Book Review: Paper Towns

Title: Paper Towns
Author: John Green
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 305
Published by: Speak
First Published: October 1st
Format: Paperback
Source: Personal Perchase

Goodreads Synopsis:

Who is the real Margo?

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs 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 the girl he thought he knew…

Plot Overview:

After Margo disappeares, Quentin worries about her well being and decides to find her through the bread crumb trail she left behind with the help of his friends. On this quest to find Margo, Quentin discovers the different shades and versions of her; how she acts around certain people and how she acts when no one was around.

My Thoughts:

Once I get to the middle of a book, I know more or less what I like, what I dislike and how I generally feel about it overall. This book however, left me confused. Not that the story was complicated, I just didn’t know how I felt about it when I finished it.

After some thought, I’ve decided this is an okay book.

The overall outline of the book is fun, exciting even. But there are some things that made the plot lose some of that excitement.

For one, the story starts with adrenaline and adventure when Quentin is dragged along by Margo, but that was a small part of the beginning of the story. You don’t get a taste of that again untill the end of the book. All in between is a wide streatch of Quentin trying to figure things out. It just seemed like the book could’ve been shorter. It also seemed like Quentin would mention some of the same things when tring to figure out Margo and where she could be.

Secondly, most of the poetic prose and morals come from an outside source; excerpts of poems from other writers like Sylvia Plath and Whitman. While I love seeing other literature make a cameo in the stories I read I would have loved it if the author  would have used more of his own words to make a point.

This isn’t the first book I’ve read by John Green, so I’m aware of his writing style. He loves using metaphors and I love reading them, but I just felt like that was lost here because instead of using unique analogies and metaphors he ended up quoting and then paraphrasing other works of literature.

Generally the writing is effortless and the short chapters make it even easier to fly through the story.

On the Characters:

My favorite part of the story has to be the witty dialogue between the characters. I’d say most of the humor comes from Ben (even though he can say some things that just sound rediculous and cringe worthy). His other friend,Radar, is the tech geek and helps Q the most when trying to find Margo.

Quentin himself is a nice, average guy with a crush on Margo. He is absolutely infatuated with her and this became more apparent to me as the story progressed. He would call her by her full name (Margo Roth Spiegleman), he never said no when she asked for crazy favors, he thought (from a distance) that she was luaghing when infact she was yelling, he spent most of his last semester of high school trying to find Margo. There was no tainting the image of Margo Roth Spiegleman for him. she was pefect. And this unrealistic depiction took me out of the story every now and then.

Admitedly, he realised he didn’t really know Margo in his search.

I didn’t like Margo. She did things with no concern for others. She delibrately left the clues for Q and he spent all his time trying to find her. Going in circles until the end, and then what happened?

I don’t quite know how to articulate how I feel about her but I do know I don’t like her.

On the Rating:

Although I didn’t like somethings, I did overall have a good time reading this. I just wish there was more adventure. I kept hearing people say this is a road trip book but that was only the last 50 or so pages. I gave this the “good book” rating: 3 stars.


Quotes from the book:

  • “I’m not saying that everything is survivable. Just that everything except the last thing is.”
  • “It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”
  • “It is easy to forget how full the world is of people, full to bursting, and each of them imaginable and consistently misimagined.”
  • “I’m starting to realize that people lack good mirrors. It’s so hard for anyone to show us how we look, & so hard for us to show anyone how we feel.”



6 thoughts on “Book Review: Paper Towns

  1. I think I’m going to pass on reading this one and just watch the movie instead. Blasphemy I know but the book has no appeal to me whatsoever (pretty much for all the reasons you stated in your review). The movie looks a little more entertaining and so I’m willing to give it a chance 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought this was an okay book as well. It didn’t really make the readers very emotional or feel deeply for any of the characters. But I liked the whole roadtrip thing, it was super fun.

    Liked by 1 person

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