this one!

    -Lauren

    Contests and More. Come and Chat!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks, Lauren. I actually read Katherines first and then immediately ran out and got Alaska. Love John Green.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

You Might Also Like

Review | A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

The first review of the year! Writing this one always feels fresh and hopeful to me and like it may set the tone of my reading year in a way. This was a very good one to start with. And the moral of this story appears to be: I will never tire of Beauty and the Beast retellings. A fact I was not unaware of, but that I am happy to have confirmed once more, this time after reading Brigid Kemmerer's A Curse So Dark and Lonely. My favorites tend to run the Robin McKinley way, with the most recent favorite retelling being Meagan Spooner's wonderful Hunted. But this is the first retelling of my favorite fairy tale that I've read that includes both traditional fantasy and modern contemporary settings. I didn't think it could work. Or, at least, I was skeptical that the one would interfere with the other or that the different dialogues might clash. How happy I was to find that the whole thing played out seamlessly. How happy I am to have discovered Brigid Kemmerer's writin…

Review | All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

I thought today would be the perfect day to review this unicorn of a book. It is All Saints' Day—a fitting day to revisit all the crooked ones, no? It is also the first day of November and so, today, . . . well, you know the rest. What I'm saying is, today is kind of the perfect day to do all the Maggie Stiefvater-related things! Which is, of course, why I'll be attending her signing event later this evening at my local indie, key in hand. I know. I win today. I do. What I do not do is take it for granted. My good fortune or this book. This beautiful, beautiful book. But before we get into my reaction, I want to make a brief request. If you haven't yet had a chance to read Maggie's post on how this book came about and what it was originally going to be and what it actually became, I straight up implore you to do so. It is one of my favorite things I've read this year and it is something I needed to read this year. My favorite line? "I discovered that I wa…

Angie's Best Books of 2018

It is the last day of the year. Are you with me? We made it this far. I think we'd better keep going. I always enjoy arriving at this final post of the year so much. I love seeing all of your lists and all of the books and words and hearts and monumental efforts that gave you life this year. That helped get you to this point. With me. I have felt rather keenly these last 365 days how in it together we are. How we have to be. And I am grateful for you. For each of you who leave comments and send recommendations and write and read and push forward into the darkness. I'm so grateful for you. 
And so here I leave my best books of the year. It's a whopping 28 titles, guys. Twenty. Eight. I haven't had a list that long in a handful of years at least. That is something to smile at. A record of a year well read, indeed.

Photo by @aamith (in the order in which I read them)

Circeby Madeline Miller The Princeby Katharine Ashe Burn Brightby Patricia Briggs Any Groom Will Doby Charis …