Paper Towns by John Green
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Nothing ever happens like you imagine it will. But then again, if you don't imagine, nothing ever happens at all.
The protagonist, Quentin (a.k.a. "Q") loves Margo Roth Spiegelman. That or he just loves the idea of loving her. They're next-door neighbors and have known each other since they were little. They found a dead body together. That would have meant sharing something deep that will bind them forever, but life happened. They went on their separate social circles, until they picked each other again for one unforgettable and vengeful adventure.
She's a mystery to him and he would go through exhausting journeys to find her without entertaining disappointment and near-death experiences. But did Q just misimagined her and thought of her more than just a person or a girl? Maybe he loved her for the way she made him let go of his fears, which liberated him. She was like a mirror he needed to face so he can see the real him. Without that mirror, he's lost.
Everything started from a story written on a black moleskin notebook. It turned out, they were not paper girl/boy after all. They discover that they're more than just flimsy, foldable, two-dimensional beings living in a paper town. The middle part as slow-paced. The characters were in the middle of a sleuth to solve the enigma that is Margo Roth Spiegelman. There was a roadtrip. This part builds up towards an ending that would shed light on it all. It was bittersweet.
"Paper Towns" deals with the usual coming-of-age themes like hope, love (even unrequited ones), family, friendship, fear and the feeling of belonging. But it was told in a way that is not like the usual YA novels I read. There were psychobabble, poetry and a lot of metaphors. It was not really a happy ending. Some people may hate that. I guess I like it because the goodbye makes it more real. We can't have everything we want. Sometimes, we must all go through our journeys apart.
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