I had such high expectations of paper towns after reading The fault in our stars, which broke my heart, was uplifting at the same time so I ran out and bought as many of John Green books as I could.
I new that they were turning paper towns in to a film so wanted to read it before it came out, I just hoped I wasn’t disappointed and I wasn’t.
Paper towns is very different to The fault in our starts, It’s not a tear jerking rip your heart out kind of book its mysterious, comical the only thing it has in common with the fault in our stars it makes you see things in a different way John Green is really good at that, it gets you to think see things in a way you didn’t before and you become a better and understand person after reading it.
The book is about Quentin and Margo they live in a the same street in Orlando Florida since they were two, when they are nine they find a dead body in the local park, Margo is intrigued wanting to know how and why he died where as Q is scared wants to get out of their and wish he hadn’t seen the dead body.
Margo investigate what happened, It turns out it was a man called Robert he lived close to them the neighbour said his last string broke when his wife left him so he killed himself.
The book then skips to when they are 18 they are in their last few weeks of high school, they are no longer in the same circle of friends, Q is just one of the regular students not a geek just a normal guy has two best friends called Ben and Radar who are in band, where as Margo is the most popular girl in school lives for adventure and goes days at a time and comes back with crazy stories.
One night out of the blew Margo turns up at Q’s window at 12am like she once did when they were 9, he was surprised but had been in love with her ever since he could remember. She had found out her football BF had cheated on her with her best friend so she had a plan of pay back so they new they had hurt her and wanted Q to come along for the ride
They put fish in her BFF car, put hair removal cream on her BF eyebrow one of her Friends parents court them and nearly shot them but they managed to get away. One of the last things they did was go to the Suntrust building to see all of Orlando and see the houses that they had just been too. Margo said it was like a paper town fake, superficial and only 2 dimensional she thought that people just did things finish school go to university get married have babies etc and nothing changed they lived these mundane lives where nothing changed and she didn’t like that that’s why brought Q on this adventure so one day he could say I had an adventure but she also missed him and regretted not spending more time with him instead of her fake friends.
They later broke in to Sea world Margo loved the planning of the ventures not so much the actual doing of the adventures.
Q was up set with Margo when she was saying everything she had done for him that night then said “I didn’t need you, You idiot. I picked you. And then you picked me back.” that is my favourite line in the book. She missed his friendship all these years she had stopped the cool kids picking on him all these years that shows she cared about him. Through the book I felt Margo has a lot of regret I wondered if Margo had never become one of the popular people because of her looks which she found silly would she still want to leave if she had stayed with Q all these years and he got to see the real her all these years but you can never go back.
They both went their separate ways Q hoping they would be friends again and she’d hang out with him in school instead of her horrible friends but the next day at school she didn’t turn up and had gone missing again nothing new for Margo so people weren’t that worried but Q was.
He realised like before she had left clues of where she would be, he was worried that she may have killed herself with what she had been saying that he last string broke when finishing out her BF had cheated on her and that reminded him of when Robert killed himself when his last string broke so frantically looked for the clues to see where she would be.
Q got his friends Ben and Radar to help him Ben was a little self absorbed which irritated Q but he helped him like friends do as radar got Q to see that though Ben was self absorbed he was a good guy he was a good friend most of the time and that yes he had a floor but so did he too he was obsessed with Margo but they still liked him as a friend. It was really nice to see the 3 guys relationship you never really get to see that in many books they had a good dynamic between them from funny comments of Ben and his honey bunnies and radar being thoughtful and insightful he was lucky to have friend like them.
Margo’s friend Lacey who she thought didn’t let her about the BF cheating when she actually didn’t know was worried so helped them look for her and funnily ended up dating the band guy Ben he finally found his honey bunny and she found him funny.
They went from clue to clue finding address for abandoned buildings, posters being stuck on the back of Margo’s blind in her room to poems with highlighted sentences trying to piece each clue together so Q could get to Margo.
The morning of graduation it all pieced together the gang go together missing their graduation and set of on a road trip to Agloe near new your city which was a fake place that the inventors of the map made up but it then turned into an actual place when people kept going there and then built a general store there, they only had 21 hours to find her before he would leave they had an eventful trip there but they finally found her.
She was in an abandoned building though she had left clues for Q she had left them last minutes as she was planning on leaving after graduation but with her BF cheating on her she left last minute no longer being able to take being there any longer though she wanted to be with Q to spend more time with him. With her leaving last minute her clues weren’t great and though she wanted Q to find them she wasn’t expecting her to find her they were for him to have fun and no she’s OK but she was glad he found her she missed him.
When Margo and Q found Robert when they were 9 she started to write a story where Q was her superhero the boy she had a crush on and her talking dog after their adventure of paying back her friends she realised he was that guy she wrote about and she liked him too.
Though Margo previously said that Orlando was a paper town she meant she was, she had made herself to be what others wanted of her this cool girl but people didn’t know the real her that what’s this books about. Q had this version of her from when they were 9 though he loved the idea of her he didn’t know her and along the way he started to actually know Margo a 18 year old girl who wasn’t happy with her life who had been making this plan for years to leave so she can start over and be the real her. He saw her cracks no long seeing her through a perfect window and seeing her cracks made him love her more as now he was seeing the real Margo. My other favourite line in the book was “When did we see each other face-to-face? Not until you saw into my cracks and I saw into yours. Before that, we were just looking at ideas of each other, like looking at your window shade but never seeing inside. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out.”
Q really wanted to kisses her but knowing it couldn’t go any where he stopped himself but later gave in when it was the right moment, she kissed him back she was planning on going to New York to start over she wanted Q to go with her, she new he wouldn’t he had his life set for him university work family etc but I think though he did have that in his future she changed him she opened his eyes up he became confident and had done things he would never thought he could do she changed him for the better.
They buried the book that Margo had written her story of her and Q in and had over the years written her plans for her big adventure in, they were saying good bye to their 9 year old selves and starting a fresh.
It was time for Q to leave they held each other they kissed, Q was happy that he finally got to know the girl he loved for so long though she wasn’t what he thought she was he loved finding out who the real Margo was the Margo that wasn’t perfect that she had cracks and they promised to stay in touch.
I really loved John Green’s message in this book with what Q learnt about friendship that you may not like aspects of your friends as they may not like aspects of you either but they and you can still be great friends give them a little slack.
Kind of like friends I have sometimes I may not peak to the a lot or they maybe a but about them selves but when ever I need them like Q needed his they are always there.
With Margo and Q’s relationship he loved this idea of her this imagine he had made of her from knowing her as a child but that image wasn’t the person he thought she was he saw the real her, her flaws and he still loved her without letting others see you flaws they Will never no the real you.
By letting those around you see your cracks it lets the light in making living a less dark place.
If you have read it what did you think of it?