It has been a REALLY long time since I have watched a movie before reading the book, but I was on the waiting list to get this movie from the library for quite some time. I only had a 7 day window of opportunity to watch the movie, since renewing it was definitely not an option. I was in the middle of two books already, so I had to make an executive decision.
I was expecting this movie to be the next The Fault in Our Stars....with fewer tears. It didn't quite live up to my expectations.
While I could appreciate the fact that map makers created "paper towns" when making their maps, I couldn't quite correlate that to a person's feelings or a character's view of a vibrant city.
The story is told from Quentin's point of view. He is a high school senior who has always been on the straight and narrow path. He doesn't go to parties, gets good grades, wants to go to med school, etc. I enjoyed his interactions with his good friends, Radar and Ben. I could appreciate him wanting to revive his childhood friendship with Margo, but she wasn't exactly a likable character. She is the exact opposite of Quentin. She sneaks out of her house, goes to parties, and came across as very self centered and vindictive. I really didn't think she was worth all of the trouble Quentin and his friends went through to decode Margo's clues behind her disappearance.
The most enjoyable part of this movie was watching Quentin experience life to the fullest for the fist time. Perhaps that was the real message to this story, but I'm not exactly sure. He had a night of mischief with Margo, went to his first party, took a road trip with friends, and even went to the prom...all within the last few weeks of his high school experience.
I am glad I waited to get this movie from the library instead of spending the money to see it in the theater. It was entertaining enough to keep me engage for a couple of hours, but I would have been disappointed if I had shelled out theater prices for this one. I'm actually a little leery about reading the book now. I know...the book is always better than the movie, so I'm sure I will read it eventually, but it isn't going to miraculously reach the top of my TBR list based upon this performance.