Hey everybody! Today I’m going to be doing a spoiler-free review of John Green’s book Paper Towns. For those of you who don’t know, a movie adaption is coming out later this month, so I thought I’d go ahead and read the book first. Here are my thoughts.
Synopsis: This is a book about a boy named Quentin Jacobson, who is in his senior year of high school. He has always been in love with his neighbor, the infamous Margo Roth Spiegelman, even though they haven’t really spoken to each other since they were nine. So when she comes in through his window in the dead of night and asks for his help, he can’t say no. They go on a breathtaking campaign of revenge, and Q thinks that perhaps they will be friends now, but in the morning, she has disappeared completely. He finds a set of clues urging him to find her. But the closer he gets to finding her, the more he begins to realize that she was not who he thought she was…
My thoughts: I have really mixed feelings about this book, and the biggest reason is because the two primary characters, Q and Margo, remind me very much of the two main characters in one of John Green’s other books, Looking for Alaska. Because of that, I was a bit disappointed. However, I do happen to like the character archetypes that he has been using, so it didn’t completely ruin the book for me.
I love how John Green explores humanity in each one of his books. In this one, he ponders our perception of others, and their perception of us, and how dangerous it can be to fall in love with an idea of a person, and not the actual person. “You listen to people so that you can imagine them, and you hear all the terrible and wonderful things people do to themselves and to one another, but in the end the listening exposes you even more than it exposes the people you’re trying to listen to.”
I also heavily identify with the way he depicts youth. There is the wild abandon that comes with being young, and not fully understanding the world around you, but there’s also the fact that THEY HAVE HUMAN BRAINS LIKE ANY NORMAL HUMAN DOES. Which I greatly appreciate, because for some reason people seem to think they are some sort of alien creature with whom we cannot relate. “It is easy to forget how full the world is of people, full to bursting, and each of them imaginable and consistently misimagined.”
So maybe the main characters were somewhat recycled, but I still really enjoyed this book and gave it four out of five stars.
“At some point, you gotta stop looking up at the sky, or one of these days you’ll look back down and see that you floated away, too.”
What about you; have you read Paper Towns? If so, what did you think of it?