As seen on my Goodreads page:
Paper Towns by John Green
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As much as I love John Green as a nerdfighter, a writer, and a brother of Hank, I give this book 3.5 stars.
My first John Green's book was The Fault in Our Stars, which tore my heart deeply, for almost everything that happened in the book was just too beautiful. I am not a native speaker of English and when it comes to the language Green used, I pretty much understand. A friend of mine once asked me how The Fault in Our Stars was and I said it was very good and moving. Then she told me about Looking for Alaska, which according to her, was less pretentious than TFIOS. So I read Looking for Alaska, and felt the different sensation from reading TFIOS. Then I started to have a big faith in John Green's books that I started reading Paper Towns.
I have to say that I am somehow disappointed. I expected to read something different from both TFIOS and Looking for Alaska. Well, it is different from TFIOS, mainly because the main protagonists are of different sex. But in comparison to Looking for Alaska, I sense a similar pattern. The main protagonist here is Quentin, whose characterization is close to Miles (or Pudge) from Looking for Alaska. The two best friends Quentin has, Radar and Ben, remind me of Chip (Colonel) and Takumi. Radar is similar to Takumi for his ability to operate the computer well. Ben is similar to Chip for his self-pride, and Margo, well, this is the most disappointing part, is similar to Alaska, for both are good planner. And both Margo and Alaska disappear in the story. It is good that Margo is alive. I would totally hate John Green if he kills Margo. But, no. She is safe.
One thing I noticed is the phrase irreparably broken which I first saw in Looking for Alaska and I somehow adore this phrase because as a non-native reader, this phrase is kinda new to me and pretty cool. And there it goes, in the last few pages of Paper Towns, the phrase shows up and I was like ok maybe I should hold on to a new cool phrase.
It is interesting as I read the book and realizing how similar this is to Looking for Alaska, Margo hit me with, and I quote, "Nothing ever happens like you imagine it will." So, I guess this is a subliminal message from John Green to me.
It is so hard to leave--until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.
Maybe it's more like you said before, all of us being cracked open. Like, each of us starts out as a watertight vessel. And these things happen--these people leave us, or don't love us, or don't get us, or we don't get them, and we lose and fail and hurt one another. And the vessel starts to crack open in places. And I mean, yeah, once the vessel cracks open, the end becomes inevitable. Once it starts to rain inside the Osprey, it will never be remodeled. But there is all this time between when the cracks start to open up and when we finally fall apart. And it's only in time that we can see one another, because we see out of ourselves through our cracks and into others through theirs. When did we see each other face-to-face? Not until you saw into my cracks and I saw into yours. Before that, we were just looking at ideas of each other, like looking at your window shade but never seeing inside. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out.
Not a drop on the seat! I'm Ben Starling. First clarinet, WPHS Marching Band. Keg Stand Record Holder. Pee-in-the-car champion. I shook up the world! I must be the greatest!
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