Paper Towns: Book vs. Movie

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Warning: spoilers.

I am a huge fan of John Green’s novels, and Paper Towns makes no exception. I first read it something like two years ago, and re read it in early August, right before the movie release in France (that is, August 12, why do we have to get everything later).

The book is an absolute 5 stars for me. I like the pace, and find the story original. A lot of people said they didn’t like Margo in the book, but that wasn’t my opinion. I thought she was just mysterious and her choices were somehow justified. I love all the explanations she gives at the end of the book, and somehow want to go on some kind of big adventure like her. And I also like how open the ending is. Have I mentioned that I have a huge crush on Q? Well in case you were wondering, now you know!

I went to see the movie last Sunday, and couldn’t help but compare both of them. (Note: it was the French dubbed version, and for once, it wasn’t that bad… I prefer having the real actors’ voices though!)

Book Margo vs. Movie Margo:

As I mentioned above, I was quite surprised when I saw a lot of people hating Margo after reading the book. I thought her choices made sense, and I like how she takes the time to explain them to Q, both during their night out and at the end of the book. I was a bit surprised at the end the first time I read the book, but after reading it for the second time, it made total sense, and I understood her choice. (I mean, when you see how awful her parents are, it really makes total sense.) I also thought Cara Delevingne was a really good choice for Margo when I saw her in the movie, however, I thought her movie character was a lot less appealing than her book character. Her movie character doesn’t explain things to Q, and I didn’t like that. I didn’t find her that much likeable in the movie, which was quite a surprise.

Book Q vs. Movie Q:

I absolutely love Quentin in the book. Maybe that’s because I find his character relatable – his cosy high school life, until he realises how awesome going on an adventure is. I read the book for the first time at the end of high school, and I can totally relate to the ‘last time’ thing. (Really that was depressing). I found him more stubborn about finding Margo in the movie, to the extent it got annoying (he let them leave without him??? What happened right there?? That didn’t feel right!) But overall, I think he gave the right feeling: awkward, cute when confident to quote Margo, nice, and terribly in love with Margo. Natt Wolf was amazing, he felt just right as Q, so I was really satisfied with it. But I preferred book Q!

Book night out vs. Movie night out:

I really love this part of the book, and it turned out nice in the movie BUT there was more in the book. The part with the flowers was missing, that was too bad. But more importantly, Seaworld was missing, and that was really a pity. Also the book made me feel more I guess. So the book wins this one as well!

Book road trip vs. Movie road trip:

The second part of the book is also much longer as in the movie, but that was not really important, so let’s just move on to the road trip.

My first thoughts: why is Angela coming? Well that was actually a wonderful idea, I think. Good point for the movie (and also good point for Ansel Elgort’s cameo, yes I was not forgetting that!) But then, why did it have to be right before the ball? I mean, in the book, Q spend prom night alone among the troll holes and Margo’s souvenir, and they leave instead of going to graduation. After prom. I really didn’t get that to be honest… But the trip was really nice. And yes I tend to get mad when the movie changes things from the book for absolutely no reason. I will only accept it if it makes sense.

And then the cow accident… It was really a pity that they didn’t carry the whole pack of beers by the way. And why did they have to wait for help? Another thing I cannot understand…

Aside from these changes, though, it was really enjoyable, until they arrived and Margo wasn’t there, and they left without Q, which got me really mad. That really didn’t make sense to me. I totally agree with Ben and Radar when they say it was a mean to spend time together before graduation and then Q got mad… Yes I have way too much feelings for fictional characters and I just relate too much and get too much involved in the story.

Book ending vs. Movie ending:

The book ending left me a bit unsatisfied the first time I read it because I wanted to see what would happen next. But it left space for imagination which was good too. It felt better the second time I read it too. And that’s when the movie arrived… And I have to say the very end was extremely satisfying. It gives some kind of purpose to the story, a reminder that friendship is important, some kind of lesson about senior year… And that is beautiful. So here, I have to say, the movie’s got a point.

Overall, I’m a huge fan of this book, and was a tad disappointed by the movie, but the ending made up for the rest. And also the music is awesome which is also something extremely valuable to me!


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