Reading John Green is a totally different experience, now that I know him more through Nerdfighteria than through his novels. For the same reason, he will never be able to create the awe which my other favorite writers do through their books. I’ll always see him as the goofy, nerdy, brilliant individual that he is.
That said, Paper Towns was a nice experience. The characters were predictable and even the story was predictable, but in a good way. I liked this book for three simple reasons: 1) I loved Margo Roth Spiegelman 2) I could relate to Quentin 3) I liked the idea of Paper Towns.
Though John Green is known for using the same formula over and over again in all his novels, I found this one significantly different from The Fault in Our Stars (the only other one that I’ve read so far).
The book starts out with a flashback about child Quentin and child Margo discovering the corpse of Robert Joyner while playing in a park. We discover the differences of their characters from their different reactions.
I took two small steps backwards. I remember thinking that if I made any sudden movements he might wake up and attack me.
As I took those two steps back, Margo took two equally small and quiet steps forward. “His eyes are open,” she said.
I especially liked the fact that the corpse had a name. It created a whole new dimension for me; it could’ve been just a corpse since the character is almost irrelevant to the story, but no, it was Robert Joyner. Anyway, moving on from my weird observations, the story jumps to few days before Quentin’s high school graduation day. He is a band nerd and hasn’t spoken to Margo for years (she is with the popular kids). But suddenly one night she climbs up to his window and takes him along for a secret one-night journey before disappearing from the neighborhood forever.
Quentin now starts a search for Margo following some clues which she left especially for him. And the story carries on from there.
Personally I think the ‘clues’ part should’ve been omitted. And few of the several metaphors too, because, even though there wasn’t anything wrong with them, they did sound a bit cheesy. Margo Roth Speigelman, ‘the manic pixie dream girl’ can also be charged of being too attractive a character to be real.
Overall, I agreed with the philosophy and laughed at the jokes and liked the romance.