I finished Paper Towns by John Green last night.
So. Many. Metaphors.
Paper Towns is about a nerdy boy, Quentin, who’s in love with Margo Roth Spiegelman–from a distance. He sees her every day– from a distance. He lives next door to her house–from a distance. Then one night, she shows up outside his window wearing black face paint and takes him on a night of wild and adventure. Then she disappears. All believe it’s only Margo being Margo, but Quentin senses something. Something different. He follows the trail of breadcrumbs she left, specifically for him, and hopes with all his being he gets to her…before it’s too late.
Let’s address the elephant in the room. The way everyone in town knows Margo and knows a story about Margo, is none other than a John-Green, Regina George.
I liked Paper Towns. It sounded pretty. It read pretty. Did I understand a lot of the metaphors? Ehh.
Towards the end of the book, I struggled. I struggled to piece everything together. To understand what John Green was trying to portray. I struggled to force myself to read all the metaphors.
I felt my eyes scanning the page, looking for something in plain English that described what the characters were feeling that didn’t involve grass, or cracks, or boats sinking, or wounded men, or even paper towns and paper people.
On the other side of the spectrum, Paper Towns is infinitely quotable. Like I said, it’s pretty!
John Green has a way of stringing words together that sound so brilliant and beautiful that you want to Tweet about them so you, in turn, sound brilliant and beautiful.
Never have I read a book that so greatly compelled me to highlight, earmark, and make notes before. And I’m the type of person who cannot read while eating/drinking/folding clothes/painting my nails/breathing because I’m afraid that the book might appear as if someone has read it. This is a legitimate fear. It has something to do with my childhood.
Let’s talk about characters! I seriously loved them.
I’ve noticed a pattern in dark, “almost-black” nail polish his female characters wear, both in this book and The Fault In Our Stars. Just an observation. I’m very proud of my observation.
Ben is lovable. He’s definitely the comic relief, and even though he can be Ben (as Quentin has to learn to deal with), you can’t help but love him.
Radar reminds me of someone I know in real life, like a big brother figure. I would definitely be friends with Radar. Also, because I love that his nickname is Radar.
Lindsey… I’ve never seen so much of myself in a character before. Her little personality traits are similar to my own. Especially when they wake her up and she says in a little girl voice about how she “likeys apples,” then they tell her it’s her turn to drive and she sits up, her voice normal again, “I don’t so much likey that”. I guess, in retrospect, voice changes and holding her own around a bunch of guys are the only thing we have in common. I don’t know. I’ll watch the movie and report back
Quentin I liked more than any other of John Green’s nerdy-guys-who-can’t-get-the-girl. He was more of his own person. He didn’t let people walk all over him as much as he tolerated those people. I liked that he owned up to the fact that he was in love with Margo, even though he knew that him and her getting together was a dream.
Finally, Margo I have mixed feelings for, and I think that’s what John Green intended. She’s cool, and spontaneous, and I wish I had the guts to do the wild things she did. But at the same time, I want to slap her.
Don’t take it personally, Margo.
Also, this ENTIRE BOOK made me want to watch All About Eve!
Guess what I’ll be doing tonight.
I give this book a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, mainly because I think John Green went a little crazy with the metaphors.
I’d like to know if I was the only one who took issue with this, though. I totally understand using metaphors to describe emotions you otherwise couldn’t find words for, but using so many metaphors . . . in one page?
There wasn’t any Twitter interest to join the discussion for this book, but that may have been on me, as I didn’t begin to read it until late in the month. However, I love discussing books, so don’t hesitate to tweet or comments your thoughts!
Currently digging through stacks of paper backs to find what will be June’s read. There’s a lot of dust.