Thursday, November 26, 2015

Review: Paper Towns by John Green

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...

I've been meaning to read John Green's novels for some time now and I figured Paper Towns was a good place to start.

In Paper Towns, Quentin has had a crush on Margo for a long time now. One night, Margo shows up at his window and invites him to join her on an epic mission. The next day, Q thinks things will be different and he and Margo can be closer friends. However, Margo is gone and it might be up to Q and his friends to find the elusive Margo.

Based on the synopsis, I thought this would be like Thirteen Reasons Why. For awhile there, I thought I was right too. However, later on, it became clear that this was more like 500 Days of Summer. That is, it was a love story that wasn't a love story.

Paper Towns centers around Q and Margo's friendship/relationship, but this was also about identity, friendship and understanding others. It's been awhile since I read a book that tackled these topics with that kind of maturity. I remember I quote I read once that said that the teens on Dawson's Creek didn't talk like teens. There was a little bit of that here, particularly in Quentin's narration and his conversations with Margo. It's not a bad thing, though. Some teens do talk like that and even those that don't can appreciate their sentiment. Anyway, the rest of the dialogue does sound like typical teen conversation, right down to the cursing and crude language.

Quentin was just okay for me, overall. I did like him a lot when he was with Radar and Ben because their chemistry was fun to watch. Ben is kind of a frat-guy stereotype, but I liked Radar. He's nice and sweet. As for Margo, I wasn't entirely sure how I felt about her. She was really wild and unpredictable, but broken. Q placed her on this pedestal, which i think was quite fitting as there was something unreal about her persona, which as it turns out, wasn't her true self anyway.


  1. It's not your typical love story.
  2. It's a journey of self-discovery too.
  3. There's an epic road trip here. 


  1. The crude language in a couple or so dialogue can put off some sensitive readers. 

“If you don't imagine, nothing ever happens at all.” 

  1. You liked 500 Days of Summer.
  2. You don't want to read a typical love story.
  3. You want to read a story that has a strong friendship between the main male character and his friends that doesn't fall apart because of a girl.




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