Paper Towns by John Green: Book Review

paper towns

I know it’s a bit stupid for me to be a self-proclaimed John Green fan and not at least try to read this book sooner. I admit that I jumped on the bandwagon a bit too late, but all that matters is I’m here now and I love it. This novel was mind-blowingly amazing, and I enjoyed every page. It was a beautiful tale that was surprisingly deep and left me thinking every time I put it down. I never thought I would ever say this, but I think that this novel even rivals my love for the Fault in Our Stars, one of my all-time favorites. Sadly, like all good things in life, the novel soon came to an end, and I was quite upset when I finished. Certain novels deserve to be as long as eternity, just because they’re so amazing that you never want to leave. However, even though the novel wasn’t nearly as long as I’d hoped, I think it will manage to last forever in the hearts of all its readers.

One of my favorite aspects of the novel was definitely the lovely characters. The majority of the young adult authors have a targeted audience of teens, so the high school setting is quite popular and common in books. However, the only problem with this idea is that the author isn’t currently in high school and has probably graduated from high school for at least a couple years now. They tend to write about high school back when they were teenagers or what they assume high school is like today based on media, both of which only produce less-than-desirable results. However, John Green manages to beautifully capture the angst and overall awkwardness of being a teenager in a world that expects so much from us, which allowed me to relate with every character in the book.

The humor in this novel was also fresh and invigorating. Many contemporary young adult novels today aim to cover serious topics, a trend that I welcome. However, in their quest for teaching teens life lessons, they lose the hilarity that they once used to expertly contain. I find that a bit absurd, because the lack of comedy in a young adult novel shows just how badly the author understands the mind of a teenager. Being a teenager means that all these horrifying and confusing things are happening to you, and everything is like a swirling down spiral of chaos. It’s hard to live in a reality like that without a sense of humor, which is why teens wield it like a weapon of defense. John Green seems to have grasped that concept and wonderfully portrays it in the novel. When times get especially tough for his gang, they always find solace in jokes and light-heartedness, and I find that very refreshing. Authors, take note: a sense of humor is integral to the teenage mind. Green manages to hook the readers with the hilarity that will literally make you LOL.

One aspect that I didn’t enjoy in the novel was the similarity to another one of Green’s work: Looking for Alaska. Both of them involve a teenage boy who lacks self-confidence who is in love with a supposedly perfect girl who is later shown to be a lot more flawed than was earlier led on. They both involve a mysterious disappearance of said girl which causes a obsessive investigation by said boy. They both end with the boy’s realizations and coming to terms with reality. I am a big fan of original novels, and this one seems to lack creativity. This upsets me, because although there are differences between the two novels, they both strikingly resemble one another. Although John Green is one of my favorite authors, I can’t deny that the similarities caused me to not enjoy reading the novel as much as I hoped I would, because all the revelations of the character were easily predicted, as almost the same revelations occurred in his other book. So, in the originality department, the novel is pretty lacking.

However, one new facet to this novel that wasn’t in the John Green novels that I have previously read was the somewhat happy ending. Most John Green novels end on a tragic note, which is meant to represent reality. However, this novel didn’t finish in death and darkness, which was surprising and a welcome change. Although it wasn’t a completely perfect happily ever after, which is definitely not his style, John Green portrays hope and endless possibilities with his ending that didn’t tie everything up perfectly, a nice finishing touch that allowed the novel to stay in the reader’s mind for days to come.

Overall, I loved this novel. It wasn’t perfect, but I’ve never found a book that was. Guaranteed to make you laugh and cry and spend hours in your room pondering the miracles and downsides of life, this novel is the perfect teen read. If you haven’t read this novel yet, I recommend you drop whatever you’re doing and get it now, because this book will manage to find a place in your heart for maybe even years to come.

My rating:

4 1:2 stars

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4 thoughts on “Paper Towns by John Green: Book Review

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