Paper Towns by John Green


Unsure if I was actually going to see the movie, I decided I’d like to read the book first, nonetheless.  I really like John Green and I also love reading books my kids have read.  And lo and behold, this was a really enjoyable one!

Quentin has lived next door to Margo since he was two, and has been in love with her for most of that time.  Unfortunately, it has been years since they’ve spent time together, as Quentin is in his group of mainly extremely funny, slightly nerdy guy friends, and Margo has been in hers (of course, the “cool” crowd).  But suddenly, Margo asks him to come on an all-night adventure and then she mysteriously disappears.  Quentin finds a number of clues she has apparently left behind just for him and he is determined to find her, whether she’s alive or not.

The writing is great – full of youthful fun and angst and sarcasm and philosophical commentary, some of which is truly profound and some had me laughing out loud.  The characters become your friends and you feel a great deal of sympathy and affection for Quentin and his friends.  There is quite a bit of discussion about friendship, knowing someone and liking someone for who they really are vs for who you want them to be.   A ot of these big ideas are innocently couched in some very ordinary, adolescent goofiness, and that is what makes this young adult novel both accessible and worthwhile.

I really liked this book – now the question is:  should I see the movie?