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. (from Amazon)
I reviewed this with Alita! 😀 Half of it’s here and the rest is on Alita’s blog. It was a lot of fun, though I’m sure I forgot to ask questions I thought up over the weekend. Curse my lack of note-taking skills! (But mucho thanks to Alita for agreeing to do this with me!)
Alita: John Green’s Paper Towns is one of those books I had heard a lot about around the blogosphere, I’m sure you did too. What kind of expectations did you have when you first cracked it open?
Anastasia: I was already familiar with John Green (and his brother) through their vlog project back in 2008, and which they’ve continued since then (you can find it here: http://www.youtube.com/user/vlogbrothers). From his videos I assumed that a) because John Green was funny and quirky and sweet, b) his books would be the same, and c) I’d like them as much as I liked him. But I wasn’t really expecting anything in particular regarding plot or style. Just sort of…general feeling?
What about yourself? Had you heard of John Green before coming across reviews on book blogs?
Alita: Last year, right around the time I started my blog, I sent out a request for book recommendations to my friends, and one of my friends handed over Looking For Alaska. I started that one with no previous knowledge of John Green and was, well, pretty blown away. Needless to say, I was expecting quite a lot from Paper Towns, and although I had heard it was better than LFA, I put off reading it fearing it wouldn’t live up to those expectations. Boy, was I wrong!
Anastasia: I know a few people who have put off reading Paper Towns because they loved Looking for Alaska so much, but I come from the perspective of reading Paper Towns first and THEN LFA, and I think Paper Towns is much more elegant and engaging (though LFA was still good, of course). So I didn’t have anything hanging over me like you did. Was it hard to push past that feeling of “this can’t be nearly as good as LFA”?
Alita: Actually, not at all. That probably has something to do with the fact that I waited, oh, 4 or 5 months before reading Paper Towns. By then I was just excited to read another JG book! And like you said, PT is so much more elegantly written, that once I started I couldn’t really make any comparisons to LFA.
Paper Towns is oh-so wonderfully written, which made it so easy to love. Actually, it was like I didn’t have a choice but to love it!
I think we’re both of the same mind of this being an awesome book. What did you love it? Or, what made you first think “Okay, this is going to be a fantastic read”?
Anastasia: It started off with a bang–quite literally, because Quentin and Margo find a body of a man who has committed suicide. The whole scene is so morbid and yet funny that I couldn’t help but think that Paper Towns would be a great book. The writing did it, mostly, but also Quentin himself, who is a dork and a half but not a creepy one. Just sort of a normal, teenage…dork!
I think the end also clinched Paper Towns into my “most favorite books EVER” list, but that’s a spoiler so I won’t say anything more about it. Just: I really appreciated that twist, that it wasn’t cliched nerd-hot girl story.
Alita: True, it could have very easily been the cliched ‘Nerd Boy loves Popular Girl from afar’ story, but JG twists it into something so much more than that.
For the rest of the review, please visit Alita’s blog!
Read: January 29, 2010