Book Review #8 | Paper Towns by John Green
Where do I even begin with this review. Based on only my star-rating you can say that I did not enjoy it. I just don’t get it! I know there are a lot of people who like Paper Towns but unfortunately I’m not one of those people. The story started of okay but it got only worse from there for me. There are a lot of issues I have with both the characters and the story. I was hesitant to pick it up in the first place but not because I thought I wasn’t going to like it. I heard so many great things about it that I actually thought I was going to like it. I read it just in time before the movie came out (yes this review is long overdue) and though I didn’t like the book I’m happy I read it.
Let we just start at the beginning shall we, Q is a nice boy but he has so many issues. It’s obvious from the start that he suffers from pixie-dream-girl-syndrome. The girl from across the street, Margo, has a much more interesting life than he does, at least that’s what he thinks. She was described as a smart, adventurous girl and I can see those aspects in her. But what they forget to mention and something Q is completely oblivious to, is that Margo is basically a bitch. She is manipulative, self-centred and rude. And Q sees her as a better person. He still sees her as the little girl she was at the very beginning of the book. Here is an example of how Margo really thinks about the world and it makes me sick.
“It’s a paper town. I mean look at it, Q: look at all those cul-de-sacs, those streets that turn in on themselves, all the houses that were built to fall apart. All those paper people living in their paper houses, burning the future to stay warm. […] I’ve lived here for eighteen years and I have never once in my life come across anyone who cares about anything that matters.” p.57-58
When Margo disappears Q thinks it’s up to him to find her and bring her back, and he based this only on the fact that Margo was in his room the night before to use Q to vandalize stuff. I’m okay with getting your revenge on people who betrayed you, but the way Margo handled this was just too much. You don’t go out destroying and/or vandalizing other people’s properties! That is just wrong, not only in real life but also in books! The only positive aspect of the whole book was the writing style. John Green has a way with words that just grab you and I do see that.
If it wasn’t for the writing style I wouldn’t have finished this book, I would’ve probably DNF’d it before the halfway point. And it’s a shame that I didn’t because crossing that midway point was a mistake on my part. Half the book it leads up to the point where Q will actually look for Margo (an excuse for a road-trip) with his best friends. It was a nice idea, but are you FUCKING KIDDING ME?! Who thinks it’s a great idea to fucking leave your graduation to look for a girl who is clearly not interested in you and doesn’t want to be found?! What the hell is wrong with you Q! If you skipped only your own graduation than that’s your decision, but dragging your best friends with you? Have you fucking lost your mind?! I can deal with stupid decisions but this has gone to far already.
And let’s talk about Q and his friends for a moment. Q is a terrible friend, he expects his friends to drop everything all the time to help him solve the mystery called Margo. But in return he let’s his friend hanging when they ask him for just about anything. What kind of friend are you when you expect others to do almost everything for you and never do something in return! I thought I could maybe like Q but clearly I was wrong. He is just as manipulative as Margo so in a sense they belong together. I have given this book an awful lot of second chances and I’m still surprised that I actually managed to finish it in only a few days.
The last thing I need to get of my chest is the ending. One of the reasons I didn’t give up halfway through was the small possibility that Margo and Q would end up together. But of course they didn’t. When Q finds Margo she makes sure he understands that she didn’t want to be found and that coming to look for her was a waste of time. I couldn’t believe how angry I was with Margo. First she uses Q, then leaves a trail of clues for him to find and when he does actually find Margo she slams the door in his face! If someone went out of their way to look for me to make sure I’m okay even if I didn’t want to be found, I wouldn’t push them away or say that they’ve waisted their time. I would thank them and say I’m sorry for putting them through all that. But Margo doesn’t think she is acting out, no she thinks it’s standard protocol to fucking guild-trip the person that came looking for you. And than we discover that Margo’s little sister knew where she was all the damn time, that she was doing okay. What kind of eleven year old keeps her mouth shut about the whereabouts of her big sister? Okay I’m done. I am so done.
“You know your problem, Quentin? You keep expecting people not to be themselves. I mean, I could hate you for being massively unpunctual and for never being interested in anything other than Margo Roth Spiegelman, and for, like, never asking me about how it’s going with my girlfriend-but I don’t give a shit, man, because you’re you.” p.194
This book was a clearly not my cup of tea. I hate pretty much everything that is Paper Towns and that’s my own opinion. If you did like it that’s completely fine and please tell me in the comments why. If you had the same issues with the book as I had then also please let me know! I can’t be on my own with this.
Final Verdict: 2 out of 5