Paper Towns...A review.
I wanted to like this book, especially after how much I enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars. But I read a bunch of reviews saying I would be disappointed. I should have known that it wasn't going to wow me simply by the $4.00 price on Amazon. But still, I stubbornly forged ahead, determined to like it.
I didn't. It was a little self-indulgent and trying to be a lot of things that it wasn't: a mystery, a masterminded puzzle that we would be shocked by. A look into the average high-schooler's life. A commentary on life in the suburbs, those paper towns.
I'm not one to talk about the weakness of authors. I mean, they wrote a book. And I think people should mostly be applauded for that feat. So I will talk about what I did like. Some of the characters, though a little unbelievable, were pretty hilarious. Because I'm telling you not to read this, here is a spoiler: one of the boy's parents owned the largest Black Santa collection in the world. This point alone made me laugh out loud. And because most of the characters were too moody or over-written, the perverted best friend made me chuckle on occasion as well.
I also liked reading about the end of their senior year. There is nothing like that. You're about to enter a new life where you get to have some responsibility and independence and you're leaving your friends and you're 18 and it's all so equally sad and exciting. Reading about that brought me right back to 10 years ago when I went through the same thing.
Alas, I was underwhelmed. If you are stubborn like me, and insist on reading it, read on.
Who is this book for?
High schoolers: Yes. I could see some girls eating up the nostalgic parts.
Parents: I feel like they might be a bit bored.
People who live in the suburbs: Why do I feel like this would be offensive to this group?
What does this book say?
"...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."
And all day long, it was hard not to walk around, thinking about the lastness of it all: The last time I stand in a circle outside the band room in the shade of this oak tree that has protected generations of band geeks. The last time I eat pizza in the cafeteria with Ben. The last time I sit in this school scrawling an essay with a cramped hand into a blue book ... God. I was becoming nostalgic ... Something sick was happening inside of me.