Paper Towns - What's Your Opinion??



  • Luke_Earl_MolleLuke_Earl_Molle Earl of Peace Jefferson, IaPosts: 3,008 ✭✭✭✭
    clausit said:
    I've read all John's books apart from WGWG, and Paper Towns is my favorite by far. For me the endings of Alaska and TFiOS let them down and while I like aAoK, it's doesn't hit nearly as hard as Paper Towns for me. Partly this might be because I just relate to Q really strongly, but also it's because I get what it's trying to say much more clearly and powerfully. I have never really struggled with disease or grief the way Hazel and Pudge have to. But I know what it feels like to fall in love with someone and then discover that they were not the person you thought they were, and neither is anyone else because you can't truly know another person.
    I understand what your saying with the not knowing the person your in love with. It's complicated in how people really feel and learning something new after you fall is really hard.
    I am the Duke of Earl, and I also am Earl For To and Of Peace
  • OlleOlle Posts: 289 ✭✭✭
    edited November 2013
    I finished Paper Towns earlier today! My first time reading it. Honestly I find it hard to judge the book as a whole, because the last fifth of the book was so much better than the rest. I spent most of it feeling like it was probably my least favorite Green book in terms of the quality of the writing, but once the roadtrip happened it picked up super quickly, and the confrontation with Margo at the end was pretty damn great.

    Someone said that the book beats you over the head with its message a bit, and I agree - that was probably part of the reason why I didn't enjoy it as much as I might've (especially because I already knew what the moral punchline was going to be). Hey, the book is written as a deconstruction of the MPDG trope, it had to run the risk of failing at subtlety. But on the other hand, I liked how at the end, even when Q felt like he'd learned his lesson and figured out how to figure people out, he was still taken to school all over again by his confrontation with Margo, which didn't match up with any of the different scenarios he'd imagined.

    What I couldn't quite relate to was how he still wanted to make out with her even after she was revealed to be a bit of a self-centered idiot, but I guess that's easy for me to say as, unlike Q, I was never in love with her to begin with. Or as young as either of them (sorry). =P
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  • clausitclausit EnglandPosts: 7,809 ✭✭✭✭
    I've seen that last part a lot (also in reference to Alaska funnily enough). The thing is Q is as self-centred as Margo is. DIscovering that she is flawed, rather than the perfection he imagined her to be, allows him to be vulnerable to her in a way he couldn't before. Love is about realising someone's flaws but deciding that you don't really care. That's the whole point - since she isn't perfect he can do something stupid (kissing her) in front of her without fear. They are more alike than they ever realised, in that they are both people, and that realisation means they can have a depth of emotion that they couldn't before.

    Does that make any sense? Probably not, but I hope you get the idea.
    You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted but mostly they're darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin. Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?
  • Luke_Earl_MolleLuke_Earl_Molle Earl of Peace Jefferson, IaPosts: 3,008 ✭✭✭✭
    It makes sense, like how when you know peoples flaws and their vulnerabilities, they seem less dangerous, and once somebody becomes less dangerous, they are easier to be around. When they become easier to be around, they are easier to love. At least thats what I got from it. 
    I am the Duke of Earl, and I also am Earl For To and Of Peace
  • mutantninjalapenomutantninjalapeno Posts: 110 ✭✭
    agreed. up until q recognized margo as a human being, her mystique prevented him from becoming close to her and acted as a sort of barrier he couldn't get past. 
  • In my opinion, books should not be rated by the actual story. To try and put it in an understandable perspective, it is like when people try to compare Harry Potter and Twilight. I mean one of them is about Vampires and Werewolves, while the other is about. Witches and Wizards. How is that comparable? 
    (If you haven't read the books I am talking about now warning- could have SPOILERS)
    TFiOS, PT, AoK, and LfA, are the John Green books that I have read and all of them left me contemplating what I have just read in completely different ways, and I have seen different perspectives on each of them. Paper towns made me feel like I was driving in that car and I only had hours to possibly save the person that I loved from suicide. During all of these books at some point I was part of that story and so I just don't understand how you could compare or rank them. 

    Now Preferences are a different matter, but I still can't choose which book I would want to read millions of times, they all are so great at being real, but unreal at the same time. Maybe I am only saying that though because I would wholeheartedly drive that distance for someone I loved if they were about to commit suicide, or feel as if I would be like Hazel, seeing Augustus place a cigarette in his mouth while having cancer. Or even loving this person and realizing that they are dead and it is partially probably my fault and being in denial at first, asking where they were, and insisting that we couldn't start without them. Growing up as a child prodigy and wanting to hold on to that, but not being able to figure out how to effectively. 

    How can you rank that? This is both a literal and rhetorical question.
    I hope that came out the way I intended.
  • MrPonderMrPonder Posts: 31
    Paper towns is definitely one of my favorite books by john. Perhaps not as good as TFIOS but still reeeeaallly good. maybe beter than alaska.
  • izy200izy200 Posts: 31
    I just finished paper towns yesterday, and I loved it. It's probably my favorite book by John. Alaska's probably next, followed by wgwg, followed by TFioS, followed by Katherines (I think.) It's just so difficult to rank the books, when they've each had a different impact on me. Paper towns really hit home for me, and made me think about myself and others in a way that John's other books didn't.
  • manateesrockmanateesrock Posts: 10
    A lot of people on here seem to say that they think PT has a better message than most John Green books, but they felt more affected by TFiOS or LfA. That's exactly why I preferred PT. TFiOS and LfA felt gimmicky in their heart-wrenching quality. I was so busy crying over what happened that I didn't learn anything. They didn't apply to my life. On the other hand, when I read PT I was in a really bad place and was thinking about dropping out of college, driving away into oblivion, and starting all over. To say PT saved my life might be an exaggeration, but I think it's fairly true. I still think about the values and thoughts in PT even though I've only read it once three years ago. To me, that's the mark of a significant book, not how many tears you cried.
  • semihipstersemihipster Denver, COPosts: 36
    This book has ruined my life, but I love it for that! It gave me such a horrible case of wanderlust! This makes me want to go on a road trip so much, just spontaneously drive off into the sunset. It's a beautiful novel, incredibly written, you grow to care about the characters and want what's best for them. I can't stress how much I love the parallels between the the Great Gatsby, this I think is just purely superb, and adore finding the connections. The color symbolism is fantastic as well, and I also love the meaning behind the names. I simply adore all the detail, and adept finesse that clearly went into this novel, and it definitely shows. I would recommend this to anyone who doesn't mind wandering around for a week afterwards contemplating life, and dying to go on a road trip. It's a PERFECT summer and or beach read, and the timing is completely ideal.
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  • ala039ala039 LouisianaPosts: 3
    I have read TFiOS, Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns. I have liked them all, but TFiOS and Paper Towns are above Looking for Alaska for me. I can't really decide between the two of those which I like better because I like them for different reasons. I liked Paper Towns because I liked the point it made about how people fail to imagine other people complexly- that has really stuck with me even though it has been awhile since I read it. I liked TFiOS because even though I do not and have never had cancer, I do have a mild form of Cerebral Palsy and have struggled with some of the same emotions of feeling alone and cut off because of being different in a 'not normal' way.
  • ryan_tryan_t TorontoPosts: 9
    edited May 2014
    Just finished this book today. I knew what it was going to be about, but Q and Margo's final encounter still surprised me a bit. It's wonderful that John took us through the process of discovering, re-discovering, and accepting the mis-imagined person several times. It makes me wonder of the different narratives I've had of all the people around me. How wrong, or correct, I was, and how much it actually matters. 

    This may be my new favourite John Green book followed by TFiOS and LfA. 
  • chanellychanelly UK, BirminghamPosts: 1
    I actually love Paper Towns, even more than TFiOS and I've read TFiOS six times...
    I've read all of John's books other than Will Grayson, Will Grayson..
    I guess what I love about Paper Towns how you never really know what'll happen next and it kept me keen:')
  • juliamoralesjuliamorales Posts: 1
    I personally loved both, "Paper Towns" was a great book (I liked more than TFIOS) but Looking for Alaska was really good too. I think that the negative thing about Paper Towns was the end, because anybody died, but Margo said she was going to leave, and in Looking for Alaska the end was a firmly closed end.
  • aj2020aj2020 Posts: 3
    To me, I loved Paper Towns but I loved LFA even more. I feel as though the characters in LFA where more metaphorically relatable and the story line was in many ways superior.


  • KGB_the_Russian_SpyKGB_the_Russian_Spy The Actually Rather Divided States of AmericaPosts: 3,668 ✭✭✭
    Conquering the paper town?
    I like how you think.
    "Fairy tales are more than true, not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten"  ~Neil Gaiman
  • geekacrossthestreetgeekacrossthestreet Posts: 166 ✭✭✭
    I read Paper Towns last week for the first time and it was GREAT. I liked it a lot better than TFIOS and Looking For Alaska. It inspired me to go back and rewatch all of Brotherhood 2.0 which I greatly enjoyed. 
  • The-Artist-IncognitoThe-Artist-Incognito Hogwarts...always hogwarts Posts: 12
    I absolutely adore Paper Towns. I read it sometime last year and it was filled with such a whirlwind of events. Margo would bee the girl whom I would love to be friends with, and Q's dedication, love, and compassion shone through each page of the book. I truly enjoyed the lovely tale of and almost quest-like story featuring a group of friends, a compelling mystery, and the lust of just being able to feel alive within one's own life. Though this would not be my favorite book by John (Will Grayson, Will Grayson will forever hold a spot in my heart), I nonetheless urge you to read it. I promise, you will not regret it. 
    "The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you." - Neil Degrasse Tyson
  • geekfighterprincessgeekfighterprincess MichiganPosts: 5
    Paper Towns is my favorite of all of John's books. The message about imagining people complexly and paper people/towns is mind-blowing and thought provoking in so many ways so to answer your question Paper Towns is at the very top of the ladder of awesome.
    Scratch that harry potter is at the top but Paper Towns is very close second.
    No EEEEdge - Hank Green
  • I personally thought that paper towns was johns best book so far but that is only threw my personal opinion and I can get how someone would prefer looking for Alaska but it's more about your personal mindset then whether are not which book is better written.
  • Paper Towns is my favourite of John's books with exception of "the fault in our stars". Margo's idea of seeing a person as a person, nothing more or less, was truly an inspiration. How John fit in metaphor's with every part of the book was really cool. Paper Towns is an amazing story. Character development and John's way of writing dialogue tells the story in such a unique way I just can't help but feel like I'm part of the story.
  • leonwingsteinleonwingstein VTPosts: 2,683 Mod
    Paper Towns was my first John Green book, and it's really middle-of-the-road for me.  I enjoy it, yeah, but it's not the best.  Once I read Looking for Alaska, I realized that Paper Towns seems to be a really watered down version of the same story, getting at a lot of the same themes and stuff in a slightly different way.  And Looking for Alaska, to me, was just an overall better book.  Like I said, this isn't to say Paper Towns is bad--I've read it a couple of times and really do enjoy it--but it definitely is not my favorite of John's books.
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  • clausitclausit EnglandPosts: 7,809 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2016

    Paper Towns was my first John Green book, and it's really middle-of-the-road for me.  I enjoy it, yeah, but it's not the best.  Once I read Looking for Alaska, I realized that Paper Towns seems to be a really watered down version of the same story, getting at a lot of the same themes and stuff in a slightly different way.  And Looking for Alaska, to me, was just an overall better book.  Like I said, this isn't to say Paper Towns is bad--I've read it a couple of times and really do enjoy it--but it definitely is not my favorite of John's books.

    I could not disagree more. I mean, OK fair enough your favourite is your favourite. But in terms of what they're addressing I'd say Paper Towns is waaaaaaaayy more direct than LFA. Like to me LFA can't decide if it's about grief or imagining other people or growing up or friendship so a lot of the ideas get underdeveloped or left by the roadside. Say what you want about the middle section of Paper Towns maybe being a bit meandering, the beginning and end cut straight to the heart of it in a way I haven't seen John do in any of his other books, with the possible exception of Van Houten in TFIOS. And the ending of Paper Towns to me is far more satisfying and real than the ending of LFA. If I ever felt anything John Green ever did was 'watered down' it was the ending to LFA, where all of the impact that you get earlier in the book just sort of fizzles out. Where Paper Towns ends with what is to me one of the most powerful sections I have ever read that just perfectly encapsulates pretty much everything he has ever tried to say about imagining other people complexly. I don't see that nearly as clear in any of his other books, even though that theme is in basically all of them.
    Don't get me wrong, there are things LFA does better than Paper Towns. I think the Colonel and Pudge have a better chemistry than Q and Ben, and the scene after SPOILER is one of the most emotional gut punches I've ever read. I totally get preferring LFA to Paper Towns. But the two books are focused in completely different places, I don't see how you could argue one is a 'watered down' version of the other.
    You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted but mostly they're darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin. Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?
  • MyNameIsEricMyNameIsEric Posts: 20
    Alaska was high on the ladder of awesome, but I believe that Paper Towns is higher on the ladder of awesome. I never realized this in till a class mate of mine ask me the other day. It took me a few seconds because I had never thought to compare them against each other. I think that Paper Towns is better in no small part because of Alaska's superb lack of black Santa's. But dither than that I think its because it tells the story of rediscovery of ones self and one past, something that we can all deeply relate to. That S not to day that Alaska is not relateable, we can all relate to losing someone that we live and the struggle of going through that. We can also relate to a time in Our life that we will always charish as the best of days, but there is something about paper towns that puts it ahead in my mind.

    Plus you know Margo is and will remain always, my teenage heart throb. Sorry Alaska its not you its me, but we can still be friends...
  • ja1capja1cap Posts: 1
    It's one of the greatest movie, help your self to dive into movie again, check out songs and paper towns soundtrack
  • TheTomTheTom Posts: 17
    I loved the book - hated the film. I'm just not a fan of Cara Delevingne's acting. Not saying she's not a great model or anything, I just think thtat her acting leaves something to be desired.
  • NekuShippoNekuShippo Posts: 3

    Paper towns is actually my favorite, closely fallowed by LfA. I agree with clausit that paper towns hit home much harder for me. However that isnt because i related to Q, im on the other side of the looking glass, im very much like Margo. Its uncanny. And had my life been slightly different i probably would have done what she did.  

    Can relate, paper towns for me was a road trip, i discovered a lot of myself because of that book. i apreciate that.
  • makilaguidomakilaguido Posts: 3
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  • redisbestredisbest MunichPosts: 17
    My unpopular opinion is that Paper Towns is my least favorite John Green book. I think it promotes the 'manic pixie dream girl' picture and it felt sorta pretentious when I last read it. Also, as Looking for Alaska is my favorite (not that it doesn't have flaws; it just feels more real) so for me it's like comparing red vines to chocolate, no competition
    For the record my username is about my favourite kids book, not love for a color; I like blue
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