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Paper Towns by John Green

Paper Towns

by John Green

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,009301694 (4.09)222
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    BookshelfMonstrosity: The search for someone missing, a girl friend (Reality Check) and an ideal girl (Paper Towns) becomes a voyage of self-discovery for high school boys in different mysteries, one dialogue-rich and character-driven, the other plot-driven and suspenseful.… (more)
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» See also 222 mentions

English (296)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (301)
Showing 1-5 of 296 (next | show all)
The book Paper Towns was a fantastic book. I loved all the drama and detail that was in the story. My favorite part of the story was when they were on the road trip. I thought that all the chapters about the road trip were some of the best chapters that John Green wrote. I disliked the end of the story because they took that huge road trip to get to Margo who had ran away only to find out that she didn't want to be found. I wish there was a little more drama at the end of the book. I loved this book and I plan on reading it again.
  Abch14 | Jan 24, 2015 |
Read more of my reviews at my blog: The End of the Chapter

First Impressions:

I had just finished reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and I was ready to find out more about this John Green guy I've been hearing so much about. So, I looked up a list of his books on Good Reads, and saw Paper Towns. It sounded really interesting, and if it was anything like Will Grayson, Will Grayson, I knew I'd like it. So, I picked it up for my Kindle and devoured it in one sitting.

What I Liked:

First of all, I really enjoyed how John Green established an early relationship between Quentin Jacobsen and Margo Roth Speagleman. They share something profound at the beginning of the book (them finding the dead man together), and this event forms a bond between them. The reader immediately knows that there is something important going on between these two characters, and we should pay attention to their interaction.

Then, Green takes this bond and intentionally weakens it. As Q and Margo get older, they grow apart, just as most childhood friends do. They become interested in different things, and they start to run with different social circles. However, Green makes it clear that neither one of them truly forgot the other. Q is nerdy and Margo is popular, but they still keep an eye on each other. While it's obvious Q never forgot Margo because he talks about her all the time, Margo demonstrates that she never forgot Q by choosing him as her accomplice in revenge. The bond is still there, even if it's weak. Green uses this to illustrate how relationships evolve from childhood to adolescence, and it makes the characters relatable to not only the intended audience (young adults) but also to the older audience that tends to read John Green.

Green also explores family dynamics and how they can have an effect on how children develop into adulthood and how they can impact the choices children make. Granted the characters in this book aren't exactly children anymore, the family dynamic definitely has an impact on each character's development and decisions. Q's family has a fairly lax parenting style. His parents trust him to make good decisions and encourage him to develop his hobbies and interests into potential careers. Hence, he is a good student, and he doesn't get into trouble too frequently. Margo's family on the other hand is quite authoritative. They make it clear that they feel Margo is a failure who can't be trusted to become a meaningful person. They also make it clear that Margo is their least favorite child, and when she needs their help the most, they abandon her, ignore her, and shut her out of their lives. Thus, Margo runs away and tries to make her own life independently of them.

These family dynamics also impact Q's decision to go after Margo. He understands that she chose him for a reason, and he realizes there is still a bond there that needs to be strengthened. So, he follows the clues she left him to find her and make things right, just like he's been taught he should when it comes to friends.

What I Didn't Like:

I thought it was a bit cliche to have the nerd and the popular girl sort of fall for one another. Although, Margo is pretty quirky, and they don't exactly have a happy ending. So, Green did kind of turn that cliche on it's head, but he still used a cliche in my opinion.

**Spoiler Alert: the ending will be discussed here, so skip this paragraph if you haven't read the book yet!**

Also, the ending was a bit disappointing. Why did Margo get mad that Q found her? Why did she leave all those clues, even the superficial ones, if she didn't want to be found? She must have subconsciously wanted to be found, and she must have wanted to be found by someone she knew would care. She wanted to be wanted for a change. Her parents made her feel that she wasn't wanted, so she left. However, that didn't mean she didn't want to be "found."

**You can start reading again**


★ ★ ★ ★ - Buy

Overall, this was an excellent read, and I will definitely be reading it again. I can't wait to hear more about the cast for this book's movie adaptation, and I hope it's just as good as The Fault In Our Stars was (review for that coming soon). As for the mystery portion of the book, it was really well done, and the reader is just as confused about Margo's actions as Q is. John Green really explores issues relevant to teens, and adults, everywhere while managing to write a quirky, fun, moving story about two teens who need each other whether they know it or not. I would highly recommend buying this book! ( )
  rjc146 | Jan 23, 2015 |
Nerdy, specifics-obsessed protagonist who attempts to unravel the tale of an enigmatic girl - and in the meantime, discovers himself and comes of age. You know ... the plot that John Green has been reusing over and over and over again. ( )
  staram | Dec 27, 2014 |
I've come to expect witty relatable and romanticized teen characters from John Green and this story doesn't disappoint. Love the bit of mystery added in and epic frantic road trip finale. Can't wait to check out the upcoming film adaptation. ( )
  StefanieGeeks | Dec 15, 2014 |
Pretty entertaining for the most part. The last quarter of the book was a little slow. ( )
  Kathryn_Brown | Dec 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 296 (next | show all)
The narration of “Paper Towns” spends too much time in Quentin’s head, which, to be sure, is an entertaining place

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Greenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Frost, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Funfhausen, ChristianCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, Dan JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vandervoort, IreneDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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And after, when we went outside to look at her finished lantern from the road, I said I liked the way her light shone through the face that flickered in the dark.
-"Jack O'Lantern," Katrina Vandenberg in Atlas
People say friends don't destroy one another What do they know about friends?
-"Game shows Touch Our Lives," The Mountain Goats
To Julie Strauss- Gabel, without whom none of this could have become real.
First words
The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle.
pg. 57 Here's what's not beautiful about it: from here, you can't see the rust or the cracked paint or whatever, but you can tell what the place really is. You see how fake it all is. It's not even hard enough to be made of plastic. It's a paper town. I mean look at it, Q: look at all those cul-de-sacs, thoses streets that turn in on themselves, all the houses that were built to fall apart. All those paper people living in their paper houses, burning the future to stay warm. All the paper kids drinking beer some bum bought for them at the paper convenience store. Everyone demented with the mania of owning things. All the things paper-thin and paper-frail. And all the people, too. I've lived here for eighteen years and I have never once in my life come across anyone who cares about anything that matters.
Margo was not a miracle. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl.
I like finding stuff out about her. I mean, that I didn't know before. I had no idea who she really was. I honestly never thought of her as anything but my crazy beautiful friend who does all the crazy beautiful things.
What a treacherous thing it is to believe that a person is more than a person.
"Nothing ever happens like you imagine it will," she says. "Yeah, that's true," I say. But then after I think about it for a second, I add, "But then again, if you don't imagine, nothing ever happens at all."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
One month before graduating from his Central Florida high school, Quentin "Q" Jacobsen basks in the predictable boringness of his life until the beautiful and exciting Margo Roth Spiegelman, Q's neighbor and classmate, takes him on a midnight adventure and then mysteriously disappears.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014241493X, Paperback)

Two-time Printz Medalist John Green’s New York Times bestseller and Edgar Award nominee, now in paperback!

Quentin 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 the girl he thought he knew.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:22:42 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

One month before graduating from his Central Florida high school, Quentin "Q" Jacobsen basks in the predictable boringness of his life until the beautiful and exciting Margo Roth Spiegelman, Q's neighbor and classmate, takes him on a midnight adventure and then mysteriously disappears.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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