Book reviews

Paper towns, by John Green | Book review

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I know I’m very late to the party, but here’s my philosophy when it comes to John Green novels: one should enjoy them sporadically.

They are like a box of chocolates – slightly different from each other, but still with a lot in common. If you eat the best chocolate first, the others will never live up to your expectations. Also, never eat a whole box at once! If you devour it in one sitting, you’ll get sick, but if you save it for later, you’ll enjoy every bit.

So now that the film is coming up, I really needed to pick this up – and I wasn’t disappointed. If you’re one of the few who haven’t yet read Paper Towns, here’s the gist: it’s an enjoyable ride through the life of Q, the nerdy, average, quite smart, totally lovable teenage guy.

He, of course, is in love. That kind of love we’ve all had at some point. You don’t know the person, but this image of them you have stuck in your head is so perfect you find yourself fantasising about their awesomeness and how perfect your life would be, only if they were in it.

This is a critical point in life and love, especially for dreamers; for people who create in their jobs or even only in their free time. You can’t just create your muse out of the person you choose to love. To stay true to reality and to be able to put the effort in understanding your loved ones is proof you care enough to really invest yourself in the relationship.

Because our protagonist is a boy, the fantasy we’re debunking is the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but the message of the book goes further than that and applies to each and every one of us.

It’s not only about love, but friendship as well. When Q needs Ben, his friend, to come flying to help him and Ben fails to do so straight away, he’s disappointed. But when he understands that he can’t ask of Ben what he would ask of himself, but try to understand him and his flaws and accept him for who he is, that disappointment goes away.

I devoured this book and it was really helpful at this point of my life. Its message is important and although it isn’t perfectly written, it’s still pretty awesome.

I’m also looking forward to seeing the film, especially because Cara Delevingne is one of the most famous manic pixie girls. She’s transformed herself from a model to a celebrity just through her behaviour and “out of the ordinary” look. I’m not sure yet how great of an actress she is, but I think she’s a good pick because people already have this imagine of her as Margo. She’s Margo in real life and when we see her, we see the same image Q has of his dream girl. Not many actresses would have bought that to the table.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 – Really liked it, but was a bit slow in the middle

Overall message: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 – Beautifully carried across through the narrative and writing. Perfection at points.

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