Monday, 4 August 2014

'Baby we need some time alone so we can just breathe...'

Review: Paper Towns by John Green

This week I read my second John Green book, Paper Towns. Protagonist Q, a boy lower down in the high school strata, has been in love with his neighbour beautiful, popular and mysterious Margo Roth Spiegelman since childhood, and one night senior year they go on a crazy adventure before she disappears.

Things I loved:
The adventure. That whole night was so beautifully planned I almost fell in love with Margo myself.
Green's characters. They're so well rounded and intricately flawed, yet very hopeful and real. I like them all a lot, even those I shouldn't.
The whole book, really.

Things I disliked:
The end. No, actually, I liked the very end, but leading up to it I felt a bit... bored? The whole paper towns bit did at times confuse me a little, like Green was trying to infuse his novel with a greater metaphorical meaning that fell slightly short.

Favourite quote:

'From here, you can't see the rust or the cracked paint or whatever, but you can tell what the place really is. You see how fake it all is...It's a paper town... look at all those cul-de-sacs, those streets turn in on themselves, all the houses that were built to fall apart. All those paper people living in their paper houses, burning the future to stay warm. All the paper kids drinking beer some bum bought for them at the convenience store. Everyone demented with the mania of owning things. All the things paper-thin and paper-frail. And all the people, too. I've lived here for eighteen years and I have never once in my life come across anyone who cares about anything that matters.' 

What was it about?
Growing up, I guess. Feeling like you don't belong. Wanting to leave your home town and find somewhere you do belong. Wanting to feel like you matter, like you aren't just an accumulation of things or possessions. Also, see above quote.

Would I recommend?
Yes, absolutely. Next on my list is Looking for Alaska, because I'm intrigued to see how the theory plays out that all of Green's main characters (from my knowledge Gus/ Q, Hazel Grace Lancaster/Margo Roth Spiegelman)  are verrrrry similar. And also because I love Green's writing and the kookiness of his stories, and the way they capture teenager-dom perfectly.

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