Paper Towns by John Green

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Paper Towns by John Green Green is brilliant.  End of story. 

Seriously, I don't know how he does it, but each one of his novels is humorous, fun, and profound.    Paper Towns was no exception (obviously).

Quentin Jacobson has been in love with his next-door neighbor Margo Roth Speigelman since childhood, but by high school they are barely even friends, and definitely not in the same social circle.  But one night, about a month before their high school graduation, she takes him on a midnight adventure and then disappears the next day.  Quentin believes she has left him a clue to her whereabouts, and he and his friends begin to unravel the mystery of her disappearance. 

Like Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns is populated with a host of quirky characters (such as Q's friend Radar who spends his time obsessively updating the omnictionary) whose interactions with each other are complex and often quite amusing to the reader.    The novel, while dark, contains just the right amount of comic relief -- along with the exact right amount of self-exploration and literary analysis (a Walt Whitman poem becomes an important part of the plot).

Very, very highly recommended, especially to those who enjoyed Green's first two novels. 

Readers might also enjoy:
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
My Most Excellent Year
by Steve Kluger (just finished yesterday, review coming soon!)

Other bloggers' reviews (can you tell this one's popular?):
Avenging Sybil, And another book read..., Emily Reads, Just ListenThe Book Muncher, The Miss Rumphius EffectReading Keeps You Sanea. fortisBookendsBookshelves of DoomEm's BookshelfConfessions of a BibliovoreGuys Lit WireLiv's Book ReviewsReader RabbitPlenty of PaperJen RobinsonOnce Upon a BookshelfFrenetic Reader, The Compulsive ReaderYA books and moreKids LitReviewer XReading Rants

And for more evidence of John Green's brilliance, read his recent speech from the ALAN conference which he kindly posted on his blog.


Maggie Stiefvater said...

I'm about two-thirds through AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES (my first foray into John Green) and I have to say I'm loving life. My husband read it before me and thought it was great (you know it's bad when you have so many YA novels around your husband steals them before you can get to them) and I have to say I agree with him.

I'm definitely looking forward to PAPER TOWNS.

Sara said...

Personally, I think one can never have too many YA novels lying around, and I've definitely tricked my boyfriend into picking up a few that way too ;)

But, anyway, I'm glad you're enjoying An Abundance of Katherines. I think Looking for Alaska is still my favorite of the three, but Paper Towns and Katherines are tied for a very close second!

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