Paper Towns, by John Green (12 June)

When I saw that John Green had mentioned Scott Westerfeld in his acknowledgements as part of a writing group, I was surprised but not surprised. I love them both! And now I’m going to have to search out the works of the other authors in the group, because I imagine they are also swell.

But back to the book at hand. Paper Towns is the story of Quentin Jacobsen and his quest to find Margo Roth Spiegelman, his erstwhile best friend. Margo showed up at Q’s window one night after several years of non-speaking-ness, took him on a grand revenge-getting and trouble-making adventure, and then disappeared. When Q hears from her parents that Margo likes to leave clues when she runs away, he gathers up his friends to decipher the ones it seems she’s left for them. It takes him a while to make sense of what she’s left, and all the while he starts to realize that he doesn’t even know who Margo Roth Spiegelman is, let alone how to get into her head and find her.

It’s a good time and a fast beach read. (But be careful on the beach — you’ll get so caught up in the book you’ll get a sunburn. [Yes, this did really happen to me.]) Green’s characters are always so very, and these guys are no exception, but I feel like I could have known these people as a larger group in high school. And they’re fun, so that’s good. And [spoiler alert?], Green evens out all the ridiculousness inherent in the road-trip-on-a-deadline at the end with a punch of reality to the face, and I for one appreciated it.

Rating: 8/10

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