Sunday, January 8, 2012

Rachel Rambles About Paper Towns


From Goodreads:

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 an 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 of the girl he thought he knew.
Printz medalist John Green returns with the brilliant wit and searing emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of readers.

I. Love. This. Book. The main character, Q, has been in love with Margo Roth Spiegelman for, um, most of his life. She's adventurous and mysterious and so out of his league. She shows up at his window one night, and soon enough Q and Margo are driving around Florida in a minivan in the middle of the night, on a mission to right some wrongs and wrong some rights.

Q isn't sure what will happen with him and Margo the next day. Will they become friends? Will she ignore him at school? The one thing he doesn't expect is for her to disappear. Q is determined to unravel the mystery of not only where Margo is, but who Margo is, based on clues that she supposedly left him. He's been in love with her, awed by her, for so many years, but does he really know her?

This book has serious and thoughtful moments, but I also had tears streaming down my face because I was laughing so hard. Q is my favorite protagonist from a John Green book. He is normal and nerdy and funny and easy to relate to and you guys, he has THE BEST FRIENDS EVER.

Seriously. They are hysterical. Ben and Radar are just awesome. I want to hang out with them so badly.

I love the mystery of Margo Roth Speigelman. There are so many twists and turns that I could have never seen coming, keeping me in suspense for the entire book. When I read this book, I am alongside Q the whole time, figuring out clues with him. I am never one step ahead of him, because even I, as a reader, can't predict what will happen next.

Another thing I should point out about this book is the way poetry is weaved into it. Walt Whitman's Song of Myself plays a huge role as Q reads it in an attempt to understand Margo. And I love it.  Q struggles to understand the meaning of the poem, and the reader struggles along with him. This book actually makes me have a deeper respect for poetry, and I really like how it plays such a prominent role.

Paper Towns is, above all things, one of the funniest books I have ever read. Yet at the same time, it's serious and thoughtful. I didn't think it was possible to weave such funny moments into serious scenes, but John Green does it perfectly. Overall, this book has a very real feel to me. The characters, the setting, the situation. Everything is believable, and it's easy to picture something similar happening in real life.

Favorite Character: It's hard to choose, because I really loved all the characters in this book, but I guess I would have to say Radar. Because of the black Santas.

Favorite Scene: THE ROAD TRIP. From about page 243 on, I don't think I ever stop laughing. This scene makes me want to skip graduation and travel for a day in a minivan with my best friends who are naked but for graduation robes.

Favorite Quote(s): THERE ARE SO MANY. This is maybe, like, half of them.

"Margo always loved mysteries. And in everything that came afterward, I could never stop thinking that maybe she loved mysterious so much that she became one." -page 8


"The little girl with her finger in the dam had fun off. Flooding was inevitable." -page 94

"Dude, I don't want to talk about Lacey's prom shoes. And I'll tell you why: I have this thing that makes me really uninterested in prom shoes. It's called a penis." -page 133

"This bears no analogy to any fear I knew before. This is the basest of all possible emotions, the feeling that was with us before we existed, before this building existed, before the earth existed. This is the fear that made fish crawl out onto dry land and evolve lungs, the fear that teaches us to run, the fear that makes us bury our dead." -page 141

"The fundamental mistake I had always made- and that she had, in fairness always led me to make- was this: Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl." -page 199

"'The human tongue is like wasabi: it's very powerful, and should be used sparingly." -page 213

"'Please stop,' I said. 'You're upsetting the black Santas.'" -page 214

"'I'd like to see how the cop responds to a black man wearing a Confederate T-shirt over a black dress.'" -page 256
"What a treacherous thing it is to believe that a person is more than a person." -page 282
"Imagining isn't perfect. You can't get all the way inside someone else. I could never have imagined Margo's anger at being found, or the story she was writing over. But imagining being someone else, or the world being something else, is the only way in. It is the machine that kills fascists." -page 299


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