Top positive review
Fun YA novel that should be a fun movie later this year
on February 15, 2015
(Review copied from https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1155229225)
Chose to read this because John Green was posting updates to Twitter from the set of the film adaptation being released later this year. I loved The Fault in Our Stars when I read it over a year ago and enjoyed that film, so I figured I'd get ready for this film too. I didn't want to wait and read the book too close to the film's release, however, because then I'd no doubt be complaining about the changes that are always inevitable in film adaptations.
Paper Towns tells the story of two neighbors who are very different, and yet somewhat similar. Quentin Jacobsen and Margo Roth Spiegelman grew up in an Orlando subdivision and shared the traumatic experience of finding a dead body on their playground. The two grow up living just feet apart but separated by the vast divide of high school cliques. Margo Roth Spiegelman (never just "Margo") pretty much runs the school while Q (rarely "Quentin") usually just hangs outside of the band room with his friends Ben and Radar, pining after his neighbor from afar.
Everything changes when Margo comes to Q's window late one night and takes him on an adventure of revenge and disappears the next day. Margo up and left for a few days at a time before, but this time feels different. Prom and graduation are only weeks away, and Q worries why Margo would leave just after they started to connect after years of not. Soon, he finds a series of clues she left for him and he goes on another adventure trying to find her. Sadly, the clues let him find a lot more about Margo than he ever imagined.
Most of the book is a mystery about not only where Margo went or what happened to her, but also who Margo is. For a girl who seemed to have it all, Q finds a lot about her that she kept hidden from everyone.
John Green is very intelligent (seriously, check out his YouTube channel, vlogbrothers, to learn all sorts of little bits of trivia in 4 minutes or less) and he seems to write high school characters really well. Some of the writing seems a little too intelligent for the characters (do high school students really every randomly quote poetry?) but the story is very intriguing. The characters are all well-written, especially Margo Roth Spiegelman who we get to know slowly throughout the book when she's missing. I love the final section in its hour by hour/page by page countdown to its final 25 pages of wrapping everything up. It was a little bittersweet, but that's how I remember high school and any attempt to shoehorn a perfect ending would have felt like a cheat since high school is never perfect. Can't wait to see the movie--a lot of fun scenes that I hope make the cut.