Title: Paper Towns
Author: John Green
Publication Date: October 16, 2008
Hardcover, 305 Pages
When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night - dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows her. Margo's always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she's always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they're for Q. - Summary from Goodreads
The prologue was like a temptingly delectable cupcake. It revealed such a mysterious and enticing moment in which two nine year old best friends discovered a bloody, dead man lying under the tree by the town playground. That was so interesting to me because it was so different than any other book prologue I had ever read before. It was nothing remotely close to normal. The beginning was enjoyable because Green's 'set up' was smooth - the lay out of Quentin's life as a senior to introduce the main character was done well. Quentin and his friends, Radar and Ben, were hysterical teenagers who I found easy to relate to.
The beginning was fast paced, as it almost immediately started with Quentin and Margo Roth Spiegelman - his long time crush - going on a crazy, wild adventure on a night they will never forget. This berserk circumstance caused the entire rest of the book to be effected by that night. That was an enjoyable change in a storyline, because most books don't reach the climax until about three quarters of the book. Not only was the climax at the start, but there was also another, more important climax as a result of the first one, so I did not find the rest of the book boring at all. I was expecting that the next few weeks after Margo and Quentin's campaign of revenge, everything would be settled down and life would go on without any nostalgic thoughts from anyone. Instead, Margo Spiegelman disappeared, and her vanishing act was put to investigation by the one and only distressed Quentin.
The mystery that went with Margo and her small lead of "bread crumb" trails that hinted only to Quentin as to where she fled were brilliant! (However, none are to be mentioned here for the protection of not releasing spoilers) I eagerly followed Margo's trail alongside Quentin every step of the way, whenever he found new evidence and got closer to uncovering the whereabouts of his childhood crush. The so called Paper Towns that Quentin discovered were neat, real-yet-not places that I had never heard of until Green introduced them into the story. Paper Towns are some of the coolest, non-existent concepts I have ever come across.
The twenty-one hour car trip with three senior boys and one senior girl was hilarious and amusing. Every hour of the trip was the start of a new chapter, and each chapter added new humor and old jokes from the previous chapters. The unexpected problems that the crew had along the trip were fun-filled and fantastic. I found that at every moment in the trip I could not put the book down, mainly because I was laughing so hard, and that just caused me to keep on reading because I was craving for another supply of stomach-aching laughter. Ben was a favorite character of mine during the road trip, perhaps because he always seemed as if he was in constant need of the restroom at all points along the drive. And when there was not a plan for a rest stop for another four hours, the restroom improvisational skills of the clan were a riot to read about. I also grew to love the character Radar, who was another addition to the calamities of the road trip. Radar was such a comical high-schooler, who had quite the strong personality and the strangest background. He was a strong leader and a great member of the crew.
In the end, after when Quentin ditches his very own high school graduation to find a special someone he is head-over-heels with, I found quite a few philosophical thoughts within him. There were life changing realizations and moments that had accumulated inside of him throughout his experiences that were never released until those moments at the end of the story. Every bit of those deep, psychological grasps that he caught on to made it a truly beautiful novel. The main reason why I am not rating it as high as I may seem to want to is simply because it was, to me, a little bit childish at points with the teenage humor. Some of the humor was a bit crude, and books that deserve higher are ones that aren't so, well, goofy. This was a fun read, but nothing too amazing to consider a high quality young adult book.