Paper Towns by John Green IRP Project

Discussion
Mar 13, 2015

Dear John Green,

I would like to inform you on how I perceived your book, “Paper Towns.” I enjoyed your book in many aspects, but I don’t think it is my favorite book you have ever written. The idea of your book was very smart. I love the way you wrote in 1st person, and from the perspective of a 17-year old boy because it adds to the believability of the plot. I was very fond of the way you developed all the male characters. Quentin (Q) Jacobsen was one of my favorite roles in the book. He was a nerdy, very balanced, and well adjusted young man, who talked in a witty, funny way that made you fall in love with his personality. I appreciate the way you expanded his character. Another character that I believed you wrote wonderfully was Ben. This role had me laughing the entire book, which I needed because this book wasn’t always cheery. The last character I really admired was Radar. He had many small, detailed characteristics, such as being named after the show M*A*S*H, his obsession with Omnictionary, and his parents having a Guinness World Record for the largest collection of black Santas. These unusual attributes are the details I appreciate so much in your writing. On the other hand, I wish that the character Lacey would have been given more of those types of qualities, because I found that she was just kind of in the story as an extra. As far as Margo Spiegelman, I did not feel an emotional connection with her. Whenever you wrote something about her, it was followed by an event that frustrated the reader. For example when her and Quentin have the crazy “eleven-part-plan” for revenge, we begin to like Margo. Then you have her run away the next day. Maybe you were looking for the reader to have an emotional roller-coaster with her, but I did not understand.

I would also like to commend you for the idiosyncratic way you wrote the events that took place the night of all the revenge between Quentin and Margo. The exquisite way you made up these random acts of revenge and the way you had Margo mark all of the damage with a “M” and a dead fish was simply genius, juvenile, and hilarious way to depict the act of jealousy and hatred. My favorite idea you wrote was when they broke into SeaWorld. When I was researching some of your QIAs, I found one question on http://johngreenbooks.com/paper-towns/ that asked why you chose SeaWorld, and you replied “ I knew a lot of people who broke into Sea World when I was growing up in Orlando.” This interests me and I think it is great you incorporated your own experiences in your writing.

Now I would like to conclude with a complaint and questions about the ending. I have previously said that I am not fond of Margo’s character and I would like to know why she made such a big deal about Quentin finding her, or at least leaving him clues, making it seem as if he was supposed to find her. After all the anticipation, why would you have the characters have such a quick, meaningless ending? When they finally find this character, the reaction is practically nonexistent. I just don’t understand why she re-entered Quentin’s life just to re-exit once again, crushing his heart once again. Overall I was disappointed with the way the book ended, but I respect that you decided against the fictional, fairy-tale ending.

To sum up everything John Green, this was not my favorite read of yours, but it definitely rose some questions, concerns, and new character admirations. Please continue to write your outstanding books, because they always entertain and amaze me! Thank you!