Sunday, June 7, 2009

Paper Towns Completed (Regrettably)

Paper Towns is one of those books you just don't want to end. I've discovered that John Green knows exactly how to write about young adults in a fresh, honest and humorous way. (Shame on me for not yet reading Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines yet! No worries...I have this summer.)
Quentin is the sensible, like-able, "good" guy with parents who are both therapists and, therefore, are constantly providing loving support in everything he does. In fact, they even like it when he curses in front of them since that only proves that he feels the utmost comfort with them. Margo is Quentin's next-door neighbor whom he was friends with when they were young. However, now in their senior year, Margo's among the popular crowd and Quentin (although he is not in Band) is happy with his group of Band friends whom are very knowingly not part of the popular crowd. When Margo decides that she needs more from her life than the imagined "paper girl" which she feels she has become, Quentin finds himself following her trail and discovers himself along the way. Green does wonderful things with metaphors which gives this coming-of-age story style and poignancy.
Green's inclusion of the paper town of Agloe, NY is interesting. The term "paper town" refers to something cartographers started doing in the early 20th century to deter copyright infringement. They included the fictional town of Agloe so that they could track any other cartographer's attempt to copy their map: if another map included Agloe, they would know that it was copied from their own map. Interestingly, an Algoe General Store was even built to acknowledge this fictitious place, thus turning fiction into reality. Green's use of the paper town works well in his novel since Margo has grown up fantasizing that she was someone she wasn't among an imagined place with imagined friends.

Sunday update thus far: 1.5 hours reading, 1 hour blogging and networking.
I'm off to start The Silver Linings Playbook by Quick, but am thinking I may also start the audiobook of Little Brother by Doctorow so I can get chores done in-between hammock rests. :-)


Liyana said...

Mann, I really wanna read one of John Green's books. Keep up the good work!

Rasco from RIF said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rasco from RIF said...

Thank you for this review of Paper Towns explaining it so succinctly and is on my list now!