by John Green
Page Amount: 305, US Paperback
I, like almost EVERYONE in the YA book blogging world, love John Green. So naturally, I had to read Paper Towns before the movie came out. Sadly, I ended up loving the movie far more than the book. When I first began reading, I enjoyed the comical remarks and dynamic of Quentin, Radar, and Ben. However, very very quickly it started to feel very similar to the humor in An Abundance of Katherines, another John Green book I absolutely adored. Normally, that wouldn't bother me too much, however, I have read many reviews that even the plot is very similar to Looking for Alaska, which I have yet to read. That being said, I feel as if this book is something we have seen from Green before. It was not unique, and it was lacking in the intrigue department. This book would have been my favorite book ever if it had just centered around Margo and Q's escapades the night that she comes to his window, because let's be real that was the only good part about this book. The scenes with Margo and Q were so fun and hilarious without it seeming like Green was orchestrating the events. However, as soon as she disappears, the book became a little dull. Nothing really happened for 75% of the book and that really bugged me. I felt as if Green was trying to hard to add a lot of symbolism with the "paper towns" and with the "strings" and it was just too much for this YA book. Maybe if the symbolism would have been executed more fluidly and did not seem so abrupt and forces, it could have been successful. But alas, it was not. It made the book seem weirdly philosophical, which does not sit well with most YA readers looking for a fun read.
Q was an interesting character. I can't say I loved having him as the protagonist, but it worked for this book and for this message. He really wasn't anything special, but his devotion to Margo was adorable and I loved watching him interact with her. The best characters of this novel were Radar and Ben. I loved their goofy personalities and their quips. They were a lot of fun to read about. Margo was also a very cool character. Although we don't get to see much of her, her scavenger hunt does give us hints about her personality. She seems like the kind of girl I would want to have as a friend just to go on adventures with. I really enjoyed the characters in this novel, but I feel as if their dynamic personalities were shielded by the mundane plot.
I must admit that once I read Green's intended meaning of this book, I liked the ending more. Well, I made more peace with the ending so to say. I always wanted to read a book that ended this book, but in this case, the ending made the book feel incomplete. The ending was abrupt and rushed. I felt as if nothing really was tied up, which upset me. I at least wanted an ounce of closure. That being said, if you watched the movie, you might know that the ending of the movie added a couple scenes and summed up what happened next. I loved that, if the theme of senior year and moving on was conveyed in the book's ending, I would have loved it. The movie gave me the closure that I needed, and I'm thankful for that. All in all, I did enjoy the book, but I didn't love it. If you don't want to read the book, fine. But at least watch the movie, because it perfectly depicts what this book had the potential to be.