Paper Towns, a John Green novel, recently turned into a film (2015), is a story about a boy who likes a girl. However, this girl is Margo Roth Spiegelman and is somewhat of a mystery to everyone she knows. After an all-night adventure, Margo disappears leaving behind clues for Quentin to follow. The book takes place in the last few weeks of Quentin’s school life adding further stress to the exams, prom and graduation.
Having never read a John Green novel, I was first introduced to Paper Towns at the cinema when I watched the film for a friend’s birthday. I enjoyed the film and decided to pick up the book. I first found the book to be quite slow (probably due to knowing what was going to happen thanks to watching the film first – oops). But once I got half way through (its only about 300 odd pages) I was enraptured and couldn’t put the book down.
The story, which follows a very basic structure unwinds in a very linear fashion (find a clue, follow clue, eventually find girl), frames questions about life, people and friendship. While it seems that the book is about Margo, which in a way it is, the story sees the development of unique and unusual friendships between different types of people as they come to the end of their high school careers. Many of which are brought together by the events surrounding and the disappearance of Margo.
I really enjoyed this book and urge you to give it a read if you haven’t yet. If you struggle through the first half, like I did, try your best to power through because I really did enjoy the ending. It was definitely worth the time and effort.
Here’s the trailer for the film (I also really enjoyed the film but it did follow a slightly different ending):