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Book Review: Paper Towns

Paper town is a very special book to me. When I first read it, I was just in awe. I’ve never read any books like it – well, I have, it’s from the same author, John Green and it’s called Looking for Alaska. Maybe I’ve just never seen those kinds of unique books in my country. Maybe the characters, it immediately got me hooked, particularly Margo Roth Spiegelman. It was just awesome, she is such a strong female character and I’m never one for the Damsel in Distress type – well, I was told Margo is kind of leaning towards the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope but we will talk about it in another post.

Paper Towns is a novel about a boy named Quentin who loves the attractive, crazy, adventurous girl next door that suddenly goes missing the day after they had this amazing, fun and revengeful night. A lot of hypothesis came up about where she goes – whether she commits suicide, moved to another city or country and such.

The books I usually find in my country is mainly this boy who gets hit by a car and gets amnesia or some shit and love forever blah blah blah wordvomits. So like, Margo is very adventurous, she doesn’t care about what other people think and she chases what she wants in her life. Intelligent too and quirky. There is no reason not to love her except for the fact that she is described by the main character, Quentin, as a missing piece that will make his life complete and he is in love with the idea of her – not the real person behind all that façade. He creates an idea of her – that Margo is this amazing, sexy, extraordinary, cool girl who is unlikely to ever poop like human beings do (you get what I mean.) Though gradually, Quentin begins to break out from the idea of her as he searches for the breadcrumbs she left behind.

From this book, you will learn that you shouldn’t live with the idea of a person inside your head or you’ll end up disappointed. But of course, we couldn’t avoid that; you’ll have an idea of a person inside your head and it’s not like people show their true self anyway so the only thing we are left to do is guess, think, analyze and ends up with the impression the person emits imprinted on your mind.

The thing is, you may get suffocated by the perception of you other people have and you might want to break free. That’s what Margo did – she broke free of the ideas of her the people around her have of her. She is not a mystery, she is not a miracle (as Quentin refers her to be), she is just a girl, a person like anybody else with feelings, thoughts, and ideas of her own.


She ran away – she had her own life, living the way she wants it to be. In a way, she seems like running away – by not notifying her friends and family –  and you know running away does not solve everything. On the other hand, she is choosing a life she wants so it’s not really running away. She also left Quentin – choosing to chase what she wants which disappoint many people. She left the clues, she is asking to be found in a way. But that’s her choice. If she loved Quentin so much, she would have stayed but she doesn’t. You think every lover needs to stay together forever and always and that love will always prevail. It’s not. It never did. There are broken hearts everywhere but people seem to have those imprinted in the back of their mind.

After all, Margo is not entitled to him.

This is the quote in the book that makes a lasting impression on me:


“When did we see each other face-to-face? Not until you saw into my cracks and I saw into yours. Before that, we were just looking at ideas of each other, like looking at your window shade but never seeing inside. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out.”

― John Green, Paper Towns

I really love that quote especially and that quote holds the truth in it. Not until you saw into my cracks and I saw into yours – it says so much about people. Not until you know the person quite well – the struggles, depression, and stuff that made him that you get to know the person on a deeper level. The light can get out and get in – I think it refers to the comfort we can or cannot receive, depending on how much you open up to the person. Do you get what I mean, I’m not really good at talking about these stuff.

Well, I can’t really say much since it has been awhile since I read it but seriously, I love it so much at the time I read it over and over again. Totally worth your time. So I say grab this book and read it thorough. Enjoy!