Sunday, July 6, 2014

Paper Towns - John Green


Title: Paper Towns
Author: John Green 
Format: Paper back 
Release Date: September 22nd 2009
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Mystery, Realistic Fiction. 
Stars out of ten: 


Quentin has always loved Margo Roth Spiegelman, for Margo (and her adventures) are the stuff of legend at their high school. So when she one day climbs through his window and summons him on an all-night road trip of revenge he cannot help but follow.

But the next day Margo doesn’t come to school and a week later she is still missing. Q soon learns that there are clues in her disappearance . . . and they are for him. But as he gets deeper into the mystery – culminating in another awesome road trip across America – he becomes less sure of who and what he is looking for.


Quentin Jacobsen's miracle is that he lives next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman, a girl who he has always loved from afar. 
The book starts when they are both nine and are cycling together through the cul-de-sacced streets to Jefferson Park where they would usually play together. Instead, this time they find a man slumped next to a tree with flies in his mouth and Margo Roth Spiegelman who was nine at that time, said "maybe all of the strings inside him broke". After cycling home and reporting what they saw to their parents, Margo later turned up at her window and told him that it was a mystery in which she wanted to solve. She told Quentin that she went back to the scene and tried to figure out the mystery.
The chapter ends with Q saying 'Maybe Margo loved mysteries so much, she became one. 

Part One starts 9 years after that incident, they are now 18 and haven't really spoken since. Q has two bestfriends, Radar (who is addicted to adding information to a website called Omnidictionary) and Ben (who appears to have the wildest soul between the three). The are very much like average but hilarious 18 year olds, worrying about prom and how no 'honeybunny' will go to prom with Ben the story then goes on to tell the tale of a Ben who in tenth grade got hospitalized due to a kidney infection but Becca Arrington (one of Margo's friends) started a rumour that the real reason he had blood in his urine was due to chronic masturbation, which then spread around the school. Whilst Radar is worrying about the fact that his girlfriend, Angela has clocked onto the fact that Radar has never invited her to his house. This is due to the fact that Radar's parents own one of the largest collection of black Santas. But Quentin is still madly in love with Margo from afar, and doesn't plan on trying to talk to her any time soon. 

However his plan is boycotted when Margo sneaks into his room late on night, claiming that she need to go on a roadtrip of revenge and that she needs a driver. Q is reluctant at first but agrees to it anyway. Their night of revenge starts when they visit her 'friend' Beccas house, and finds Margo's boyfriend (soon to be ex-boyfriend, Jason) there and he is very very naked. But Margo was very prepared for this and gets Quentin to call Becca's father, whilst she steals Jasons clothes. Becca's father soon realises that there is a boy with his daughter causing Jason to run in a hurry but has no clothes to wear, Margo was prepared for this as well, getting Quentin to picture a very naked, very frantic Jason. 
Next in the roadtrip of revenge Q drives Margo to Karin's doorstep due to the fact that when she told Margo, Margo didn't believe her and shouted at her and insulted her hair and her ass. Margo then goes on to tell Q  "When you say nasty things about people you should never say true ones, because you cant really fully, honestly take those back, you know?" 
After visiting Karin's house they visit the lovely Jason Worthington's house, chucking a fish through the window and spray painting an M on the side of their house. Quentin says that Jason lives in a place where the motto is: "Big, ugly homes, for big, ugly people" . 
The next visit is to Margo's friend Lacey ( who we later find out to be Ben's 'girlfriend'?) who always used to hint at the fact that Margo was fat and didnt tell Margo about Jason and Becca. Margo put the fish under Lacey's car seat, with a quote on the wrapping saying 'Your friendship with MS sleeps with the fishes'. 
They next drive to the Suntrust building, where when they have finally hiked to the top Margo gives the infamous speech about the Paper Towns and the Paper people. 

“Here's what's not beautiful about it: from here, you can't see the rust or the cracked paint or whatever, but you can tell what the place really is. You can see how fake it all is. It's not even hard enough to be made out of plastic. It's a paper town. I mean, look at it, Q: look at all those culs-de-sac, those streets that turn in on themselves, all the houses that were built to fall apart. All those paper people living in their paper houses, burning the future to stay warm. All the paper kids drinking beer some bum bought for them at the paper convenience store. Everyone demented with the mania of owning things. All the things paper-thin and paper-frail. And all the people, too. I've lived here for eighteen years and I have never once in my life come across anyone who cares about anything that matters.”  

The next stop they take is for Q to get his revenge on a person who bullied him, Chuck Parson, who always taunted him by twisting his arm saying "Call yourself a faggot". So Q gets his revenge by using hair removal cream to remove his right eyebrow, which proved successful and lathering every surface in his room with Vaseline. 
The last thing on Margo's list is to break into SeaWorld, which is an adventure in itself. By the end of the night Quentin is convinced that tomorrow, him and Margo will speak at school and she will even sit with him at lunch. 

Imagine Quentin's surprise when Margo doesn't show up to school the next day, or the day after that, or even 5 days from that. But when a police officer turns up and Margo's parents are being idiots claiming that they are going to change the locks, to teach Margo a lesson. But they do let something slip, Margo leaves clues to where she is going, so when she went to Mississippi, she ate alphabet soup and left the four letter Misi. Quentin is determined to find Margo. 



"The way I figure it, everybody gets a miracle. Like, I will probably never get struck by lightening, or win a Nobel Prize, or become the dictator of a small nation in the Pacific Islands, or contract terminal ear cancer, or spontaneously combust. But id you consider all of the unlikely things together, at least one of them will probably happen to one of us. I could have seen it rain frogs. I could have stepped foot on Mars. I could have been eaten a whale. I could of married the Queen of England or survived months at sea. But my miracle was different. My miracle was this: out of all the houses in all the subdivisions in all of Florida, I ended up living next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman."

(I felt the need to write the entire paragraph due to how amazing the writing is). 


I googled this halfway through reading the book and was very disappointed to find this on John Green's blog;

Q. Paper Towns movie?A. The rights to Paper Towns were optioned by Mandate Pictures (which made Juno), and I was hired to write the screenplay. I worked hard on the script for much of 2009, but in the end Mandate didn’t feel they had the kind of screenplay they could shoot. So it goes.

Q. How much did you change in the Paper Towns screenplay?
A. A lot. (For one thing, the ending was completely different.) I’ve always believed that a movie CAN’T be faithful to a book, because a book is something that happens in conversation between a writer and a reader, whereas a movie is mostly something you look at. So, like, trying to render the people and events of a novel on screen is impossible, I think, because you’ll only end up with some poor approximation of the magic of the book. So in the end I’d rather make a good movie than a faithful one, which is what I tried to do. I wanted the ideas of the book to be preserved, but mostly I just want the movie to be good.

I really liked his answer ti the second question and I totally respect the decision he made, because if the movie didn't turn out how I imagined it to be, I would cry for years.  


I'm going to try to keep this brief because if how long my review was, but I had so much fun writing about such an amazing book. John Green deserves to be praised in this life and in all the lives after, he is one of the best writers, telling some of the best stories. 

Praising John Green Forever.

My bLoG iS BETteR ThaN Your VLoG
(A/N: I have slightly changed the tagline for Margo Roth Spiegelman who stated;

“The rules of capitalization are so unfair to words in the middle of a sentence.”

I am currently living by this quote, and am now a big believer in random capitalization ).