Last week I went to the movies for the first time in a very long time and watched Paper Towns, the adaptation of the fantastic John Green novel.
A few years ago when I got my iPad mini (which, knock on wood, is still going strong), I went through a phase of reading a ton of books on it. At the time, I was also starting to discover the world of YouTube subscriptions and started hearing about John Green’s books through several people, particularly the Booksandquills channel. After starting out with The Fault In Our Stars and being utterly impressed with it, I went on to read Looking for Alaska which I LOVED and jumped to the top of my list of all time favourite books.
I then went on to read Paper Towns, and was fascinated by the story, the characters, the friendships, the quirks…The whole idea of the book, the spirit of adventure, of doing what is right for you, of friendship, resonated with me in so many ways, and the book was just pure joy to read overall, even though it gave me all of the feels at times.
I was wary of a movie being made out of this (like I was about TFIOS). But boy was I wrong.
First, there was talk of the SeaWorld part of the book being cut. As a kid I loved orcas, and thought they were beautiful, and I had recently seen Blackfish when I heard this, so was thrilled. Point 1 for Paper Towns.
Then, the trailer comes out: it’s amazing, seems very faithful to the memory I had of the book, Cara and Nat Wolff (who I’d now seen and loved in Stuck in Love) seem to fit their roles like gloves. Point 2 for Paper Towns.
And then the movie. Do I see it? Do I wait for it to come out on iTunes? I was on holiday after a particularly hectic and not so fantastic month of July, so I went. And gave all the points to the film because, aside from minor plot changes, it stayed true to the original story and kept all the elements I had loved in the book.
The casting could not have been more perfect: Nat Wolff is incredible bringing Q to life as an intelligent, sweet, romantic, innocent, idealistic teenager who wants more than anything to solve the mystery and find the girl he loves. Cara is absolutely brilliant as Margo, giving her the carefree, rebellious, intelligent, slightly nuts traits we loved about her in the books.
Austin Abrams as Ben is hilarious and just as sweet and funny as I remembered the character from the book.
So is Justice Smith as Radar, the sweet, loving, prom-loving conscience of the group, who acts like a Jimini Cricket type friend to Q several times throughout the story.
Halston Sage and Jaz Sinclair as Lacey and Angela are excellent and the perfect compliment to the group of boys in the adventure that ensues.
The story, as it was in the book, is of course going to be interpreted differently by each of us. To me, it was about not becoming a paper person, caring about things that matter, pursuing what is right for you, figuring out what is truly important and who/what really matters in your life. And it made a huge impact when I first read it, and now when I watched the movie, even though I’m a good 10 years older than the YA audience this was written for 😉
This is a heartwarming film that will put a smile on your face through all the quirky characters and their storylines, all while putting you in contact with your feelings and emotions. It made me think, maybe it does the same for others. I absolutely loved this and cannot recommend the film (and the book!) enough.
Paper Towns is now out in Portugal and will be out in the UK on Monday 17th August.
If you have seen/read Paper Towns, let me know your thoughts in a comment!