Monday, 1 August 2011

John Green - Paper Towns

Title: Paper Towns
Author: John Green
Pub. year: 2008
Pages: 305
Editor: Speak
Summary: 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.

I discovered this author through is vlog (=video blog) on youtube and when I heard he was a writer, I was curious to read one of his books. I liked the cover of Paper Towns I saw, so I bought it and read it a few weeks later.

I'm pleased by the ability of John Green to write a story about teenagers without falling into clichés. Each character is credible, neither too popular nor too much of a loser, as we often see it in this kind of story (and being French, I never experienced the gap between cheerleaders/footballers and isolated people, in my High School it was all about being with your group of friends). Quentin is a normal teenager who shows us the complexity fragility of relationship at his age. The writing is clever and funny, and the author as a keen sense of teenage reactions.
Plus, there's a lot of references in it, especially to Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, which adds moments of reflexion about who is the other in front of us, about leaving, and so on. A lot of ideas that may change the way you might see things.

I like how John Green finds a way to teach all sorts of stuff while is telling you his story. I really enjoyed all the plot around "paper towns", for example. I didn't know what it was before this book and I appreciated to learn that kind of not really useful but still fun facts.

I believe this is the kind of book that can invite people to read more, because it's really easy to read, and because of it's sensibility.

Quotes :

What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.

I'm not saying that everything is survivable. Just that everything except the last thing is.

If you don't imagine, nothing ever happens at all.

That's always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people want to be around someone because they're pretty. It's like picking your breakfeast cereals based on color instead of taste.

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