Paper Towns by John Green

Paper TownsBack in August we read Paper Towns by John Green and took our annual trip to the movies.  I’m sorry to say that we felt like our third field trip didn’t quite live up to the first two.

The consensus on the book was a bit ‘meh,’ but those of us who saw the film had definite and strong opinions about it. We agreed that there are often legitimate reasons for altering parts of books for a viewing audience, but in this case, the majority of the group found the majority of the changes unnecessary and detracting from the work.

The complaint for both book and film was that we didn’t much like the main characters. Seriously, if this book was about Radar and Ben, we’d be on board. It goes to show what kind of character the lead is that I can not remember his name. Ben and Radar, they were memorable, but Quentin (I did have to look it up) was just forgettable. Margo on the other hand was unforgettable, but not in a good way.  None of our group really understood Q’s fascination or could fathom why Becca was interested in hunting down her “friend.”  Margo’s just not very nice, even for a teenage girl.

Paper Towns movieMany of us enjoyed the book in chunks.  I liked the beginning and then it just fell off for me. Some said they’d enjoyed it up until the ending. Most of us weren’t fans of how Green finished it. I typically applaud Mr. Green for not finishing books in the predictable way, but this time, I thought he should have called this one a short story and ended it after about 25 pages. Both book and film promise a mystery that just isn’t all that mysterious or frankly very interesting.

The film’s lack of understanding of how long it takes to drive from Florida to upstate New York infuriated our PA crowd and we felt like the dropping of the group’s fear that Margo had died or was going to kill herself completely removed the incentive to find her and just dumbed down the whole experience.

The steepers who joined us for the filming were actually more entertaining than the film. Meghan sat to my right and used wild hand gestures and harrumphs to exclaim her displeasure at the numerous changes. My favorite experience came from Kristin. She sat stoically throughout the film, only moving to decline my offer of a raisinet (Meghan informs me that she believes that raisinets are just fruit masquerading as candy). The moment that the lights started coming back up, Kristin exclaimed, “Well, I hated that!”

She wasn’t the only one with such sentiments, while most of us didn’t love the film, Maureen’s vehement dislike was palpable. She admits that this in her 3 least favorite films of all time. That’s hardcore dislike, my friends. She also announced that the film sucked when Meghan was searching for the right word to describe her feelings about the film. She did, however, say that Paper Towns had seemed better to her than The Fault in Our Stars, to which Meghan replied, “Well, there is a lot less cancer.”

Overall, we gave this book about a 2.5 teacup rating and while we don’t rate the movies, this one would be pretty low on the list.

2.5 teacups

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