"Quentin Jacobsen - Q to his friends - is eighteen and has always loved the beautiful and edgy Margo Roth Spiegelman. Nine years ago they discovered a dead body together but now, at their Central Florida high school, Q's a nerd while Margo is uber-cool.
One night, before graduating, Q is basking in the predictable boringness of his life when Margo persuades him to join her in some midnight mayhem and vengeance...and then vanishes. while her family shrugs off this latest disappearance, Q follows Margo's string of elaborate clues - including an unnerving poem about death.
Q's friends Radar, Ben and Lacey help with the search, and a post for a website turns up: Margo will be a certain location for the next 24 hours only. They drive through the night, racing the clock. Is Q ready for what he might find?"
Ah, dead bodies, crazy neighbours, elaborate schemes and a giant person-finding treasure hunt?! Yes please! Basically, it was brilliant.
The story is broken up into 3 parts. Part one introduces us to all the characters, and lets us in on how Q and Margo are neighbours and Q has loved Margo since forever ago. Q's best friends Ben and Radar (nicknamed after Radar in M.A.S.H, although puberty caught up with him and he now longer looks like Rader...but the name, as it does, stuck) are crazy, and love playing video games at Q's house. Radar has a website that is kind of like Wikipedia that is a constant reference and go-to point for them. Part one also includes Margo and Q's crazy night out, and involves fish, Veet (like for shaving your legs), Mountain Dew and Tulips (intrigued?). It's a lot of fun, that scene and you really get to know Q and what he would do for Margo.
Part 2 is when Margo goes missing, and clues are left for Q and his friends to try and find her. It's actually a very clever part of the story and I love how Green connects the dots between things. WHile the second half of part two was a little boring, I loved the beginning, when the clues are coming to light. Part 3 is basically a giant road trip, and was a laugh-out-loud section of the book. While I don't know what I think about the end of the story, even now, weeks later, I think it ended how it needed to end.
It's in third person from Quentin's perspective, and it's very well written, like all John Green novels, and besides that slightly dragging bit at the end of part 2, I read and read and read and couldn't put it down. As well as the whole clues-to-find-Margo thing going on, Paper Towns is also about teenage drama, about Prom and Graduation, about finding out who you are, and who your friends are, about how far people go for others, about high school, about family, and team work. Primarily, it's about, for me anyway, friendship. Not just between Q and Margo, perhaps least so about them, but about Q and his friends.
If you're a fan of John Green, YA novels, mysteries and clue-finding-missions, or you even just love a good road trip, read Paper Towns. Then let me know what you thought.
Have you read it already? What did you think?