Friday, December 5, 2008

Paper Towns by John Green

inbriefpapertownsLooking for Alaska is still my favorite...but Paper Towns, John Green's newest release is an extremely close second. You know that an author has a true talent when you can list him in your favorites after reading just two books of his. I have his other book, An Abundance of Katherine's on my way to me right now and I can't wait to read it. Green has a true gift in capturing the spirit of a teenager and invoking a sense of nostalgia and longing in his readers. At least he does so with me. Margo Roth Spiegelman and Quentin Jacobsen discover the body of a man slumped against a tree at the age of 9 after an apparent suicide. They are neighbors and best of friends at the age of 9 who share a scary experience. But years later, as seniors in high school, they have grown into different crowds, though they are still neighbors. Quentin has never let go of his attraction to Margo. She's an enigma to him...the mysterious Margo who capitalizes random letters in sentences, seemingly doesn't care what other people think of her, and has the deepest, bluest eyes he has seen. One night Margo shows up at Quentin's bedroom window wearing all black and black face paint heralding the news that she needs him to accompany her on a mission of 11 things that she has planned which includes getting back at her ex-boyfriend who is now sleeping with her best friend and breaking into Sea World. Unable to say "no" to Margo Roth Spiegelman, Quentin hops in the driver's seat of his mini-van and accompanies her on her missions. The next day, Margo has seemingly disappeared. Her parents have no idea where she has gone to this time, and she's not at school. But Quentin soon finds clues that Margo has left for him pointing out where she may be, the most important being Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, specifically the poem Song of Myself which has always been a personal favorite poem of mine. With the help of his friends Ben and Radar, he goes on a chase to find Margo, fearing the worst and hoping for the best. Paper Towns is really another masterpiece. It's filled with humor, sadness, and the never ending search for who we are. I loved the characters in this novel so much. From the nerdy, but persevering Quentin, the even nerdier Radar (who's parents happen to be the owner of the world's largest black santa collection), the friend Ben who just wants to be a ladies man, to Margo, the mysterious and rebellious teen seeking out her place in the world. Green is so good at capturing the mind of a teenager and making the reader wish that they'd never grown up. If you loved Looking for Alaska, you'll love this one as well!

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