Paper Towns (review)

Friday, February 13, 2015


Title: Paper Towns
Author: John Green
Rating: 3 stars

“Who is the real Margo? Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew...”
"Paper Towns" is the third book I've read from John Green which include "The Fault in Our Stars" and "Looking for Alaska". Oh, and I guess his part in "Let it Snow" counts too. I have to say that I liked "Paper Towns" the least. It's not bad by any means but I thought the story moved along way too slowly and I thought Q's obsession with Margo was creepy and actually hindered an otherwise great character. Though perhaps that was the point. Q's so focused on the fantasy of magical, whimsical Margo that he overlooks the much more real and awesome friends that he does have right at home. Growing up in Orlando, Florida (The idea of Orlando as a "Paper town" is spot on) would be my idea of hell so I understand Margo desire to get out but I don't think I've ever read a more self centered, ridiculous character before - and I say this as someone who has read about Alaska Young. Still, "Paper Towns" is worth the read just for the great friendship between Q, Ben, Rador, and Lacey and the unforgettable trip they take. Furthermore, the book nicely captures all the wistful parts of senior year of high school. As always, John Green is at his best when it writes about people and how messed up we all are. It's the same here but perhaps a bit more disappointingly muted then his other efforts.

"This was the first time in my life that so many things would never happen again... It is so hard to leave- until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world" (pg 228).

"Radar looked at me sideways. 'Of course he is. You know your problem, Quentin? You keep expecting people not to be themselves. I mean, I could hate you for being massively unpunctual and for never being interested in anything other than Margo Roth Spiegelman, and for, like, never asking me about how it's going with my girlfriend- but I don't give a shit because you're you. My parents have a shit ton of black Santas, but they're okay. They're them. I'm too obsessed with a reference Web site to answer my phone sometimes when my friends call or my girlfriend. That's okay too. That's me. You like me anyway. And I like you. You're funny and you're smart, and you may show up late, but you always show up eventually.'

'Thanks.'

'Yeah, well, I wasn't complimenting you. Just saying: stop thinking Ben should be you, and he needs to stop thinking you should be him, and y'all chill the hell out'"(pg 195).


Overall
Good, but not the best from the author. Story moves a bit too slow and the protagonist's obsession is frustrating. Film adaptation to be released on July 24, 2015.
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Tracy

Tracy is a history/film fan who loves to read YA, historical and contemporary fiction. She’s also a sucker for a sad tale. Harry Potter (“Harry Potter”), Peeta Mellark (“Hunger Games”), Nathaniel Blake (“Little Men”) and Daniel Landon (“Catcher, Caught”) are her literary boyfriends. She’s also the resident Ravenclaw and librarian.

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