I'm a bookworm of the highest caliber! If you see me, I'll probably be reading. There's nothing I love more than finding a good book, and then sharing it with the world!
Gasp if you must, but this is only my second John Green book. I read TFIOS a long time ago, back before it became this huge movie-type thing, just because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. People love John Green. They spout his quotes all the time, and I was wondering what I was missing. I was one of those people who loved TFIOS, so I decided that more exploration was in order. I purchased an audio copy of Paper Towns and settled in with no expectations.
That being said, I was pleasantly surprised with this book! Paper Towns manages to mix some very heavy thoughts on life, with the awkward, hilariousness of being a teenage boy. Quentin, or Q as his friends adoringly call him, is your typical teenager. He hangs with his friends, crushes on girls, plus adores and gets annoyed with his parents in equal turns. To Q, there are two things that are constant in life. Number one, his friends Ben and Marcus (Radar) will always be there to play video games and goof off. Number two, Margo Roth Speigelman is someone to be placed on a pedestal. A whirlwind of a girl who has wild adventures, speaks her mind, and is perfection embodied. That is, until he discovers that nothing is really ever constant.
Following Q and his friends was honestly a ton of fun. I was transported back to my days wandering the high school campus. When life was full of homework, funny conversations, and that blessed normalcy that comes with school life. John Green captures the essence of the teenage boy perfectly in this story. I loved that these guys sat around and had serious conversations, peppered with silly jokes. I watched as they navigated friendship potholes, debated life lessons, and planned for their futures. It was just so familiar and comfortable.
When Margo went missing, that's when things really picked up. Suddenly I was holding on tight as clues were found, possibilities explored, and all manner of deep thoughts pondered. Let me tell you, I want a physical copy of this book just for some of the quotes in Paper Towns. They are things that, while they fit perfectly in the story itself, apply to everyone. Thoughts on the way we see ourselves and the way others see us. Thoughts on pretending to be something you're not. If there's one thing that I've noticed John Green excels at, it's slipping messages into his writing. You see them, you know they're there, but they blend in seamlessly.
So why the four star rating? To be honest, it was all about the ending. It just didn't satisfy me at all, especially after the epic build up that led to it. Still, I'm impressed with this book as a whole. I think I'll continue my John Green exploration.