Don’t Judge a Book by its Movie is a weekly feature on The Candid Cover spotlighting and reviewing book to movie adaptations.
Author: John Green
Publisher: Penguin/Brilliance Audio
Cast: Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Austin Abrams, Justice Smith
Director: Jake Schreier
Screenplay: Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber
Summary (from Goodreads): Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows.
After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.
Printz medalist John Green returns with the brilliant wit and searing emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of readers.
The Paper Towns movie is one of those films that is a love hate relationship for me. I am a huge fan of John Green and his book Paper Towns, so it was disappointing to me that the movie did not live up to all of my expectations. While the film is well done, it veered too far from the original for my liking.
My experience with the book Paper Towns is the incredible audio version that is narrated by Dan John Miller. Listeners will be lured into this mysterious book with ease. It is brimming with well-developed characters, connections to contemplate and a storyteller that mesmerizes. Also, Paper Towns is a five star audio book that will engage the listener and delight anyone willing to use their detective skills. It is one of my favourite books of all time as it has some real laugh out loud moments. John Green’s personality absolutely shines through in the main character, Quentin. This is one book that is not to be missed!
Recently, I attended the Night on the Towns event at a local theatre. This was a special screening of Paper Towns that included a live stream event with Tyler Oakley, Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, John Green and many others that were members of the creation of the movie. There was definitely a lot of hype before and during this movie that was hard not to miss. I must admit that I was quite disappointed in the entire event. The movie was good, but it didn’t resonate with me the way that the book originally did. Nat Wolff‘s acting, however, is phenomenal in this film and it is his accurate and brilliant portrayal of Quentin that saves the film for me.
There were some major differences between the book and the screenplay of Paper Towns that will leave fans of John Green’s book shaking their heads. First of all, while the movie seems to start off on the same foot as the book and the major story line of Quentin’s heroic search for Margo is included, there were some changes to the story. While I don’t want to include spoilers in this review, there are certain elements that are completely altered or left out altogether. Also, there are some new scenes that actually offended me as a viewer. There is a love affair between two of the characters that is thrown into the plot and it seems as though it was plunked in for a Hollywood effect. Lastly, I felt that Cara Delevingne wasn’t the right choice for Margo, as John Green certainly does not depict her as a super model in the original story.
After reading this Paper Towns comparison, you might feel as though I really dislike this movie. I did enjoy this film as it’s own entity, even though I was grossly disappointed in how much the story changed when it hit the screen. The acting is wonderful and it is quite a fun film that will be enjoyed by many. This is definitely a movie that you will want to watch without having read the book first, however.