2013 Best Books Top 10: Paper Towns


#10 Paper Towns

John Green

Speak, Penguin Group imprint, 2008

“It is hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”

You might have thought by now that I will be tired of reading John Green’s books, but no. This “Paper Towns” book is somewhat like the story of Pudge Halter. It is the story of a boy who gathered all the clues left to him by this crazy girl friend before leaving her home and who, the boy believes, wants to be followed and to be found. But this story is somewhat different from the other book, for one, it is lighter, unlike the gloomy atmosphere you get reading Looking for Alaska (because of Alaska, I presume), and it is funnier (I like funny books, yes). However, I do find some unbelievable things in the story, like the fact that a super hot girl should fall in love with this nerd friend of the main character. Come on, it defies the forces of nature. Anyway, how Green wrote the last part of the story was exhilarating, the kind that makes your heart beat faster as you approach the end of the book. Proving his point that reading is like peeing: once you start, it is so hard to stop.

I should say one thing, though. Quentin Jacobsen should not have bothered to find that insufferable Margo Roth Spiegelman, but go on with his life.

Favorite Parts:

The 21-hour drive to Agloe

“It takes a little while for everyone to explain to their parents that 1. We’re all going to miss graduation, and 2. We’re driving to New York, to 3. See a town that may or may not technically exist, and hopefully 4. Intercept the Omnictionary poster, who according to the Randomly capitalized Evidence is 5. Margo Roth Spiegelman.”

8328 Bartlesville Avenue search

“We were about five miles past Grovepoint Acres when Radar turned down the music and said, “Should be in about a mile.”

The Strings

“Tonight, darling, we are going to right a lot of wrongs. And we are going to wrong some rights. The first shall be last; the last shall be first; the meek shall do some earth-inheriting. But before we can radically reshape the world, we need to shop.”

From the Critics:

New York Times

“The dominant theme of these and his newest book, “Paper Towns,” is that getting the girl in the conceptual sense might be more important than getting the girl in the romantic sense; in any case, both are trumped by the boy’s realization that what he really got and needed was himself.”

Kirkus Review

“Genuine—and genuinely funny—dialogue, a satisfyingly tangled but not unbelievable mystery and delightful secondary characters (Radar’s parents collect black Santas)—we’ve trod this territory before, but who cares when it’s this enjoyable? Lighter than Looking for Alaska (2005), deeper than An Abundance of Katherines (2006) and reminiscent of Gregory Galloway’s As Simple as Snow (2005)—a winning combination.”

Publishers’ Weekly

“The title, which refers to unbuilt subdivisions and “copyright trap” towns that appear on maps but don’t exist, unintentionally underscores the novel’s weakness: both milquetoast Q and self-absorbed Margo are types, not fully dimensional characters. Readers who can get past that will enjoy the edgy journey and off-road thinking.”

Favorite Quotes:

“Nothing ever happens like you imagine it will. But then again, if you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all.”

“It is easy to forget how full the world is of people, full to bursting, and each of them imaginable and consistently misimagined.”

“Peeing is like a good book in that it is very, very hard to stop once you start.”

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