Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Book Review: Paper Towns
I read Paper Towns because I've read John Green before. I like picking up books without knowing what they're about. And I loved the cover. Even though some of his other books are set in Florida, I was surprised to find that this one is set in Orlando and included many places I'm familiar with.
On the surface it's typical John Green fare--geeky high school boy is in love with hot, slightly crazy girl who does off the wall things and thus drives normal boy crazy. But I liked how the book reflected on how we see each other, how we construct other people to be who we want them to be.
On a road trip the characters play a game where they look in the cars around them on the highway and make up stories about the people inside them. Then one of the character says that the stories they make up tell you more about the storyteller than about the person in the other car. How we see others reflects who we are.
It reminded me a little bit of my daughter asking me who my mom was. I told her it was her grandma--I thought she already knew that. But she persisted, "No. Who was your mom when you were a little girl?" Grandma was grandma to her. And she could see her as her mom's mom, but couldn't imagine that she had once been a mom of young kids.
I do recommend this book, but fair warning--it is like hanging out with teenage boys and thus there is some crude talk. This is also the second book I've read in just the past few weeks that is being turned into a movie without me knowing that when I started it. So if you're going to see the movie, definitely read the book first.