Chances are you have heard of John Green. Whether you first heard of him through his YouTube channel with his brother, the VlogBrothers, through his political activism, or as an author, you have probably heard his name. I first encountered John Green when I first heard about The Fault in Our Stars. I fell in love with his prose, and since then I have devoured almost everything else he has written. Paper Towns was his third novel, but for whatever reason, is the last one that I’ve read. Much like the rest of his work, I loved it.
As children Quentin and Margo are the best of friends, but things change for them when they discover a dead body while playing. From this point forward their friendship cools. As time passes, Margo becomes the most popular girl in school, and Quentin is quiet, video-game playing nerd. They are not enemies, but they no longer run in the same circles. This all changes when one night, their senior year, Margo comes to Quentin’s window asking for his help. They run through a series of pranks on Margo’s friends, the other popular kids in school. The next morning, when Quentin wants to discuss these events with Margo, she does not show up at school. These pranks, and Margo’s disappearance rocks the school. Quentin, and soon some of his other friends, begins a quest to find Margo and bring her back. What follows is a beautifully written novel about the masks we wear for the rest of the world and finding your place in the world.
I have to admit, this isn’t my favorite of Green’s works, that distinctions still belongs to The Fault in Our Stars, but I still liked it more than the majority of books out there. Margo was a delightful, clever, and charming young woman, you could easily see why Quentin would put his life on hold to find her, and Quentin had a strong, funny voice, which made him easily relatable. Without going into any spoilers, I had some problems with the ending, but I understand what Green was going for, I just personally would have preferred something else, but I can see students really enjoying it. JMV