Paper Towns

by John Green

"You can see how fake it all is.  It's not even hard enough to be plastic. It's a paper town."

Margo Roth Spiegelman is beautiful. She's a dreamer. She's popular. She's wild and adventurous.  She's a bit of a legend in the Orlando high school she attends.  At least, she is to Quentin Jacobsen - the narrator of Paper Towns, and Margo's next-door neighbour.  As children, they were playmates.  As high school seniors, not so much.  Margo's queen of the popular people, while Quentin (Q to his friends) is more interested in video games, graduating, and hanging out with his two best friends.  

One night, Margo climbs into Q's window and takes him on a one-night adventure around the city, committing minor crimes in the name of revenge. Q is more smitten than ever - he got to spend the whole night with Margo Roth Spiegelman, take part in one of her adventures, and cheer her up when things got too heavy.  He awakes the next day to find that Margo has disappeared.  Q follows a series of clues to find Margo - the girls he thinks he knows. Q's quest leads him to realize that real-life Margo is not the same as the Margo he's always dreamed of... and he's not sure who real-life Margo is at all. 

This book was excellent.  On the surface, it's a teenage romance quest novel: boy likes girl, girl disappears, boy goes on a quest to save her, and they live happily ever after.  But, reading deeper, this book is about so much more.  It's about the importance of outward images and perception.  It's about being in love with a dream.  It's about poetic imagery of keeping it all together. It poses big questions, like are we just a series of strings being held together just right?

I recommend reading this book and then rethinking the way by which you see certain people.  Do you really like / dislike / admire / hate that person? Or do you feel the way you feel about a construct of them?

Read it and think about it.
♥ Meg xoxo

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