Monday, May 19, 2014

Paper Towns by John Green

genre: young adult

Quentin and Margo have been neighbors in an Orlando subdivision since toddlerhood.  By the time they are in high school, Margo's exuberance has given her an almost super-human force which results in she and the video-game playing Q existing in different social spheres.  One night at the end of senior year, however, Margo intersects Q's life for one harebrained and completely unbelievable night of revenge and well-plotted depilatory use, planting Margo even farther into Q's heart.  Except, after all that crazy, Margo disappears.


And Q becomes obsessed.  Obsessed with finding her.  Obsessed with what he sees as clues that she left him - all the while realizing how little he really knew about her, or himself.

I picked this up blind and had no idea it was a mystery.  A beautifully plotted mystery that takes a boy deep inside himself, digging into those tender places of the soul where our real knowledge of our loved ones lies.  The whole idea of this book, to me, is that all we really know about people is what they let us see and half the time, we're doing the same thing to ourselves.  On the outside we're all just the pretend visions that we want to see either in the mirror or have others see through a window instead of letting ourselves be what we really ARE and and just being okay with that.  There are some incredibly deep and thought-provoking conversations in this book, astonishingly so.  I really had to stretch my brain to wrap it around John Green's ideas of self and the falseness that can lie so thick on the surface that we forget what's real and what matters.    There is also a lot of CRASS. And language.  And talk about sex and genitalia.  This is more of a teen boy's book than I'm used to reading, probably, so it might not seem all that much from that point of view since I don't have much to compare it to.   I can't deny, though, that it pulled me right along and despite my crazy life, I read it in a day.  Good mystery, a great portrayal of friendship and first loves.  Some incredibly witty banter.

I liked.

note: if you're interested in the content of the books I read, please go to

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