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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

Paper Towns

Author: John Green
Originally Published: 2008
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Paper Towns So, when I first watched the video where John Green read the first chapter of Paper Towns, I was intrigued. I may have even been hooked already. How many books do you come across where the story starts off with the main characters, who are kids at this point in time, stumbling across the body of a suicide victim?

Margo and Quentin have lived next door to each other almost their whole lives, and while they were played together a lot as kids, as they grew up they grew apart. Then, one night in their senior year of high school, Margo knocks on Quentin’s window, and the two of them go on an all-night adventure. While Quentin is sure this will change his and Margo’s relationship, he really isn’t expecting that she will disappear the next day, and that he will be the one that she leaves a series of clues for that will show him how to track her down.

While this wasn’t my favourite YA book that I’ve read this year, it was still thoroughly enjoyable. The plot felt new to me, and I had no idea how things were going to work out in the end. In fact, the conclusion surprised me quite a bit. I don’t think it could have possibly ended any other way, without coming across as untrue to the characters, but I hadn’t realized that until I had finished the book.

The book is split up into three parts – the first being Margo and Quentin’s night of adventure, breaking, and entering (though not breaking and entering at the same time). Quentin and his friends attempting to unravel Margo’s clues takes place during the whole second part, and the third (and my favourite) part was their road trip to actually find Margo. The middle part was a little tired at times – Quentin’s obsession with Margo got to be a little annoying, but you can see how Quentin’s perception of Margo goes from idolizing her as a perfect person to realizing that she is a real person with all kinds of flaws.

I think one of the things I liked most about this book was that all of the characters had perceptible flaws. And not just the main characters, but all of them including the really minor characters – you got to see both the good and the bad from each person. It came across as quite realistic, and made it that much more enjoyable.

This book will be released mid-October.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 9:16 pm August 28, 2008.
Category: Young Adult
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  • http://thingsmeanalot.blogspot.com/ Nymeth

    wow, I didn’t know there was a new John Green book coming out. I LOVED Looking for Alaska. Thanks for bringing this to my attention! And I know what you mean about the characters being so well-rounded and believable. I felt the exact same way about Looking for Alaska. He’s great at characterization.

  • http://books.moonsoar.com Court

    I really do hope you like it when you read it, Nymeth. It was really good – John Green is amazingly talented. :)