My Thoughts About Paper Towns by John Green (Book Review #48)

Here’s a story where we follow Quentin Jacobson, a graduating senior, as we follow his life chasing his next door neighbor Margo Roth Spiegelman. And when I say chase, I mean literally chase.

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Quentin or Q, as his friends call him, and Margo were best friends when they were little kids but they eventually grew apart as they matured and had their own social circles. Q became a band geek while Margo became one of the popular kids. Then one night without knowing, Margo sneaked into Q’s bedroom and connived with him to go on a mission to seek vengeance to those who wronged her. They went house to house doing nasty stuffs to Margo’s now ex-boyfriend and now ex-best friend. Margo wants to get back at her boyfriend and friend for cheating on her. It was the best and wildest night in Q’s life. It was that night the he was finally convinced how he loved Margo that all started when they were young.

The morning of that night of adventure, Margo has gone missing. Literally missing. And like how she usually do when she goes missing, Margo left obscure clues to her whereabouts and it’s up to Q and his friends Radar and Ben to figure out where Margo went. They then looked for clues, went to different places in their town and went on a road trip. What they will find out though is something that they did not imagine.

I enjoyed the beginning and ending of the book. When Margo and Q is doing their mission and during q and his friends road trip in search Of Margo. But the middle part was just boring for me. I was overwhelmed by Margo becoming the center of and reference for everything. I was not able to understand Q’s action towards Margo who doesn’t even care about him. I find Margo to be insensitive for doing that to people around him. There came a point when I can no longer stand another word about Margo Roth Spiegelman.

Some interesting things happened in between the book. But what really saved the book for me are its secondary characters. They are so interesting. There came a point in the book where I no longer care about Margo and Q and focuses on the antics of Radar and Ben. They are hilarious but they also have depth. Their lines are witty and made the book really enjoyable.

The book ended with me realizing how dull the main characters are. There was no deep reason why Q fell in love with Margo. For sure, if a person didn’t talk to you for years you would eventually be able to find someone else. I felt like Q only became obsessed with Margo because she’s beautiful and popular. I find it shallow. I was not also able to understand Q’s eagerness to find and understand Margo because of the fact that they have’t talked for years. Additionally, I find Margo’s reasons for leaving to be lame. I felt like she’s just afraid to face her life so she decided to hide from it and look for a better place to start over.

I watched the movie and I enjoyed it more than the book. It’s because the book was just all about Margo, Margo and more Margo while the movie put a limit to it. If you’re a fan of the book, I can understand if you’ll say that the movie butchered the book but I liked it. The movie provided the balance that I was looking for while I was reading the book.

The main point of the book is about how we are connected and how we care about each other. It is about how we sometimes see other people and judging them by what wee see from them rather than knowing them more. I was only fully able to grasp this after watching the movie. Maybe because I got too annoyed with the book and all my efforts to understand the thought of the book became fruitless.

I am rating the book 3 stars out of 5. The premise is good for me, it just feel a little short of execution.

(Paper Towns refer to fake towns added by cartographers onto their maps and when other cartographer add those towns on their maps they sue them for copyright infringement.)

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