Review: Paper Towns by John Green

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Title: Paper Towns

Author: John Green

Genre: YA fiction

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Was this my favourite John Green book? No (long live Will Grayson, Will Grayson!). Was it still incredibly awesome? Yes. Because absolutely everything that man does is incredibly awesome. I’ll admit it, I’m becoming a John Green junkie. I started with Looking for Alaska, then TFIOS became super popular and I had to read it, then my friend told me WGWG represented me so very well (she was right), and through it all I slowly fell in love.

Paper Towns started off so incredibly strong. I felt like the prologue could have been a short story in itself, with little to no changes. I also found myself wowed by the powerful language and metaphors Green used early on in the book. Maybe it’s because I took a writing class, where we learned to analyze every word of a story for its merit, but I often stopped reading to think “Damn, that was a good sentence.”

The character all came alive right away. It was interesting to see the changes in even the minor characters, like Ben and Lacey, as the story progressed. This was a nice change from minor characters being static and fitting into a single trope the whole story, as is usually the norm for novels. I also loved the way the reader could kind of see through Margo in a way that Quentin couldn’t. Seeing him slowly realize more and more about her was like learning the hard truths about real people in real life. So even though the story line was pretty far-fetched from most real-life situations, I was able to relate to almost every emotion and feeling the characters experiences. I think this ability to bring real, relatable feelings into interesting, or even absurd stories is an amazing quality that Green’s writing often has.

(SPOILER ALERT BELOW)

Towards the end of the book, however, I started to become a little less interested. I think it was maybe because of the fact that I had learned to love Q so much, and I had enjoyed watching him begin to realize that Margo wasn’t the greatest thing to ever happen the world, so when he became to intently focused on finally finding her I was slightly bored. To me, the story was about realizing that Margo was only a person. A person, who might actually not be a very good person. In fact as a reader, I really loved her at the start of the book, really liked her when she was missing in the middle, and then sort of grew to dislike her at the end when she’s found again. To me, she came across as a little over-dramatic and spoiled at the end of the book, so I was slightly disappointed when Q got all infatuated with her again just because she said she had a crush on him when they were little. But, I guess that’s life isn’t it. You can never stop someone from loving the wrong person.

I will say that I loved the fact that the ending was so anti-climatic. I mean Q goes through much of the book thinking that she’s dead and wondering what caused her to get to that point, and how she could leave him to find her body, and then she’s just alive. Just sitting alone, writing. It’s so typical of life. You expect there to be so much drama and excitement when in reality it’s mostly just boring.

Please let me know your thoughts on Paper Towns and my review. I’m going to be searching for An Abundance of Katherines with the Christmas money I might get.

XOXO

Erika

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