Thursday, April 12, 2012

Paper Towns by John Green - Review

Paper Towns by John Green
Publisher: Dutton Books
Release Date: October 16, 2008
Source: Library
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First off, I want to emphasize that this rating was not because I didn't like the book. I just felt that it didn't deserve a higher rating. It was a hard decision on whether to rate it 3 or 4 stars. On to the review.

“It was nice - in the dark and the quiet... and her eyes looking back, like there was something in me worth seeing.”

Summary from Goodreads:
"When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night - dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows her. Margo's always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she's always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they're for Q."

The title is appropriately named; Margo had told Q that Orlando was just a "Paper Town" with "Paper People", where there was no depth or dimension and everything was fake. She later mentions that she is a paper girl and so she had to go the paper towns, where she fit in. The concept of paper towns was mentioned frequently.

If you read the book without knowing the author, one would most likely guess it was John Green. The charming wit and emotional intensity he puts into his books is definitely a trademark for Mr. Green. I have only fully read 2 of his books, this one and The Fault in Our Stars (which I thoroughly enjoyed), and although this was a good story, it did not and could not compare to TFiOS. I literally could not put TFiOS down, but for this book it seemed that it got boring around the middle. Before starting it, I expected Margo and Q's midnight adventure to last at least half of the book, but it only took up about 80 pages, which was pretty upsetting. The next 150 pages of the book is just about Q & Co. finding clues that would lead to Margo. The ending was extremely abrupt and a bit confusing. I didn't feel sorry for Margo and I still don't understand her intentions.

On the bright side, as with other J.G. novels, the characters were very round characters, and you felt what they felt and thought what they thought. You feel like you really know them as you read about them. Many parts of the book made me laugh, but I can safely say that I did not feel dismal when reading this. It just didn't reach me as TFiOS did. I'm not exactly disappointed, but not content either.

My favorite part of the book is the beginning, a.k.a. the "midnight adventure" with M & Q. I believe that was the strongest and most engaging part of the book, because it showed Margo in a different, better light. And of course, I was really interested in learning about the 11 things on the list. ;)

Wonderful writing, but not as emotionally gripping as other books I've read.


  1. I think I actually might have rated this 2 stars when I read it- I found it terribly boring! The road trip at the end particularly. I hated Ben with his 'honeybunny'-ing too. I felt I was the only one who didn't love it so I'm glad you only gave it 3 stars! x

    1. When reading the middle part up to the road trip, I was just screaming in my head "Hurry up and find her!". I understand that something like that would take critical thinking and it's not an easy thing to try and find a missing person, but it was drawn out way too long. The road trip also was a bit boring, but it picked up a bit compared to the middle. I don't know what all the hype is about! Thanks for reading!