Friday, July 23, 2010

Review: Paper Towns by John Green

Title: Paper Towns
Author: John Green
Publisher: Puffin
Release Date: October 4th, 2008
Pages: 305

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.
Plot: 5/5
Creativity: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
Impact: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

What do you get when you combine a charmingly witty protagonist, a dynamite of a girl, a beaten-up minivan, a couple hundred dollars, and a few hours to burn? An unforgettable night of endless possibilities, that's what.

Quentin Jacobsen is hard to pigeonhole. While he's not necessarily the most popular guy in his high school, he only has a couple of friends. He hangs out outside the band room, but he's not in band. He's awkward, but he isn't clueless about girls either. He's just a regular guy with his own mindsets and dreams, and two best friends that support him. He's also been in love with Margo Roth Spiegelman since he was a kid. They're friendly, but not friends, so it surprises Quentin when one night Margo shows up outside his window, offering to take him along on a night of mishap. After having the most fun he's ever had with the girl of his dreams by his side, Quentin feels like he's finally getting a chance to get to know Margo. That is, until he goes to school the next morning and finds out that Margo's disappeared. Margo, always the daring one, is known to suddenly vanish and leave behind clues, so nobody says much, but Quentin finds out that this time, the clues she left behind were specifically for him. Determined to find the girl he's loved since childhood, Quentin tries to decipher the clues she left behind, and along the way piece together the puzzle that is Margo Roth Spiegelman.

Paper Towns is everything you'd expect from a John Green novel. clever protagonist? Check. Charming set of friends? Check. Enigmatic female lead? Check. Wonderful writing? Check. Great storyline? Check. Basically, Paper Towns has everything you could look for in a great for, and possibly more. It's a moving story about friendship and dedication, and you're bound to learn a thing or two from it.

I had my worries when I picked up this book. Looking for Alaska was simply spectacular, and I was worried that my expectations for Paper Towns were too much that it would end up disappointing me. Thankfully, Paper Towns turned out to be a great book that I really enjoyed.

Quentin is an interesting protagonist, very much like Miles Halter from Looking for Alaska. He and his friends have a solid friendship, and I enjoyed reading their comedic conversations and I loved seeing how they grew as friends even more. His unwavering affection for Margo was something I found very endearing, and I'm sure readers will be drawn to him as he patiently embarks is the seemingly endless pursuit to get the girl. There were times when I found him to be a little too idealistic, but it's just part of who he is, and it was still a pleasure to read about his thoughts and opinions.

The story's hilarious, too. There are times that are serious, but the times when the characters goof off are simply funny. I swear, I was laughing every few pages, and I probably owe a huge portion of that to Ben, Quentin's best friend, who was ocassionally annoying but always a good source of humor in the story. I actually think that Paper Towns is more of a story about friendship than one about love. Quentin's love for Margo played a huge role, but mostly it brought a group of unlikely friends closer together, and helped Quentin develop a clearer idea of himself.

While I still liked Looking for Alaska more, Paper Towns is still a novel I enjoyed very much and I'm glad I picked it up and got a chance to walk a mile (or a couple hundred) in Quentin's shoes. John Green does it again with this profound novel that will touch readers' hearts and have them laughing out loud. If you haven't read this one yet, I suggest you do. It's something you wouldn't want to pass up.


  1. thanks for popping by my blog. just read this review and very much enjoyed it. i haven't read anything by john green - will have to add him to my TBR list.

    happy weekend!

  2. Wonderful review. I've been looking for more books written from a male POV and Both Paper Towns and Alaska are on my list!

  3. I loved Paper Towns! I loved Alaska more, but still, PT is trademark John Green. Great review!

  4. I love love love love love Paper Towns! Still not as good as Looking For Alaska, but definitely fantastic in it's own right. I agree with your review completely. (:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! *waves*

  5. I loved this book, well I love all John Green books except for WG/WG.

  6. i still have this on my shelf i fell in love with LFA to, such a wonderful read but im glad you liked this makes me all the more eager to read it!:)

  7. Sounds awesome! Wonderfully written review. :) I want to try Looking for Alaska.

  8. This sounds like a good read, and you did a terrific review. Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust

  9. I have not seen a review of this book and wondered what it was about. The title has intriguied me. I haven't heard of Looking for Alaska. Once again, I'll put both on my TBR list. I think I've found the rest of my books for my 100 books for 2010 contest. I loved Sing Me To Sleep. It was such a wonderful story. Thanks for stoping by my blog. I'm still working on the header. It's a little large! Heather