Book Review: PAPER TOWNS Current mood: blessed Category: Writing and Poetry
Poised at the Edge Book Review
Quentin Jacobson (or Q as his friends call him) has always regarded Margo Roth Spiegelman as his own personal miracle. She’s been his neighbor in small Florida subdivision since he was a little boy. Around their high school Margo’s antics and adventures are nothing short of legendary. Compared to her, Quentin (and his witty, studious band-geek friends) is pretty much invisible. ....
Quentin and Margo share an unusual bond of accidentally stumbling upon the gory body of a suicide victim when they were small children. The experience terrified young Q, Margo, however, was most excited by the whole thing. In fact, nine year old Margo decided to conduct her own investigation. That night she came to Quentin’s window to discuss her theories about the man’s death. This is a memory that Q always carried with him.....
Fast forward several years. It’s only a few weeks until Q and Margo are set to graduate from high school. Suddenly Margo (who Q pretty much admires from afar) is once again standing at Q’s window. His old childhood friend wants him to be an accomplice in a carefully plotted, wildly risky, night of revenge against former friends who have wronged her. Q finds himself along for a most adventurous ride. He cannot help but become caught up in Margo’s outlandish game.
Q feels himself reuniting with his old friend. What will this all mean? Will she hang around him at school? Will she be his girlfriend? He can’t wait to talk to Margo the next day at school. But Margo, true Margo form, is nowhere to be found. At first Quentin is not too worried (disappointed, but not really worried.) She’s done the disappearing act many times before. In fact she usually leaves clever yet subtle clues to her whereabouts. Usually she lives the clues for her disenchanted parents, but this time she leaves the clues for Q..
Now Quentin, with help of his two best friends, one of Margo’s former closest friends, and a Whitman poem, set out to find Margo. The story takes many surprising turns, and is quite suspenseful in nature. As Q devotes the last few weeks of his senior year to finding Margo he comes to realize that she has always meant something symbolic to him. The Margo of his dreams and imagination is quite different from the real girl who has gone missing.
PAPER TOWNS, John Green’s third fabulous novel is part humorous teen story (complete with requisite clever dialogue) part philosophical observation. He doesn’t write high concept, he writes huge concept.