Book Talk: Paper Towns and Life Realizations

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A few weeks ago, I received my fair share of payment from one of my side projects. I was supposed to be heading home after meeting with the client, when I decided to drop by the bookstore. I just wanted to do some window shopping, but this table full of John Green, Jennifer Smith, Rainbow Rowell and many others, attracted me. I picked up This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer Smith and read the back portion of the book. I eventually thought of splurging half of my pay for it. I was in the middle of the long queue when I decided to exchange Jennifer Smith's book for John Green's Paper Towns. And I didn't regret a thing.
Paper Towns was good. Then again, John Green proved that he is one of today's literary geniuses. I've realized so many life lessons. One realization that I have been thinking a lot about these days, is the fact that people are "demented with the mania of owning things." I don't know how you guys interpret this line, but the way I understand it is that countless people want to possess things so they can become a certain somebody in society. Everyone pretending to be someone they're not just so they could "fit in".
There are times when I think that maybe the Gossip Girl kind of life doesn't just happen in a TV show anymore but also in real life. Sometimes I see Dan Humphrey (well not literally but you know, the "always on the outside looking in" kind of feeling) in a lot of people and sometimes, admittedly, in my own self. I always try to remind myself that there are far more better things to care about than just posessions and trying to fit in.
Another realization that I picked up from reading Paper Towns is the fact that we are all madly in love with ideas. Quentin fell head over heels with his idea of Margo. He saw her as this awesome and tough girl. As the story progressed, he realized that the girl he had in mind was one of the many different sides of the real Margo Roth Spiegelman.
"The fundamental mistake I had always made—and that she had, in fairness, always led me to make—was this: Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl."
It made me think about the ideas I fell in love with (i.e, the idea of taking up Journalism as a major or the idea of love and relationships). I tend to spend a lot of time imagining and expecting how things are going to be. Just like last summer when I had the placement exam and interview, I thought of journalism as a missing piece; that taking it up as a major would make me whole. So far, it isn't turning out the way I imagined to be~teehee. Though it isn't really bad to fall in love with an idea, but I think we always have to remember that what we expect things to be is different from what they really are.
“Nothing ever happens like you imagine it will,” she says.
“Yeah, that’s true,” I say. But then after I think about it for a second, I add, “But then again, if you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all.”
Lastly, Paper Towns made me realize that the ceaseless urge to leave is always present in me. I've always wondered about what would happen if I just left without telling anybody where I'm going. I wonder what would happen if I just leave all these things behind and go on a great adventure. The pressure of school and the scary future is sometimes so intense that I can't help but think of leaving.
All in all, Paper Towns is a good book. Although I kind of dislike how the book ended, its still full of life lessons that will make you pause and ponder. Have you read this book? If so, tell me your thoughts! I'd love to read about what you guys think about it!

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