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Book : Paper Towns - John Green

The reason I picked up this book was the name 'John Green'. I've read and enjoyed (tragically so) The Fault with our Stars, and I've loved learning about American and World history through The Crash Course where the Green Brothers, John and Hank, cram facts written by their former history teacher (and other people along the way) into a Youtube 10-minute video. The videos are fabulous for people who are curious about things but don't have much time on their hands.

They have everything from 'Tea, Taxes and the American Revolution' to 'Alexander the Great' under their World History Channel.

I'm so curious and geeky. Anyhooooo.....

Paper Towns - John Green
The Concept of Paper Towns
The book is a bit of a surprise and disappointment. The sound of 'paper towns' is so intriguing. It's actually a way for the mapmakers of the past to 'copyright' their work by inserting 'non-existent' towns into the maps that they make so that if someone copied it town-for-town and the 'paper town' appears, they know that the map has been copied.

But the book reads more like a teenager crime-solving mystery book except that it is filled with hormone-filled boys who are more intrigued by women than the paper towns.

Parties, Proms and the Mysterious Popular Girl
The group of teenage boys, as geeky as John Green the author is, are going through a stage of their lives whereby prom is coming, everyone's moving onto the next stage of their lives, they have parties and fall in love with the girls in their midst. Except that it is injected with this strange girl that the protagonist has been smitten with ever since she moved into the house next door. Many years later, right before the end of school year, she disappears after taking him on a wild, unexplainable, revenge-filled car ride through the dead of the night. Something the clean-cut, law- and parent-abiding Quentin has never done before.

It's like Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, The Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley High after that.

Brothers in the Hood
What I liked about the story, however, was the brotherhood that sometimes comes out as crude, rude, obscene, raw, teenage-style boorish and cheap. But I liked how it is quite on-the-dot. I know because I've raised 2 teenage boys (I am STILL raising them) and girls (like me) sometimes find it excessively aggressive and unnecessary but that's how brothers are. That's the way men/boys do things in the brother-HOOD. They might make you want to kill them but if someone else tried to, they'll protect their right to do it first.

Book vs. Movie
It took me quite some time to finish this book, though. I bloody watched the movie halfway through. Yeah, I know. I'm the spoiler-seeking book-reader. But having finished both, I understand why they made some changes to the movie. There was no way to fit the Margo that John Green had envisioned into the movie. Her mind needs a whole twisted movie or book on her own.

Margo is dark as shit and she's like a 40-year-old going through a mid-life crisis at the age of 18. She was perhaps traumatized by an early-childhood event (but did not speak up about it) who didn't have anyone to talk to. Her only thought was of leaving, of getting to a place where no one can find her. Where she's alone, completely alone with her thoughts in her own world. Pretty hard to stomach.

If you've watched the movie, Margo is sweeter than what John Green made her out to be.

Come Back to Real Life, Quentin
What I can't get is the incessant obsession Quentin has with Margo. Even when his friends tried to distract him with real life, he refused to be derailed and kept on with his clue-hunting. I felt like screaming 'Get on with your life, boy!' Are all teenage boys like that? O...M....G.... lololol

Overall, I wish I didn't watch the movie halfway through but I enjoyed the book. It recounted many unnecessary things and dragged on for a bit but it's an enjoyable read. Maybe people are really like that in real life. *shrug*

p.s. These days, I pick up most of my books from BookXcess where the books are half-priced. If you like it, you, too, can get it online. This is NOT an ad. BUT...if Bookxcess wants to sponsor me, I won't complain. LOL


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