Paper Towns by John Green

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

Paper Towns is seen through the eyes of Quentin, or Q as he is known to his friends. Q's life changes the night his former childhood friend and girl next that he's in love with, Margo, climbs through his bedroom window in the middle of the night. Free spirited and slightly batty, Margo has a night of fun and revenge planned for a few friends that have lost Margo's loyalty recently. Against his better judgement, Q tags along as the getaway driver... And let the games begin.

From using depilatory cream to remove a bullies eyebrow while he sleeps, breaking into Sea World, to taking penis photos of a naked ex - boyfriend, Q can't remember the last time he felt so free. But when Margo disappears, everyone assuming she is on another adventure, Q needs to find her.

Leaving cryptic clues to mark her trail, Q enlists the aid of his friends to track her down. The clues becoming far harder to decipher. How will he find the one girl who clearly doesn't want to be found?

This book started out really enjoyable, I found myself suppressing snorting laughter at the dialogue between Quinton and his friends, the second largest black Santa collection, one eyebrow bullies, miniscule penises, urinating in bottles and balls... Yes... Balls. It was immature but perfectly timed.

Half way through, what started as a light hearted comedy suddenly became very serious. Discussing mental health, self esteem issues and the pressure of being a teen on the cusp of adulthood. I was bitterly disappointed. I'm not shallow, but I was thoroughly enjoying Paper Towns up until that point and realised how similar it felt to one of his other works, Looking for Alaska.

With all three John Green novels I've finished, they all have the same sense if fun adventure, at least one eclectic character, an underlying social message and no ending. His novels are read to incite discussion, make us ponder life and those around us and leave you to draw your own conclusions on what happens after you read the final page.

It was witty, intelligent with brilliant banter and memorable characters, but for once I need John Green to give me a final, not up for interpretation, happy and satisfying ending, not the usual fence sitting. 

Paper Towns
Written By John Green
Published 16 / 10 / 2008
332 Pages

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