Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Short Review: Paper Towns by John Green
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...
This is only the second John Green book I've read, mostly because I was always distracted by other books or school, but also because I don't love contemporary.
In the past, contemporary was always sort of... boring. It seemed to have a lot of romance and not much else. It was two teenagers in the modern world, falling in love. That's not to say it's not enjoyable-- love is great! It's just that I am a huge fan of action so I need stuff to always be happening.
John Green changed my mind.
Also, real quick so I don't forget-- spoilers are in these babies: [ ] Highlight to read.
First things first-- the characters.
I related a lot to Quentin, actually. (Although I doubt I would get out of bed and have adventures until five in the morning for anyone. When I get in bed, I'm staying there for as long as possible, thank you very much.) However, even though I related, I didn't get why he was so in love with Margo.
I get that they knew each other since childhood, but really. Did he fall in love with her recklessness? Her bluntness? The way she saw life as an opportunity to change the world, not disappear into it?
I dunno. I feel like Quentin never really touches up on why he loves her so deeply. The entire time, I was thinking: Quentin, you don't know this girl. Not really. Why are you doing this?
On the other hand, I sort of got it. I mean, for Pete's sake [Margo left SUICIDE NOTES. I'd want to try my hardest to save someone from killing themselves, too.].
Q's friends were wonderful. In the dark, depressedness (that is a word now) of Paper Towns, they added a lot of humor. I didn't laugh, because I'm soulless, but I came pretty close. Yay humor! Every book needs it at some point.
And Margo. Margo was... well... I'm not entirely sure how to put this without sounding entirely rude. I thought Margo was incredibly selfish. And she wasn't even there for most of the book. Pushing someone way beyond their boundaries when they've told you multiple times that they're uncomfortable with the situation should not be praised. That doesn't make you bold and passionate. It makes you a jerk.
I understand that some people need that extra push to free themselves from the boundaries they've created, but as someone who has severe anxiety, forcing them into the situation is not the way to go. [Quentin said that his college wouldn't accept him if he was arrested. His future was on the line]. But in the end, I suppose it was Quentin's decision, even though he never really puts his foot down throughout the entire book.
And hey, shocker! [No one died. I really expected someone to die. Margo, to be exact. I was a little disappointed when I found out she was alive and incredibly mean.]
While I didn't fully understand the Why of the decisions made, I did love the writing style. It was depressing and sad and I adore writing that makes me feel. Plus, I wanted to know where Margo was. I wanted to know why she did the things she did, why she was so... unattached from everything. I wanted to see the real her. [However, Green never really does tell us who the "real" her is. Maybe that's just it. Maybe the real Margo is a mystery.] That's another thing. Everyone in this book is three-dimensional. No one falls flat. Not one is just a nerd or just a popular girl. I loved that.