Paper Towns–Should You Read It?

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Rating: 4/5

John Green is becoming an ever famous writer in the world of young adult fiction. Paper Towns recently came out as a movie, but should you read the book?

This book is told in the first person perspective of Quentin Jacobsen, a senior in high school who has always loved his neighbor, the miracle girl that moved in next door: Margo Roth Spiegelman.  The book is divided into three parts: “The Strings,” “The Grass,” and “The Vessel.” In “The Strings,” Q (Quentin) explains the relational distance between him and Margo soon after they come across a dead body in a park. Margo is fascinated while Q is afraid. This shows their difference as characters. In high school, the two grew separate and did not associate much, that is, until Margo appears at Q’s window one night near the end of the year to take him on a crazy adventure around town. This is exciting for Q and he thinks that their relationship may have changed for the better.

In “The Grass,” Q finds that his hopes of a relationship have fallen with the disappearance of Margo. She has done this before, and every time, she has left clues of her whereabouts to her parents. This time, there are clues for Q, clues that lead him to Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass,” an epic American poem. Through this, Q searches for Margo and finds more clues that she had been to certain places. But delving deeper into the text of Whitman, Q suspects that perhaps Margo has committed suicide and she wants him to find her body like they found the body of the man in the park when they were ten. Later, there is a clue posted online about a paper town, that the population of the general store fashioned after that paper town is now one. This brings up the hope of Q and his friends, and they set out immediately to find her.

In “The Vessel,” the four friends take Q’s car and go on an extremely time limited road trip, because Margo stated she would only be at that place until a certain day at a certain time. So in order to get there in time, Q and friends had to ditch their high school graduation. The last part of the book is fast paced, and when they find Margo, the outcome is not quite expected.

With the movie having come out recently, should you read the book? So the movie had a lot of differences from the book. The consequences are not as great in the movie as they are in the book; they are in a hurry because they leave and need to get back for prom, instead of being timed by Margo’s statement and having to leave graduation. There are a lot more differences too, and I will say YES, read the book. The book is a page turner and is very enthralling and keeps me reading to find out what happens to Margo. The movie didn’t really do that for me. I was vastly disappointed in the film. So what I have to say is if you have seen the movie and were thinking on whether or not you should read the book, you SHOULD. If you want to read the book before watching the movie, I suggest reading the book and ignoring the movie all together, especially if you are one of those people who are very picky about book-to-movie adaptations.


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