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…
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.”