Disclaimer: Spoilers. Kind of. I think. They’re not really spoiler spoilers because they don’t give away much. I sort of allude to stuff. You know what this ain’t my struggle; I’ve read the book already, you should too.
Paper Towns revolves around Quentin ‘Q’ Jacobsen and his search for runaway Margo Spiegelman. One night Margo climbs into his room through the window (very Edward Cullen style) asking him to aid and abet her revenge spree. The two have grown estranged but because of his secret love for Margo, he agrees. So they spend the night running the streets like they ain’t got homes to be in, pranking people that have wronged Margo*. However, by the next morning, Margo has gone missing; she’s run away yet again. Being utterly smitten, Q dedicates his time to find her with the help of his friends; believing she has left clues leading to her whereabouts. Margo is tracked down to some cabin or something in the woods but despite all Q’s efforts she decides to stay out there**. Although this is a book review, these points ring just as true for the movie.
I have to be honest here and say I was not feeling Margo as a character. I didn’t care about her running away at all. The effort that Q put into finding her annoyed me; it seemed like he put his life on hold for her which isn’t healthy. Nothing about the narrative or characters really spoke to me and I couldn’t invest in what I was reading.
The phrase ‘honey bunny’ was used left right and centre. This played a huge part in my distaste of the book.
I like the lesson it teaches; not to romanticise people. In fact, the book sums it up quite nicely in this line ‘What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.’ It’s concise, it’s truthful. So I respect the book at least for that. It undoes all the pining and searching Q does; realising that finding Margo doesn’t give his life meaning.
*This all goes down on a school night so you can imagine where their priorities lie.
**Can you imagine spending time and energy looking for someone then they turn around and say ‘ummm yeah I’d prefer to live out in the wilderness.’ Sorry Q, you tried yeah.
*** Hardcore John Green fans don’t hate me for having an opinion contrary to your own.