Monday, August 17, 2015

Book Vs. Movie: Paper Towns

***This post will contain spoilers of the book! Do not read if you have not yet read Paper Towns and still plan to***

There’s really no question about who is going to win the war waged between books and movies. The books, obviously! But nonetheless, I enjoy comparing them to one another. I do it in my head all the time, so I figured I might put it on paper as well! So without further delay, Paper Towns - Book Vs. Movie!

I picked up Paper Towns only about two weeks before the movie was coming out. I LOVED it, but it was definitely something that I saw as being more popular in book format than as a movie. Not that the story wasn’t amazing, but the biggest reason that I loved it was just because I love the way that John Green writes. Paper Towns had a ton of deeper, hidden meanings that I loved to discover, and the characters were so beautifully written. I basically went to that movie just for the characters!

For a based-off-the-book movie, Paper Towns did not bother me too often. I loved the way that they portrayed and kept real to the characters. Quentin was Quentin, Margo was Margo, Ben was Ben... so I applaud their work there.

But without fail, there was one flaw that bothered me throughout the entire course of the movie.

I personally felt like the most dramatic parts in the book were dimmed down considerably in the movie. In the book, Quentin and his friends ditch graduation in a last minute plan to go find Margo (a plan that Angela was NOT A PART OF), and the whole thing is an intense mad dash to Anglo New York that, if they did not succeed, they would not find Margo at all and would most likely lose her forever. The stakes were higher than missing hair appointments and getting ready for Prom. And remember when Quentin almost hit the cow and got himself killed? In the book, everything slowed down, he accepted his fate, and when they spun off the road he was bawling his eyes out. In the movie, he laughed it off and acted like he had NOT ALMOST DIED. And then they get out of the car and mess around, even though as I recall, they were rushing to find Margo! Because she was going to leave!

And then my biggest problem...

They didn’t give Quentin the opportunity to get mad at Margo!

At the end of the book, after Quentin had found Margo, she had been a jerk (once again) to him. In the movie, he just took it. In the book, he defended himself. And yeah I egged him on! The girl dragged him around during the last weeks of his whole high school experience! And when he found her? She wasn’t impressed or happy at all, instead deciding to tell him that she hadn’t meant to be found at all and to go home. All of his work had been for nothing. So yes, I loved when he stood up for himself to Margo. But in the movie? He still just stared at her like a lost puppy who just needed love.

Whyyy!!! I gained a lot of respect for Quentin at that point in the book! Because he finally said to her, you walked all over me. And I’m not okay with that.

I wasn’t the only one who thought this, either. My mom actually leaned over to me and asked me, “Why doesn’t he say something to her? She’s been nothing but a brat!” I couldn’t agree more. Which is why we should stick to the book, people.

Okay. In the end, I think that the director did do a good job. Movie adaptations are hard, and it’s especially hard to satisfy readers of the book. But the best word of advice that I could give to you about this one: you probably won’t enjoy the movie unless you have read the book as well. I have yet to have a friend who liked that movie without having read the book previously.

And if you haven’t read it, I definitely recommend. It is quite possibly my favorite book by John Green.

Stay tuned for more Book Vs. Movie posts! This was a really fun idea that I hope to do it again in the future. Happy reading!


  1. You should totally do this for the Scorch Trials! (If you really the book.) I loved your comparison and even though I haven't seen the movie I feel like I kind of just did! :) I already read the book and it's one of my favorites from John Green, as well.

  2. I visited your blog and this caught my attention. I totally agree with you! Q didn't get mad at Margo! And I was like, "Whaaaaat?!?!?!"