Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Title:  Paper Towns
Author:  John Green
Format:  Paperback
Pages:  320
Genre:  Young adult/Coming-of-age
Date Started:  December 8, 2010
Date Finished:  December 8, 2010

Rating:  A-

Synopsis (from publisher):  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.

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This book was an adventure, just because it is so different from the books I usually read.  My favorite genres are fantasy and historical fiction; contemporary fiction is usually too perverted, too violent/depressing, or too gimmicky.  Or they're trying way too hard to be psychologically deep/profound/twisted in order to win an award.  Look at the bestsellers lists, and you'll find vampire novels galore, murder mysteries, romances, and mind-bending thrillers.  So this book was a refreshing surprise.

Paper Towns is a coming-of-age story, in which Quentin, your typical high school brainiac, finally pulls himself out of his shell to solve the mystery of his long-time crush's disappearance.  At first, he's trying to figure out just who exactly Margo was in order to think like her, but the longer he spends looking for Margo, the more confident Q becomes, until he's no longer the bullied teen nerd.  His quest helps him mature and transform into a self-assured leader, who takes his friends on the craziest road trip of their lives.  In the end, the book's not so much about the search for Margo, but the journey Quentin makes from boy to man.

Because the book is about modern high schoolers, there are some situations and conversations in the book that wouldn't be appropriate for a younger reader.  Nevertheless, Paper Towns is a great book on self-discovery and friendship.  A-

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