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Showing 1-10 of 4,092 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 5,287 reviews
on January 11, 2016
I believe the reader is supposed to be enamored of the teenage protagonist - Margo Roth Speigelman - but I found her behavior selfish, irresponsible, dangerous and not very believable. She drags along Good Kid Quentin Jacobsen on a night of law breaking just before high school graduation and then proceeds to disappear, leaving behind an elaborate set of esoteric clues. Quentin, smitten, follows the clues across the country to find her.
The antics these kids participate in are so ill thought out and downright dangerous that I, as a parent, became exasperated and furious just reading about them!
As was reading I kept trying to figure out if these characters ring true to teen readers and my answer came when my 15 year old daughter told me she quit reading it half way through because she found it boring. There you go.

P.S. I did find the interpretive lessons on Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” and the information about “Paper Towns” to be interesting.
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on November 11, 2014
This story was pretty one dimensional, hence "paper story" in my title. Honestly, I don't remember much about it, but I do remember the basic gist. Basically, Q hasn't actually interacted with popular, mysterious girl Margo, also his next door neighbor, in years. Yet, when she comes knocking at his window with an agenda he readily follows. Nights later, she goes missing, probably on another one of her little "field trips".Frankly, this is where it all started to go wrong. After reading TFIOS, I expected great things from John Green, but this was underwhelming. From Margo and Q's avenging adventure in the night back, it was interesting , because the characters were interesting and fun. After that, the plot was stiff and the characters were annoying.
I got tired of hearing about trying to find Margo, and after all that the ending(that I totally saw coming) SUCKED and was totally bland. Margo was such a whiny, self serving, self absorbed you-know-what. Q was so stupid for following Margo and spoiler- SKIPPING Graduation, when he had SUCH a bright future ahead of him.He hadn't interacted with Margo in forever and I don't see how he could love her after one night -it's just so stupid! Some of the stupid things he did just to find the stuck up hag were not worth it. So disappointing that a supposedly smart person would be that dumb and illogical. Now on to Margo- she was so unconcerned about the things they people are going through to find her, that it make me want to scream. She's so attention seeking!
This plot felt like it was running in circles, and it got very boring. The only aspects of this book that I liked were the humor(that's probably the best part ) , the beginning, and Q's friends ( in some parts. I liked their funny aspects and they seemed logical-compared to Q that is!)
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on February 15, 2015
(Review copied from

Chose to read this because John Green was posting updates to Twitter from the set of the film adaptation being released later this year. I loved The Fault in Our Stars when I read it over a year ago and enjoyed that film, so I figured I'd get ready for this film too. I didn't want to wait and read the book too close to the film's release, however, because then I'd no doubt be complaining about the changes that are always inevitable in film adaptations.

Paper Towns tells the story of two neighbors who are very different, and yet somewhat similar. Quentin Jacobsen and Margo Roth Spiegelman grew up in an Orlando subdivision and shared the traumatic experience of finding a dead body on their playground. The two grow up living just feet apart but separated by the vast divide of high school cliques. Margo Roth Spiegelman (never just "Margo") pretty much runs the school while Q (rarely "Quentin") usually just hangs outside of the band room with his friends Ben and Radar, pining after his neighbor from afar.

Everything changes when Margo comes to Q's window late one night and takes him on an adventure of revenge and disappears the next day. Margo up and left for a few days at a time before, but this time feels different. Prom and graduation are only weeks away, and Q worries why Margo would leave just after they started to connect after years of not. Soon, he finds a series of clues she left for him and he goes on another adventure trying to find her. Sadly, the clues let him find a lot more about Margo than he ever imagined.

Most of the book is a mystery about not only where Margo went or what happened to her, but also who Margo is. For a girl who seemed to have it all, Q finds a lot about her that she kept hidden from everyone.

John Green is very intelligent (seriously, check out his YouTube channel, vlogbrothers, to learn all sorts of little bits of trivia in 4 minutes or less) and he seems to write high school characters really well. Some of the writing seems a little too intelligent for the characters (do high school students really every randomly quote poetry?) but the story is very intriguing. The characters are all well-written, especially Margo Roth Spiegelman who we get to know slowly throughout the book when she's missing. I love the final section in its hour by hour/page by page countdown to its final 25 pages of wrapping everything up. It was a little bittersweet, but that's how I remember high school and any attempt to shoehorn a perfect ending would have felt like a cheat since high school is never perfect. Can't wait to see the movie--a lot of fun scenes that I hope make the cut.
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on September 21, 2015
While not the best book I've read by him this far (I loved The Fault in Our Stars); this book got three stars for having a plot and story line that kept me guessing through the whole book. I only kept reading to find out what happens to him and Margo!

Not super thrilling, romantic, or anything of the like, but has a decent story line and some fun characters with interesting traits! I really like Radar! (:

If you like an easy read with a story that might just surprise you a little as well as make you fall in love with the MC, then this is a good book.

I've heard of paper towns before, but this story made me see them in a completely different way. I love how the characters grew with each other throughout the book as well.
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on May 15, 2014
I'm by no means a nerdfighter, or a John Green acolyte. I write YA in my free time, and I like to read the works of successful authors to glean ways to improve my own skills. So hopefully anyone who reads this will take my criticisms as just that, and not some agenda to destroy Mr. Green.

As with TFIOS, John Green's prose flows, floating the reader along like a lazy river. It was easy to read 30 to 40 pages at a clip and not even realize it. This is probably his biggest strong suit, and he leans hard on it. I don't blame him at all, but I did think that the book, while not long by YA length, could've shed a few thousand words and suffered no loss in message or quality. A minor quibble, and certainly not the reason I gave this book 3 stars. If anything, the book would be 4 stars if only based on the prose. It was the other elements of the book that detracted from my enjoyment.

While the highly unrealistic (maybe not among nerdfighters, but even as a HS nerd I never quoted poetry or had a preternatural knowledge of arcane subjects that I inserted into my conversations) dialogue seems to suit the characters in TFIOS, especially Augustus Waters, I found a lot of the dialogue seemed odd. Ben's used of honeybunny seemed like a weak attempt to make him discernibly different from his friends. Radar was my favorite character, a genuine kid with odd parents, and an unhealthy obsession with John Greens version of Wikipedia. Even still, I couldn't tell the characters apart for the most part. There wasn't much variation, besides a random y'all, in speech, and none of them seemed to have identifying physical cues, which every person has. We all react differently to happy things, sad things, etc. Everyone seemed to react that same, which seemed odd.

My biggest problem was the main character. He reminded me of Clay from 13 Reasons Why, a rather milquetoast protagonist who seems compelled by forces unknown to chase after a girl with home he's had very little contact with. In Clay's case, its one party. In Q's case, its one random night out. In both situations, it makes no sense that the protagonist is so drawn to these flawed, screwed up girls. Essentially it seems to come down to the fact that HS boys are so stupid and vapid, that Margo's curvy ass, and Hannah's apparently stunning beauty are enough to induce feelings of love, rather than lust.

I actually would've understood if Q thought that Margo was worth chasing because he wanted to ravage her. It's more realistic than him fawning over her, literally forgetting that he's a top student with friends who actually get a crap about him. His entire life becomes Margo, this overwrought girl who talks in grandiose speeches and in all reality, is a pathetic person who goes on a revenge spree because she can't deal with the fact that her boyfriend would want another girl. Boo hoo, woe is me, I need to run away. That girls problems were so minor and silly, that John Green is forced to turn them into villains to make her more sympathetic. It doesn't work in my opinion.

We never really get to truly understand Q's motivations. He's a normal kid who is logical enough to not run away with Margo to new York, but he's crazy enough to drive a day plus at 77 mph to find her in some random upstate town. Once again, the impetus simply isn't there. If at least the pair had a sexual history, or were truly in love, it would seem logical. Without some kind of pre-existing relationship, it seems trite and stupid. This isn't something that only John Green does, its endemic among YA books, which seem to constantly throw two characters into a crazy situation, which somehow leads to love in a matter of hours. The trend needs to stop. We were all teens. NONE of us feel that fast, so why should we accept it in a book? Especially in 'realistic' fiction?

My last problem is the section where they find Margo. The car ride was actually the best part of the book. I loved the friendship and the fun they had. Margo was such a downer, a selfish louse who deserved nothing but disdain. I lost all respect for Q when he kissed her, and also when he simply seemed to gloss over the fact that she never wanted him to come. He came across as a pathetic loser who was so desperate for Margo's lips and presumably what was between her hips, he'd take it any way he could get it, even if it cost him his self-respect. At least TFIOS had a message. I didn't find this book to be moving at all. It was a rather average effort from a very talented writer.
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on August 22, 2014
I decided to read Paper Towns after enjoying The Fault in Our Stars. I was curious even though I am far removed from the YA category this novel falls into. Perhaps that is why Paper Towns never caught my interest. Quentin is a high school senior who has been fascinated by his neighbor Margo from age 9. She disappears! Her parents don't seem to care and neither do any of her friends, all of whom she has mistreated, including Quentin. Quentin searches for her without regard for his own comfort, sleep, senior prom, parties with friends and finally misses his graduation for the search. I won't ruin the plot but Margo is a cruel, self absorbed bore and I hope this fictional boy will get over her quickly and move on. I did.
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on November 4, 2014
This was a really interesting book. I loved A Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska, and this one is similar but still different enough to be very satisfying. It's more of a detective story, and I hope Green returns to those, as he's quite excellent at building suspense.

I liked the character development and the humour most of all. It was paced well, it was laugh-out-loud funny, and it had wonderful imagery. It's going to make a great teen movie, because it's got some of the beats but it's a lot smarter, too. As noted, it really breaks down the idea of a MPDG in a complex and clever way.I can't talk about it without spoilers, though.

The ending might not be for everyone. I won't spoil it, but I wish this book had a sequel. That's all I have to say.

I'd definitely recommend it to both old fans and people curious about Green's writing.
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on October 26, 2015
Quentin Jacobsen joins his adventurous neighbor Margo Roth Spiegelman on a fantastic middle of the night mission to right some wrongs in her life. Quentin has obvious feeling for the elusive Margo, and their incredible night of break-ins and payback push Quentin far beyond his comfortable existence, and then the next day Margo disappears. The reminder of the book follows Quentin and his loyal friends as they try to find Margo. I really enjoyed the style of writing, and the characters were fun and likable. PaperTowns does a great job of exploring teenage angst, without feeling like it is dwelling in misery. The story was interesting, and I really wanted to know what happened to Margo, but the ending was disappointing, it felt very flat. Despite the weak ending, I would recommend Paper Towns.
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on April 29, 2015
A teenager would be excited about this book, since it's about "finding oneself" and "coming of age" ideals and dreams. But once people move out of that season of their lives and realize that dreams are not reality, then this book isn't so good. Rather it's about a very spoiled self-centered young girl who enjoys making life hell for those people around her who thought she was their friend. The worse tho is the hero of the book who thinks he can save his friend and so he spends most of the book trying to do that but in the end realizes that the jokes on him. It's quite unpleasant. I don't understand why a movie is being made of this book. I think that that is happening because of the success of this author's other book which was made into a movie.
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on May 31, 2014
I enjoyed The Fault in our Stars and Finding Alaska very much but I wasn't a huge fan of Paper Towns and found myself skipping many sections in the middle just to find out what happens. It was actually pretty anticlimactic and it is difficult to like Margo's character. Idk, I really enjoyed the other John Green novels-- but this one just didn't do it for me.

PS ***spoilers***
I disliked the fact that they went through all of these 'clues' which turned out to be pretty much fruitless to then all of a sudden find one entry online blatantly telling the reader where, and for how long Margo would be in one particular place. It made you feel like the clues were useless and without a purpose.
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