Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Book Review: Paper Towns by John Green

I love John Green. As an avid Nerdfighter and lover of Looking for Alaska, The Fault in Our Stars, and An Abundance of Katherines, I think he's awesome. I've been putting this book off for a while now, though. I've been told that it wasn't as good as TFiOS or LfA, so I didn't really want to read it right away. However, I'm glad that I have, as it is an excellent novel that didn't let me down.

When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows her. Margo’s always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she’s always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they’re for Q.

One of the main things I love about John Green is how dynamic his novels are. Sure, the plots can be repetitive (Seemingly normal adventure where the protagonist goes on a spirtual/physical journey-for instance, breaking into Sea World.) However, they still manage to capture my attention. This novel is sprinkled throughout with Green's ideals and thoughts, but smoothly covering them up with a more boyish/clever comment.

I felt like the main character, Q, was a bit obsessive over Margo, but I think Margo wanted him to be that way. She wanted to be the main mystery in his life. That was what kept her originality intact- the fact that she wasn't there to change his view.

I liked how the image of how we see people was woven in. Quentin sees Margo as this elegant, mysterious girl, like she's a painting from the 1400s who's painter died just seconds after completing his masterpiece, never able to explain it. It's up to Quentin to discover that Margo isn't such a big mystery after all. She's just a girl. That's another thing that is often over-dramatized in books. All of the characters have this big, complex character developments and defining moments, but think about it- are you a 'complex' character? Are you making huge revelations day by day, accompanied by snarky comments to "flaunt" your personality? No. We're people, and authors sometimes forget who humans are at there essence. We're simple with layers that have accompanied us through the thick and the thin. Our layers don't disappear or change us. They stay through everything.

Even we ourselves see ourselves differently than we are at our core. Does thinking that we're smart and doing "smart" things make us smart? Does partying make us careless? Our actions are supposed to define us, but do they really? Or is it just something in the heat of the moment, something that gets us swept up into the moment. It's like doing something because all of your friends like it and not all of that has bad consequences. An intellectual television show to a raging party. Both of those situtations make me wonder if the person likes it just because they actually enjoy it or how society will perceive it. They could think they like it and not actually know. I know a fair few amount of people who won't like a simple funny or light movie/book just because it's not "cool" because "they're too intellectual for that".

Overall, it was a very good novel that would allow the reader to take from it whatever they wanted. Obviously, I got onto a psychological-society rage, and I'm slightly sorry. (Only slightly, I'm still glad my opinion is out there and being read by my cat and my cat alone.) I was pleasantly surprised by the book, though. If you haven't heard of John Green, you should definitely pick up any of his books (the three mentioned in the intro and the one this review is over) and also go to his YouTube channel and join his million other lovers.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Over and out,

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