Review: Paper Towns by John Green



Who is the real Margo?

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs 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…


What a better time to write a review of this book than now that the trailer just came out? None.

Wow, John Green takes us in another amazing journey with this novel, not less humorous than An Abundance of Katherines and in no way less emotional than The Fault in Our Stars. It truly takes you on a trip to the deepest parts of yourself and while Q gets to know himself better and learns that how you see other people isn’t necessarily the way they are, but an illusion that tells more about yourself than them, you learn that with him.

I learn something about fear. I learn that it is not the idle fantasies of someone who maybe wants something important to happen to him, even if that important thing is horrible. […] This is the basest of all possible emotions, the feeling that was with us before we existed, before this building existed, before the earth existed.

Quentin Jacobsen is an average guy. He plays videogames with his best friends, hates prom and its in love with her neighbour. Well, he saw a dead guy when he was like nine, but that is another story. Q is proud to say that he likes his life just as it is, a repetitive secuence of events (wake up late, go to school, wait after band practice for his friends…) although he could do with some improvements, such as a car or a certain miracle in his life called Margo Roth Spiegelman.

I suppose I never found boredom very boring. I doubted I could explain it to someone like Margo, but drawing circles through life struck me as a kind of resonable insanity.

Margo is everything Quentin is not. She is popular, gorgeous, imaginative and adventurous. Her incredible trips have some sort of legend-like  aura to them. But the Margo the world sees is more of a paper, a two dimension version of the real Margo Roth Spiegelman.

“She is the kind of person who either dies tragically at twenty-seven, like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, or else grows up to win like, the first-ever Nobel Prize for Awesome.”

With end of high school looks as predictable as the journey has been for Q, but then everything changes when Margo unexpectedly jumps through his window one night and asks him to join her on a vengance. After,what posibily is, the best night of his life, he feels like something monumental it’s going to happen… but it’s not what he was expecting.

Margo dissapears and it looks like she has left some “breadcrumps” for Quentin to find her. Joined by his bests friends, their journey to unravel the mystery that is Margo Roth Spiegelman and her possible whereabouts leads the reader into a poetical and metaphorical trip, full of humour that reveals more about Q (and yourself) than it ever does about Margo. And at the end that is the point isn’t it? How can you try to know someone, when you don’t know yourself?

You listen to people so that you can imagine them, and you hear all the terrible and wonderful things people do to themselves and to one another, but in the end the listening exposes you even more than it exposes the people you’re trying to listen to.

paula  calloway sisters

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