2009: 34. Paper Towns

“The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle.” 

Paper Towns, John Green

I took this out of the library because I saw an excellent on-line video that Green made and I decided that he was awesome* and I needed to read his books.  And I have now done so and am so, so pleased that I did.  This novel is about Quentin, who has been in love with the girl next door, Margot Roth Speigleman, ever since second grade when they discovered the dead body in the playground together.  They grew up, and Margot became the mysterious it girl of his high school (here is a taste of who Margot is:

“Margo Roth Speigelman, whose stories of epic adventures would blow through school like a summer storm: an old guy living in a broken-down house in Hot Coffee, Mississippi, taught Margo how to play the guitar.  Margo Roth Speigelman, who spent three days traveling with the circus--they thought she had potential on the trapeze.  Margo Roth Speigelman, who drank a cup of herbal tea with the Mallionaires backstage after a concert while they drank whiskey.  Margo Roth Speigelman, who got into that concert by telling the bouncer she was the bassist's girlfriend, and didn't they recognize her, and come on guys seriously, my name is Margo Roth Speigelman and if you go back there and ask the bassist to take one look at me, he will tell you that I either am his girlfriend or he wishes I was, and then the bouncer did so, and then the bassist said “yeah that's my girlfriend let her in the show,” and then later the bassist wanted to hook up with her and she rejected the bassist from The Mallionaires.  The stories, when they were shared, inevitably ended with, I mean, can you believe it?  We often could not, but they always proved true.”

Quentin, on the other hand, has just grown up to be a nerdy guy, so when Margot knocks on his door the night after graduation, and asks him to go on an escapade with her, he can’t refuse.  And when she then disappears, he is the only person who can’t stop looking for her, following the clues she may have left (0r are they just figments of his imagination).

What I loved about this book was that it wasn’t really about teen romance, but rather about figuring out who you are, and even more so, really looking at what other people are really like.  Quentin has built Margot up in his brain to be this magic manic pixie girl, and he can’t figure out what happened to her until he comes to see her as a real live person.  Such a great theme.

*Seriously, if you are even the slightest bit nerdy, I defy you to watch that video and not swoon.  Rock on, John Green

Date/Place Completed:  March 2009; D.C.

Categories:  Fiction, Library Book, Non-Fiction

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017