Books · REVIEWS

Paper Towns by John Green

“It is easy to forget how full the world is of people, full to bursting, and each of them imaginable and consistently mis-imagined.”

Summary from the inside jacket:

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 the girl he thought he knew.

Personal Thoughts:

This is the first John Green book that I’ve read and I am surprise how good the book is. As I start reading the prologue the story grabs me with the honesty of the narration. Quentin voice has a sense of uniqueness in it. It starts with fun filled energy and continues with intrigue and mystery which is constantly surprising and fresh.

The characters were awesome. I enjoy the strange, quirky personality of Quentin and his friends. Their friendships is perfectly captured. The dynamics of their interactions and whipping dialogue adds fun to the story. If I have to pick one favorite character from the book that would be Radar. I enjoy his geeky personality. He’s like a walking omnictionary whose parents own the biggest collection of black Santas in the world. But the best part of him is he is a type of friend who will leave everything just to help you out. He see you as what you are and still accepts you no matter what.

“Margo always loved mysteries. And in everything that came afterward, I could never stop thinking that maybe she loved mysteries so much that she became one.”

The hunt of finding Margo is full of intelligence, adventure and emotion with clever clues and thoughtful analysis. The use of a poem to uncover some part of the mysteries is brilliant, it adds more depth to the puzzle. The use of metaphors adds enigma and thought provoking ideas. As Quentin tries to solves the mystery behind Margo’s disappearance you start to question yourself who is the real Margo and if finding her is really that important?

More than the quest of finding Margo’s location and knowing if she is still alive or not this book is also a quest of finding our inner self. It is a search of knowing yourself and others around you in a deeper way and being able to accept the truth about you and others. As Quentin tries to uncover the mystery in Margo he also discover more of himself along the way. He unwrapped what he can do and developed gradually. He is willing to do a lot more than he would of to begin with.

There so much in this book than just a quirky high-school kid searching for his childhood friend/crush when she leaves town. It expose some painful yet realistic truths about humanity. It tackles the sameness of the world, how we see the world around us and what we value in life. It remind us that it is not enough to see the world on the surface or to see others physically. There is a mystery in everything and depth in everyone. We just need to look beyond, try the different light and be open to see what is real. And maybe when we do this we might be surprise to discover who we really are.

Paper Towns is beautiful book. More than the witty dialogue and captivating writing this book offers a profound message. It teach you to look at yourself and others for who they really are and not what you wish they could be. It makes you question what fulfillment and purpose actually mean. With that I’ll leave you with more quotes from the book that are worth sharing:

“Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing.She was a girl.”

“What a treacherous thing it is to believe a person is more than a person.”

“Isn’t it also that on some fundamental level we find it difficult to understand that other people are human beings in the same way that we are? We idealize them as gods or dismiss them as animals.”

“Imagining isn’t perfect. You can’t get all the way inside someone else…But imagining being someone else, or the world being something else, is the only way in. It is the machine that kills fascists.”

“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.”

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3 thoughts on “Paper Towns by John Green

  1. I like like like this one. I’ve heard about John Green but I haven’t had the chance to see his novels in the book stores I visited so far. Reading this review has definitely strengthened my resolve to find his books and review it as well. You had me at poetry. =)

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    1. I got mine from book depository since I can’t find a copy too from local bookstores. The only book of John Green that I usually see in bookstores is “An abundance of Katherine”. I wonder why John Green’s book is not popular here or maybe I just don’t know where to look. Anyway, this book is worth the hunt!

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