Monday, 4 April 2011

Book Review: Paper Towns by John Green

Goodreads 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.
Printz medalist John Green returns with the brilliant wit and searing emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of readers.

My Review:

Paper Towns is the first book I have read by John Green and I am fairly certain it won't be the last! This novel was everything I was hoping for and so much more. I'm finding it really hard to write this review becauase I loved it so much and I really want to do it justice.

Quentin, or Q, has been pretty much in love with his next door neighbour Margo since they were kids. 9 years after they last hung out, Margo sneaks into Q's bedroom asking for a ride. Q thinks that after their night together everything will change between them but Margo doesn't show up for school the next day which leads Q to go on a wild goose chase after Margo and leaves him questioning everything about who she was and who he is becoming.

Margo is such a fascinating character to the reader, and to Q. She is Queen Bee at school, without being a total bitch. She can get anyone to do anything for her because they want to please her and be around her. She's a free spirit and will do anything she thinks is fun, no matter the consequences which is why quiet, sensible Q is so drawn to her. Margo and Q are such awesome characters. They are flawed and unsure and real. Q will stop at nothing to try and find Margo, in two senses- where she is and who she actually is. Q realises that Margo is different things to different people and everybody she knows has a set version of her that they have built up in their heads.

I loved Margo. She is so much fun and although she pushes Q out of his comfort zones, she doesn't do it to be mean. She tries to get him to loosen up and is ultimately trying to help him. She is the crazy, unattainable girl who comes up with the best schemes but there is a whole other side of her which she hides from everybody. She is deep and thinks about things a lot- probably too much. Margo feels like she can't be herself and feels very trapped in Florida which she describes as a paper town.  She may come off a little selfish, but seriously, what teenager isn't? I think she and Q compliment each other perfectly.

My favourite parts of Paper Towns were that first night Q spent with Margo in his mum's minivan and the road trip that Q and his friends take near the end of the book. I love every one of Q's friends, and Ben in particular provides a bunch of comic relief when things start getting too serious.

I found myself checking how many pages were left until the end of the book frequently because I was so desperate to find out how this would end. The plot slows down a bit in the middle but it is totally necessary to build the mystery and leads perfectly to the climatic conclusion.

John Green crafts such real and complex characters which totally make the book what it is.. I've heard that the main characters in his other books are very similar to Q and Margo so I really can't wait to see how they compare to Paper Towns. 

Paper Towns is such a joy to read and I whole-heartedly suggest reading it sometime soon if you haven't already.

Rating: A+
Cover: B+


  1. Yay I'm so glad you enjoy this one, as it's one of my favorite books ever. I love Margo's character as well as Q's. You have to read Looking for Alaska next! It's even better!

  2. Lauren- It's one of my faves now too! :) Really?! Yay, I can't wait to read it!!


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