Paper Towns is one of those books that I could never put down. During the five days of reading it, I immediately got right into the mystery and the characters that John Green has created. I loved every bit of this funny, thoughtful, and simply moving book. Being named as one of TIME’s 100 most influential people, Green seems to be young-at-heart. He writes his teenage protagonists as if they are really teenagers (the way they talk and interact with one another). With The Fault in our Stars being one of 2014’s big hits, Paper Towns has been adapted into an insightful (even though not a perfect) movie. Seeing this last night was like I went on quite an unforgettable road trip. Director Jake Schreier delivers enough laughs and drama to go along with the mystery.
Everyone believes in miracles. For Quentin Jacobsen (Nat Wolff), his miracle was different. He has a crush on his mysterious next-door neighbor Margo Roth Spiegelman (Cara Delevegne, in a stand-out performance). The movie opens with them at nine years old. They see a dead body, and they decide to investigate it. “She loved mysteries so much, she became one,” Q narrates.
Years later, they are seniors in high school. The popular Margo and the not-so-popular Q ignore each other. Until one night Margo sneaks into his bedroom window, and asks him to help plot revenge on some of her friends including Jase Worthington (Griffin Freeman), her boyfriend who has cheated on her. He accepts, and they spend the entire night together plotting revenge. And they end their night sharing a dance on the top floor of the SunTrust Building in Orlando. The next day, Q realized that Margo has disappeared. With prom and graduation coming up, he sets out to look for Margo by following clues she left behind.
For those of you who liked The Fault in our Stars, don’t go into Paper Towns expecting it to be a tearjerker. It’s the exact opposite. There are several differences between the movie and book (a movie is a movie while a book is a book). It never shies away the moral of chasing what you truly desire. It might not be the most original film of its type, but I don’t care. What matters is the audiences sympathizes with Q and his friends Ben and Radar (Austin Abrams and Justice Smith; providing the film’s most hilarious moments). It hits a few bumps in the road, but I enjoyed being a part of the journey.