Paper Towns

Paper Towns - John Green


Quentin Jacobsen and Margo Roth Spiegelman were childhood friends. They found a dead guy together when they were two little adorable nine year-olds. Now they're about to graduate high school. Margo is popular and kind of a legend at the school, and Quentin is somewhat of a nerd. Quentin has spent several years loving Margo from afar when she asks him to help her with a mission filled with revenge - in the middle of the night. After the night, Margo disappears, and Quentin tries to find her while getting to know the Margo he never really knew. Margo has left little clues and Quentin decides to follow them along with his two best friends - Radar and Ben.

Quentin is an ordinary guy who lives a pretty boring life and still enjoys it. He's got perfect attendance and parents who are therapists. He's "pretty god damned well adjusted", as it says in the book. Radar is obsessed with Omnictionary, the equivalent of Wikipedia, and spends all his time editing the pages there and trying to stop people from erasing accurate information about a French president, only to replace it with " a gay." Ben has trouble with getting a girl - any girl - to go on prom with him after a vicious rumor that was spread abut him. The fact that he refers to girls as "honeybunnies" may also be a problem.


At first, you might think that this is a regular high school-story, like something you can see on a crappy TV show at noon when you're home sick. It still feels very American, spirit-wise, but it's so much more exciting than just some high school drama with Oh-my-god-it's-prom-night and "Is that really what my hair looks like from the back?". Sure, there is a prom night involved, but it's not like that at all. Quentin is generally opposed to prom. The book shows that people are more than the typically American; you don't necessarily have to know everything about a person even though she's popular and you know all her stories. For example, Margo is very complex. As mentioned before, she's a legend. She got into a concert by posing as the bassist's girlfriend, got taught guitar by an old guy living in an old shitty house, broke into several amusement parks. But nobody really knows her. Even her closest friends doesn't. For some reason, she never lets anyone in. Quentin wants to know why she's such a mystery, and most importantly, who she really is.


From the end of chapter eight to the end of chapter ten (The Grass), John writes in present tense. The first time I read PT didn't notice the change of verb tense until I had read a part of it. I usually don't like things that are written in present tense, but this change is very beautifully made when you think something terrible is going to happen.


The book is sold with two different covers: a blue one and a yellow one, Sad Margo and Happy Margo. The book really is about Margo; even though the story is told by Quentin, the book is very Margo-centered. It's all about finding out the mystery of Margo; who she is, where she is.

"The basic idea of the cover design is that each cover represents a misimagining of the person involved. And since both covers are fundamentally wrong, neither can be superior." - John Green in the video "Paper Towns and Question Tuesday":


I really like the way John writes. It's simple, funny and somewhat sarcastic. He writes the way I want to write. The characters are interesting, the plot is exciting and you never know what's going to happen. I think this is a book for everyone. The book is written as young adult fiction, but I know a lot of non-teenagers have enjoyed it, so that it's a book fitting for a large number of people.

I really like the idea of Paper Towns becoming a movie. I haven't read Looking For Alaska in a while, but it still feels like Paper Towns is more fitting to become a movie. I really hope it's going to happen, and that it will come to Sweden.

Anyway, I really really like this book, so if you haven't read it, I think you should. And if you're not a nerdfighter...


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