Okay...so I know in the devastated haze of my post-The Fault in Our Stars state, I said I was reading Opal next.
I did. And then I read Looking For Alaska. And I was on a deadline and I didn't write my posts. Because I suck at life. But I am writing this one. And I will write those...just late...
Okay. So, Paper Towns.
My first impression was that I absolutely loved Quentin and his friends. They have such wonderful banter that they very quickly became some of my favorites. This book had just the right amount of the absurd. There are always little things in life that seem to ridiculous to be real. This book has so much of that. I think it's a little bit heightened but it just works so well.
Quentin did remind me a little of Pudge from Looking For Alaska but I found him to be a slightly more realistic version. He's not as naive or innocent. He is out going with his friends but not really with anyone else. Some people are like that. And often these people are drawn to the more out going. A lot like Quentin is drawn to Margo. The vision he has of her is everything he's not or wants to be. She has all of the heightened characteristics he wants to cultivate in himself. That comes off as so perfect.
I really liked Margo but I can't say that I completely understood her. I loved her sense of adventure and I could see why Quentin would love that part of her so much. I think there is just something amazing about her fearlessness, or, at least, the appearance of it, that draws people in. She's so not afraid of being her.
Ben and Radar are absolutely hysterical. I love them and their responses to things and how they deal with what's going on with Margo. Ben had his moments where he was obnoxious but then he would have these moments of awesome. I loved when he saved them all from the cows. He and Lacey were too cute. They're all such boys.
But I think I loved that about this book (and to an extent, Looking For Alaska). As a girl, I tend not to think of boys in the same love-lorn as girls. But Quentin and Ben have that wonderful and terrible tendency to fall in love with an idea rather than a person. Who doesn't do that?
Which leads me to the big over arching idea of this book. The differences between who people are and how we see them. It's such a wonderful, universal idea. And I think John Green does such a wonderful job handling it. He has a way of writing that I think is really easy to connect to. But I think the idea got a little bit repetitive.
I loved that literature was, once again, a catalyst for change and a way for the characters to connect. But it felt like it all led to the long speech that Quentin gave at the end about how we see life. And it was a great speech. I absolutely loved the part:
"We don't suffer from a shortage of metaphors, is what I mean. But you have to be careful which metaphor you choose, because it matters." (301)
But it came off a little more heavy handed than either The Fault in Our Stars or Looking For Alaska. It's really just the end part that felt a little too much.
That being said about the end there is something so wonderful and bittersweet about it. There's a part of me that really thinks that they'll meet up for another crazy night of small crime and shenanigans. But there's another part of me that thinks, perhaps like Quentin, that it will never happen. That Margo will really cut the last strings. But I swooned and gushed over that last scene with the two of them. With Margo crying and them hugging each other and just watching each other was perfect. It was a perfect scene. And I loved Quentin's thought about it being the hero's errand because walking away is so hard. They know they won't have the same life, for a while at least, but there may be points on intersection and there's something about that scene that has this under layer of hope. I just loved it.
I loved the search for Margo. All of the clues and the games and the puzzles. It was so much fun. The mad dash of a road trip was just so brilliant. It's exactly the kind of road trip that I've always wanted to take. Maybe except for the turquoise pee in the bottle... And I loved that most of them weren't meant to be clues. It was just wonderful.
Overall I give Paper Towns a rating of: Massively Epic.
When I first finished it I wanted to give it an 'Epic' but the more I thought about it and the pieces that I liked and I loved it a little bit more. I think I'll love it even more after a second read. It's not as dynamic right off the bat as Looking For Alaska or just as generally perfect as The Fault in Our Stars but certainly has it's own charm.
What did you ducks think?
I am going to work on my other posts and I am going to start Jodi Meadows' Incarnate.