Paper Towns by John Green
My rating ★★★★☆
With the movie coming out this month, I’ve decided that it’s high time to read Paper Towns by John Green. I’ve mentioned before, that I have a book abandoning problem, but I don’t hesitate to give a book a second chance, if I know that it’s gonna be worth it (or if I just want to have it done and off my list). I shamelessly admit that I had to give Paper Towns two or three chances, before I finally got into the story and loved it! I don’t know why it was so hard for me to get through the very first “adventure”. In the end I found the story very enjoyable.
The prologue gives us a glimpse at a past event, that was like a loose string hanging all throughout the story, but conveniently tied itself up into the plot in the last chapter.
Q and Margo were next-door neighbours and childhood friends. Once grown up, they end up in different school cliques and don’t have anything in common, except for that one time, when they found a dead guy at a park. Margo is cool and eccentric, and at the same time enjoys her top spot in the school hierarchy. Q is a nerdy guy with perfect attendance and band geeks for friends.
One night Margo appears at Q’s window, asking him for a favour. They go around the town, breaking into people’s houses, spreading justice. Margo feels betrayed by her friends and wants revenge.
The next day she disappears.
The rest of the story is spread over the course of two or three weeks. Q tries to maintain his perfect attendance and at the same time find Margo, who has left him a string of clues. At some point he is sure, that his old childhood friend is dead, and that he’s actually looking for her corpse. The worst thing being, that Margo intended for him to find her like that. A lot of the story is Q analysing the clues, going to school or driving around, sneaking into abandoned buildings. And when he finally thinks that he’s solved the riddle, he and his friends go on a road trip to the place where they hope to find Margo.
John Green is known for his pretentious writing, and that’s why I sometimes have a hard time liking his books. It’s just too overwhelming. But after I got over the first bump, Paper Towns turned out to be quite an enjoyable read, with a satisfying ending.
I won’t give away any spoilers, but I’ll say that the whole point of the book could be summarised in the quote.
What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.
Q states that he was in love with the Margo, that only existed in his imagination. This makes me think of a story I’ve read somewhere on Quora. Someone asked, how he could teach himself to think like Sherlock Holmes. One of the best answers was from this guy, who once deduced a perfect sequence of events and guessed that his friend was playing music with some other friend the night before. The funny part was, that all of the perfect sequence turned out to be false, because real people don’t always fall into logical patterns and sometimes do things for no good reason at all.