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.