John Green is a well-known name among fans of YA.He is the author of best-sellers like The Fault in our Stars and Looking for Alaska among others.Since Paper Towns has been made into a movie, I thought I should definitely read it before I watch the movie. I have read TFIOS (5/5) and LFA (3.5/5) before so I had high expectations for this one.
The back cover says “When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows her. Margo’s always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she’s always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they’re for Q.”
The description gives you the idea that it is a mystery novel, but it isn’t a pure follow-the-clues filled mystery novel rather it talks about more deep things; the theme prevalent is of ‘IDENTITY’.
We look at other people through our eyes and often expect them to behave as we think they will; this creates an image of a person in our minds that is static and rigid.This creates a problem for the person being ‘imagined’.It creates a ‘paper’ version of the person in question that is two-dimensional and lacking depth.The story argues that we should never elevate anyone above the status of a human especially our loved ones because this hinders it difficult for us to empathize with those special ones whom we hold so dear.Put simply everyone is human with abilities and failings.Expecting anyone to be perfect can hurt our relationships and make it impossible to understand each other.John Green has adeptly addressed the issue with a sugar coating of a mystery adventure story centered around high school students that are in their final year and preparing for college.
It is not a total serious and philosophical story as it is a YA novel.You’ll find plenty of jokes especially from ‘Bloody Ben’ (Q’s friend) and ‘Radar’ that add light-heartedness to the narrative.
Paper Towns is divided into three parts.My advice would be to read the novel in three days for a great and joyous experience.The journey might seem boring at the beginning, but it gets interesting as it progresses.
Finally, I would advise you to visit John’s page after completing the novel to get a better understanding of the underlying themes.
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