I liked The Fault in Our Stars -- enough to buy it. I did not like Looking for Alaska -- enough to talk trash about it amongst friends. So I went into Paper Towns hopeful but cautious.
Unfortunately for me, it was more like Looking for Alaska. Good news for you,- if you're a fan of that!
- The writing: there are some sharp and beautiful moments -- some truly poetic ones too -- and metaphors I could really get behind. Buuuut...I felt like it became allusion- and metaphor-heavy, in some portions -- there was so much, so self-consciously, I either detected or imagined the hopes of the text's inclusion in an English syllabus. I don't like being abruptly transported out of the narrative present because I feel like author intention is interrupting. I could hear "Please, pick me apart! Quote me! Love me!" screaming over the monologues. Maybe Green didn't feel this way at all...but I believed he did while I was reading anyway.
- There were zero likable characters, for me. Not a one. Worst of all, there's another black hole of a femme fatale in it (like Alaska). I know girls with deep and dark depths of feeling exist...but reading about how special these girls are and how they get otherwise-good-boys to do their bidding is so sad for me. Messed up, self-absorbed daredevil BEAUTIES with boys trailing after them. Note to boys: yes, accept and be there for people with problems, but also: consider devoting some time to females that don't treat you like dirt. And girls: please, please do not think the attention these characters are getting for their misadventures is desirable; they are black holes.
- I didn't find the book/characters funny. I found multiple characters in The Fault... very funny. This one? Nope. The only time I came close to being amused by the humour was by the characters' usernames online.
- The language and many of the episodes were cliches. There was hardly anything they did or said that I didn't expect, or think, "Done. SO done." That wouldn't be a problem if it was portrayed as a done thing, but it wasn't...I felt like it was sold as creative / unique / "how fun and different are these teenagers?" Peeing in a bottle isn't new. Gluing something to yourself while drunk isn't new. Being naked under your graduation gown -- nope, you're not special. Breaking into places? Not new. All of the acts of revenge that are sold as new, are in fact...again...not new. Like I say, I don't expect a book to be a treasure trove of things I've never heard of before...I just hope for a fresh spin, or acknowledgement of tropes when they're used. BUT...I did love the road trip stops.
- There is swearing and uber-lame sexual references. The latter really paint a picture of certain characters, I get it...but meh.
- I did really want to know what happened, and so read pretty quickly. I thought about boycotting because of Margo's black hole was a couple times though...so...meh.