Thursday, 1 October 2015

Book Chat: Paper Towns by John Green

Two book reviews in the same month on two Young Adult fiction books? I know, look at me all branching outta my comfort zones. I've actually been itching to read Paper Towns if only because they make these things into movies so darn quickly that I was afraid I would be forced to watch it on a plane somewhere and it would spoil it for me. Rather than doing a traditional book review I thought we should just sit down, grab a cuppa and have a wee chat about my first foray into the YA land of John Green.

So what's it all about then?

Quentin Jacobsen has grown up living next to Margo Roth Spiegelman, a girl so awe-inspiring she's always referred to in her full name. She's cooler than cool and despite once being friends Q and Margo (I'll shorten her name for ease) no longer have much to do with one another. That is until Margo climbs through Q's bedroom window dressed as a ninja and takes Q on an all night adventure. Which sounds fun, and is, until Margo doesn't turn up for School the next day and Q makes it his mission to find her.

What's good about it?

I loved John Green's writing. He's very smart, witty, funny and his use of metaphor is pretty great i.e Margo's whole spiel about paper towns being full of paper people really stuck in my mind. Paper Towns is my first John Green novel so I have to say I haven't been able to compare it to any others but I have heard they get a little formulaic. Also I kind of like that Margo was this amazing girl who everyone wanted to be friends with but no one really knew. The longer Q searches for her the more he realises that no-one really knew Margo at all. There's also a fair bit of 'coming of age' stuff, friendships, relationships and accepting other people as they are that I quite enjoyed and thought was done well and non-cheesy.

What's not so great?

Even though I've never read a John Green novel the 'special snowflake' character is alive and well in Margo Roth Spiegelman. Fortunately for me I had the image of Cara Delevigne in my head the whole way through this book so it was pretty well pulled off. But, I didn't really buy into why Margo left in such a mysterious fashion anyway.

Should I read the book or see the movie?

I'm always going to recommend reading the book but moreso in this case as Cara D as Margo Roth Spiegelman really does it a great service in making her seem like the badass John Green portrays her to be.

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