Paper Towns - John Green “What a treacherous thing it is to believe that a person is more than a person”
Quentin Jacobsen lives next to Margo Roth Spiegelman, the most amazing girl in the world, in his eyes. One night, the two roam the streets on adventures. The next day, Margo is gone. Where did Margo go? And was Margo really the girl Quentin thought she was?

I Liked:
This is a very thought-provoking novel. Sure, it's your typical “coming of age” teen story (I read a fair piece back in my day), but I found that even for adults, you could take quite a bit away.
One of the things most applicable to ALL age groups is the concept of “paper people”, of people being more than what you see of them. How often do you act one way around your significant other, one way around your family, one way around your boss, and a completely different way around your friends? We all have these vast, different sides of ourselves, and we struggle trying to figure out who we are from the face(s) we show others. And often times, we come up feeling empty, fake, “paper” because we aren't the fun, wild, smart, quirky person we project to others. I thought that this was a particularly brilliant topic to bring up.
I also rather liked how Green used the Whitman poems to accentuate and clarify his theme. I will be the first to loudly proclaim my hatred for poetry (long, complicated, boring story), but I found that this story helped me understand his poem and gave me a deeper appreciation. Quentin's struggle to understand the poem, to glean insight into Margo mirrored all those hours I'd spend struggling over poems, trying to figure out what they said. Only here, I have an author, gently pushing me towards what the poet was saying.
My favorite character was Radar. I liked his nerdiness (being obsessed with the Wikipedia substitute) and yet still being normal enough to get a girlfriend. He was a great friend, a balance between Quentin and Ben. Further, I liked how he would smack Quentin down when Quentin got a little strung out.
Although the novel is about a fairly serious topic, I found it quite humorous. There are at least five occasions at which I laughed out loud—a pretty good record, in my book. The boys' have great comedic wordplay and bounce off each other nicely. And I couldn't help but burst into laughter about Radar's parents being “black Santa” collectors.

I Didn't Like:
This is a pretty straightforward “coming of age” novel, as I said above. And while it does have great kernels for adults, there is still tons of teenaged drama: who is dating whom, bullies, high school is your life (though Quentin quickly realizes that there is more than high school), and the like. That stuff just didn't appeal to me. Plus, I've read a ton of teen novels like this in my own teenaged years.
I was never that fond of Margo. She struck me as a fairly self-centered drama-queen. Of course, the whole point of the book is to learn more about her and see her who she is, instead of how others see her, but I never was as enamored of her as Quentin was (in fact, I was often hoping someone would smack her!). And I think it was pretty mean of her to leave like she did, leaving no note, nothing, not even for the sister she said she loved.
Another character that seriously grated on my nerves was Ben. Gah, was he annoying! He wasn't funny (most of the time, unless he was bouncing off Radar and Quentin), he was obnoxious, and he was irritating. The less of him I read, the better.
For a teen novel, there is quite a bit of swearing, crass humor, and sex talk. Older teens wouldn't have a problem, but I certainly wouldn't recommend to the younger set. And since the novel is about seniors, that probably would be the best age to read this novel.

Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence:
Surprisingly heavy for a young adult novel. Milder swears, like da** and he**, appear alongside harsher ones like sh** and f-bombs.
Lots of talk of genitalia, one of the night's events involves taking a picture of a boy who happens to have a small AHEM, a girl is said to have had STDs, Ben fancies himself a player...
At the beginning, Quentin and Margo stumble upon a man who committed suicide. Quentin and Margo break into people's homes and vandalize.

While I am most certainly not in the target range, I still was able to enjoy the message of the novel: people are more than what they seem. This book, snuggled away in the young adult section, tells this story in a way more poignant than I've ever read an adult novel. Amidst the swearing, the high school drama, and the characters, there is a good story, one that older teens and the young at heart can enjoy.