My Somewhat Estranged Relationship With Poetry :)

So, it’s no secret that a relationship with poetry, especially one between writer and poetry, is often a complicated thing. I’ve spoken with classmates who hate poetry at all times, who love it at all times, who read it vehemently and cannot write it to save their lives, who write it constantly but can never sit down and read any, and who only turn to the stanza when something in life is troubling them. Writers, as a rule of thumb, tend to have a not so simple relationship with poetry. Now, whether that’s because of the often highly emotional and sensitive nature of the content poetry is usually about, or some inner mechanism incompatibility between the writer’s brain and the rhythmic consistency of poetry, I’m not here to debate. What I’m here to touch on is my personal relationship with poetry. 

Of the above described architypes, I fall into more than one category. I’m the “write it constantly but can’t sit down and read it”, the “love it at all times”, and the “only turns to the stanza when something is troubling me”, to name a few. Frankly, my falling into multiple conflicting categories should come as no surprise to anyone who’s known me for any length of time. What may surprise some people, however, is the fact that I can’t just write poetry. As in, I cannot simply sit down and write a poem. I can brainstorm hundreds of ideas, but if my brain isn’t in this specific mood that I cannot even comprehend, not so much as a single line will come to me. 

Now, as elusive and unexplainable as that headspace may be, I’ve noticed some things about it. I have a playlist that can help me slip into it a little easier. There’s a difference in the way my brain works when I’m thinking that way, like normal thinking is sign language, and poetry thinking is flawlessly spoken words; they’re both thinking, but poetry thinking is so much more smooth and fluid. I can never think anything small in poetry thought, I’m always thinking about something grand. Even trying to write about something as simple as nature, I create this existential plot about the creation of humanity. 

And it’s this line of thinking, in all it’s wonders and splendor, that makes my relationship with poetry so estranged. As I put it in a short story, “It was a terrifying wonder to behold, as most wonderous things were.” I love being in that headspace, but it scares me. It’s so different, and it’s so much. I can never stay away from it, and I can never get to close to it. It’s quite the conflicting balance to walk. 

I want to know, though, what’s your relationship with poetry? Do you have any idea when I’m talking about when I say “poetry thinking”? I’m curious. But, still, I’m also done. Until next time, everyone! 

Sincerely, someone who’s chasing and running from his poetry mind.

A Movie Review/Borderline Worship :)

Ignoring the title and my usual lead in because I am simply entirely too excited to jump into this while it’s still fresh on my mind. So, I watched Cruella yesterday, the live action version with Emma Stone, to clarify, and I…

LOVE. IT. SO. MUCH. 

I could literally rant about this movie for actual hours and never get enough. This is a genuine “I could quite literally watch this every day for the rest of my life and never get enough of it” situations people. This is like, woah, my new favorite piece of cinema. 

Backstory: Orphaned by tragedy at a young age, Estella joins up with thieves Jasper and Horace for their lives, eventually landing herself a job with the woman of fashion herself, the Baroness. There, she discovers what really happened to her mother and resolves to tear the Baroness’s life apart, etc. etc. watch to find out, I can’t really explain much more without spoilers.

Okay, to get into it. First things first, the costuming in this movie is quite literally to die for (that’s a joke you’ll get if you’ve seen it). Egotistical maniac though she may be, the Baroness dresses in a way that is absolutely beyond this world, and Cruella’s outfits top hers every time, which makes them so incredible they can hardly be described. This will come off as slightly confusing and maybe even concerning to someone who hasn’t seen the movie, but I don’t care I have to say it. I would hands down destroy the globe if I got to wear that garbage dress she wore towards the middle of the movie. It is simply of an otherworldly beauty to me, as are each and every one of Cruella’s outfits, and that’s no exaggeration. 

Secondly, the acting. The Baroness was cast with the best possible actress of Emma Thompson. She plays the roll phenomenally, and it’s no easy one to play. She has these subtle little mannerisms that showcase the Baroness’s inner fear of losing her grip on her glamorous life of such high stakes, which is expert level acting. Then there’s Emma Stone playing Cruella, showcasing perfectly not only the switch back and forth between Estella and Cruella, but also the inevitable and permanent snap between the two, resulting in Cruella De Vil. It’s truly amazing to watch, and just that journey alone is one of the many reasons that necessitate the many rewatches I’ll be doing in my life. Not to mention the acting done by Joel Fry and Paul Walter Hauser as they showcase what Jasper and Horace must have felt when they saw their lifelong friend slipping away. Astounding acting, all around. 

Then there’s the actual plot itself. Not even touching on the many well executed and game changing plot twists, which I won’t disclose out of courtesy, the way with which the writers carry it out is just…wow. From Cruella’s perfectly planned strikes in her war with the Baroness, to the double agent deal that blossoms with Estella, to the internal struggle within Jasper and Horace as they watch Estella disappear, it’s all so amazingly done and I just love following this plot through all of it’s big reveals. It’s just so entertaining every time, even when I know what’s coming, and that’s the mark of good cinema writing. 

Lastly, there’s Artie. Oh, Artie… Honestly, Artie deserves an entire blog all on his own, (which I might actually do, don’t test me), but this one line will have to suffice in conveying my love for this fictional character: In response to Estella’s question of his somewhat eccentric fashion sense, “how does that look go on the streets?”, Artie replies, “Some abuse, and insults, of course. But I like to say normal is the cruelest insult of them all, and at least I never get that.” 

All in all, I absolutely adore this movie, and if you don’t go watch it as soon as physically possible, you are doing yourself a CRIMINAL disservice and I pity you. Seriously, though, please go watch it. I promise, it’ll be one of the best two hours you’ve ever spent. 

Until next time, folks.

Sincerely, someone with a newly reignited love for the fashion world. 

In All Honesty, I’m Not Sure, Either :)

Full disclosure, I have no blog for this week! For the first time literally this entire year, writer’s block and/or lack of planning has gotten me. Alas, even I was not immune. However, I do find it interesting that it was blogs that eventually broke me. I always assumed it would be playwriting, or perhaps a particularly difficult prose assignment, on the off chance, poetry I had no inspiration for. In all honesty, I had half a hopeful mind that writer’s block wouldn’t lay her ugly hands upon me until I hit essays in Comp. English. Looks as if that was a bit too ambitious for me, though. 

Luckily, I do have some sort of an idea. I want to talk about one of my two favorite authors, Rainbow Rowell. Rainbow Rowell is the genius behind one of my favorite books, Fangirl, and the Simon Snow series. Now, though her books may not be the most action packed things, I never read action books, anyway. But Rowell has this beautiful way of capturing moments, a way that makes me beyond envious as a prose writer and (hopefully) future novelist. 

In Rowell’s books, moments like that first kiss are so magical that the emotions are spilling off the page and into my chest. Moving into a college dorm is so well portrayed that the anxiety of the main character is leaking out into my own stomach. Homesickness is so potent that it’s floating up to nestle in my brain, and I don’t even have a home to miss. It’s something about the way that Rowell writes emotional moments that just strike directly on the heartstrings, and I think I’ve slightly unraveled why those moments hit my heartstrings so hard, in particular. 

It’s because I’m in love with those moments. And not just the book moments of slaying the villain or getting the guy or starting a new life; the real moments, my moments. The moments of sitting in the dark with my roommate, staring out of makeshift minecraft dorm windows and feeling infinite. The feeling of taking two of my new best friends to Jack’s for coffee and laughing so hard my sides ache. The feeling of sitting at a desk in a classroom I never thought I could love so much and watching in wonder as a story makes it’s way out of my head. The times when I watch movies from my childhood on a borrowed playstation from a school issues mattress that’s sitting on the floor. Ordering Domino’s and laughing while we have existential crisis on the red tables outside the Phoenix. Taking walks along the campus coated in fall foliage and feeling alive for the first time in far too long. 

It’s these moments, brought to me by my life at MSA, and reflected perfectly in Rowell’s amazing writing, that I live for. The moments that live for me. And I desperately hope that each and every one of you gets to experience one soon, because they’re something that is better than even Rowell can describe. 

Sincerely, someone who’s living for his Carry On moments. 

A Movie Review/Childhood Nostalgia Trip: Installment 4 :)

So, it appears that this little Nostalgia November series draws to a close. It just so happens that I found four movies exactly when I was perusing Disney+, which means that, coincidentally, I had just enough to execute this series. That does, unfortunately, mean that this is our last installment. “All good things must come to an end”, as they say, so, last but not least, the Wizards of Waverly Place Movie. 

First things first, a plot of this movie: After a stunt of taking the Subway car out for a joyride, Alex is forced to go on a family vacation with the Russo’s, which, thanks to her escapades, is now a magic free vacation, much to the siblings dismay. Of course, when they arrive in Columbia, tensions rise between Alex and her mother, and when Alex happens to be holding the most powerful magical items in the family, she of course breaks and utters the “I WISH YOU AND DAD HAD NEVER MET!” line, giving us our plot. Now, thanks to her accidental spell, the siblings have forty eight hours to reverse the magic, lest they fade out of reality forever. Max is dispatched to keep the parents turned strangers out of trouble, and Alex and Justin set off on a discord filled adventure with a local Magician/ex-wizard and his evil Parrot/ex-human Jazelle, to find the Stone of Dreams, a magical artifact that can reverse any spell. A quicksand pit, a few riddles and fall risks, a betrayal via rainbow fowl, two disappearing brothers, and a wizard duel later, Alex gets the stone and managed to reverse the spell, resulting in a now very happy family. Typical Disney writing. 

Now, granted, this movie is the epitome of overdone, awful Disney acting. The relationship between Alex and Justin is so overdone, Alex’s reaction to the tragedy of losing her brothers is obviously faked, and the portrayal of their parents is, to say the least, half baked. But, harsh comments aside, Alex is still iconic in her character, and the plot writing isn’t honestly that bad. Very cheesy in that Disney channel way, of course, but I mean come on. The movie has an evil parrot. That has to count for something based off of chaos factor alone. 

Next, there’s the actual costuming. Frankly, the costuming in this movie was not that great. The only redeemable thing is the dresses Alex’s mom wears, because we do NOT discuss the outfit they put poor Selena Gomez in for this film. Even for 2000’s “fashion” trends, those hideous white boots were pushing it. However, it is worth mentioning we see Justin in a white tank top, and a swimsuit, so there is something to be said, and no I will not repent in saying it. David Henrie is attractive. Plus, the mom’s dresses really were kinda pretty. Still, though, Scooby Doo movies take the award for costuming. 

Then, of course, there’s the actual magic of this movie. Now, I’ve always been a bit of a heavy critic when it comes to magic systems; they’re something I value greatly in all of my nerdiness. However, the magic system for WOWP always did have a certain charm. I like how the spells seem almost invented on the spot, it might not be the most realistically functioning magic system for the actual characters, but it encourages creativity when I inevitably insert myself into the world being created story lines in my head. (Come on, Literaries, we all do it.) Plus, the actual animations they used for the magic isn’t all that bad, especially considering the fact that the movie released in the 2000’s. 

However, this movie was quite possibly one of the biggest nostalgia hits of the series. I still vividly remember sitting on the living room carpet and waving my hand around while I uttered my own awful encantations, pretending to be Alex. And that, folks, is the reason I do not regret rewatching this and even recommend you do so, too. Until next time! 

Sincerely, someone who still thinks he could have won that wizard duel. 

A Movie Review/Childhood Nostalgia Trip Installment 3 :)

Hello, Blog world! The journey of delving into my childhood nostalgia continues, and so do my bubbly childhood memories. In all honesty, this series was perfectly timed in my life. As many of you here in blog world have showcased, I can relate in saying it’s been a little rough lately. However, this series, and the little boost of nostalgic childhood serotonin it provides for me, is the perfect perfectly timed pick me up. So, we continue with this week’s installment of Sky High. 

Now, the backstory: Will Stronghold, son of The Commander and Jetstream, the world’s most renowned superheroes, begins his freshman year of high school at the Superhero Academy of Sky High. Of course, in typical Disney movie fashion, all the tropes are there. There’s his best friend Layla, who is able to manipulate nature, and is also in love with him. There are the bullies such as Speed and Lash, superspeed and elastic stretching powers, respectively, and Penny, the duplicating cheerleader/entire squad. There’s his nemesis Warren Peace (fantastic naming choice) who can throw fire, and his friends in Zack, human glowstick, Magenta, shapeshifter/guinea pig extraordinaire, Ethan, who melts on command. However, there is also the nice presenting mean girl Gwen Greyson, a technopath. 

In addition to the traditional tropes such as Layla being in love with Will, Will ignoring her for the popular girl, Warren and Will eventually becoming friends, etc. etc., there’s also the situation of Will actually discovering his powers, which doesn’t happen until about midway through the movie. I actually think it was an interesting choice to cast him as a misfit first, it gives him an avenue for his redemption ark later. 

Now, there are definitely some problematic areas in this movie. For example, There’s Jetstream, who is literally nothing more than a supporting role to her hero husband. But most importantly, there’s the entire Hero/Sidekick dynamic. In this world, students are sorted into hero or sidekick classes, one of which being much more coveted, respected, and rewarded than the other; and I bet you can guess which one.  

This is obviously a blatant metaphor for discrimination/classism, and even racism/homophobia if you look at it in the right light. Now, at the end of the movie, the above named group of “sidekicks” save the day and start achieving equality, blah blah blah, but the fact that this was even a thing just doesn’t sit right with me. Though, I suppose it’s good that the writer’s gave it that ending, since that’s more than other films from this and earlier eras. 

However, there is also something good worth mentioning about this dynamic. It’s misfit representation. That, I know, is definitely one of the things that drew me to this film when I was younger. I was never one for the romance aspect, quite frankly it made eight year old me fake vomit. The power system, I of course, lived for, as I do for anything superpower related. But it was this idea, this picture, of people who didn’t fit in, people who were looked down upon, who were actual heroes that stuck with me. It was very reassuring for an eight year old outcast. 

All in all, some slight problematic writing aside, this movie is still a good one. It’s got that nostalgia/comfort factor, and re-watching it, I see why. It’s even got that uplifting message if you look close enough. I would still recommend it, though I’ll definitely criticize it, too. Regardless, glad I watched. Until next time, everyone! 

Sincerely, someone who still thinks Layla and Warren should have ended up together <3

A Movie Review/Childhood Nostalgia Trip Installment 2 :)

So, in keeping with this accidentally established theme of nostalgic November, I’ve watched another movie from my childhood. Like most of them, it wasn’t exactly the best in terms of actual quality, but it still holds that special place in my heart. Truthfully, I’ve never been one for the standard Disney movie writing, but for some unknown reason, Girl Vs. Monster is an exception. 

Yes, yes I know. It’s the pinnacle of cheesy Disney writing, and therefore the least likely exception to my rule, but it’s here. I truthfully could not tell you why I liked this movie, save a few guesses, but we’ll get to those later. First, a somewhat needed explanation, given that it’s not the most popular Disney production. In this tale, Skylar Lewis (Olivia Holt), known as the girl with no fear, discovers that her parents are monster hunters, and she is too by birthright. After the escape of the supreme monster Deimata, she must quickly bloom into her monster hunting abilities alongside her best friends Sadie and Henry to overcome Deimata and her evil and save her parents and a party full of innocent teenagers, typical Disney movie plot. 

Now, this 2012 gem of film might not shine the brightest, but there are some things I like about it. 

First and foremost, it’s from my childhood. That makes it a comfort movie, which means I like it no matter how bad the editing is when I go back to watch it. Granted, the acting isn’t all that either, but the memories associated with this movie are so pure. I can still feel the memory of that first day I saw it; sitting on the living room’s warm carpet, way too close to the tv as my grandmother would say, lying there and just watching this movie that, at the ripe age of seven, scared me. But it was intriguing, so I stayed, and the fondness formed. 

Another thing that makes this movie salvageable, in my opinion, is the music. Now, Disney movie music, especially this kind, is not everyone’s cup of overly autotuned bubble pop tea. I get that. But for me and my taste that’s still perfectly tuned to music from Victorious and the like, it’s perfect. The music scenes are honestly one of my favorite things about this movie, especially Myra/Deimata’s performance at the Halloween Party. I like this kind of music, because it’s upbeat, stupid fun and that’s my favorite. So, I like this movie. 

Honestly, I think another thing about this movie that draws me in is something I like to call the “comforting cringe factor”. Now, as I’ve surely discussed with some of you off the blog page, I have a severe intolerance for cringe content. Enduring it for more than thirty seconds will inevitably result in a freak out. I have no idea what it is, but if something is genuine cringe to me, I cannot watch it. Period. This film, however, has cringe that’s bearable. In fact, I can even draw comfort from some of the albeit overdone tropes in this film’s writing. It seems oxymoronic, believe me I know, and that would be because it is. However, it is my brain we’re talking about, so some counterproductivity and chaos is simply unavoidable. 

All in all, this movie is still not that great. However, it is comforting to me, in that cliche Disney writing way. Generally, I don’t enjoy such writing and I usually boycott such productions simply on principal. But there’s something about this movie that I just enjoy. So, if you ever find yourself in the mood for some simple childhood cringe comfort, or, heaven forbid you want to understand the things that make my brain work better, take a look at this little film. I think it’s worth it, even if I can’t really explain it. 

Until next time! 

Sincerely, someone who’s still conquering his own monster.

A Movie Review/Childhood Nostalgia Trip :)

So recently, during one of my many MSA weekends of movie watching and socialization boycotting, I revisited one of the films that I held dear in my childhood. In all honesty, I had completely forgotten that this comfort film even existed until now, but now that I’ve remembered it, I could never hope to forget it again. Or, shall I say them, since I did watch the original and it’s sequel. The movies I’m speaking of are none other than the live action Scooby Doo movies. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking: easily some of the worst movies in cinematic history. And I’ll readily agree; if you’re looking for cinematic quality, good writing, or even an accurate adaptation of the original animated series, you won’t find anything but disappointment. However, I was looking for none of those things. I was looking for goofy, self aware comedy and pointless fun and comfort, and these movies delivered. So, now that we’ve addressed and established that these particular films are not the best made pieces in cinematic history, let’s continue to why it is that I love them so much. 

Also, side note: If you really need an explanation on what Scooby Doo and it’s signature plot are…come on. Just come on. 

First things first, the costuming. This movie may not be able to boast much in the world of professional cinema productions, but no one can rival this franchise for consistent costuming design. From perpetual color schemes, to actual outfit design, to stylistic consistency, these costumes truly have it all. I’m a particular fan of Daphne’s outfits, first and foremost, particularly the signature purple leather boots. I’m also partial to Velma’s consistent orange aesthetic, and the stylistic choices they made with that are actually very nice, too. There’s even something to be said about the consistent simplicity of Shaggy’s “green shirt brown pants” dynamic; I see it as a homage to the original series. Fred is…well, he’s dressed, I guess, but let’s face it: there never was much to say about Fred. 

Secondly, I think it’s nice that they actually held true to the mystery solving plot. Even in the first movie, when they were introducing the discord dynamic amongst the team, they held consistent to the mystery solving dynamic and the fact that it held them together, and I really appreciate that. It was nice to know that, cliche and overdone though they may be, the moral of hopefulness to the story is still there. Besides, it was nice to see them working together so well and mystery itself is a genre that never gets old. 

Last but absolutely not least, is my personal favorite thing about these entire films. Comedic animations of fleeing from Shaggy and Scooby aside, marks of intelligence from Velma noted, decent plot writing and fantastic costume work accounted for, my all time favorite part about this entire franchise is the Daphne fight scenes. It was so, so amazing to me how the writers, for whatever reason, completely subverted her “Damsel in Distress” stereotype. Not only that, they turned her into an absolute beast while they were at it. Watching the girl who just opened a fingerprint lock with blush and some tape, solved a mystery with brains rivaled only by Velma’s, and followed clues with precision that makes Fred cry absolutely beat the daylights out of a Luchador Wrestler in HEELS is something that I will never, ever get enough of. By far the best thing about these movies. 

All in all, there are definitely some nice pros to outweigh the cons of these particular gems of 2000’s cinema, if you know where to look. They may not be the best written, and watching them might make me cringe more than can be considered healthy, but I’ll definitely keep watching them because, against all odds, these movies have definitely carved out a special place in my heart. What? They prey on nostalgia; it’s everyone’s weakness, if they’ll admit it. 

Until next time, folks. 

Sincerely, someone who still wonders what in the world a Scooby Snack tastes like. 

P.S. I would literally kill for half of Daphne’s costume wardrobe 🙂 

A Review of Life Changing Books: Installment 5 :)

This week’s entry really puts a new spin on the popular phrase “last but not least”, in that, while it only made the bottom of the “tier list” (meaning nothing more than it was mentioned last), it is certainly no lesser than any of the previously mentioned works. 

David Arnold’s “Mosquitoland” is merely distinctly different than the other works on this list. And, what I mean by this is that, while it didn’t necessarily change my perspective on life, per se, it absolutely changed my perspective on literature. 

The story telling style of this novel, while the exact opposite of the traditional linear style, accomplishes so much with it’s erratic method of story telling. Given that our narrator, Mim, is someone who is more than a bit unorthodox, it’s very easy to get confused or find the story difficult to follow. 

However, if you can manage to keep up with Mim’s story and avoid the whiplash that my come with the frequent flashbacks and erratic plot, I promise the story is well worth the ending. 

Mim’s story begins in, ironically enough, Mississippi. There, she receives ill word about her mother, whom she used to live with, in Ohio. Then, the mentally unstable Mary Iris Malone embarks immediately to get back to her mother. Along the way, she meets several colorful characters, including the old lady Arlene, the bus driver Carl, the true love to be Beck, the lovable and unpredictable Walt, and even villains such as Poncho Man. 

Along the way, Mim reminisces about her own childhood, writes letters to Isabel (quite the plot twist there), and experiences the absolute chaos of the journey. Through this lovely little cacophony of chaos, we learn that Mim is mentally ill, blind in her right eye, a child of divorce, and, truthfully, just homesick. 

It’s a truly heart wrenching tale if one has the dedication to stick with it all the way through, and it’s definitely not boring, though the deeper parts of the story are possible to overlook if you’re not paying attention. 

But, for Mosquitoland especially, it is not about the destination. It is about the journey, and Mim’s is definitely one worth following. So, if you ever see a copy in the local library, give it a read. I promise, you won’t regret it. 

Sincerely, someone else hoping to escape “Mosquitoland”

A Series of Friend Appreciations Installment 2 :)

Hello again, my lovely little readers. I bring to you this week another installment in the series of posts dedicated to appreciating the people in my life I’m lucky enough to call friends. 

In all honesty, this week I struggled to pick someone. Not to say there was a short supply, but rather that I couldn’t meet my rubric of “who has continuous presence” to the degree I would like to. The reason for that is that I am, as a person, someone who tends to drift from friend group to friend group. I always have been, abiding by the same rule of thumb since my emergence into socialization in general. That rule being: maintain an extensive friendship with one or two constants, in this case Locklyn and Nyk, and then alternate with other friend groups. I tend to just pop in and out of different preconceived social circles on campus, rather than implant myself firmly into one in particular. 

Someone else that I tend to drift into quite often, however, is none other than the campus renowned Lauren Stamps. 

Now Lauren is someone who has had a very present presence, if that makes sense, in my life since she entered it. My earliest memory of Lauren, not that that necessarily means it’s the first, knowing my memory, is of meeting her on New Student Day. 

Granted, it may have had something to do with the story of hers that was read for the literary mock workshop. Truly, that story is one of the most amazing literary works I’ve ever read, and I’ve carried it with me from the moment I heard it spoken aloud, as I’m sure many people have, despite Lauren’s humble attempts at modesty; another thing that’s so very Lauren. 

All things considered, particularly my prominent, maybe even visceral excitement surrounding any and all things regarding my campus of Eden, the fact that Lauren was able to make an impression above the general masses is something quite note worthy. It’s also something that is so very Lauren.

Because that is the type of person Lauren is. She’s the type of person who just radiates happiness to those around her, a natural mood improvement. To be near her is to love her, as some book or another has definitely said before. Her support means the world, her praise makes your day, and should she choose to showcase one of her many interesting laughs, oh wow you should just prepare because it’s impossible to not join in. 

Being near Lauren is a perpetual serotonin booster, and I relish every moment of it. Lauren is someone who just sort of shares her happiness, which is a very rare quality in today’s world of negativity. 

I sincerely hope all of you can have at least one interaction with this somewhat erratic pink haired halo of happiness, because I promise you it is a lifechanging experience. Until next time!

Sincerely, someone basking in the glow of happiness. 

P.s. Close your tabs you absolute psycho! (said with love.)

A Review of Life Changing Books: Installment 4 :)

Since series seem to be a popular thing amongst bloggers, and I have left this one dormant for quite the little while, I thought that I would bring back my first and favorite series to date. Reviewing these books truly does mean something special to me, and I sincerely hope that caries over to my readers.

Now, this weeks installment is dedicated to, you guessed it, another John Greene book. What can I say? The man’s writing speaks to me, and I will not pretend to be apologetic about gushing over it.  

Particularly, I’m drawn to his work in the book “Paper Towns”. This book completely changed my perspective on relationships. Before reading this work, I was a decently firm believer in the standard “relationships are time based and sensical” ideal, to a degree anyway. 

However, after observing the story of Quentin Jacobsen’s wild chase after the mystical Margo Roth Spiegleman in a fast paced adventure of no less than outlandish proportions, I found myself not so certain I believed what I had come to know relationships to be. 

Now, in all honesty, since I read every book on this list back to back in one quick series, some of the finer details blend together. For some pieces. But Paper Towns was never one of them. Because I have seldom identified more with a character than Margo. 

She is eccentric, and unpredictable, and chaotic, and untamable, but most importantly, she is unsatisfied with the world around her. She seeks something deeper, something more. And that is what makes this book special to me. 

It isn’t watching Quentin chase after Margo like a dog after a ball (though that part is amusing), it isn’t the chaos of their late night scandals before the chase. It isn’t really even Quentin’s many realizations in the days after Margo’s disappearance, though I identify very closely with them (particularly the epiphany about the feeling of leaving something). It’s the fact that there was someone like me who simply wanted something more. 

The shared, simple, and innate dissatisfaction with the shallow seeming world around us is what draws me to Margo, and therefore this book. In it, the idealistic girl discusses her distaste for “paper people” (i.e. “normal” people) as they go about their lives in their towns and their jobs and their houses. She, I assume, like me, is repelled by the idea of monotonousness and normalcy, and is no less than disgusted by the idea of a normal “nine to five” life. Therefore, she enacts the logical solution of disappearing to relocate to a ghost town in New York and become a writer. Now, admittedly, I do not see myself going to such extreme measures to subvert the cycle of society. However, I, like Margo, refuse to fall into the pit trap of “normal” life. I want adventures, not a day job. I want individuality, not uniformity. I want creativity, not normality, and I intend to get it by living my life in an exciting way. 

All of that isn’t even touching on the flawless way that Greene plays out Margo’s methods of searching for something deeper. The twists and turns in this story truly have the ability to redefine the term “encapsulating” if one allows them to. So, if you ever find yourself feeling unsatisfied in this “paper world”,  give this book a read. I promise you, you will not regret it. 

Sincerely, a somewhat less paper-y person.