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The Declaration

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Paper Towns is definitely worth the read

Paper+Towns
Photo Credit: DeAndre Oglesby
Paper Towns is definitely worth the read!

Whenever you think of John Green, you typically think of The Fault in Our Stars. However, my favorite John Green book has to be Paper Towns.

Paper Towns is about seventeen-year-old high school senior Quentin (nickname Q), and his search for his friend and crush, Margo Roth Spiegelman who’s gone missing.

My favorite part of the book is how realistic and relatable the characters in this book seemed. In The Fault in Our Stars, Hazel Grace spoke like a bitter fifty-year-old. She doesn’t talk like an actual teenager. Read the first chapter again of the book and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

However, in Paper Towns, Q, Ben, Marcus, and the rest all talk like actual teenagers. They curse, they use slang, and sometimes they don’t even speak in complete sentences. You know, like an actual teen would. It kind of reminds me of the same informal style of writing that Mark Twain used in Huckleberry Finn. So take notes aspiring writers, John Green knew what he was doing with this one.

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Each character stood out on their own. They each had something interesting about them that’d make you remember who they are. For example, Marcus’s family has the largest collection of black Santas in America. Additionally, he’s obsessed with making corrections to Omnipedia (their version of Wikipedia). Furthermore, Marcus always seemed like the voice of reason throughout the story. Whenever Q and Ben would have a problem, he would always be the middleman and point out how both of them are in the wrong.

In all honesty, I’m a bit conflicted on how to feel about Ben. I mean for starters he think’s that Q’s mom is hot. Which is funny at first but the more the joke is repeated, the less funny it becomes. Throughout the book, he and Q argue quite a lot. This is mainly due to the fact that he starts dating a popular girl; and because of this, he starts to develop a superiority complex. This made me kind of hate Ben. However, at the same time he’s quite relatable. I mean let’s face it, if we were in his shoes, we’d all end up like Ben in one way or another.

Although Margo was barely in the book, she was probably my favorite character. I loved how much a free spirit she was. Even in the introduction chapter where she was seven years old, she was very adventurous.  The chapters where Q and Margo were driving throughout Florida “wronging rights and righting wrongs” were my favorites. They were hilarious and I was always excited to see what would happen next. Which brings me to my next point.

I absolutely loved the sense of mystery and adventure in Paper Towns. When I initially bought Paper Towns, I was going into it completely blind. I had seen the trailer for the movie adaptation, however, I wanted to read the book first. Because typically, the book is always better. And I’m so glad I read the book first because the book is a billion times better. But I digress.

Since I was going into the book completely blind, I had no clue how the story would end. I would spend hours and hours reading the book so I could find out if Q would find the next clue to Margo’s location or if him and Ben would eventually make up. The final chapters were most exciting because they were in a race against time to get to Margo’s location before she could move on to another location.

But probably my favorite part of the book was the symbolism. Out of all the characters in the book, Q is probably the most conflicted. Q in and of himself is a symbol of how when you’re leaving High School, you’re most likely not gonna have any idea of what you’re gonna do with the rest of your life. Unlike Marcus and Ben, he doesn’t have any weird quirks or anything like that. Because unlike them, he hasn’t found himself. Q has to make a choice to make in the story, whether to conform to society’s expectations or live wild and free like Margo. And I believe that it’s this inner turmoil is what make’s Q probably the most relatable character in the story. For as John Green said, “You have to get lost before you can find yourself.”

Overall, I’d say that Paper Towns is my favorite John Green book. I haven’t read Looking for Alaska, or Turtles All the Way Down so I’ll have to see if they can even compare.

I’d recommend any high schooler, specifically juniors and seniors should read Paper Towns. You find the book on Amazon for $7.76 at the time of the publication of this article, so buy yourself a copy today!

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About the Contributor
DeAndre Oglesby, Senior Editor
DeAndre Oglesby is a 17-year-old from Colonia New Jersey. He was born on December 7, 2000 at JFK Hospital. His nationality is African Bajan American (his mother is from the island of Barbados). Oglesby is the youngest of four children. He has two sisters and one brother. Currently, he is a senior at Colonia High School. Oglesby is quite active at school. Some of the clubs that he's in are newspaper club, LGBT club, SLAC, Anime, and many more. A few of his favorite hobbies are art, photography, poetry, writing, and YouTube. Oglesby identifies as nonbinary, and wants to change his name legally to Andie J. Lewis after high school. One of his biggest dreams is to open a school for children who are more gifted in the arts rather than academics.

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Paper Towns is definitely worth the read