Sunday, April 10, 2016

Paper Towns by John Green

This book was a real roller coaster for me. I identified a great deal with Quentin, the narrator and main character of the novel. He is overly responsible and to an extent proud of it. He is careful. He is a smart ass. He has a few good friends, and many acquaintances in different cliques around his school. And he is in love. Desperately. For as long as he can remember.

Margo Roth Spiegelman is the girl of his dreams. She’s the girl of everyone’s dreams. At least that is what everyone thinks. She has become a legend in her school and community. A free spirit. A nonconformist. A trouble maker. A chronic runaway.

She enlists Quentin’s help in a night of pranks. Her swan song to life as she knew it. And, like a swimmer being towed out to sea by an unstoppable current, Quentin went a long with her and helped her throughout that one wild night.

Now, for many teen novels, that one night of pranks would have been the meat of the story. As it was drawing to an end I kept checking to see how much time was left in the recording. Turns out, that night was just the prelude.

When Quentin woke up the next morning, she was gone. But, she did leave behind some clues. And Quentin and his friends were convinced that she left them for him to find her. That, is the meat of this story. His search for clues. His discovering layers of both Margot and himself that he never knew existed. His growth into a more confident and determined person.

This book was terrific. The characters are what made this book for me. Green has a way of breathing life into his literary creations. They become real people to me. And, what's more, people I care about. This ability is what drew me in. Not to mention the sheer laugh-out-loud moments that came frequently in this novel. A lot of fun with a lot of meaning--what could be better?

I recommend it highly. It will definitely find a place in my classroom library.

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