We all know John Green from the brilliancy of The Fault In Our Stars, a story about two teenage cancer patients who inevitably fall in love. Green is known for his witty remarks and sudden, heart-wrenching plot twists. Paper Towns, in my opinion, lived up to Mr. Green's legacy.
The theme of the book as I saw it was that people are like puzzles, and you can't simply become another puzzle. Once your pieces are created and you are you, it is impossible to simply rearrange the way you were built. Along with this idea, some puzzles are harder to figure out than others i.e. Margo Roth Spiegelman, some puzzle have many more pieces than others, and some puzzles do not want to be solved.
"You keep expecting people to not be themselves," Radar, one of Quentin's friends, says, and he's right.
Of course, all of us dislike someone for being themselves. Maybe his chewing makes your head spin, so you don't like him. Maybe her hair is too perfect, so you don't like her. Or, maybe just maybe, someone is not at all perfect, but you like them anyway. Just as we sometimes enjoy trying to figure out the puzzle that is the person standing in front of us.
"Just saying: stop thinking Ben should be you, and stop thinking you should be him, and y'all just chill the hell out," Radar finishes.
In many ways, the book excited, disappointed, and enlightened me. I wish I had known what I was signing up for. As Green said in his infamous work The Fault In Our Stars, "I fell in the love the way you fall asleep, slowly then all at once." Honestly, that's how I felt about this book. At first, I was slowly captivated by the strange and extremely dynamic characters that Green created. Then, I started to enjoy his teenage-like humor, but all at once, I fell in love with the plot that he so magically created. I was disappointed with how some of his characters turned out, but maybe that's how he wanted it to be. Maybe he wanted his readers to hold out hope that the character would be who we wanted he/she to be only to find out the honest and raw truth.
Paper Towns is a mystery, a romance, and a work of fiction that so closely parallels the thoughts and dreams of the average teenager. Adventure. Love. Leaving. Hope. As Quentin and his friends, leave high school for good, he thinks, "The town was paper, but the memories were not. ...even if you want to leave, it is so hard."
As I hit the second half of my high school years, I can't help but wonder if I'll feel the same way Quentin did when it's my turn to walk across the stage and receive my diploma in June of 2016.
My favorite line in the book sums up the theme that people are puzzles, and sometimes, we romanticize some puzzles when in fact, they are just like the rest of them.
"Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl."
I tried my best not to expose any of the plot because I think that you need to read it. I would suggest picking up this book before everyone becomes obsessed with it when the movie comes out in 2015, so happy kommenting :)