on July 12, 2010
Quentin Jacobsen is a quiet guy who enjoys having rules and plans for the future. The girl he has been in love with for ever, his next door neighbour Margo, likes anything but the rules. Margo is the kind of girl who disappears on wild and crazy adventures, not the kind of girl who would take notice of Quentin. Except one night she climbs through his window demanding he be her getaway car on a night of mischief and adventure and it's a night that changes everything.
John Green doesn't disappoint. Paper Towns is a wonderful story about a regular guy finding his self and the crazy girl that shows him the way. I know that's kind of a typical storyline for Green, but I love it none the less. Paper Towns highlights Green's ability to write beautifully reflective storylines which are rich with layers and deadpan humour. The story is fast paced and readers will undoubtedly be drawn into the enigma that is Margo and the clues she leaves for Q. I loved how Green weaved the idea of paper towns and the theme of home into the story, and I loved that Margo and Q are such unfinished characters; it makes them raw and relatable. The thing that I think Green does better than anyone else, which makes his books exceptional, is his ability to write such beautiful and vibrant supporting characters. They add so much to the story and the reader ends up loving them as much as the main characters. Overall, I thought this was a wonderful book; it was funny but at the same time tugged on my heart strings. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to a wide audience.
on October 23, 2008
I first fell in love with John Green when he came out with the book LOOKING FOR ALASKA. I was equally enchanted with AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES. Last night, I finally finished John Green's latest and greatest addition, PAPER TOWNS. Mind you, I have been trying to finish it for three days crammed between work, work, and more work. It got to the point that something had to give and it was going to be my work, because I just had to finish the book. I read someone else's review and she said that she was tempted to skip to page 305, the last page, to see what happened to one of the main characters, Margo. I want this person to know I was tempted to but, alas, I did not peek either - I was so proud of myself. Besides, waiting until the end made the book even more satisfying.
Reading this book reminded me of the people who I went to high school with - the band geeks, the jocks, the Untouchable popular kids. I knew people that were like Margo, Quentin, Radar, Ben, and Lacey. Some I liked, others I didn't. I get Margo's feeling of needing to get out of the paper town she lives in so she doesn't get even more sucked in.
Would I have done it her way? Probably not, but her way led to some really funny dialogue between the characters and a neat little mystery to figure out.
PAPER TOWNS pulls you in from the beginning. One thing Green does so well is go into detail, painting rich layers seamlessly tying together the characters and their stories.
We read a story about something that happened in Quentin and Margo's childhood and then skip forward many years to a time right before Prom, which Quentin will not go to for any amount of money offered. Things get interesting when Margo shows up at his window dressed liked a ninja, insisting that he has to help her. Mind you, Margo is Quentin's unrequited love, so you tell me, does he go along with Margo's adventure? It only takes a little coaxing, but he sure does. The night, as they accomplish all the things on Margo's list, who is hellbent on revenge, is pretty magical, not just for Quentin but Margo, too.
School the next day was definitely interesting, for lack of a better word. Quentin struggles to say awake in class because their adventure lasted to just about dawn, and then realizes that Margo isn't in school. I am not sure if I would have gone to school, either, after all they had done the night before....
The question will soon become - where is Margo? She has seemingly disappeared, leaving clues for Quentin to find. Will Quentin and his friends figure out the clues, and will they lead to Margo? And if they do, will she be dead or alive? You will just have to read the book to find out.
It will not surprise me one iota if Green walks away with a few awards for this book. Definitely another winner!
Reviewed by: coollibrarianchick
on October 28, 2009
Alright...so here's the rap.
This book...it is freaking real. The idea of a fake, materialistic world and a nonconformist lady fed up of it...well...I love it!
Congratulations to John Green for accomplishing a novel such as 'Paper Towns.'
I will not go through a complete plot description as it is really pointless (considering you can find it anywhere if you Google it up)...but I will review it.
The characters John Green creates in this lovely piece are more believable then many of today's Young Adult books (the likes of Twilight and other overly-hyped books).
But this book goes beyond being the 'hungry-for-adventure girl'. This one has a neat twist filled with mystery. Not only that but the insertion of poetry and other descriptive art forms is par excellence.
I could have easily given this book five stars but there seemed to be something hollow as I read it. I love the story. I adore the characters. But I don't know. SOMETHING wasn't right to give it a five.
But still, that does not denounce the fact that this book is much better then many of its "genre-alikes". And Green, unlike his contemporaries, displays a great mind for inviting the reader into his invented world...which seem so damn real once you're there!
on August 4, 2015
I discovered this gem while digging through the many, many pages of Kirkus Reviews. After a whittling a list of 30 books to 10, to 5, to 3, this one with two others ended up in my Kindle.
I'd never read a John Green book before, nor do I know if I will read one again, but I enjoyed this book. Much. In fact, I will eventually read it again, because it was something good.
There was one part, a part when there is a locker cleared out that made me think back to that day when I cleared out mine. It wasn't for the same reasons, though. I did think about how it was the last day, too, but for me, I wanted to get out of there, and the thought of returning to a place that was over seemed pointless and torturous. And I don't ever, not even for one day, want to return.
Maybe that's why this book spoke to me: it was about leaving. Though, of course, it was about much more than that.
on May 14, 2015
The Fault In Our Stars made John Green a household name, but he’s been around for far longer than a lot of people are aware, with at least five other novels under his belt. Sadly, I am one of those people who just discovered him recently and in trying to redeem that fact, I’ve been desperately trying to get through his catalog before the next movie, based on his book Paper Towns, comes out.
I know all too well what it’s like living in a paper town and I felt an immediate kinship with Margo. She seems a little mysterious and misunderstood and definitely a little dramatic in her eleven step vengeance plan against her cheating boyfriend and best friend, but she really spoke to me. Her underlying sadness and longing for something more, for some kind of meaning, it reminded me very much of myself at that age.
Green usually seems to talk about dark subjects in a light hearted manner, but Paper Towns is pretty dark. There is humour and it’s all made into a game, but it’s definitely not as lighthearted as I’ve come to expect. There’s a lot of talk about emptiness and loneliness, escaping to somewhere better, some death. It’s heavy topics, but again, it lends well to the age and their point in life, when things start to become real and you realize that bubble you’ve been comfortably lounging in is about to burst.
I love the relationships between everyone in this book. The friendships are really strong and loyal, but admittedly, many of the characters don’t truly know their friends. Not on any deeper level than the superficial friendships formed in high school. And I liked the concept of each different friend having their own version of Margo (and each other for that matter), their own perspective of who she is, or who she was when she was with them. It’s just really realistic.
The ridiculous conversations between them all seems over the top, but they, too, are realistic. It was all kind of nostalgic for me. Watching these characters realize all this and start to grow into their own, to grow apart and discover their life-long friends for the first time is interesting to watch from the outside. It’s done quite well, a great example of coming of age.
And what coming of age story is complete without an epic road trip? Things end with an increasingly chaotic road trip crammed into the last little bit of the book, described hour by hour, a suspenseful climax filled with anticipation and anxiety. I actually really loved the ending of this. It was a perfect way to kind of sum up those last blow-out days of high school before leaving it all behind and taking that next, scary step towards growing up.
Originally posted on CityGirlScapes.com
on April 20, 2015
After my daughter urged me to read The Fault in Our Stars (which reduced me to a sobbing mess of tears in a mere three hours), I vowed never to read another John Green novel because clearly he was a cruel and deranged man. But then I have this rule where I won't let myself see a movie unless I've first read the novel and Paper Towns is going to be a movie that I will go see ... so I was forced to read the book.
And I have to say this is a brilliant novel. I loved it. And that's saying a lot because I was determined NOT to like it.
The characters are such that I immediately either loved them (Q) or hated them (Margo). This book is just so REAL and honest. Which is Green's trademark.
The pacing of the novel is perfect, the ongoing mystery of Margo and Q's undying devotion to her is hard to resist. I also loved that this story is told entirely from Q's point of view. It was really refreshing to read a novel written from the male protagonist's viewpoint.
I think Green really captures the angst and excitement that encapsulate the final few months of high school. This is a universally appealing book. If you haven't yet read it, you should!
on March 12, 2015
Paper towns aren't marked on maps -- they're wallflowers - tiny little towns that not everyone gets to see unless they happen to stumble upon them accidentally.
After Margo Roth Spiegelman's latest disappearance -- she tends to disappear a lot -- Q obsesses over every single clue she left behind, because in his mind, Margo wants to be found by him. And only him. Hence so begins a race against the clock as Quentin's infatuation with Margo leads him to think she will commit suicide in a paper town if he doesn't find her on time.
Instalove is a lot less uncomfortable to read when it's corresponded. I failed to see the spark that Quentin did. But even though his character's state of mind and mine disagreed, John Green's writing skills are hard to deny. Heck, after several pages, I started to beliveve Quentin too, until the story began to make sense. No one really knows who Margo is. Especially not Q who spent his time loving her from afar...
on February 4, 2015
I enjoy John Green's writing, the quirky characters that he creates tend to pull me in. I like how he takes ideas and explores them, and Paper Towns is no exception. He examines how we see each other, and what it takes to really know another person -- huge topics, and full of teenaged angst.
The actual story is good, and moves at various speeds. I found that I liked the main character, Quentin, and really wanted to see how things would work out for him and see if he would find the real Margot.
Overall, a good young adult read, especially for those who like quirky fiction.
on August 31, 2015
Paper towns is an interesting read that portrays two characters that have different thinking. Margo Roth Spiegelman doesn't like her life and that's where the term "Paper Towns" came. She feels as if everyone who lived in Orlando, Florida acted like paper people who lived in a paper town. While she feels this way, Quentin "Q" Jacobsen has his own expectation. Going to collage and to live a normal life. It's a cute read and I enjoyed it even though I felt as if the story was a dragged for a bit long, but it's alright. If you like John Green's books, then you'll love this!
on February 20, 2015
I read this after reading The Fault in our Stars, which I really liked. Compared to that book, this one was disappointing. The author's voice is still strong, and the young characters are still interesting, but the plot drags terribly. Without giving too much away, I found that there was a long stretch in the middle of the book where not much was happening. Granted, the main character was doing some heavy thinking and coming to some gradual life conclusions, but I still found the pace of the book to be plodding and I had to work to keep my interest up.