I watched the film version of ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ and didn’t see what all the fuss was about. My response was ‘meh’. I probably sound like a book-land Heathen for saying such a thing but I suppose, as is the case a lot of the time, the book lovers scream “the book was better”, and at the time of all the hype, I couldn’t read, so I had nothing to compare it to.
Cut to the day I was browsing the local library and found a stack of books by the same John Green. Given my nonchalance towards ‘Stars’ I decided to try a different one and see whether the fuss was isolated. So I chose ‘Paper Towns’, and dove right in. I think now I understand. Green has the capacity to draw you right in, right in to someone else’s headspace. This wasn’t a heavy read, but it packed a punch anyway.
The story, for those unaware, focuses on the friendship between a fairly ‘every-teen’ Q, and his one-time childhood friend, who still lives next door but has been distant from him since they were children. She leads him on a wild night of adventure, and then disappears. He becomes engrossed by her mystery, and tries to find her, when her parents, especially, seem less than concerned. I won’t spoil the ending, but I enjoyed the modern, youthful twist on the detective form, and I liked the camaraderie between Q and his slightly nerdy friends.
I’m not convinced that teenagers really think the way that Green portrays, but I forgive this, a) in the hope that maybe they do and b) if they don’t, it sure makes great writing anyway.
I’m looking forward to reading another Green novel soon. I’m sure a few more Green novels will be a part of my 100 books.
P.S. I watched the fairly recently released movie version of Paper Towns after I read the book. The book is totally better!