It’s book review time! Why? Because every traveler needs some stories for the road, whether in the form of a paperback, e-reader or an audiobook! Rather than giving you your average book review I will try to first neutrally describe the book, and then tell you why I liked it and why I would recommend it to you. To summarize and for a bit more simplicity, I will give the book scores between 1 and 10. The categories will be
- Plot – was it a page-turner and kept me up reading at night? A twist at the end?
- Writing – was the writing somewhat easy to follow? Was it relatable? Did I have those “I never knew how to express this thought!”-moments?
- Impact – how much did the story stick with me? Was there a lesson to be learned? Would I read it again?
In between the review paragraphs, you will find quotes from the book that stood out to me.
So let’s kick this off with a book by one of my favourite authors, Paper Towns by John Green.
Why Paper Towns?
“Okay,” you might say, “what exactly does Paper Towns have to do with traveling?” (if you’ve read the book, that is). I know, it’s not exactly a RTW-trip story or hiking memoir, but it’s 1) a fun story you can enjoy on long flights/bus rides/layovers/on rainy days and 2) it involves an epic road trip and ignites a sense of adventure and mystery in you.
I like Paper Towns so much that I have it on my Kindle and as a paperback. These days (when I don’t really have a permanent home anywhere) I rarely buy books other than on my Kindle, so it has to be really special to make it to the shelf in my mom’s apartment!
It’s easy to forget how full the world is of people and each of them imaginable and consistently misimagined.
Paper Towns is about Quentin and Margo, two estranged childhood friends and neighbors. One night, Margo makes Quentin join her for a (very entertaining) series of pranks to take revenge on her backstabbing friends. And Quentin really likes Margo, so of course he helps her out. Shortly after, Margo is gone, but leaves a series of clues behind that Quentin and his friends try to solve in order to find her.
That’s how much I’ll tell you, because I would spoil the rest for you otherwise!
I’m not saying that everything is survivable. Just that everything except the last thing is.
This is what I really like about the book, because it made me think a lot. On why he wrote Paper Towns, John Green says:
“I was really bothered by the way that I was seeing people idealize (and thereby dehumanize) the people they were romantically interested in. Whether it’s Edward Cullen or the beautiful girl in biology class, I feel like we consistently treat the people we’re infatuated with as if they aren’t regular people but instead something more and better.”
Isn’t that true? All the idolization, especially of celebrities, makes people somehow not real anymore. The books explains this phenomenon in more than one way – you will, for example, find out what paper towns actually are!
What a treacherous thing to believe a person is more than a person.
Why you should read it
Like I mentioned before: whether you’re looking for a fun and thoughtful, but not too complex read on your next holiday, or dream yourself away to Quentin’s quest of finding Margo while you’re at home, this is for you! Chances are you’ve already read or at least heard about John Greens The Fault In Our Stars. Warning (or de-warning): it is not as emotional as that. But it’s still another great Green book.
And: it’s recently been turned into a movie, so you can watch it all come to life after you finish! Cara DeLevingne definitely is the perfect Margo.
But then again, if you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all.
Have you read Paper Towns? How did you like it? Do you plan on reading it?