Quentin Jacobsen has spent most of his life being in love with the adventurous, and mysterious, Margo Roth Spiegelman. Even as kids, he followed her around and played along with her adventures. Now, however, he spends his time loving her from afar. When his window opens one night, and Margo climbs into his room and back into his life, beckoning him to join her on her latest adventure of revenge, he follows. After spending all night racing around Orlando, getting people back, and breaking into Sea World, Q comes to school the next morning to see that Margo is absent. She is known for disappearing days at a time, but when they keep adding up, Q begins to worry. He soon discovers that she has left behind clues, and that they're for him. He urgently tries to piece together the unrelated clues, and the more he discovers the more he realizes he doesn't know adventurous, mysterious Margo Roth Spiegelman at all.
John Green writes about not only a compelling tale, but a compelling character. Quentin spends all of his life looking at Margo as if she were perfect. However, when he delves deep into her personal life, he sees things that would prove otherwise. John Green uses this novel to take the "manic pixie dream girl" stereotype and destroy her. Incorporating Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass puts a beautiful poetic spin on the stories underlying themes, as well as on Margo's clues. Green also does an excellent job of using metaphors to make the reader view a topic differently and more clearly. When Q goes on his whirlwind adventures, all of which puts him completely out of his comfort zone, the reader is right there with him, feeling the anxiety of breaking into someone's house, or even into Sea World. Margo's character is unique, and beyond complex, which surprises everyone, including the reader, the more you discover about her.
If anyone knows me and my taste in books, they know that I am a John Green fanatic, have been since day one, and will be forever. I am a strong believer that Paper Towns is John Green's most underrated novel and deserves more attention and praise. When I first read Paper Towns I automatically fell in love with it. I quickly adopted it as my favorite book and have since then, reread it often. It may, at first, seem like another Young Adult novel with a bit of twist, but it comes to be much more than that. Each time I flip through the pages, I pick up something new. There are some areas of this book that have either completely changed my outlook on certain things, or have taught me a lot about people, and how you should view them. Even if you don't want to go into a novel looking for in depth thoughts and secret meanings, you can read it and simply enjoy it. I have recommended this to anyone who will listen, and now I recommend this to you.
If You Enjoyed This Also Try: Looking for Alaska by John Green, 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson, It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini, and Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan