Paper Towns – John Green

Review From User :

I need to start off with my criticism of John Green:
1) Margo and Quentin are exactly the same people as Colin and Katherine and Miles and Alaska. Quentin/Colin/Miles is this very thoughtful, somewhat nerdy young man who is on the cusp of fucking reaching out and grabbing life by the balls however he can. He is also enamored with Margo/Alaska/Katherine, a girl who is unattainable. She is unpredictable and full of a shimmering charm; she fades oasis-style the closer and closer you try to get. In addition, she feels too much and is never really seen for who she is (but rather, for who everyone wants her to be). Having said this, I am in love with Quentin/Colin/Miles, and Margo/Alaska/Katherine is the girl I want to meet/aspire to someday be so I can't be too critical. Green knows these people and has lit them from inside with realism and dimension.
2) There were moments (albeit far fewer than in his previous books) where I felt like...okay, this is maybe a teensy bit contrived. A little bit too perfectly quirky. I cannot totally relate or believe in a guy who has invented a mathematical formula calculating the probability that the next Katherine he dates will dump him. I think it's a creative premise that makes me want to read the book and is extremely well-executed, but if I don't believe in someone, I'm not going to fully feel for them or understand them. This prevents me from enjoying the book as much as I do Margaret Atwood, etc. Maybe this doesn't bother anyone else, but it bothers me, and I just can't put the guy up on a pedestal.
However, however, I fucking loved this book. And I'm not going to summarize it. It was practically perfect and ridiculously engrossing and extremely fascinating (so much so that my adverb use has increased exponentially). If I even tried to give a synopsis, it would trivialize it too much. Green uses Leaves of Grass in a way that made me want to re-read it (after having suffered through it in high school) and potentially graffiti it all over the United States because: we. have. it. so. wrong. here. (I love Green's use of periods). Part of why I loved it is for selfish reasons. Margo's struggles are my own, and her hates are my hates. In Quentin deciphering Margo, it helped me realize a lot of things about myself; this is something that would be valuable to anyone who needs to become the wounded man.


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