Paper Towns by John Green

Summary from Goodreads:

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. Printz Medalist John Green returns with the trademark brilliant wit and heart-stopping emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of readers

I am still on the contemporary YA phase, having read Marchetta and Moriarty but I thought I'd switch it up a bit and get into a contemporary YA written by a guy and told from the perspective of a guy. John Green seems to be the obvious choice. And after reading the book, I figured that it was also the wisest choice.

I like the characters in the story. Although they are the standard YA characters with Quentin as the leading man, Radar, the smart one, Ben the goofy one, Lacey, the pretty one, and Margo the larger-than-life girl. Despite that, I am not really complaining because they make  a great team and I am not sure how an adventure would result if everybody in the group are let's say, all nerds, or all goofy. (I have yet to read a book like that though. It would be quite interesting.)  Anyhow, I like Quentin, Radar, and Lacey the most. Quentin, because he has fears and worries and panics most of the time, a lot like me. Radar because he's smart and geeky, and Lacey because she realizes and accepts her mistakes, and although has the tendency to be oblivious, she is a kind and genuine person. 

The story is a mixture of the mystery of Margo's disappearance, of playing detective while at the same time living the life of a senior in high school with homeworks, and finals, and prom, of road trips, and realizations about life and what it holds for them in the future. It is a mixture of happiness and sadness. Enthusiasm and depression. Love and hate.

I like YA novels like these that feature teenagers that seems to be way smarter than adults normally give them credit for. Teenagers hat break the stereotypical image wrongly bestowed on them as those with raging hormones, irrational, selfish, and talks mostly in monosyllables. I like that this book makes you think. I like that I found myself nodding and affirming the metaphors and descriptions that Quentin and Margo said about  people, and life, and living.  It reminds me a bit of Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre, a less gritty and more wholesome version of it. All in all, the rest of John Green's books will make their way into my bookshelves sooner or later, right beside Melina Marchetta's.

"When did we see each other face-to-face? Not until you saw into my cracks and I saw into yours. Before that, we were just looking at ideas of each other, like looking at your window shade but never seeing inside. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out."

Quentin Jacobson (Paper Towns by John Green, winner of 2009 EDGAR AWARD for Best Young Adult Novel)

I am participating in my first reading challenge ever. The 2012 Award-Winning Books Reading Challenge. If you want to participate as well, just head on to Gathering Books and learn more about the said challenge.


  1. Hi Tin!! I'm so glad that you decided to join our reading challenge! You could also add this review to the January 2012 Linkup Page here: with the book title and your blog name :)

    Oh yeah, I've read Looking for Alaska - will probably post the review sometime next month. Have you read that one too?

    1. Hi Myra! Already added my review to the Linkup Page.

      I haven't read Looking for Alaska yet. I'll be looking forward to your review. Most of his works received an award. Looking For Alaska got the Printz Award while Katherines got Printz Honor. So John Green suits this reading challenge. :D

  2. Hi-I'm participating in the Reading Challenge too & trying to read all the reviews a few at a time. I'm excited to read your review because I just read my first John Green-An Abundance of Katherines--and loved it like you liked Paper Towns! They did seem like real teens to be, so full of life and enthusiasm and just trying to figure things out. Thanks for your ideas about this book!

    1. Hi Linda! I bet I'll like An Abundance of Katherines too, I've heard so much about it. John Green will be one of the authors that will stay on my to-read list. :D


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