Review: Paper Towns by John Green

PaperTowns2009_6A Paper Towns-John Green
RATING: 2 / 5 STARS

Blurb: Who is the real Margo? Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs 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 the girl he thought he knew… Who is the real Margo?

This book was picked by one of my book clubs and I voted for it because I have read two books by John Green and in the spirit of TFIOS, I thought this book would be something I would love. Apparently, I had forgotten about my feelings towards Looking For Alaska but don’t fret, a few chapters in this book and I remembered exactly how I felt about LFA because I felt as if I were reading LFA all. over. again.  This book introduces you to Quentin who is a lot like Miles (Looking For Alaska) and is obsessed with his friend Margo aka Alaska just like Miles was obsessed with Alaska. Margo is this super cool, super deep, intellectual, narcissistic, too good for anybody but not quite good enough, quirky, badass, “everybody is in awe of me but nobody gets me”, kind of girl. UGH. She pretty much ignores Quentin his entire life and then she selfishly decides to swoop back into his life and make him go with her on this crazy revenge scheme she has planned which includes vandalism, breaking, entering, and removing someone’s bodily hair (I say she made him because who in this book could deny MARGO ROTH SPIEGELMAN?!). After their night of revenge, she decides to disappear and leave everyone around her worried about her well-being, did she commit suicide or is this just another one of her runaway escapades? Nobody seems to be too worried because this is just how MARGO ROTH SPIEGELMAN is, give me a break. Also, have I mentioned that throughout the entire book she is referred to as MARGO ROTH SPIEGELMAN? give. me. a. break.

Quentin obsesses over trying to find her because he is so sure that she wants to be found, this obsession actually causes an argument with his friends because unlike Quentin, his friends can see how unhealthy it is.  She leaves him all of these little clues, in a poetry book (give me a break. At this point, I’m just going to need the whole damn Kit-Kat bar), in the door jamb, in an abandoned asbestos infested minimall, etc. The poor dumb sucker is running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off trying to piece them all together only to come to the ending of it all…which….agh! angered me so much. UNGRATEFUL is all I can say.

This is pretty much what the book Looking For Margo is about, a bratty, “misunderstood”, ungrateful, girl and her puppy love obsessed next door neighbor. I’ve read these characters before with just a different plot when I read Paper Alaska. For some reason that I may never understand, John Green likes to write the same girl over and over again. This girl may have resonated with several people who read one of his books but he should have left her as that…a character in ONE of his books. I am convinced now that John Green does not truly understand teenagers for never in my life have I ever encountered a teenager that acts the way that he writes them (AMERICAN boys never say they are going “stag” when hanging out with the guys). Just no.  The two stars are because I feel like John Green isn’t a terrible writer, he can tell a good story it’s just a shame that his stories are so similar. Unless he decides to write a book that is not Young Adult or that has an obviously different type of storyline, I may consider reading it but as Margo Roth Spiegelman would say….

John Green, our book relationship – it sleeps with the fishes.