Over the summer, I found myself reading more than I had in a long time. With classes and homework, my pleasure reading during the school year becomes limited. However, the infinite free time of the summer led me to the library on a nearly daily basis.
One book that I found left a lasting impression on me was “Paper Towns” by John Green.
Green is one of the geniuses behind the wildly popular YouTube vlog know as Vlogbrothers, or Brotherhood 2.0. He’s also written three young adult novels (four, if you count the one that’s coming out in January) and one collaborative novel with David Levithan.
Although all his books are wonderful, my favorite is “Paper Towns.” In this book, Green paints a wonderful picture that takes a peek into what it’s like to move on in one’s life.
“Paper Towns” is about a high school student named Quentin, better known to his friends as Q, who has been in love with his neighbor, Margo Roth Speigelman, for most of his life. However, when she disappears, Q begins following a trail of clues that leads him to believe that Margo is not the girl he thought she was, and becomes unsure of the girl he was in love with.
Throughout the book, Green’s characters become real. Q’s friends, Radar and Ben, are both witty and realistic, portraying that it’s natural to be just a little bit nerdy. They’re the kind of friends that anyone would want beside them. They are insightful, but also a little immature, and always funny.
While “Paper Towns” is full of laughs and fun moments, it can also be sad, and has a wise lesson. Q is completing his last year of High School, and finds himself reminiscing on his high school days. At one point, while listening to his friends tell stories he says, “It was a kind of sad I didn’t mind, and so I just listened, letting all the happiness and the sadness of this ending swirl around in me, each sharpening the other. For the longest time, it felt kind of like my chest was cracking open, but not precisely in an unpleasant way.” This is an emotion that many students, especially new college students, might be familiar with. Moving on in your life can be sad and painful, but can also be good and liberating.
This is the message that “Paper Towns” is trying to communicate. Life involves goodbyes, but with every goodbye, there is a hello.
This book, which is inspiring, touching, and also hilarious is a great read for anyone, especially those of us who sometimes need to be reminded of how to let go.