I’m not a John Green fan. In fact, I may actually be anti-John Green. I never really cared for his stories, but that didn’t seem like a fair opinion. I never finished one through, how could I say I really didn’t like his books? Fair is fair, so I decided to give one another try. I tried The Fault in Our Stars awhile back and was honestly so turned off that I didn’t think I could get through it. So I gave myself a fresh start and picked up Paper Towns.
Still not a huge John Green fan, but it wasn’t a bad book. There were definitely moments in there that I found to be relatable. In fact, it may have been something that 13-year-old Jeannie may have really enjoyed. The frustrations of highschool phoniness, the idea that all your relationships are just built on an idea of you and that urgent need to get out. I get it, it has its appeal. It has good intentions. It just also lacked any sort of realness to me. All these pseudo-intellectual high schoolers and their unexplained actions. It never felt grounded in anything real. All the characters felt 60% fleshed out. Like John Green had an idea of who they needed to be to play a role in the story and there wasn’t any more to them then that. Their actions didn’t seem rooted in their personalities or who they were and that, for me, is what should drive any story. I never really liked Margo. Quentin’s obsession seemed out-of-place to me. His parents may as well have been cardboard.
I guess it’s another issue of expectations. I was probably expecting too much of this little YA novel. I just wanted to feel the feels everyone else seemed to be feeling for these books. But honestly, you want a book about highschool phoniness, growing into your own skin and the horrible highschool years? Pick up Perks of Being a Wallflower. That’s a book whose popularity I can get behind.