Paper Towns

by John Green

Wow.  A good, intense read.  This reminded me slightly of So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld (only with out all the fashion and with more deep psychological probing) and The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman.

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar.  So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life–dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge–he follows.
After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always and enigma, has now become a mystery.  But Q soon learns that there are clues–and they’re for him.  Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew.

Mr. Green likes his road trips.  I read An Abundance of Katherines, and it also involves a road trip.  But this one is serious fun.  The black Santas were pretty hilarious too.  I was cracking up and laughing so loud that my cat stared at me in a disgruntled manner.

I was sad at the end though, because I wanted all of the answers, I craved the answer to the meaning of life.  I wanted some huge mind-blowing deluge of truth to pour into my head and tell me what I’m doing on this earth.  I wanted Q to explain why he wanted to go to college, get a job and grow up.  Maybe Green did give an answer and I just didn’t see it.  I liked how he mentioned that a metaphor can be “rendered incomprehensible by its ubiquity” (Page 173), and how he offered the metaphor of cracked ships to explain all the cracked people in the world.  The cracks let us really see in, instead of looking at a mirror.

The revelation that Margo saw paper people and paper towns from SunTrust because she was herself a paper person was unexpected and brilliant.  She really didn’t think about other people, only herself.  And one can’t go through life like that.  What makes reality important is our interaction with our creatures and human beings.  If you want a life guide, read the book I reviewed yesterday, Red Glass by Laura Resau.

If you ever have to do an explication on Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, pick up this book with the rest of your reference materials.  Green does a lovely job explaining the poem, sometimes line by line, and talks about its symbolism.

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