Book for April: Paper Towns; John Green.
I saw The Fault in Our Stars on several blogs until I finally gave in and read it–even though stories about teens with cancer are guaranteed to have some sad moments. And I loved that book so much that I looked up the rest of John Green’s books and started working on reading them. This is last of them–unless he publishes more…
Quentin “Q” Jacobsen lives next door to the glamorous, popular, magnetic Margo Roth Spiegelman. When they were younger, that meant he got to spend time in her presence, but as they grew up, the gap in their social statuses widened. In high school, Q can only admire Margo from afar.
That doesn’t put a damper on his long-standing crush, however, so when she climbs though his window one night, he agrees to drive her around on a multi-step revenge prank, a to-do list she’s carefully compiled to repay all those that have wronged her.
The next day he goes to school, hoping that their relationship might be closer after their night of shared mischief, but she isn’t there. As time passes, Q realizes that Margo has vanished. She’s done it before, disappearing and leaving behind tantalizing clues to where she has gone. No one has deciphered those clues before, but Q is certain he can succeed and find her. The harder he looks, the less sure he grows that he wants to know where she’s gone–because the more he learns about her, the less she resembles the girl he idolized.
I had mixed feelings about this book. Margo is quite a character–a sort of ‘poor little rich girl’ type, who seems to have all the advantages, but is alone in the crowd. She’s complex, and driven, but I didn’t find her especially likable. Which made Q’s quest to find her something I was a little less behind. Without the same desire to see her found, the story lost some of its urgency. However, Margo is very real–Q has this perfect image of her, but it’s not true, after all–and I have to admire her for that.
The clues, which were certainly well-hidden and obscure, made me curious enough. That Q and his friends managed to make anything at all of them was impressive–and every new clue they eked out of the mess she left behind was another remarkable (if possibly pointless) achievement. Still, part of life is knowing things–sometimes what you learn isn’t what you hoped for–and the journey is important.
Recommended for Green fans, of course, and people who like epic quests and twisty clues.