The new movie Paper Towns, adapted from John Green's book of the same name, recently came out in theaters. As a being a huge fan that has read almost all of his novels, I decided to write an article about the comparisons between the three books (two of them are movies as well). Paper Towns, Looking for Alaska, and The Fault In Our Stars I have noticed while comparing the novels, how very similar all of his characters are, and how this may draw in a certain crowd.
The Main Character:
In The Fault In Our Stars, Paper Towns, and Looking For Alaska Green's main characters: Hazel, Quentin, and Miles are all very similar. They are usually quieter, interesting intellectuals who lead mostly uninteresting lives and are very often readers. In all of these novels the main character is missing something as well, something that is usually obtained by the end of the novel. The last common trait between all of these main characters from Green's books is the fact that they are all teens. They are relatable teenagers who struggle with challenges (some larger and harder to solve then others).
The Love Interest:
Margo Roth Spiegelman, Augustus Waters, and Alaska Young. If you haven't noticed, all of these names are interesting and sound important. They are mysterious, adventurous, and intelligent. They teach the main character something, that they may still be trying to discover themselves. They are admired and looked up to, and are are internally struggling, but hold themselves with such wit and class that most commonly their struggle is not revealed to most.
In the case of Paper Towns, Margo has the kind of personality that everyone wants to be around at school, but she herself is lost. She leads Quentin on an adventure of a lifetime, one that helps him discover what truly matters while, she undertakes her own journey. She is courageous, brave, and incredibly amazing, but on the inside she is fearful of the world she feels trapped inside of. This is very similar to Green's romance novel The Fault in Our Stars, with the love interest being Augustus. Gus is perfect for Hazel; hilarious, smart, outgoing, and charming. His struggle that he must face is the fact that he is battling cancer, and he must accept the fact that his life is what it is. His biggest challenge is understanding that he might not make a difference in the world in the way that he wishes; his fault is that he wants to be a hero and cannot accept that he may not touch that many lives. He does, however, touch Hazel's life, and leaves quite an impact on it. He teaches her about living in the moment, and not letting her give up on the impossible. Lastly, in Looking For Alaska, Alaska Young is quite the unique individual; a mysterious daredevil of a teen, with a sort of "wow" impression that she leaves on everyone that she talks to. She triggers curiosity that makes those around her wonder about her, and she is definitely undergoing some sort of internal struggle. She changes Miles' world, as she helps him to discover a new side of himself, something that he has been searching for forever.
I believe that all of these character similarities that are repeated throughout John Green's masterpieces are what make them so relatable to a certain age group, namely young adults. Coming from a teen's perspective, I could definitely argue that it is due to the fact that Green makes his characters relatable and and, in certain instances, that they are the dream role model for a teen. They all seem to be people that are struggling, and yet they all go on an adventure that seems to solve their struggle. They are entertaining and compelling stories of adventure and emotion.
Here is the trailer to John Green's newest film, Paper Towns. Be sure to check it out!