Review–Paper Towns by John Green

Paper Towns
by John Green
Summary: 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 of the girl he thought he knew.

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Source: I purchased a Kindle copy.


Paper Towns was great. It is my third John Green novel, and while it’s my least favorite of the three, I still enjoyed it. I love how the author creates such fun and quirky teenagers who are also smart and deep. His characters have so much hope. He captures all that it is to be a teen when your entire future is ahead of you. Who you are, who you will be, and the people that will stay with you through it all hang in the balance when you're 16 or 17. We adults so often see the immature teens or the ones who don’t care about their future at all, but we forget about the ones who do care. John Green’s books remind me of me when I was that age, so full of hope and love, almost overwhelmed by all my possibilities.

Q, Ben, and Radar were awesome characters. They were pretty realistic and hilarious and were the main reason the novel was so entertaining. Q was the main character and he had a crush on his next door neighbor and popular girl, Margo Roth Spiegelman. I loved the way he looked at her. She wasn’t one of those popular girls who are shallow or vapid. Instead, Margo was an enigma, full of mystery. I never understood what it was that made Q continue to care about her even after they stopped talking as kids, but he still liked her through all those years.

Out of the blue, Margo enlisted Q’s help to take revenge on her so-called friends. I have to admit, this was the most epic part of the book. The entire night and Margo’s insane and yet brilliant ideas were hilarious and entertaining. While I’ve never done anything quite so crazy, I still felt like I could relate in some ways to their epic night. Breaking the mold, taking chances, doing something a little crazy were all things we did as teens. We bonded with people over it and we grew up, changed perspectives, or just simply had fun. And that’s what happened to Q.

Q thought of all the possibilities after that night, but things didn’t quite go as he planned. Margo, ever the mystery, left strange clues and Q had to figure them out to get to her. The part of the book directly after the epic night was also enjoyable. I got to spend time with Q’s friends, Ben and Radar, as they helped Q figure out the clues. All of the clues were crazy and led up to an epic road trip to find Margo in a paper town. I loved the way the friends bonded, especially during the road trip.

Paper Towns captured a lot about adolescence, people, and selfishness. It talked about the way people expect or see other people differently than they really are. It wasn’t just about people we liked or had crushes on, but our friends, too. Accepting people for who they are and genuinely listening to them and helping them with their problems is easier said than done. I love the way poetry played a role in the book, especially given that any poem can mean different things to different people and mean different things as a whole versus sections of it. I’ve always been intrigued by how people can read the same thing and take totally different meanings from it. In a sense, people are the same way. We view others and interpret their actions differently than how they may have meant them to be interpreted.

Some reviews mention that the book is essentially the same as Looking For Alaska in many ways. I saw these reviews before I started, so I was actively trying to sense similarities, but I don’t think they are the same. Besides the quirky characters and the out-of-your-league aloof love interest, I didn’t see a lot of similarities.

The ending of Paper Towns was both awesome and horrible. It couldn’t have ended any other way, but it was also disappointing at the same time. I absolutely think it was right and I wouldn’t have necessarily wanted another ending, but I couldn’t help but feel a little… eh. If you read the book, you’ll know what I mean. It’s tough to explain without spoilers. I definitely still recommend the novel. I am a fan of John Green. While I haven't read everything of his, I like his style a lot.


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