The Bookworm Club #2 + My “Paper Towns” Review

Hello my dear readers!
Another week, another bunch of interesting books to read!
I’m so happy that you continue to participate to this little event :)

This week we have…

1. The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes

2. The Book Thief

And my little review of Paper Towns!
I’ve finished this book a while ago, but I wanted to tell you what impression it left me.

Paper Towns is a young adult coming-of-age book. It’s by John Green, that I love as a youtuber, but I’m never sure if I like as a writer. I mean, he’s good, but the characters are the problem (I talked about it here).
There’s as always the high school student totally in love with a girl he can’t have: he idealizes her and talks/thinks about her all the time. There are of course his weird but cool friends (I prefer 1000 times in Green’s books the secondary characters than the protagonist). And of course there’s a beautiful, popular and mysterious girl.
This girl disappears, after leaving little clues to where to find her.
It’s not the first time she has done it, so the parents don’t worry much, but her friends decide to find her, because they think this time is different. This time something bad could happen.
Basically the book is the story of these students collecting and following clues to find their friend.
What makes me throw against the wall (metaphorically) most of John Green’s books, is the idealization of the female protagonist. Wait, she’s not even a protagonist, because most of the time she’s not there, she’s like a shadow that the male protagonist continues to chase without ever reach. She’s beautiful, she’s intelligent, she’s popular, but she’s not real. Usually she doesn’t even have a voice, a personality. She’s the modern Beatrice, and this guy is Dante and he will write about her and stalk her, but she will be just a name and a body.
I prefer Paper Towns to An Abundance of Katherines because I like the story more (it has more sense) and because this topic, the idealization, comes out, his friends talk about it. I leave you some quotes about it:

“What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.”

“That’s always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people want to be around someone because they’re pretty. It’s like picking your breakfeast cereals based on color instead of taste.”

“When did we see each other face-to-face? Not until you saw into my cracks and I saw into yours. Before that, we were just looking at ideas of each other, like looking at your window shade but never seeing inside. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out.”

“You know your problem, Quentin? You keep expecting people not to be themselves. I mean, I could hate you for being massively unpunctual and for never being interested in anything other than Margo Roth Spiegelman, and for, like, never asking me about how it’s going with my girlfriend – but I don’t give a shit, man, because you’re you. My parents have a shit ton of black Santas, but that’s okay. They’re them. I’m too obsessed with a reference website to answer my phone sometimes when my friends call, or my girlfriend. That’s okay, too. That’s me. You like me anyway. And I like you. You’re funny, and you’re smart, and you may show up late, but you always show up eventually.”

“Isn’t it also that on some fundamental level we find it difficult to understand that other people are human beings in the same way that we are? We idealize them as gods or dismiss them as animals.”

“And all at once I knew how Margo Roth Spiegelman felt when she wasn’t being Margo Roth Spiegelman: she felt empty. She felt the unscaleable wall surrounding her. I thought of her asleep on the carpet with only that jagged sliver of sky above her. Maybe Margo felt comfortable there because Margo the person lived like that all the time: in an abandoned room with blocked-out windows, the only light pouring in through holes in the roof. Yes. The fundamental mistake I had always made—and that she had, in fairness, always led me to make—was this: Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl.”

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14 thoughts on “The Bookworm Club #2 + My “Paper Towns” Review

  1. I’ve also just finished reading Paper Towns and although I generally like John Green books I agree with what you’re saying about the main female characters being idolised. To me it seemed a little like Margo was the follow up to Alaska, like if Pudge had ever really got to know Alaska he would have had the same realisation about her that Q has about Margo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes I agree! Alaska is John Green’s first book, and I think is the best! It’s like after that he just collaged the same pieces in the other books. I don’t know :/

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      1. I can’t really comment yet as I’ve only read Looking for Alaska, The Fault in our Stars and Paper Towns so far of his books but Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns were eerily similar. Amazed his publisher let him get away with it really!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. In his own words, the response John Green received for “Looking for Alaska” made it clear that “I hadn’t made my point about imagining people complexly as clearly or forthrightly as I’d wanted to” ( http://johngreenbooks.com/pt-questions/ ). So I think @Lizzy is right about Paper Towns being somewhat of a follow up. We can also thank Stephenie Meyer and Twilight. John Green seems to feel strongly against the way she portrayed love.

    I agree with your review, especially about the secondary characters. If it wasn’t for them, I’m not sure I would’ve made it through. I admire the lessons and social issues John Green embedded in Paper Towns, but did I enjoy the overall story? No. What a treacherous thing to become so annoyed by a character’s thoughtfulness.

    OKAY SPOILER TIME (AVERT YOUR EYEBALLS)

    For those who made it to the end, did you want Margo to know and understand why Q had searched for her? Did you want Margo to keep acting like a ***** the whole time?

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    1. It’s like an addition of great little pieces united by a not great story.
      I agree! I think he could have cut it when he arrives to the place and sees her. He found her, she’s alive, THE END.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YES to both! For the ending, I think it would’ve been stronger if Q left, pissed off at Margo and who she didn’t live up to be. A silent, brooding trip back home. Truly realizing there was no point. Devastated and disappointed. THE END (:-P the way you put that made me laugh)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for including my review! :) wow you have read a lot of books! I want to read Tolkien too one day, but not sure which will be my impression.

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