Book Review by Kathryn Wooldridge
2018-04-15 14:56:33 -


Paper Towns 
by John Green
I spend a lot of time reading books and then stopping midway due to the lack of excitement they bring. I tend to be attracted to books that have more of a personal story behind them, something that leaves an impression and that many people can relate to. 
The man behind the bestselling novel (and movie) The Fault in Our Stars, John Green, is a go-to author of choice for me considering the passion and adventure he lays out in every one of his books. Paper Towns, also recently made into a movie, is a coming-of-age novel mainly aimed at young adults, but I think the message behind the words is something everyone can relate to.
The main characters are Quentin ‘Q’ Jacobsen and Margo Roth Spiegelman. Margo is Q’s carefree neighbour that has had his attention since the first time he laid eyes on her. Margo is known for her spontaneity but when Q finds out she is missing, he comes up with a plan to find her. Margo has always been special to Q, even if she did not fully realise it, and that is something Green writes perfectly, showing Q’s caring and vulnerable side.
The story as a whole is a collection of unravelling quests as Q strives to find Margo, which reflects what many of us do going through life in search of something, whether that’s a person, or a place, or a feeling.
Margo explains the book’s title when she says: “You can see how fake it all is. It’s not even hard enough to be made out of plastic. It’s a paper town … All those paper people living in their paper houses, burning the future to stay warm. All the paper kids drinking beer some bum bought for them at the paper convenience store.” The title is a recurring motif in the story, raising such questions as, what is the meaning in living life?
How can you be happy in a town you don’t want to be in? How can you make the best out of bad situations? 
There is a kernel of self-discovery and self-realisation hidden in every page, which is the constant theme in most of Green’s novels, and I think that is what draws so many people into reading his work.


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