“She loved mysteries so much, that she became one.” Quentin Jacobsen, Paper Towns
You can buy or rent the movie here: Paper Towns
To me, this book and this movie told different stories but with the same story line. This is a classic case of not being able to translate a book to a movie for understandable reasons. The book is full of deep thinking and interesting obsessions and the movie just can’t portray that in 2 hours.
I heard a statement once, I believe in an interview with one of the directors of Harry Potter that summarizes my feelings on this movie. I’m definitely paraphrasing here but he basically said that with a book, a character can walk up to a door and spend 3 pages deciding to go through that door or not. This decision making is what makes us fall in love with a book, story, and/or character, but it is nearly impossible to portray on-screen. This is the case with this book/movie combo.
The book tells a story of a boy looking for something, anything, to lead him to “save the princess” and be the one to figure it out so Q and Margo can laugh it off and drive home and… He quickly finds out that is not what Margo intended. The movie does this too but in a different way. It focus more on how priorities can get mixed up and how to take a step back and look at what’s important.
Instead of her getting angry that they have found her (which is what happened in the book), she isn’t at the barn at all. Q happens to run into her at the bus station after getting abandoned by his friends who go back to make it to Prom (not graduation, which they completely missed in the book). It’s a random run-in and she just tells him that she’s good and is going to go find herself now… After which, Q hurries and somehow makes it back to Prom in time to dance his cares away…
So basically after months of searching and digging and trying to figure things out, he’s like “whatever” and moves on. Someone that obsessed, isn’t moving on that quick in my opinion.
I don’t know what I expected since the end of the book annoyed me but some of the best parts of the book came from the frantic-ness of leaving graduation right away while wearing nothing but robes and I was missing that in the movie.