Quentin Jacobsen is counting down the days until graduation. He and his two best friends, Ben and Radar, have survived high school together and are making plans for prom and the summer. May 6th was a perfectly ordinary day for Q until that night when his neighbor, old friend, and longtime crust comes knocking on his window. Margot Roth Spiegelman, the most popular girl in school is on a mission and she needs Q's help and he is not about to say no. Margot has thoroughly planned out a night of revenge on her boyfriend and her best friend and anyone else who may have known that they were cheating on Margot. The night is easily the best night of Q's life and he is excited to go to school the next day to see how things have changed between him and Margot. But she doesn't show up for school that day. Or the next day. And soon it is evident that Margot is gone, but Q is convinced that she needs to be found and he sets off on a mission of his own to find Margot Roth Spiegelman, dead or alive.
One week ago today my Father-In-Law passed away. The long week ended with me driving my teen step-kids the eighteen hours back to Utah. One way we passed the time was to listen to an audio book. I knew that Lexi would listen with me, but I was surprised to look in the review mirror and find the boy-teen laughing with us, And we did a lot of laughing during Paper Towns. Q and his friends are hysterical together. Ben is the friend who thinks he is "hot stuff" but we know that he is far from it. And Radar (nicknamed from the character on MASH) is their "token" black friend who is a nerd in every sense of the word. The fact that his parents own the world's largest collection of black Santa's is just one of those little details that makes this book perfect. Of course Radar & Ben are with Q as he looks for Margo Roth Spiegelman, because that is what friends do. Their "treasure hunt" takes them all over Florida and then the entire eastern part of the country. The group's road trip is one of the funniest things I have "read" in a long time. We were all laughing at the parallels between Q and his trip and our trip. The main ones being the mini-van and looooong ass drive. We decided if we ever get a van we will call it "The Dreidel" I tried to get the kids to do a six minute pit stop with me, but they just laughed at me. I don't want to give spoilers about what they find at the end of their road trip, but I was pleased with the way the book ended.
Bottom line, John Green is easily the undisputed King of Young Adult novels and Paper Towns is another perfect example why. His stories are engaging and entertaining and guaranteed to make you laugh and cry. And guess what, - you don't HAVE to be a young adult to enjoy them!