Saturday, May 17, 2014

Review: Paper Towns by John Green


Paper Towns

Author: John Green
Two-time Printz Medalist John Green’s New York Times bestseller, now in paperback!

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back 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 of the girl he thought he knew.
This book was bought by myself with my own money.

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When I found out that Paper Towns by John Green would be hitting the theaters soon, I just new I had to pick it up and read it. I mean, after LOVING The Fault in Our Stars and falling in love with his writing, I couldn't pass it up. I went into reading Paper Towns just knowing that I would enjoy the story, especially with the intriguing premise. I mean, who doesn't love a story about a guy falling head over heals for the mysterious, adventurous girl-next-door and then being thrown for a loop?

We meet Quentin Jacobson who is the perfect student and seemingly perfect child. He never does anything wrong, always does his schoolwork and has never missed a day in his life. He grew up being close friends with the crazy mysterious Margo Roth Spiegelman, but as they grew older, they grew apart. She was the popular girl in school that everyone loved and wanted to be like, and he was one of the outsiders. When Margo shows up at his window one night, close to graduation, asking for a ride around town for an adventure filled with revenge on some of the people who had bullied him, he was in. He had high hopes that he could make her fall for him and that this night would be the chance of a lifetime. But there was a huge twist. When he got to school the next day, expecting to see her, she was gone. She had ran away again and no one knew where she was. Q leaves it up to himself to follow her clues and find the girl of his dreams before it's too late.

Paper Towns, for me, was one of those stories that had me feeling like I was on a roller coaster. Not as in the emotional ups and downs, but in the speed of the story. In some instances, it was fast-paced and my heart was racing and I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next. In others, I was thinking, "Is this ever going to end? This is getting so boring". There was a lot of times where Q was just going over the clues Margo left behind, over and over and over again. Never really finding anything new and it was as if I was reading over every second of every day of his life, even the boring stuff that I cared absolutely nothing about. I thought that I was going to be taken on an adventure all over the country and SPOILER ALERT!! I wasn't. I was really bummed about that. I had also thought at one point that I was going to end up in tears over her suicide because for the longest time John Green made it seem as though she would be dead when Q found Margo. Thankfully that wasn't the case. I was very happy about that. END SPOILER!! The end sped up for me again once things really started heating up and Q realized a bunch of different things at once and they all raced to the place they thought she was going to be.

I do really love John Green's righting style. I've heard that it's rather pretentious but I love that about it. In a way, Q was as I imagined John Green himself being. If that makes sense? As far as Margo goes, I'm going to leave a quote straight from her own mouth and this is exactly as I perceived her to be from the beginning: "I was the flimsy-foldable person, not everyone else. And here's the thing about it. People love the idea of a paper girl. They always have. And the worst thing is that I loved it, too. I cultivated it, you know? Because it's kind of great, being an idea that everybody likes. But I could never be the idea of myself, not all the way." Everyone loved the idea of her, but they never really loved her. She seemed like this wild, crazy, adventurous, gorgeous, perfectly created, God's-gift-to-man, but she isn't. She's just a normal person like everyone else and she needed to show them all that.

Paper Towns was a wonderful story, but the pacing seemed so slow at times and I couldn't give it a 5-star review. I will of course continue to read John Green's books because he's a pretty awesome guy and he writes pretty awesome books.

I rate this book:

Author

John Green's first novel, Looking for Alaska, won the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award presented by the American Library Association. His second novel, An Abundance of Katherines, was a 2007 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His next novel, Paper Towns, is a New York Times bestseller and won the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best YA Mystery. In January 2012, his most recent novel, The Fault in Our Stars, was met with wide critical acclaim, unprecedented in Green's career. The praise included rave reviews in Time Magazine and The New York Times, on NPR, and from award-winning author Markus Zusak. The book also topped the New York Times Children's Paperback Bestseller list for several weeks. Green has also coauthored a book with David Levithan called Will Grayson, Will Grayson, published in 2010. The film rights for all his books, with the exception of Will Grayson Will Grayson, have been optioned to major Hollywood Studios.

In 2007, John and his brother Hank were the hosts of a popular internet blog, "Brotherhood 2.0," where they discussed their lives, books and current events every day for a year except for weekends and holidays. They still keep a video blog, now called "The Vlog Brothers," which can be found on the Nerdfighters website, or a direct link here.
Author Links: Website | Twitter

Favorite Quotes

Please be aware of spoilers!!

"Margo always loved mysteries. And in everything that came afterward, I could never stop thinking that maybe she loved mysteries so much that she became one."

"If I am ever told that I have one day to live, I will head straight for the hallowed halls of Winter Park High School, where a day has been known to last a thousand years."

"Yeah. I'm a big believer in random capitalization. The rules of capitalization are so unfair to words in the middle."

"Let's just please not get in trouble," I said. "I mean, I want to have fun and everything, but not at the expense of, like, my future."

"That's always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people would want to be around someone because they're pretty. It's like picking your breakfast cereals based on color instead of taste."

"My heart is really pounding," I said.
"That's how you know you're having fun," Margo said. But it didn't feel like fun; it felt like a heart attack.

"I, however, did not like to run. Or, for that matter, engage in any kind of physical exertion."

"This fear bears no analogy to any fear I knew before. This is the basest of all possible emotions, the feeling that was with us before we existed, before this building existed, before the earth existed. This is the fear that made fish crawl out onto dry land and evolve lungs, the fear that teaches us to run, the fear that makes us bury our dead."

"I mean, 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."

"The longer I do my job," he said, "the more I realize that humans lack good mirrors. It's so hard for anyone to show us how we look, and so hard for us to show anyone how we feel."

"But isn't it also that on some fundamental level we find it difficult to understand that other people are human beings the same way that we are? We idealize them as gods or dismiss them as animals."

"Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a find and precious thing. She was a girl."

"I liked standing just outside the couches and watching them--it was kind of sad I didn't mind, and so I just listened, letting all the happiness and the sadness of this ending swirl around in me, each sharpening the other. For the longest time, it felt kind of like my chest was cracking open, but not precisely in an unpleasant way."

"It is so hard to leave--until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world."

"I hope I get pulled over," he says. "I'd like to see how the cop responds to a black man wearing a Confederate T-shirt over a black dress."

"What a treacherous thing it is to believe that a person is more than a person."

"Forever is composed of nows."

"I'm not saying that everything is survivable. Just that everything except the last thing is."


1 comment:

  1. I loved Paper Towns so much as well! And I'd watch the movie in a heartbeat! I love John Green so much. <3

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