Paper Towns. Finished 4-27-14, rating 4/5, YA, 320 pages, pub. 2008
Unabridged audio 8 hours, read by Dan John Miller
Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back 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 of the girl he thought he knew.
This is my second John Green novel (I read Looking for Alaska last December) and I’ve listened to them both on audio. I liked the narration of this one a lot, where the narration of LFA made me dislike a key character. Anyway, I liked this story of Q adoring his childhood friend and neighbor from afar as they grew up and moved to different levels on the pecking order that makes up pretty much every high school. As a band geek, he can only imagine what it would be like if Margo snuck in his bedroom window at night, until one night, all of his hoping paid off as Margo wanted him, him!, to light the town on fire with her. As the best night of his life turned to morning he had reached a high he was sure would continue. Until Margo disappeared. Leaving only a bread crumb trail to follow if he was willing and, of course, he was.
I liked this story quite a bit. Many kids in high school face the same problem, of idealizing someone, of loving the idea of that person without ever understanding them. Q was a typical boy in love with a beautiful girl. As he and his buddies interpreted the hints left by Margot, they were able to have one last adventure together before graduation. I loved that. Now, Margot is a different story. Who would do that to someone? I won’t say anything else about Margo, so you’ll have to read it for yourself!
I see why Green is so popular with high schoolers and young adults. He writes insightful and beautiful prose and he really gets teens. I don’t read a lot of YA, but I will happily read more John Green.