Originally posted on my previous blog – this post has been edited for spelling errors/clarity
Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime in love with Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she climbs back into his life – dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge – he follows. After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Quentin arrives at school to discover that Margo has disappeared. But Quentin soon learns that there are clues–and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Quentin sees of the girl he thought he knew.
I’m a big fan of John Green, having previously read and enjoyed Looking for Alaska. This book felt different though, with a great dose of humour running throughout it and continues to be one of the few books that have made me laugh out loud. It was the quick wit and many of the character’s unique, one-liners that made me chuckle.
John Green does his characters the best. Quentin is a nerd, a social outcast in the hierarchy of American high school, yet he is popular among his own kind (the nerds) and has a secret crush on Margo, his childhood friend who is at the top of the hierarchy – everyone wants to be her friend. Ben is Quentin’s best friend who wants to climb the social ladder. He is also the funniest of the bunch, having a great childlike personality. Radar is Q’s other best friend who is obsessed with Omnictionary, a parody of Wikipedia which he updates regularly to make sure they are up to date.
Green’s writing is also quirky and rich, letting you absorbed into the story through Quentin’s voice. The story is mostly upbeat and nicely paced. There was a lull moment in the middle where it seemed to drag slightly but it soon quickened up and became as entertaining as before. The clues to finding Margo are conjoined with the narrative to create this great adventure that you as a reader join in with. Many reviews critique the similarity in narrative to Looking for Alaska, which – while I agree it was similar – I think the structure of Green’s books fit with the topics he addresses.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Although, some reviews have said that the ending is bad compared to the rest of the book (which I can see why), it fits with the overall plot and had a good amount of ambiguity. This book is incredibly entertaining and is a great summer read for anyone that wants a dash of humour in their books. I would definitely recommend this one over Looking for Alaska, although both are good in the own right.
I give a 5 out of 5
*I recommend watching John Green’s TED talk on Paper Towns – very interesting to understand his thoughts behind this books name!*