Tag Archives: Paper Towns

Book Reviews
April 20, 2014 posted by Emma

Paper Towns – John Green

Paper TownsQuentin 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.


I know it’s already been reviewed, but I figured that in honor of the recent announcement that Paper Towns was going to follow in The Fault In Our Stars‘ footsteps and be made into a movie, it’s about time to put in my two cents!

First off, I want to say that I’m definitely a fan of John Green. TFIOS was probably my favorite book of his, but I’ve mostly enjoyed the rest of the them as well. There’s definitely some huge issues with his books, as well as just the way that the YA community has turned him into a sort of writing-god, but that’s a rant for another time. This is about Paper Towns, which I thoroughly enjoyed (for the most part).

Paper Towns kind of follows in the footsteps of TFIOSLooking for Alaska, and An Abundance of Katherines, in that it follows the story of nerdy, quiet Quentin who is looking for something more than his average life. He’s always been a little in love with the quirky next door neighbor, Margo, and when she climbs through his window one night, he has the adventure of a lifetime. But then she disappears, and with only a few clues to go on, Q embarks on a journey to find Margo (and discover more about himself in the process).

I really did enjoy this book! Q had me laughing quite a bit, and Margo was the kind of girl that I would want to be best friends with. And their friends were just as full of personality and life, which made for a very fun read. There were definitely some parts where I was like…okay…no teenagers I know talk like that (or are that pretentious). BUT sometimes you just have to roll with it and make believe.

The plot was interesting as well, from Q and Margo’s night of adventuring, all the way to the craziness that unfolds as Q gets closer and closer to finding Margo. John Green had me guessing for a lot of it…I honestly had no clue where Margo was, or whether she was even going to be alive or not when Q finally figures out her clues. I won’t say what happens at the end, but I will say that I was mostly satisfied with it and thought it was appropriate, all things considered.

I guess my only complaint lies with the characters themselves. Or more than that, I think it’s the formulaic way that John Green tends to write. I’ve read all of his books now, and to be honest, Margo could’ve just as easily been swapped out by Alaska or one of the Katherines and I probably wouldn’t have even noticed. Same goes with Quentin (/Miles/Colin). It’s all the same story. I’m not saying it’s not a good story! But it’s very similar: a cute, yet decently nerdy and intelligent boy becomes infatuated with a crazy, wonderful girl that doesn’t quite have her life together, and through this he learns about himself. The girls in these books are honestly just plot devices so that the male protag can grow up and figure himself out, and if you’re cool with that, then you’re gonna enjoy John Green’s books a lot! But otherwise, it may bug you like it bugs me.

Anyway, despite my grumbling about the lack of a legit female character and the formulaic-ness to all of John Green’s books, I DID actually enjoy Paper Towns. It was a fun read, and I loved the whole concept of paper towns themselves.

Pick this one up if you’re a John Green fan, or if you’re interested in light (and yet at the same time deep and a little pretentious) contemporary stories!

Pages: 305

Date Published: September 22, 2009

Publisher: Speak

Rating:  ★★★½☆

Paper Towns – John Green
Book Reviews
January 8, 2009 posted by Nikki

Paper Towns – John Green

John Green is no stranger to praise. His previous novels, Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines scored much recognition, and won many awards. The hype surrounding his new novel, Paper Towns, is huge. Everyone knows someone that has read it, or knows someone who wants to read it. So when I picked up the three hundred odd page novel I had super high expectations. That’s the problem with expectations: as soon as you expect something, you’re almost always going to be disappointed. And I was, but not for any reason that I can justify. I think I thought it was going to be breathtakingly mesmerising from the very first word. In all the hysteria, I forgot that a novel needs to lay its foundations and introduce its characters to the reader before any kind of connection or relationship is achieved. Once I remembered all these things, I let my preconceived ideas dissipate and found myself really enjoying everything Paper Towns had to offer.

Paper Towns is narrated through Quentin’s point of view. His neighbour – and long time crush – Margo Roth Speigelman has a thing for running away from home. When she disappears again, everyone is upset, but no one is surprised. Only this time it is different, and Quentin thinks Margo wants him to find her. He uncovers some clues, which he believes she deliberately planted for him, and begins piecing all of them together. While Quentin spends the final months of his senior year looking for Margo, the rest of his friends spend their final months preparing for prom and revelling in the fact that their high school days are finally numbered. Quentin becomes totally consumed with finding Margo and misses out on all kinds of experiences (like graduation) as he follows dead end lead, after dead end lead. He starts to wonder all kinds of crazy things, like whether or not he’ll find her alive, or whether he’ll ever find her at all.

Quentin is an incredibly likeable character. He’s compassionate, dedicated to his cause, and everybody’s best friend. Margo, on the other hand, I found harder to care about. Although she is gone for a lot of the novel, readers learn a lot about her through the clues that Quentin uncovers on his journey. From my vantage point, Margo is conceited, superficial, melodramatic and not worthy of Quentin’s affections at all. I found myself wishing that he’d stop looking for her and just let himself enjoy the last few months of high school with his friends. But if I’m honest with myself, Quentin’s supreme dedication to find her, dead or alive, is one of the characteristics that I admired about him most.

In the end, although none of them really think they’re going to find her, all of Quentin’s friends forfeit their graduation ceremony so they can accompany him on a last ditched effort to follow a lead. They end up in a car headed for New York. It’s during this trip that readers are really exposed to the true strengths of friendships, relationships, love and loss. The road trip to New York is my favorite part of the novel and I found myself re-reading several pages because I was so touched by some of the words and actions of the individual characters. I’m not going to tell you whether they actually find Margo or not, because that would ruin the ending for you all. But I am going to tell you that I think Margo is someone that will always run, will always look for the quickest escape route when anything gets tough. She’s one of those girls that lack the strength of character to look life in the face and deal with its raw and brutal consequences.

This was my first experience reading a John Green novel and I can happily say that it will not be my last. There is a little something for everyone in this novel, with action, drama, romance and real life experiences and emotions spread across its pages for all to absorb. yaReads give you two very big thumbs up, John Green. Two very big thumbs indeed!

Rating:: ★★★★☆