Paper Towns – John Green

Who is the real Margo?

My final John Green book… Having read all of his other books, I knew I had to complete the ‘series’.

Paper Towns is about Quentin “Q” Jacobsen and Margo Roth Spiegelman and their unique relationship.

The book begins with a flashback, showing the close friendship, nine year old Quentin and Margo shared, due to them being next door neighbours.

The flashbacks finishes and returns to present day in which Q and Margo have grown distant – they are still next door neighbours but mix with different crowds.

However, this all unexpectedly changes one day when Margo knocks on Q’s window in the middle of the night – the beginning of a life changing adventure. Together they spend the night committing daring deeds and getting revenge.

Q thinks this has changed their relationship and can’t wait to experience the last of his school days with Margo. Yet, the next day, Margo is missing and Q must follow her clues to find her…

This book strongly reminded me of Looking For Alaska however I still thoroughly enjoyed it. The plots were similar and the characters had the same basic traits, however there were also major differences between the two. Margo and Alaska (from Looking For Alaska) are similar personalities and as these were my least favourite characters from both books respectively, this was slightly annoying.

Q was the most likeable character and he was also easy to relate to. Margo was the focus of the novel, and as with all John Green novels, she was highly intelligent and independent, however she was also extremely selfish and self absorbed which annoyed me.

Overall, I really enjoyed Paper Towns however I would have preferred a plot line which differed more from Looking For Alaska. I would recommend the book, especially to those who enjoyed Looking For Alaska. I am glad I have read all of John Green’s books as I enjoyed them all yet I do feel that his later books are the better books.

Looking For Alaska – John Green

Looking for AlaskaFirst friend, first girl, last word

Looking For Alaska revolves around Miles Halter, a teenage boy from Florida with a love of people’s last words. Quiz him on any American president, or a multitude of other famous people, and he will be able to tell you their last words.  Miles decides, for his junior year, to explore the ‘Great Perhaps’ (François Rabelais’ last words) and hence enrolls in Culver Creek boarding school, in another state.

Before the ‘Great Perhaps’, Miles lived a rather solitary life in Florida. However with the new school, Miles also gains a roommate, The Colonel, who becomes Miles’ first real friend, teaching him all about the etiquette and pranks of the school.

The Colonel also introduces Miles to Alaska. Alaska Young is a beautiful, mysterious girl who Miles can’t help but fall in love with. Her intelligence, wit and mood swings all add up to make her fascinating to Miles.

Together Miles, The Colonel, Alaska and their other friends make a fantastic prank team, as is tradition within the school. They regularly break school rules – smoking, drinking and sneaking out

Miles has survived, and enjoyed, the majority of the school year – learning a lot, not just in lessons. However, one tragic events changes all of this. He is left to try and recover his happiness and make it through until the end of the academic year.

I loved this book. Miles was a great character – he was so realistic. His opinions and thoughts are all relatable. On the other hand, Alaska annoyed me, but her character was written to be annoying, she was a self absorbed and confusing character.

John Green’s characters are all intelligent which is my favourite part of his books, the characters are not the stereotypical teenagers which are so common place in the media. In my opinion, he has the correct view regarding teenagers, seeing them more intelligent and mature than many other writers. I believe this is an important factor in John Green’s immense popularity.

The plot begins rather slowly, however this allows readers time to begin to understand and relate to the characters which I feel, retrospectively, is an important element of the book.

The story also features important issues which teenagers face and therefore I feel a lot is to be learnt from this book.

As much as I enjoyed the book, I do feel that other John Green novels are better. Although, I would still recommend this book to all.

I now only have Paper Towns of John Green’s books to read, which saddens me as I find his books so enjoyable. I hope he writes many more books to continue my enjoyment.