Mark's Reviews > Paper Towns

Paper Towns by John Green
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's review
Feb 17, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult

This books was on its way to 5 stars, but the ending didn't really blow me away, SPOILER ALERT!!!

Margo was an interesting character who, although really great, I think is fatally flawed in a bad way. She reminded me alot of the main character from "Into The Wild," which I must confess I only saw the movie of. She feels strangled by the confines of her surroundings and the "bullshit" it pushes on her, like college, marriage, etc. So she feels like she needs to escape from it all, which leads her to the decision to go to the paper towns and away from all human interaction. But realizing all this, she then decides to go and some of the biggest metropolitan cities in the US? That the things in Orlando are completely different from NYC, Chicago, LA, etc.? It isn't. It's called society. So I just couldn't get my head around understanding how she made this decision. If she was going around from paper town to paper town, that makes sense. If she just ran away from Orlando to other cities to get away from the people in her life, that makes sense too. But from their last encounter, all the my understanding that she was a girl who knew her shit came apart. She just seemed to me a stupid stubborn kid who didn't understand life, which is fine, because that's what it is like being a teen. But her decisions on what to do just didn't make sense to me. She ultimately decides to go back to the same elements which she ran away from.

I would have enjoyed it better if when they got Agope, Margo was gone already, but they found her notebook. And from that, Quentin finds out about the story she wrote as a child and kinda just gets it from there. Quentin's thoughts of Whitman vs. the strings - really good stuff. The cracking vessel image was also really good too, with being able to see each other the best when we have cracks. It's just the ending sucked out all the magic from who Margo was and what she was trying to do and made here just seem human(which is a point in itself, I know) but her logic just didn't make sense to me.

Other than that, the books was the typical brilliance of John Greene. The characters are all genuine and easy to enjoy. Greene definitely understands the high school mentality and has it nailed it on the head.

I did enjoy this book more than "Abundance of Katharines"(although a great book itself), but he still hasn't hit the greatness that "Looking For Alaska" is. But there is always the future, although its probably going to be awhile before he writes something new because he is busy with the screenplay for "Paper Towns." All in all, nice work Mr. Greene.


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