Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Review of John Green’s Paper Towns and also Profanity is Stupid

I just read John Green’s Paper Towns. And I loved it. Except for the language. Maybe in the interest of being authentic, Green felt he had to pepper on the profanity. But can I just say that profanity is stupid. Why ruin a good book with important things to say by douching it?

When my son braved the brand new world of kindergarten, he learned that most words were “good” and some were “bad.” This new concept shocked him, and he wanted me to list all the “bad” words so that he would know what he could and could not say on the playground or in the classroom.
Not having a potty-mouth, I didn’t know how to respond. Finally, I came up with this solution. “If it’s a word that you’ve never heard me say, then you know it’s probably not a good word.” A few days later, my son returned home and said, “Mom, I’ve never heard you say the word oviparous, does that mean I shouldn’t use that word?”

Which begs the question—why are some words relegated to the sewer? Why is the middle finger so offensive? It’s silly when you think about it. But it seems that all cultures have “proper” and “improper” words and actions.

My daughter is currently serving a mission in Taiwan, and here are a few things that you must and must not do there:
If you give someone something, try to use both hands (especially if they're older).
Never stick your chopsticks straight up in your rice, that's like a death wish on the family.
Also never write someone's name in red without asking for permission first.

If you want to travel the world, all these dos and do nots can be a lot to remember, but don’t you think you should at least try? Why not try and get along with prudies as well as the potty-mouths? Even if you think it’s dumb?

That being said, here are some of my favorite lines from John Green’s Paper Towns:
Maybe by imagining these futures we can make them real, and maybe not, but either way we must imagine them.
If you don't imagine, nothing ever happens at all.
Margo wasn't not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl.
You gotta stop looking up at the sky, or one of these days you;ll look back down and see that you floated away, too.
All those that houses that were built to fall apart. All those paper people living in their paper houses, burning their future to stay warm. Everyone demented with the mania of owning things. All the things paper-thin and paper-frail. And all the people, too.

Such great thoughts. Why dirty them up?

(Don't forget to vote for my book, a young adult novel without cussing. vote here)

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