Monday, March 9, 2009

Paper Towns by John Green (5/5 stars)

I got this book through the amazon Vine program and all I can say is "WOW!" I really enjoyed this book. I want to go and order all of the other books this author has written and read those too.

Q is your typical kind of nerdy, hangs with the band kids, straight A student kind of guy. Things would stay that way for him if it wasn't for his neighbor Margo Roth Spiegelman. She is just cool and awesome in every way. Then she shows up in his bedroom in the middle of the night...dressed as a ninja. She takes him on a tour of the town that will change who he is forever. He is so stoked about spending time with her; then the next morning she is gone. Is she really gone though? She has a history of leaving clues when she leaves home. So Q and his buddies try to unravel the mystery of Margo.

This book is so many things at once. It is about the sameness of the world, about what people want, about people who can't fit in to society's rigid structure, about how we label each other, it's a coming of age story, a mystery, and an adventure.

I was awed at how I read this book straight through without even realizing I had started reading it. I was amazed at how funny and serious it is; how it made me laugh out loud and cry too. I think there is something for everyone to relate to in this book it doesn't matter your age. We've all been in school, dealt with parents, and friends so we can all relate.

Green captures so many things with great insight. The craziness of prom, the sadness and emptiness of those last days of high school, the frustration of people who want something different, and the guilt of people who are happy with being just plain ole vanilla.

The above are at the heart of the story, but the plot itself is a well crafted mystery. Full of suspense and an intriguing trail of clues the book was impossible to put down. I read it in 3 hours. I also laughed my head off at Q's crazy friends and felt Q's frustration. The characters in this book were so real. The story itself is an absolute riot to read; it's crazy fun.

In a nutshell I loved it. I still cannot believe that a book that touches on such deep issues was so much fun to read. I think everyone should read it. I am keeping it as part of my permanent collection and I hope someday my son will read it and love it too.

Did I mention I also want to read all of Green's other books now? I really do.

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