Thursday, May 5, 2016

Paper Towns by John Green

I have read two novels by John Green previously: Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska and I fell in love with both books.  They were moving and compelling novels, so naturally I picked up Paper Towns to see if I would instantly fall in love with this story as well.  I did not.

Q spends a great night with the girl he loves Margo as she seeks revenge on those who hurt her.  But then she doesn't show up to school, and has been declared missing: a run-a-way.  Q spends his time following a series of clues he thinks Margo has left him so that he can find where she went and bring her home.   His quest tests his friendships and his loyalty to his friends in their final weeks of college.  Will Q be able to figure out where Margo has gone and whether or not she is still alive?

While I loved Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska, I am not a fan of Paper Towns.  It seemed to lack a certain quality and at times I found it rather boring, which saddens me to say.  While there were elements that were true to Green's style there were things that felt like they were forced or misplaced. Many questions arise that are left completely unanswered. Somehow Margo manages to take Q's door off the hinges to put an address in it, how could she have done this in the time span we are given without his knowledge?  Other questions I will not post because I don't want to give away any spoilers, that would just be mean.

I understand why Q became obsessive over trying to find Margo after she disappeared, but some of the links he made seemed to be a little far fetched.  It was hard to feel for Margo or relate to her because we see so little of her, I think if there was a little more to her character before she disappeared it may have helped.  There isn't much to the character of Q, he becomes so obsessed with finding Margo, he neglects his friends and gets upset that they aren't as obsessive as he is in finding her. Part of my problem could be that I was reading this as an adult rather than a young adult, someone much younger than I am.  Sometimes I forget to change my frame of mind and reading this book was one of those times.

I would recommend this novel to those who enjoy young adult novels and of course fans of John Green.  I would give this novel a rating of a 3 out of 5 because it felt like it dragged on and wasn't up to his normal caliber. While I was not thrilled with Paper Towns, I eagerly await the chance to read another one of his books.

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