by John Green
Not included in a series
9th grade and above
Reviewed by Marlena, grade 10
Paper Towns, by John Green, is a book like none other, in which an unexpected midnight adventure leads deeper into someone’s thoughts and feelings than one could have imagined. Margo Roth Spiegelman is the popular girl in school. She is not necessarily super hot nor is she a cheerleader or any of the typical stereotypes. She has a heart for crazy adventures, seemingly made up, but nonetheless what she really does outside of school. She seems untouchable, unreal, something more than human, and she is the next-door neighbor to the unremarkable, completely normal, goody two-shoes known as Quentin Jacobsen. Since he was young, he has been completely infatuated with her and while he can’t help continuously thinking about her, he seems impossibly far from her mind. One night changes it all and nothing is ever the same. The girl Quentin thought he was in love with was more a dream than reality and reality was not as pretty as the dream.
“Margo Roth Spiegelman loved mysteries so much,
it’s as if she became one.”
— Quentin (John Green)
This book was not what I had imagined it would be like, nor did it end like I thought it would, and that is what I loved. It was nothing you would or could have expected, and in a way, the book itself was a mystery. The opinions of the characters in this book relate to reality. When you fantasize about something for so long you end up romanticizing it, you make it seem better in your head than it really is. In some ways that is exactly what Quentin does, and I feel that we can all relate to that. The inner turmoil in both characters is so thought-provoking, and even though the point of view remains with Quentin throughout the entire book, you can slowly piece together Margo as you listen to her words and actions. These troubled teens find love, but love is not as pretty as it seems. It is far from your typical teenage love story. “Expect the unexpected,” as Heraclitus once said. I would undoubtedly rate this novel a 5, hard to imagine a better book.