Monday, July 9, 2012

Paper Towns--thoughts along the way...

Paper Towns by John Green.

*Why this book? 1. My dear friend Ana put it on my happiness project list of books. :D 2. I was rummaging through all the as-yet unpacked boxes of books in our soon-to-be reading room and this book just jumped out at me. 3. Hello--it's John Green.

*Why has it taken me so long to get around to reading this book anyway? Good question. I have no good answer.

*I'm currently on page 32. I am definitely intrigued--what sort of adventure am I about to embark on here? Knowing John Green, it's going to be both interesting and meaningful.

*Haven't yet fallen in love with the characters (it is early), but this quote by Margo has me thinking that at the very least I'm going to like her very much:

Yeah. I'm a big believer in random capitalization. The rules of capitalization are so unfair to words in the middle.

*Page 37, and I like her even more.

That's always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people would want to be around someone because they're pretty. It's like picking your breakfast cereals based on color instead of taste.

*John Green has a knack for giving his characters really great names. This time it's Quentin. (Though I don't quite adore it as much as Hazel or Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars.)

*Lots of things I love about John Green and his writing. One of them is that he's just so damn clever in the way he puts things. But not just plain old clever, more like clever with a soul.

*Up to page 184 now. This book is shredding my heart. Thing is I can't even explain quite why. But it hurts. And it's personal. Not personal as in secret though. Just yeah, I don't know...

*Page 199. I've read this passage 6 or 7 times straight now...

...Margo Roth Spiegelman was a person, too. And I had never quite thought of her that way, no really; it was a failure of all my previous imaginings. All along--not only since she left, but for a decade before--I had been imagining her without listening, without knowing that she made as poor a window as I did. And so I could not imagine her as a person who could feel fear, who could feel isolated in a roomful of people, who could be shy about her record collection because it was too personal to share. Someone who might read travel books to escape having to live in the town that so many people escape to. Someone who--because no one thought she was a person--had no one to really talk to.

It makes me so sad. How often do I do that? Seriously. I find someone so awesome, so seemingly together, so full of confidence. And I'm intimidated. And I forget that this person has their own insecurities, and their own feelings of not being understood, and their own moments of loneliness.

*It is not at all unusual for me to cry during a book. I probably cry during more books than not. (Slight exaggeration, but only slight.) Laugh though. Like literally right out loud laugh--that's a much rarer beast. But I just did. Page 232.

*So love it when I learn cool new stuff reading a novel. For example, copyright traps. Might have gone to my grave without ever acquiring this knowledge if not for reading this book.

*Page 244. Laughed aloud again. In fact, I now sort of have a case of the giggles.

*Page 256. This latest burst of laughter has finally convinced Rich that he needs to move John Green way up the TBR pile.

*His knack for getting to very depths of what it is to be human, how it feels to be human, and yet still leave one filled with hope...that is John Green's gift. Well, one of gifts anyway.

Project progress:

Happiness Project--Ana's list of books AND

Unofficial-for-me Reading Challenges--What's in a Name 5 (Category 5: A book with something you'd carry in your pocket, purse, or backpack in the title) AND

50x50--#40. Read a book set in each of the 50 states (Florida)


raidergirl3 said...

If you are laughing out loud, you must have got to the road trip. Oh my, I giggled in the middle of the night as that got started. When they stopped at the gas station for treats? actual LOL.

Darren @ Bart's Bookshelf said...

I love it when you do 'reviews' like this Debi, gives such a good feel of the book. :)

Chris said...

I absolutely LOVED this review Debi!! You make me want to start doing reviews like this...just keeping a record of my thoughts as I go...And you also make me want to go back and read this book all over again.

Debi said...

Yes, that first pit stop scene just killed me! I had such a vivid picture playing in my mind as I read it, and it just completely cracked me up!

Thanks for saying that. I have to admit that I feared it annoyed people. And I don't want to annoy people! But this seems to be a nice of reminding myself about the experience of a book--if that makes any sense.

For me personally, I find it a fulfilling way of keeping track of my experience. Like I just said to Bart, I was afraid it probably annoyed people (and it probably does annoy some), but since I'm really writing for myself, as a way of processing my experience with books, it works just great.
And yes, I can see why you'd want to read this one again--I totally feel like I should kick your butt for not making me read this sooner. :P

Trish said...

I loved this!!! Makes me want to do this as well but I definitely don't have it together enough. I listened to this one a few years ago when Scott and I were on a motorcycle ride in Arkansas and I LOVED it. I bought the papercopy and hope to read it again one day.

"It makes me so sad. How often do I do that? Seriously. I find someone so awesome, so seemingly together, so full of confidence. And I'm intimidated. And I forget that this person has their own insecurities, and their own feelings of not being understood, and their own moments of loneliness."

I do this too--and I know that people have done it to me. We're all so complicatedly misunderstood, huh?

Susan said...

I have to read this! It sounds awesome. I'm waiting for The Fault Is In Our Stars also, which is coming in softcover in two weeks! I know I'll cry at that one too.

I'm with everyone else, I love how you reviewed the book, it felt like we were sharing your reactions to it, like being in the room with you! lovely.

Susan said...

PS yes, I think we all do it - assume everyone else is together, when they're not, and then we forget to reach out because of our own insecurities. I'm guilty of this so often, too!