Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Teen review: John Green!

Paper Towns is a critically acclaimed, exhilarating 305-page adventure written by award-winning author John Green. This young adult novel perfectly merges the genres of mystery, romance, tragedy, and humor into one beautifully crafted artwork. That is what this book is, a beautiful artwork worthy of preservation in a museum for future generations to enjoy.

Paper Towns is not part of a series, but this easy-to-read-hard-to-put-down novel doesn’t need to be part of a series because it is already perfect. Because of its usage of strong verbal language and certain explicit scenes, I would have to recommend the reading level to be grades 8-12, and freshmen (like myself) would certainly find this book entertaining.

In Paper Towns, the awkward and unconfident protagonist, Quentin Jacobsen, has lived a very quiet, normal, and suburban life in the hot, humid, and semi-tropical state of Florida. Quentin, known as Q in the novel, is a geek (there is no denying that fact), but he has a very supportive family, good grades, and a minivan. He lives next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman, a name that is spoken with a quiet reverence due to her interesting nature and almost unbelievable stories of adventures. The adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman and boring Quentin Jacobsen were childhood friends, but they slowly and quietly drifted apart, Quentin staying geeky and nerdy while Margo was drawn towards the popular life. Years of not speaking might have continued, had it not been for that fateful night when Margo recruits Q for a night of revenge directed towards fellow classmates. Slowly but surely, Q falls more in love with the girl he has idolized since their childhood. Everything is looking up for Q, and he’s sure that the next day will be perfect. But then Margo disappears.

Margo has run away before and every time she runs away she leaves behind clues to direct people to where she is. So Q and his friends, worrying for her safety, embark on an adventure to try to find the girl they thought they knew.

I would rank this novel as a solid 5, because it has an almost dream-like quality to it where every word seems like a plot twist and every chapter seems like a dream building upon the chapter before it. In short, between the amazingly life-like characters and perfect story-telling, this novel is, for a lack of another word, incredible.

Reviewed by Basil, grade 9

Editor's note: Wow! That was a stellar review! I'll bet that Basil is looking forward to the movie, which comes out on
July 24!

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