Thursday, June 21, 2012

A review of John Green's "Paper Towns"

John Green's Paper Towns is about the exact same thing all his other books are about. A whiny middle class      boy meets a mysterious woman and his life is changed forever when she turns out to not be as much of a goddess in human form as he thinks she is. My main issue with the works of John Green is exactly that: the main character often treats the girl he lusts after like a kind of obscure object of desire (shout-out to Luis Bunuel) who is outside of everything. The way the protagonist, a disaffected teen named Quentin "Q" Jacobsen makes the main girl character, Margo out to be more than human irritated me both times I read it. Margo's own lofty hipster-ish observations on life also are borderline annoying, but the plethora of witty side characters makes up for Q and Margo's shortcomings. There's Ben, Q's Rabelaisian friend who's a  bon vivant with  a heart of gold, Lacey, the surprisingly 3 dimensional "popular" girl, and Radar, the pragmatic intellectual who round out the cast, and all at one point bring Q back down to earth. The writing sparkles with erudite wit, the dialogue is as sharp as a tack, and the formulaic plot moves quick, so one can overlook the several quibbles I have with this novel.

Grade: B+

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