Paper Towns by John Green

“Yes, I can see her almost perfectly in this cracked darkness.”

After reading Looking for Alaska, I was desperate to read more of John Green and was quickly suggested by fellow bibliophiles to finish off ‘Paper Towns’. Since I had recently completed my graduation and bid the place I called ‘Home’ for the past four years a permanent goodbye, I don’t think the timing to read this could have been more appropriate. Paper Towns, among many more things, helps one find the secret of leaving. Margo is trying to help Quentin understand that there is a certain happiness found when leaving a place where one’s roots lie. She plans to leave the paper cut out towns for another paper town, wherein she tries to find the joy of escaping. However Quentin is not Margo.

When they are only nine, a tragic event is witnessed by them and their reaction to that could not be more contrasting.

“As I took those two steps back, Margo took two equally small and quiet steps forward”

Quentin is a person who has always been sorted and careful whereas, Margo threw caution to the wind. While she plans an escape to a different place, a different life and moves forward to execute it, Quentin lives his normal life with his regular friends and plans for a college and a future.

The story that starts off as a regular high school drama, changes turns when the popular, adventurous Margo goes missing after an epic high school prank, which she supposedly managed with her gawky, nerd like neighbour. That prank night and the long disappearance of Margo helps Quentin rediscover himself as well as her. The girl he thought he knew, the girl the whole school thought they knew is not the girl that she was.

The book has been craftily divided into three parts namely, the Strings, the Grass and the Vessel and each of these subtitles have a huge significance to play. The characters of this book are the ones you can easily spot in a high school and that is what makes them even more relatable. Quentin, the guy who would rather stay home and complete books and essays on weekends. Radar, the boy Genius who is capable of designing complex apps and machines. Ben, the funny and the sensitive friend. In spite of these characters falling in the stereotypes, we see their traits unfolding. There is considerable humour and carefree attitude that can only be found in teenagers throughout the novel.

The suspense and the thrill can hardly be missed. When Quentin is hopelessly in the search of Margo, I find myself sitting on the edge of my seat, as tired and frustrated as Quentin yet not willing to give up. Because Margo would not have wanted that. John Green with his Paper Towns engages you and pulls you into the story only to throw back an evolved person.

Happy reading!


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