Saturday, February 5, 2011

John Green. PAPER TOWNS

What a novel! There is so much to say, I'm not sure where to start. How about a quick summary.

Quentin Jacobsen has been in love with his neighbor Margo Roth Spiegelman pretty much all of his life. When they were young they spent a lot of time together, but now as seniors in high school - not so much. Margo is queen of the cool and beautiful. Quentin (people call him Q) and his friends Ben and Radar aren't exactly friends with her crowd. They do admire her from afar. Until one night when Margo shows up at Quentin's window in the middle of the night to telling him that he's in for the night of his life. She coerces him to drive her around to complete a mission. Begrudgingly, Q agrees to "borrow" his mom's van and drive her around on her mission, even though it is a school night. This is definitely the most action packed portion of the book. Q drives Margo to various houses, downtown high rises and a theme park to complete a task at each location.

Q ends up having a blast and figures that he and Margo have gotten close enough that perhaps things will be different at school the next day. But Margo throws a wrench in that plan by disappearing. No one knows where she went. She's gone for several days when Q begins to worry. He ponders some of the things she said that night, and he really begins to question her motives. Is she just playing the disappearing act she's done so many times in the past or is there something serious going on with Margo? Q, Radar and Ben begin to dissect some clues that were left for Q, and the mystery of locating Margo begins.

My summary here cannot even begin to describe how much more there is to this novel. The witty dialogue between Q and his friends and the array of unique characters alone make this a must read. But there is so much more. It's thoughtful, smart and just epic!

By the way, I listened to the audio version and it's fantastic! In fact, it turns out that the reader is Dan John Miller and he's won an award for this audio book. I'm not surprised at all!

I've read two others by Jon Green LOOKING FOR ALASKA and LET IT SNOW. I probably don't need to tell you how awesome he is. But in case you've been living under a rock, check him and his Nerdfighting crew out here.