The Coincidental Critic

Exploring the art of storytelling.

Paper Towns: Not Your Average Mystery


“Paper Towns” was an exciting read.  It kept drawing me in, and I couldn’t put the book down.  I’ve never read a book so quickly before (excluding Harry Potter).  It was also a pleasant read.  It made me want to explore and take more risks in life.  “Paper Towns” was definitely original.  It was about a unique concept: a teenage boy’s quest to find his missing lifelong crush and what he learns about her and himself along the way.  It was a story I had never read before, so that intrigued me.

I related well to Q.  I’m a person who doesn’t take many risks.  And just like Q, his night with Margo and the long quest to find her filled me with excitement.  Also like Q and his friends, I was (and still am) a band geek and spent the majority of my time at school hanging out by the band room.

I loved Q, Ben, and Radar’s humor.  Their dialogue revealed so much about their friendship.  They liked to bounce insults off one another, showing off their wit.  It highlighted their intelligence, and made me laugh.  I felt included in their inside jokes.

I appreciate that Q’s “treasure hunt” to find Margo wasn’t easy.  The clues were ambiguous, and they led Q down many paths with dead ends.  Q had to keep backtracking and sometimes got discouraged.  It was realistic and illustrated Q’s extreme perseverance.

Once Q actually found Margo, the pacing of the book slowed down.  As Q stated several times throughout the book, the journey was much more exciting than the destination.  And author, John Green was clever in reflecting this through his pacing.

The characters in “Paper Towns” are slight caricatures.  Radar was super into Omnictionary, and his family had the world’s largest collection of black Santas.  Ben called girls “honeybunnies” and talked about his balls a little too much.  Margo took extreme risks and was super mysterious.  Lacey was a stereotypical popular beauty queen.  But maybe Green intended for these characters to be slightly exaggerated.  “Paper Towns” was told in first person, so we were only given Q’s thoughts and his interpretation of the characters and events.  Q probably emphasized certain aspects of his friends more than others.

I never really understood why Q was so obsessed with Margo.  She seemed more important to him than his friends were.  Q put Margo on a pedestal without truly knowing her.  And I understood that it was all related to the concept of appearance versus reality.  But unfortunately, I couldn’t entirely relate to Q on this subject.  I still felt that it was all a bit odd.  How could someone feel so strongly about a person he/she doesn’t even know?

The metaphors in “Paper Towns” were heavy-handed.  Q would constantly contemplate the same things: paper towns, strings and balloons, and mirrors versus windows.  These same metaphors were heavily imbedded throughout the book and became repetitive at times.

It was interesting to learn about paper towns and find out that they actually exist.  I really want to find some on a map, and maybe even visit them.  “Paper Towns” made me want to go on an epic road trip with my friends.

“Paper Towns” was a fun and unique book.  It was an easy read, but very interesting.  I recommend that everyone read “Paper Towns” because it truly is inspiring.

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This entry was posted on March 29, 2015 by in Book and tagged , , , , .
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