Reviewed by Quivana Batts
Paper Towns Review
Paper Towns was written by John Green, and published by Dutton Books on October 16, 2008. The genre is young-adult fiction. Paper Towns takes place in the fictional Jefferson Park, a suburban subdivision in Orlando, Florida. Quentin Jacobson has spent almost his whole life loving the adventurous and mysterious Margo Spiegleman from a distance. When Margo seeks his help and resources for her vengeance, he gladly obliges.
The most favorable character is Quentin Jacobson. Quentin is most favorable because, he’s an over-thinker. He shows responsibility, but follows his heart when he feels the need to. Quentin also contradicts himself a lot throughout the novel. “I wasn't really pissed about [Chuck] anymore, or about everything else he'd done to me over the years. But I certainly wasn't going to lament his suffering." 17. Quentin has a conflict that a lot of teenagers can relate to; what feels good or what’s logical?
The central conflict of Paper Towns is person versus self. Not only does the reader see this conflict within one character, but two. Throughout the novel Quentin constantly battles with himself about Margo Spiegleman. Should he leave her alone? Should their childhood friendship stay in the past? He resolves this by taking a long journey, both figuratively and literally. On his journey, Quentin answers questions that conflict him. Margo Spiegleman on the other hand, is conflicted with societies
expectations and her own. In Margo’s eyes, everyone should be able to basically be free from statistical standards, and follow their own path. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like that.
The central theme of Paper Towns is finding a home. Home being the operative word. Everyone wants to feel like they have a place to be themselves. Throughout the novel, readers can see that this a longing Margo has. Margo doesn’t feel that the place she rests her head at night is a place she belongs. This is an issue a lot of people face throughout their lifetime, to feel that they belong. Her parents play an important role in this theme as well. “ “I don't want her under our roof.” Mrs. Spiegelman raised a tissue to her eyes, although I heard no crying in her voice.” 25. This shows the unwelcomed feeling Margo gets from her parents. The theme itself ties the whole novel together, and reaches highly on a standard scale.
In rating Paper Towns, I would give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars. Paper Towns has all the right elements that a successful novel needs. It leaves you on the edge of your seat, has a hint of mystery, and also connects with you as a reader. If you decide to read this book and like it, I recommend you to read The Fault in Our Stars, and Looking For Alaska by the same author.