Yet again, John Green has made me sad smile at the end of another novel. After The Fault In Our Stars, I knew I needed to expand my Green collection, and I happened on Paper Towns about a month or so ago, and I didn’t want to let it linger long on the bookshelves, unread. So when I had a break in my regularly scheduled programming (haha) I decided to sneak in the read.

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(Photo Credit: Google Images)

Quentin “Q” Jacobsen has been in love with Margo Roth Spiegelman since the day he met her. Or, at least, he thinks he’s in love with her. She moved next door when they were ten. They were really good friends as kids, but when they happened upon a dead body in a nearby park, things got weird. Q was realistically freaked out. Margo was curiously obsessed with figuring out what happened to him. This incident started the split in their friendship, and then as they got older, Margo tended to hang with the popular crowd, and Q was mixed in with his band friends. Q never stopped admiring Margo though, and couldn’t believe his fortune when she shoved his bedroom window open and crawled through.

Margo needed a partner-in-crime to drive her getaway car, and Q had keys to his mom’s minivan. So, though hesitant on participating in Margo’s revenge scheme against her ex-boyfriend, he just can’t pass up the chance to spend all night with Margo. Armed with blue spray paint, a “fat-daddy-size” tub of Vaseline, and some catfish, they target the ex and a few frenemies. I have to admit, the pranks were hilarious, devious, and thoroughly planned, and I laughed so much during the first 100 pages of this book.

“Did you see it? His face without the eyebrow? He looks permanently doubtful, you know? Like, ‘Oh, really? You’re saying I only have one eyebrow? Likely story.’ And I love making that asshole choose: better to shave off Lefty, or paint on Righty?”

After their long adventurous night, Margo and Q part ways. Q expects to see her in school, but Margo mysteriously doesn’t show up. Nor the next day. It’s not the first time Margo has gone missing, but Q is concerned after what they talked about the night before. She had said a few things that made it sound like she wasn’t going to come back, and Q was starting to think she may be dead. When Margo’s family call in the police, Q knows it’s really going to be up to him to find Margo. She always leaves clues about her whereabouts, but her parents have never understood. So Q and his two best friends, Radar and Ben, and Margo’s frenemy, Lacey, take on the challenge of finding Margo to make sure she is safe.

(Fan art from Pinterest.com)

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As they find and attempt to decipher Margo’s clues, all of them start to see that Margo wasn’t who they thought she was, and the question begs to differ- did they even know the real Margo?

Green had me rapidly turning pages to figure out if Q and his friends would ever find Margo, and more importantly, was she dead or alive? It’s fast paced, easy to read mystery and in addition, the wit in Green’s writing had me in laughing and smiling- to me, ideal reading! I know this has been out for a decade (published in 2008), but this book is still worth the read, and I’m glad I’ve added it to my collection!