Unlike paper towns, this review really does exist! Check out Bryan and Robert’s review of John Green’s second most popular book, Paper Towns.
Bryan’s quick summary:
Quentin Jacobsen’s girl next door, Margo Roth Spiegelman, has always been a beautiful mystery. When she enlists his help in an all-night revenge campaign, Quentin thinks his love may finally be realized. At least, until she disappears, leaving a trail of indecipherable bread crumbs in her wake. With the help of his friends, Quentin will track down the girl next door, but it’s looking less and less likely that he ever knew the real Margot at all.
Paper Towns is by John Green
So what did we think? (From a reader’s perspective)
1. (Bryan) John Green does dialogue and first-person description like no other. It’s almost inspirational.
2. (Robert) Another wonderful story by the talented John Green, the characters are well-drawn and the dialog witty and believable for the age group. I really felt that these kids were not part of the “in crowd” at school and were desperately trying to find their way in life.
3. (Robert) I really loved the resolution – I genuinely did not know what was going to play out, and the open-ended nature of the story suits the coming-of-age question we all once had: who will I be when I’m free of parents and school?
What did we think from a writer’s perspective?
1. (Bryan) We’ve all had that girl-next-door mysterious person who we wanted to meet and understand, and Green really embodies that concept well in this book.
2. (Robert) John Green has such a way of creating believable young characters – I disagree with the low-rating reviewers in this respect. I felt the characters were not at all cardboard cutout or clichéd, and seemed very reminiscent of how I felt at that age. I think there’s a lot writers can learn from his use of differentiation by how each character speaks and thinks not just how they look and act, or seems to think, since this is all from Q’s first person present tense POV, so the writing is even better at showing this in my opinion, since we’re never in any other character’s head.
3. (Robert) At times Green seems to be speaking his own opinions through the mouths of Q or Margo and he sails dangerously close to the edge of preaching. I thought it could have been dialed back at times, but I would not lower my rating of the book for this reason.
Bryan and Robert’s Famous Takeaways:
1. I (Robert) just love John Green’s ability to write high-brow teenage dialog, yet still have “enough” of the “OMG, it was like I was really on it” teen-speak without taking away from the intelligence adults tend not to credit teenagers as having.
2. If you are late to the John Green party and read this after TFIOS, remember this was published in 2009. Look at the 2009 reviews compared to the 2014 reviews. The early reviewers love the book, but the TFIOS readers seem to have preconceptions. Place yours to one side!
3. The mystery makes all books better. Even if it’s not a mystery, put in a mystery.
Prompt of the Week:
Imagine your own Margo-esque escape. Where would you go and what clues might you leave to get people to find where you are?