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[personal profile] grassangel
I have not done one of these in a while... mostly because I haven't been taking a lot of books out from the library and have been mostly borrowing books from friends. (Almost finished with My Sister's Keeper and almost halfway through Inda!)
But anyway, I read this a while ago with the intention of finding what all the fuss is about and to write a blog about it.

Now, I have to explain why I picked up this book. It is not a book I would usually pick up, since the blurb babbles on about this Margo being this weird crazy person, and I’m kind of happy living the life of Margo Roth Spiegelman with my friends.
However, I somehow stumbled across “Black Santas” a song based on a character’s house and the fact that John Green is a) one of these vloggers who is apparently quite famous and b) is part of the NY YA coterie. Now, I quite like Holly Black and Scott Westerfeld, I find Maureen Johnson’s twitter amusing, I’ve tried reading Justine Larbalestier’s books but haven’t liked them much and… I can’t remember any other names. But I thought hey, I’ll give this book a shot, since the song is fun and he keeps good company.

It was… odd. I rather like the first part, where Q (Quentin, the nice Jewish guy protagonist, who is just about to graduate) and Margo do crazy things in the middle of the night, but the middle and end parts were not quite as good.
The clue hunting was rather fun, I will admit, as was the EPIC roadtrip but… the characterisation? Just not my thing. The end, when they find Margo? ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE. I’m not sure whether it’s the reverse-masculinism or the fact Margo is one selfish bitch or if it’s just Manic Pixie Dream Girl gone awry but it turns out she’s not what Q and the reader thought she was.

And Q still ends up falling in love with her.

You know how sometimes media portrays women as being useless without a man? It’s that but in reverse here. That a man is not complete or HEROIC without a woman, or at least a woman to inspire him.
Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a trope about how a boring guy meets crazy girl and his life turns upside down for the better. TVtropes says that Q gradually realises that no such thing exists in real life, but the fact is, she still acts like one and inspires him to step outside his comfort zone.
And Margo is selfish MPDG who is only one because she’s only interested in, and scared by, herself and growing up. She wants to leave her hometown and have ADVENTURES goddammit, who cares if people think she’s dead. (Un/Fortunately, up and leaving without a note is par for the course for her, so if she were dead and Q didn’t give a fuck, no one would know!)

So yes. I don’t particularly like the MacGuffin plot device that is Margo Roth Spiegelman. I don’t like the girl she portrays, I don’t like her attitude and I particularly don’t like the themes that she carries.

This book did make me fucking miss everyone from Athena though, if only because everyone else was kind of awesome.

So yeah, my opinion on this is that generally if you have strong opinions about who you are and where you're going and are kind of used to the unusual, you probably won't find it as enjoyable as someone who likes the normal and doesn't quite have an idea who they are. (Meaning INSTANT YA bestseller! *gumble grumble*)
(deleted comment)

Date: 2010-06-27 10:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think it needs to be well prepared in advance, because everyone (according to Facebook) seems to already have plans during holidays.

Perhaps give it another couple of years so that preparations can be properly made? so that a nice five year anniversary can be applied?

Date: 2010-07-03 09:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's funny, I really enjoyed Paper Towns. Though I didn't like the macGuffin-ness, I liked the adventures that ensued. And I liked that it didn't end full of sunshine and flowers and happy endings. just blue sky and clouds and walking away... idk.

Date: 2010-07-06 10:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, I definitely liked the adventures, it's just I didn't like that a McGuffin was the cause of them all.
The end also felt slightly anticlimactic after all those adventures as well. Never mind the issues I have with Q at the end.

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