A quick review of Paper Towns - the book, not the movie - by John Green. I liked the beginning. A lot. I liked the beginning a lot. I thought the way Quentin and Margo were introduced was dynamic, and the premise of that night that brought them close together was exciting. As the book moved towards the middle, it was still okay. And then it got, well, draggy. By the second half of the book, the pages turned slower. Most importantly though, was the end of the book worth the crawl? It depends on how you are by the time you get there. If you are tired, then it could be a tad disappointing. If you are still hopeful, then you could get a satisfying enough closure. As for me, I think I was a bit of both, which is why I feel both. I got to the end of the book hoping for that POW! ending that the beginning promised. It was not as POW! as I expected, but just okay. Not terrible, though it really could be. I think it really could.
In my humble opinion, this is what saved the day: Brilliant quotes along the way. You find them on some pages and they are a delight. So as the title suggests, here are some of my favourite quotes from Paper Towns:
That's always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people want to be around someone because they're pretty. It's like picking your breakfeast cereals based on color instead of taste.
It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.
Maybe all the strings inside him broke.
It is easy to forget how full the world is of people, full to bursting, and each of them imaginable and consistently misimagined.
If you don't imagine, nothing ever happens at all.
Maybe its like you said before, all of us being cracked open. Like each of us starts out as a watertight vessel. And then things happen - these people leave us, or don’t love us, or don’t get us, or we don’t get them, and we lose and fail and hurt one another. And the vessel starts to crack in places. And I mean, yeah once the vessel cracks open, the end becomes inevitable. Once it starts to rain inside the Osprey, it will never be remodeled. But there is all this time between when the cracks start to open up and when we finally fall apart. And its only that time that we see one another, because we see out of ourselves through our cracks and into others through theirs. 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.
The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle. Like, I will probably never be struck by lightening, or win a Nobel Prize, or become the dictator of a small 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.
I'm starting to realize that people lack good mirrors. It's so hard for anyone to show us how we look, & so hard for us to show anyone how we feel.
And all at once I knew how Margo Roth Spiegelman felt when she wasn't being Margo Roth Spiegelman: she felt empty. She felt the unscaleable wall surrounding her. I thought of her asleep on the carpet with only that jagged sliver of sky above her. Maybe Margo felt comfortable there because Margo the person lived like that all the time: in an abandoned room with blocked-out windows, the only light pouring in through holes in the roof. Yes. The fundamental mistake I had always made—and that she had, in fairness, always led me to make—was this: Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl.
It was nice - in the dark and the quiet... and her eyes looking back, like there was something in me worth seeing.