Honestly, this book has been on my TBR pile for a long while. Obviously, because it's John Green. But what really made me knuckle down and read it was the fact that it was required reading for a YA Lit course I'm taking. In the end, I'm glad I read it, but I have a few opinions I would like to hash out about this interesting book.
Paper Towns by John Green
Publish Date: October 1st, 2008
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
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. (Goodreads)
My Bookish Likes:
I didn't know what to expect from paper Towns. Would it live up to the hype? Would John Green live up to the hype? Would the world come tumbling down in killing massive-sized remnants of existential teenage thoughts and angst? I didn't know. I even decided to forego reading the synopsis before I read it, just so I would go in with no expectations.
That was probably the best decision I made, concerning this book. Putting the hype for anything related to John Green out of the way, Paper Towns as a book was pretty good. I liked the plot, and the different turns each character took, and the growth all of them made as they navigated the murky waters of their final year in high school.
My Bookish Mehs:
I have one problem with John Green's books. The characters always seem at least slightly, if not majorly, unrealistic to me. Green writes highly intelligent teenagers. I'm not about to say that there aren't teens out there with the same kind of intelligence that Green is writing his characters with, but seriously what teenager reads Walt Whitman, and listens to old records, and sets up crazy, drastic, insane pranks and clues for people to find? I think that may include 5% of the teenage population. Most of us don't do through this kind of existential crises in high school. Yeah, we contemplate similar things, but not in this highly intelligent fashion. Most of the time, it's riddled with angst, alternative music, and badly written poetry. We generally don't liken our situation to a Walt Whitman poem, or rather paper towns and paper people.
My main problem here I guess is that the actions of Quentin and Margo were a bit stretching the normal teenage life. Let's face it, most of us were just trying to survive figh school and move on to bigger and better things. Others loved high school and wanted it to last forever, but this book, I felt stretched their teenage characters into something implausible and less realistic than what you would find in reality.
I'm glad I read this book. It was an overall pretty good book. I found myself laughing out loud as I listened to it on audio. But my complain with John in general is that he shouldn't forget the immature parts of teenager too. There are still intelligent teenage characters that act their age in the world, and we must not forget that.
*Don't get me wron. I'm a huge John Green fan. I think he writes, overall, good books, and I think he has done a tremendous job in his online community and brining positivity to the teenage realm, so don't mistake my opinions above with the idea of who John Green is.
I gave this book 3.5-4 stars (I can't make up my mind) on my Goodreads.