Paper Towns by John Green

Let’s tackle another John Green novel! If you remember, I read The Fault in Our Stars a month or so ago.  While I’m not a die hard fan, it was an alright novel.  Not so much the more I think about it.  Its incredibly quotable, of course.  I highly doubt I’d go back to reading it though.  However, the trailer of Paper Towns dropped and I saw it a few months ago.  Of course, by now, the movie has gone on the big screen and left it, so I never went to go see the movie but that was my motivation in reading the book.  The trailer was intriguing to say the least.  Its the sort of coming of age adventure that I like to check out.

So here we are with Paper Towns! Let’s see what its all about! 🙂

Paper Towns

by: John Green

Paper Towns

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

Goodreads rating: 2/5 stars (I’m just going to open with the ratings now.  I’ll go back and restructure my posts soon.  It seems like a good way to do it.)

I’m pretty lenient and forgiving with novels, especially YA novels.  I probably shouldn’t since Young Adult is this whole new genre with a thousand trending books every year and a lot of it is hyped up for reasons I can’t decipher.  Anyways, point is, I’m stopping this John Green run unless you all tell me there is a book about a thousand times better than anything you have ever read.  He’s really not for me.  Paper Towns was a new level of boring.  I don’t know if its the pacing or the events or just the writing style.  I had an incredibly hard time getting absorbed into the book.  You know how sometimes you are fully aware of the exact thing you are doing in reality, like I’m reading a book sitting in a bus or standing in line baking under heat.  It didn’t whisk me away from reality or even slightly fall in love with the characters.

Paper Towns has a good premise.  Its really not a bad idea.  What does make it not so great is that what started out as an adventure and finding yourself and discovering the whole idea of how everyone has more than their appearances.  Hey kids, that’s life! I’m not the semi sarcastic, semi bubbly enthusiastic person I am on my blog when I’m at work.  I wasn’t like this even when I went to school.  In high school, we join groups and we bend to peer pressure and these things happen.  So, I get this is a young adult novel and its about teenagers which is why I think the premise is commendable.  However, my issue here is the characters and just the course of events. Its not even the believability of it all.  I can get behind the Paper Towns thing and wanting to leave and start fresh, impulse and adventure, wanting to be you and getting away from all that home stuff, even the whole randomly choosing your childhood friend/neighbor who is really more of an acquaintance.  But this book is about clues, chasing down and finding a girl mindlessly.

To be honest, the characters in here were pretty meh.  I mean, Margo was nothing special.  I guess it works because she isn’t supposed to be. She just is because Q thought she was and has this massive crush on her. While Q is actually just a law-abiding citizen.  You know that typical coming of age teenage boy who a spontaneous girl sends on an adventure.  You know one, you know them all.  Except Q is kind of self-centred and very one track mind. His best friends even point that out and he becomes conscious about it and changes. That’s the character development.  Its not even that there isn’t character development but rather its like at some point, Q doesn’t even know why he’s looking for Margo.  It seems like a reflex or is it the desire to feel wanted or to feel important like he’s done something out of the mold of his routine life and wanting normal things? I don’t know what it is. The characters weren’t that appealing.

Don’t even get me started on the ending. Okay, look, I had a much worse ending in my head that if it did happen, I’d have thrown the book into the fireplace and burnt it.  That didn’t happen so I didn’t have to bake myself in my already pretty hot house.  Point is, the ending was still really like: I don’t know how to work in circles around this anymore so lets just draw this to a close.

Overall, not a fan of Paper Towns.  I can’t even see the appeal.  The characters aren’t very special.  The pacing and story is so boring and honestly when you get to the ending, it really feels like you just went on a wild goose chase for absolutely nothing.  I gave it 2 because one, the premise is there.  Its just the execution wasn’t quite there.  Second, there are some few parts that were interesting to read.  The clues after clues was fun here and there and the beginning had a few decent messages about stepping out of ordinary and having adventures but it just kind of fell apart in this slow tiring way. Its sucks to feel this way for a book because I’m not harsh on books and I really wanted to like this one.

Have you read Paper Towns? Are you a John Green fan? What is your favorite book of his?