You Should Be Reading: Paper Towns

“When did we see each other face-to-face? Not until you saw into my cracks and I saw into yours. Before that, we were just looking at ideas of each other, like looking at your window shade but never seeing inside. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out.”

Rating:

Whether you’ve been reading John Green‘s novels for years or not, it’s likely that you will have at least heard of the first novel of his to be adapted into a film, The Fault In Our Stars, which was released last year. This year, Green’s third young adult novel, Paper Towns, is getting the big screen treatment.

Published in 2008, Paper Towns is a coming-of-age story centring on Quentin (Wolff) and his enigmatic neighbour Margo (Delevingne), and their subsequent voyage of discovery. After taking him on an all-night adventure through their hometown, Margo suddenly disappears, leaving behind cryptic clues for Quentin to decipher. The search leads Quentin and his friends on an exhilarating adventure to track her down, where Quentin must find a deeper understanding of both true friendship and true love.

Led by the equally beautiful Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne and directed by Jake Schreier, the film adaptation is set to be released on 17th August.

The following post is a review of the book only, looking at how it is going to be adapted. You can read my review of the film adaptation in comparison to the book here.

Book Review:

Paper Towns is two things: a heartfelt story about growing up, and an exhilarating adventure motivated by love, friendship, and the desire to push yourself further in an attempt to find out who you really are.

The story explores a set of characters who are at a point in their lives where everything is changing; a time when a teenager is at their most emotional. The end of high school is the end of an era, everything matters a great deal at this point, but with unwanted ends come new beginnings, and in a few months they will all be starting new lives with new friends as they leave for different colleges anyway.

It’s a story about growing up and the different kind of relationships that you have – with your parents, with your friends, and sooner or later with the opposite sex – but this isn’t the kind of book that would be taught about at school, either.

It’s too real – these characters drink, they smoke, they have sex, they get STDs, they steal, and they sneak out of the house in the middle of the night: all of the things that your parents are glad you weren’t doing when you were younger (only because you never got caught!). It’s so real I actually googled where to go get tested in case of some diease, here it is, at www.STDAware.com/STD-testing. Oh well, one never knows…

But these characters aren’t bad role models or over-stereotyped: it’s just the way high school is. Some people get through high school by being the popular girl who dates most of the football team, while others spend their time in the band room and go off to college without even had kissed a girl.

Paper Towns teaches you not to judge somebody because of the role they fit into it, and that even if you do think you know somebody well, you may be surprised at the different layers that one person can have.

These stereotypes are honest, and because of that you can really see yourself in these characters, and that’s what makes this such a lovely novel to read. Every naivety or worry or moment of anger that these characters feel, you’ve been there yourself once, too, and for that, it’s a spot-on coming-of-age story.

The ending is a little disappointing when so much has led up to this point, but at the same time – that’s life!

The Director:

The film is set to be directed by Jake Schreier, who is known for the comedy-drama Robot & Frank. Released in 2013, the film wasn’t widely watched but it received huge acclaim from those who did take the time to see it. It was a heart-warming story with great characters, two very important things that will need a lot of attention when it comes to this adaptation.

So it seems the novel is in good hands. Schreier has a much bigger audience to impress this time around, but he’ll certainly put his efforts into the little details to make this an adventure you don’t want to end.

The film is also set to be written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, the same team that wrote the film adaption of The Fault in Our Stars, so as an adaptation in terms of story and plot progression, it should be a good effort.

The Cast:

Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne lead the film as Quentin “Q” Jacobsen and Margo Roth Spiegelman, respectively, and the pairing really couldn’t be better cast. Not only do they look like they have an amazing chemistry, but they’re both such likeable actors, so you know this is going to be a relationship that you want to see happen.

Wolff is known for his roles in Stuck In Love and Palo Alto, but mostly for his role in The Fault In Our Stars as Isaac. Because of this role, we’re all hugely excited for him to be leading his own Green adaptation.

Delevingne has made the odd appearances in film and TV over the years, but she is mostly known for her modelling career and the hilarious interviews she has been giving in anticipation for this film. It’s over the next few years that we’re going to be seeing a lot more of her on the big screen, and she’s already got a huge fan base because of how likeable she is, so that’s nothing but good news.

As for the rest of the cast, this will be the first big film role for most of them, so you won’t recognise most of them. That being said, from the trailer they look like they work together well and suit their characters at the same time, so this is likely to be only the beginning of a decent career for most of these young actors.

Halston Sage will star as Lacey Pemberton, Austin Abrams as Ben Starling, Justice Smith as Marcus “Radar” Lincoln, Jaz Sinclair as Angela, Griffin Freeman as Jase Worthington, Caitlin Carver as Becca Arrington, Stevie Ray Dallimore and Cara Buono as Mr. and Mrs. Jacobsen, Tom Hillmann and Susan Macke Miller as Mr. and Mrs. Spiegelman, Meg Crosbie as Ruthie Spiegelman, and Jim Coleman as Detective Otis Warren.

Ansel Elgort is also set to start a cameo which will be a nice little treat.

Paper Towns is set to be released on 17th August.

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