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.
Miss Riki’s Review:
My reactions to Paper Towns were up and down as I read the novel. It started off with a bang and I was instantly drawn to Quentin. The night that he and Margo spend playing pranks and getting to know each other better is one of my favorite scenes from John Green. The night is fraught with tension and high emotions and is quite possibly the perfect way to set up the enigma that is Margo Roth Spiegelman. I was hooked and couldn’t wait to find out the circumstances behind her disappearance.
Then things went a little awry for me. I thought that getting to the actual clues and setting up the mystery behind Margo’s disappearance took a little too long and I sort of lost some interest as things got going. Thankfully there’s some really funny bits with Quentin’s wonderful cast of male friends that kept things afloat until the clues to Margo’s disappearance really started coming in in earnest.
After that slow middle, I was rewarded with perhaps the greatest road trip sequence ever written. When Quentin finally puts all of the clues together and sets off with his friends to find Margo, the story really picks up again. Some of the greatest moments of the book come in that road trip in Quentin’s minivan.
I do have to say that the characters aren’t far off from those of another John Green novel, Looking for Alaska. You could almost substitute Quentin for Miles and Margo for Alaska in those stories and have the same effect. Green writes great teen characters, but they really blurred together in these two novels for me. The similarities in circumstance and style are just too close to ignore.
Even with that minor point, this is a great novel steeped in mystery that kept me turning pages. I’m a fan of John Green and Paper Towns didn’t disappoint.