Book Review : Paper Towns

Paper Towns

Paper Towns

Paper Towns
Title : Paper Towns  
Author : John Green
Publisher : Speak
Pages : 305 Pages
Year of Publication : 2009 (First published in 2008)
Language : English
Genre(s) : Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary, Adventure
Bought from : Books and Beyond (SunPlaza)
Synopsis and Cover Pic : Goodreads
Synopsis :
Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows.After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.
***
Of five John Green’s books that were displayed in the bookstores, I chose to read Paper Towns first. Actually I was more curious about The Fault in Our Stars, since this has gotten so famous that the movie adaptation was made and gonna be aired around July 2014. But the book was about 0.99 cent more expensive than Paper Towns so I thought I just tried the later. Yeah, money talked. Lol.I did not expect too much for the first time of reading Green’s But the title itself quite made me wonder when reading the prologue, like what is paper town? Does it has anything to do with the ‘me’ (who is Q, the main character as well as narrator of the story)? or Margo? And it pushed me towards the next page.

“The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle. Like, I will probably never be struck by lightning, or win a Nobel Prize, or become the dictator of a smal nation in the Pacific Islands, or contract terminal ear cancer, or spontaneously combust. But if you consider all the unlikely things together, at least one of them will probably happen to each of us. I could have seen it rain frogs. I could have stepped foot on Mars. I could have been eaten by a whale. I could have married the queen of England or survived months at sea. But my miracle was different. My miracle was this : out of all the houses in all the subdivisions in all of Florida, I ended up living next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman.” Q

I can say I enjoyed reading this novel. Green’s writing style seems to suit my taste, to the point, detailed about the setting, but entertaining. I also love the jokes in this books, told by some characters in this books. It’s so teenagers.

The story itself is interesting, the ideas, the characters, settings. Quentin or Q, as the main character as well as narrator of the story, was shown as a boy who was comfortable with his own life, a good boy to his parents and never made a trouble. Perhaps, the flaw in his life was being bullied by Chuck Parson ever since they knew each other. Also, he had this secret feeling with his childhood friend as well as neighbor, Margo. But he always thought she’s beyond his reach, even though they used to be so close until age 9, because she appeared to be so sociable, popular, but adventurous. She was completely different and in a different world with him. Eventually, an event got him close again with her, which made him able to know her more. But when he thought they could be like they used to be, Margo suddenly disappeared. Only leaving him some clues, which led to the title of this book, Paper Towns.

The searching of Margo didn’t only involve Q alone. Two Q’s best friends, Ben and Radar, and also Margo’s besties and later became Ben’s girlfriend, Lacey, joined Q’s journey. I really like Q, Ben, and Radar’s friendship. Each of them has different character. Ben’s somewhat silly, quite obsessed to have a prom date, often talking about ‘balls’, but fun to get along with. While Radar’s a genius in technology, smart, able to give way out to problems, though he can be dramatic when talking about his parents’ obsession. At first they two had different opinions with Q about Margo’s leaving. Q even happened to have an argument with Ben. But the fight didn’t last long and finally, they voluntarily joined Q and skip school graduation. With Lacey.

“You know your problem, Quentin? You keep expecting people not to be themselves. I mean, I could hate you for being massively unpuctual and for never being interested in anything other than Margo Roth Spiegelman, and for, like, never asking me about how it’s going with my girlfriend — but I don’t give a shit, man, because you’re you…I’m too obsessed with a reference web site to answer my phone sometimes when my friends call, or my girlfriend. That’s okay, too. That’s me. You like me anyway. And I like you. You’re funny, and you’re smart, and you may show up late, but you always show up eventually.” Radar

Though Q and Margo are the centre of this story, I prefer Radar and Ben. Radar is so nice and wise as a friend, and quite useful too in technology Lol. He is matured enough in dealing with people though he can be so absorbed when being around his reference website. He is also a good listener and good advisor. While Ben, though he is quite childish and silly, but he could cheer his friends up and a kind that would apologize once he knows he is wrong. And though appear ignorant, he can become the savior of his friends! Just read the book and you will see!

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I wasn’t thinking about none of y’all. I. Wanted. To. Save. My. Ass.” Ben (he said this in one of my favorite scene in this book. So funny Lol)
The characters that are so unpleasant to see is Margo’s parents. I am really grateful that I have parents that are happy to have me around though I make troubles so often. 

Well, the process of finding Margo finally makes Q realize that she may not be who she is known as all these times. Their previous conversation and the clues about paper town(s) helps Q not only finding where Margo is, but also getting close to understand who the real Margo is.

“I didn’t really look down and think about how everything was made of paper. I looked down and thought about how I was made of paper. I was the flimsy-foldable person, not everyone else. And here’s the thing about it. People love the idea of a paper girl. They always have. And the worst thing is that I loved it, too. I cultivated it, you know?” Margo

John Green through Paper Towns is kinda telling us that sometimes people can be mistaken in judging others. They may appear too unreachable for us, because of their status, their unique hobbies that differ from us, or the different peers each of us join. Even I myself often think that people that seem to be so sociable and obnoxious never feel lonely or hurt. Yeah, that makes us forget that they are also a human, who, like us, can also feel facing this world alone. 

Sometimes they become like what we think because we make them to. 

“Margo Roth Spiegelman was a person, too. And I had never quite thought of her that way, not really; it was a failure of all my previous imaginings. All along– not only since she left, but for a decade before– I had been imagining her without listening, without knowing she made as poor a window as I did. And so I could not imagine her as a person who could feel fear, who could feel isolated in a roomful of people, who could be shy about her record collection because it was too personal to share. Someone who might read travel books to escape having to live in the town that so many people escape to. Someone who–because no one thought she was a person– had no one to really talk to.” Q

Also, it’s good to realize the capacity we have to support the one we love, like Q towards Margo. He really loves Margo but he knows who he is and who she is, finally. And that makes him feel sure if he could stay with Margo or not.

“I can’t be you. You can’t be me. You can imagine another well– but never quite perfectly, you know?…”
Well, despite all the goods, I happened to feel so bored in the middle of the story and I was like ‘when will this Margo show up? When will this Q finally find her?’ And after all the enjoyment I got, the ending pissed me off. Quite. It’s not that disappointing actually, but It left me hanging, wondering about the conclusion. I kinda figure it out but still, I want Green to make sure it is like what I am thinking of. 

Yeah, but still, this book is worth your penny. =)

PS : I am sorry if my English is not so good and probably quite difficult to understand.

Rating : 4/5

“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”

Book Review : To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill A Mockingbird
Title : To Kill A Mockingbird 
Author : Harper Lee
Publisher : Grand Central Publishing
Pages : 376 Pages
Year of Publication : 2010 (first published in 1960)
Language : English
Genre(s) : Historical Fiction, Classic,
Bought from : Books and Beyond (Sun Plaza, Medan)
Synopsis and Cover Pic : Goodreads

Synopsis :

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view .. until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

Tomboy Scout Finch comes of age in a small Alabama town during a crisis in 1935. She admires her father Atticus, how he deals with issues of racism, injustice, intolerance and bigotry, his courage and his love.

***

I decided to read this novel due its popularity and achievements. No wonder I expected so much from this and… yeah! To Kill A Mockingbird proved me that there’s no doubt it deserved all good things it has. This novel was narrated by Scout, a young girl who lived in Maycomb with her father (Atticus Finch) and only brother (Jem), accompanied by Calpurnia, a Negroe who served Finch family and her father’s sister, Alexandra. Through the eyes of this girl, issues happening around her neighborhood were revealed, from a mysterious neighbor, a wrong interpretation of bible, discrimination and injustice. What makes this novel more interesting is the author presented all these through the eyes of a kid, who was still innocent, straightforward, and still living in a nongray area perspective; I mean, black is black, white is white, that simple. So contrast with adults’.

“There are just some kind of men who– who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.” Miss Maudie

This novel is good enough to make me keep reading but it still took me so long to finish, maybe because there’s only a few action scenes which usually attract me more. But the court scene…I could feel the tense there and felt pity towards Tom, the accused Negroe.

“I wanted you to see what real courage is… It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.” Atticus

“I don’t care one peck. It ain’t right, somehow it ain’t right to do ’em that way. Hasn’t anybody got any business talking like that — it just makes me sick.” Dill

The characters are so memorable and lovable. I love the straightforward and tomboy Scout; the cool-headed and (trying-to-be) mature Jem, the sensitive and highly Dill, the wise dad Atticus, the beauty-loving-who-doesn’t-like-to-badmouth-others Miss Maudie, even the ‘cruel’ Mrs.Dubose and the mysterious-yet-soft-hearted Boo Radley. I want to be a parent like Atticus, a woman like Miss Maudie, and to have kids like Jem and Scout.  And among all the characters, I love Miss Maudie and Atticus most =)

People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.” Miss Maudie

“Neighbors bring food with death and flowers with sickness and little things in between. Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives. But neighbors give in return. We never put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad.” Scout

I really recommend you guys to read To Kill A Mockingbird. It’s worth your purse Lol. You can learn many good things about life and as complicated adults, perhaps, can be moved to have a simple mind towards things.

“If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they get along with each other? If they’re all alike why do they go out of their way to despise each other?” Jem

By the way, this novel has been adapted into movie in 1962 with the same title, staring Mary Badham (Scout), Philip Alford (Jem), and Gregory Peck (Atticus).  The movie was critically received, nominated and won awards from Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and Cannes Film Festival in several categories.

Rating : 5/5