Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Who is Margo Roth Spiegelman?

Paper Towns by John Green

Who is the real Margo Roth Spiegelman? Is she the wild and adventurous girl who leads elaborate pranks? The amazing woman who disappears from time to time, heading on road trips her friends can only imagine? The quiet, private girl who enjoys her time alone?

Paper TownsWhen Quentin (Q) opens his window one night a few weeks before graduation, he doesn’t expect that it will be just the beginning of a crazy adventure. Margo includes him in her plans of a night of revenge. Even more unexpected from his next door neighbor and once-childhood friend are the clues she leaves for Q to find after she disappears. As their senior year comes to an end, Q needs to concentrate on finishing school, but Margo is never far from his thoughts. Q, his two best friends Radar and Ben, and Ben’s girlfriend (and Margo’s former friend) Lacy all try to answer one very important question: Who is the real Margo Roth Speigelman?


I’ve now listened to all four of John Green’s teen books. Green does a wonderful job with describing the lives of his teen characters, delving into their personalities and their quirks. This is especially true of the main characters – Q and Margo; however, even the characters who aren’t nearly as important to the story are fairly well drawn.

There were at least two times that I made sure to share (via twitter) a line from the book. This is remarkable in that I listened to the book. I pretty much only listen to audiobooks while driving. So…I somehow managed to remember the lines from the time I heard them in the car until I got inside and on a computer. My mind doesn’t usually work that way.

The lines I was compelled to share:

“Peeing is like a good book in that it is very, very hard to stop once you start.”

“By the power of the superglue beer sword…”

The last phrase was part of several sentences, each of which made me laugh loudly as I drove down the road. To add to the hilarity of the line, the narrator did a wonderful job of reading it with a perfectly drunk tone to his voice, much like the character who was saying the lines would have had.


The last portion of the book was such a letdown compared to the frenzied search and the frantic ride leading up to it. I don’t want to give the story’s ending away, but will say I was underwhelmed with how it ended.

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