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on July 22, 2015
Well written story with very well developed characters. I picked up this book because I wanted to read it before I saw the movie. The story really drew me in! Quentin (Q) is a likable, awkward guy who has carried a crush on his neighbor and childhood friend, Margo. As sometimes happens, the two had grown apart, Margo becoming quite popular and Q admiring her from the sidelines. All this changes one night when Margo appears at his window, looking for help and later disappears. The book centers on the mystery of what happened to Margo and Q trying to follow the clues to find her. A fun, thought provoking read!
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on September 8, 2014
Ugh!.. This was like pulling teeth!!! These characters are so like the ones in "Looking for Alaska" it is not even funny. I honestly cannot recommend this book to anyone.
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on January 25, 2014
It pains me to give a John Green novel anything less than 4 stars but this book just didn't do it for me. I love the concept of Paper Towns and finding them. I couldn't bring myself to love Margo though. I know that wasn't his point and that this book goes so much deeper than just a spoiled brat of a child who does a completely impulsive and stupid thing when she leaves town a mere month before she is due to graduate. I get that. I, however, couldn't get over the fact that she left when she was so close. If you are a teenager reading this review and curious about this novel...STAY IN SCHOOL run away to wherever after the fact that you have graduated. A diploma is VERY important.

Margo enlists the help of Q to do 11 things before she goes. She hasn't spoken to him since they were around 8 years old. Then one night randomly knocks on his window and he jumps to help her. Then she disappears. Q dedicated pretty much all his free time to finding her. The final month of his senior year is spent not having a good time with his friends, but searching for a girl who doesn't want to be found. She claims she didn't want any attention...but if that were the case she wouldn't have left school with so little time left. She would have waited until graduation and then just vanished after. That way people would have thought she went to school early or something. Truth is, she wanted to draw attention. She is all about the attention, because she doesn't get it at home. Her parents were heinous creatures, sorry excuse for a parental unit. Instead of love and support they were to worried about their image, which any parent knows when you become a parent it's not about your image anymore. You are caring for a child that you can only control so much. Your image becomes them and you WANT them to be their own free spirited strong willed person. You want them to be so unbelievably great as themselves that they make you proud and better. Margos parents failed this concept on so many different levels.

Do they find her? Not going to say. I will tell you that this book overall was ok. John Green delivers great wisdom in all of his books. Great quotes that you can carry with you forever.
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on January 3, 2014
That John Green. He definitely knows how to write a book that will tear emotion out of you.

Paper Towns is definitely more upbeat and happy than The Fault in Our Stars, however, I don’t think Paper Towns was executed as well.

Let’s not go there, yet, though. Paper Towns was a GREAT read, and I’d like to talk it up first (it’s only polite).

Things I loved:

1. The unforgettable details – Q and his friends Radar and Ben are just priceless characters. They each have such distinctive quirks that I felt they could have materialized out of the book as whole people. They seemed so real to me. There is something PRICELESS about Radar’s parents that I will let you discover for yourself in the book. HILARIOUS.

Ben is like every girl-obsessed guy in high school and he both repulsed and intrigued me. And, Radar’s obsession with the Omnictionary (the book’s version of Wikipedia) is endearing and a little worrying.

2. The friendships – Old and friendships are explored in Paper Towns – especially the idea of what holds them together and makes them fall away. There were so many times while reading this book that I thought about my own friendships and examined what worked about the long-lasting ones (from elementary school) and the fresh ones. I loved seeing a fight from a guy’s perspective, too. It seemed so easy to get over…

3. The tangible coming of age feel – Oh yes. This sickening nostalgia that hits when thinking about a younger more idealistic version of yourself. (I’m not that old, but seriously life kicks you in the butt sometimes). Green always weaves depth and insight into his books that can be so raw. The majority of the book revolves around Margo Roth Speigelman in all her three-named glory.

She’s what people want her to be, which is nothing like she truly is. That idea is explored a lot in the book and generated some awesome conversation in my book club.

Plus, Q takes a good long look at Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself poem. The poem sort of reads him instead of the other way around, and I loved watching him grow through the process.

Ok, now to the very few things that I didn’t like.

The first half of the story is all about figuring out the clues Margo Roth Speigelman left behind. This goes on forever, in my opinion. I just kept waiting for that story to get picked up and gain momentum. I wished it had picked up the pace sooner.

This is totally on me, but I couldn’t help comparing Paper Towns to The Fault in Our Stars. TFioS WRECKED ME!! I was absolutely, completely engrossed in the story and felt all the things about it. With Paper Towns, the writing is strong and the characters are top notch, but I just didn’t get the same reaction.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an extremely good story, but not as refined and whole as TFioS.

OVERALL:

Paper Towns is a feel-good, nostalgia-inducing read. The warmth of friendship and self-discovery seeps out of the pages. John Green is definitely the master of the young adult contemporary scene. Paper Towns tops my list of amazing books read in 2013.
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on October 3, 2015
Not bad. I had to think about this one a lot while I was reading it, because some of the characters and situations were really hard to believe. Also, I think we're supposed to like Margo, and I just saw her as a spoiled, self-indulgent brat. And I have never heard teenagers talk like this. Either the author has never met an actual teenager, or he lives in a city containing the most precocious and quirky teenagers on Earth.

But if you can push all that aside and focus on the plot, it's a very engaging story. Yes, the plot is full of holes, but again, I enjoyed reading this once I stopped thinking about it too much. The whole concept is a fascinating one, and I actually liked our main character and his friends, as unrealistic as they seemed. I recommend it as a beach read.
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on June 19, 2014
It's the story of a boy who loves this girl from afar and would do anything for her... I really enjoyed the story and the narration, the main character seems really nice but the girl he likes is terribly awful, I certainly don't understand how she had so many friends. Margo is the least likable character from John Green.
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on September 14, 2015
I did enjoy this book a lot. I enjoyed the underlying meaning of how you shouldn't idolize people in a certain image when it's not reality.

With that being said, I felt like this book was a bit slow and took some time to pick up speed and capture my interest. TFIOS was a way more intriguing book. However I did enjoy paper towns and would recommend it to others for reading, especially if you enjoy John Green books.

It was very interesting to read through Q's evolving and growing and coming to realizations about Margo.
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on July 16, 2015
I would recommend this book to teens. I loved The Fault in our Stars so I read this based on the recommendation of my 7th grade students, but j was disappointed. The two main characters aren't characters I'm led to care much about, and the build up isn't later satisfied by the climax or resolution of the story. The humor was entertaining and I did want to know what would happen next as I read.
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on June 7, 2015
The writing in this book is spectacular. The characters and the dialogue are completely engaging, to the point where they really come alive for the reader. I loved the mystery/scavenger hunt aspect of the book. It kept me wondering, which kept me reading well past my bedtime. The only thing that brought this from a 5 star to a 4 star was the ending. I didn't need a fairytale happy ending, but I was hoping for more in terms of an ending. After investing so much in the story and the characters, I wanted to know more about where they all ended up. The ending was a little to abrupt for me, but I would still recommend the book.
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on May 15, 2015
I think that, as a reader, I am nowhere near the target audience of this book. However, I really enjoyed it's simple way of provoking deep thought. The story was true to my experience as a teen, and caused me to remember what all that was like; for better or worse.

I recently told a friend, a bit embarrassed, that I was reading this book. He assured me it was no big deal. “Yeah, but... it makes me... feel... things” was the only way I could adaquitly explain my embarrassment at the power of adolescent romance and high school escapades in drawing out such emotion from what I thought was a dried up well.

I don't think this is a book of big thoughts that will revolutionize society. I think it's simple, but potent in it's simplicity. It has made me reconsider the way I think of others and of myself.
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