Paper Towns by John Green

Paper TownsPublication date: September 22, 2009

Publisher: Speak

Pages: 305

Targeted Audience: Young Adult

Genre: Drama/Adventure

Blurb: 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…

The thing about this book is, it is what it is, every part is as it is and there is no music, but the music that it is.

(that made no sense but okay)

Paper Towns is quite simply about Quentin’s obsession with Margo. Throughout the book, Quentin is on a wild goose chase to find Margo; an obsessive and over taking attempt to figure Margo out through scraps and appoint himself the knight in shinning armor of Margo’s story.

While this, John Green does establishes a few very good commendable points but coupled with Q’s dry personality and his incessant droning on his heroic mission to find Margo Roth Speigelman, it made for me a very un-enjoyable and tiresome read.

Midway through the book, I was ready to stop it for the second time but for a few reviews that promised me that something that I wanted to find. And well, I’m glad(ish).

(I’m also kinda mad because I don’t like being wrong)

The ‘Part 3’ of this book, titled ‘Vessel’, which I have to mention is a bloody brilliant title, gives us the object of the chase of this entire book, which is Margo Roth Spielgelman, and in that, not entirely her, but her thinking process.

(Here, I have to mention that the movie did Margo absolutely no justice. It made the former parts much more enjoyable by sparing us the relentless mind of Q, but we never really got to know the reason behind Margo besides that she wanted to find out who she was.)

Margo Roth Speilgelman is brilliant. In so many ways, this defeats the entire purpose of the book, which is to say repeatedly that Margo Roth Spielgelman is just another girl.

But in a book with all the characters fitting the ‘just another (boring) person going through the same motions of life’ role, Margo is the only commendable character, in fact she is the best of the very few good things about this book, and behind her are her thoughts!

Also, I need to mention that I really love metaphors and Margo is all about them.

My thoughts are feeling very clouded on this review so there’s going to be a list.

Things I liked:

i) The metaphors, the metaphors, the metaphors. In the last few pages, when Q finally shows that he has a brain that thinks for himself apart from the one that is like a dog after his bone (Margo), he says some really good lines about metaphors and how he sees the different metaphors for life. A+ on that Q.

ii) Radar and his honest to god acceptance. So refreshing.

iii) Ben minus every single time he said ‘Honey-bunny’ or an equally objectifying statement. I know teenage boys are disappointing John Green, but so much?

iv) Radar’s belief about them black Santa(s). Applaud!

v) The different Margos. When Q is searching for Margo in all the places, he comes across this sentiment a lot. Margo is a different person to everybody. And I think everybody is different with different people so I really liked that.

vi) Life is better than the alternative. John Green did a really good thing and did not romanticize death. Instead he said it like it is, however life is, it’s better than the alternative.

vii) Banter de Q and his friends.

viii) Margo. The best thing about this book is Margo. She is not like other people, she isn’t only unhappy with everything but she’s also not living with it! She’s real and confused and adventurous and thinking! Margo is different.

The addition of the sentiment that Margo felt before she left her town and her reason made her very human and I liked her so much.

And if John Green wanted me to feel like Margo was just another person and not how Q thought she was, then he partly failed. Because she was way better than what Q fantasized about.

Things I didn’t like:

i) 2/3rd’s of this book. So boring and pointless and Q gets all the points for being the most personality less character. There is no himself but only dog after Margo-bone.

ii) Q. See above.

==>My things I liked list was only longer because there were only those things I liked in the book. I positively didn’t like the rest of the book. Q tired me. I didn’t feel connected to Q or his obsessive need of Margo. I didn’t like Q. And this book is literally inside Q’s mind. So that didn’t do anything for me.

People say Looking for Alaska and An abundance of Katherine’s are basically the same book, but I beg to differ. In both other books, Alaska and Katherine were present! And the protagonist had a personality!

Recommendation: It feels wrong to tell you guys NOT to read just because I didn’t like it. Those were MY views. If you feel like you might like the book then go ahead.

Rating: 2.5 food

Lots of love,


One thought on “Paper Towns by John Green

  1. I completely agree, Q is one of the most annoying characters I’ve ever read and I literally just didn’t get the point of the book at all. I’ll be honest of the 3 books by John Green I’ve read I only enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars. I really didn’t connect with Looking For Alaska like everyone else has. I have a copy of Abundence of Katherines but I don’t know if I’ll bother to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

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