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Showing 1-10 of 4,089 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 5,280 reviews
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 17, 2014
I loved The Fault is in Our Stars, and as I began this book, I found it to be similar in writing style and readability. BUT, then it went on and on. By the time the main character Q has searched the paper town for the third time, I was beginning to lose interest. The trip to NYC went on forever, so I skipped all but the chapter about the car accident. (No spoiler here, I promise). When I passed the car trip and began to read again, I was disappointed in the ending, although the last page was beautifully written. I felt Green has spent a lot of time to get to this lovely last page, but frankly I did not like the book. Some of the scenes are fun such as the one at the party with the "beer sword." Also the initial descriptions of the characters. But overall, it will not be one I would recommend to my students because they will get bored with the repetition and lack of action. Note: I recommended The Fault is in Our Stars very highly to my students. Wonderful story and wonderfully depicted characters.
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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 September 5, 2015
"Basically this is going to be the best night of your life."
That was a promise made from Margo Roth Spiegelman to Quentin during their senior year of high school. Margo convinced her neighbor, Quentin, to help her accomplish eleven things on her list on this particular night.

"We bring the effin-ing rain down on our enemies."
The eleven things they set out to do revolved around getting revenge on those who had wronged Margo. After reading some of the things that took place that evening I know I don't want someone like Margo taking revenge on me. *lol*

I'm sure my mom has mentioned this term to me since she use to work in mapping for the government but I don't remember it. Who listens to their parents anyways? Not my kids that's for sure. But now I feel like I have some new knowledge about what paper towns are and I'm curious to check a map for them.

Overall Paper Towns held my interest in listening to it. Had I read it I might have started to skim some of the stuff. Since, I recently read Finding Alaska I found this book to have a similar feel: high schoolers, a boy infatuated with an unattainable girl, searching for answers to where the girl went, a group of corky friends. I've only read 3 books by Mr. Green and maybe this is his signature style.

Now, that I've read it I can see the movie. I like to read the book first and then watch a movie so I can imagine the story how I want to without the movie putting the pictures in my mind. Here's hoping the movie is good. I love the actress casted to play Margo.
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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 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 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 December 12, 2016
Paper Towns CM
Paper Towns is a well-known, bestselling novel written by John Green. In this book, Quentin Jacobsen lives right next door to the adventurous, prettiest, most popular girl in school, Margo Roth Spiegelman. Q describes her, “...not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl.”(199). They were friends since they were ten years old, when the crush first sparked. After a devastating, surprising day they started growing apart. Fast forward and almost 2 more weeks left of senior year and Quentin still admires his neighbor, but this time from afar. After a fun filled, rebellious night with his spontaneous neighbor, it is a new day and Margo becomes a mystery, once again. Q searches everywhere for her unintended clues.
John Green is a well-known author for his wonderful, in-depth writing style. He, as some might know, even has videos online to help people understand concepts they might not get. In this book, John Green uses his creativity to design a relatable, entertaining story directed at young adult readers. He used some big words which helped broaden my vocabulary, too. The book was set up with chapters, but in 3 different parts: The Strings, The Grass, and, finally, The Vessel. Part 3 wasn’t just like the others, which he used eg. Chapter 23, but instead it was going by hours, eg. Hour Fifteen. It was bizarre at first, but I ended up appreciating the hours because they helped me connect better with that part in the book. As said before, he was very creative in the making of this book.
As I read the book, it seemed very long and carried on. As I kept reading, I realized John Green might have purposefully made it seem long to emphasize Quentin’s perspective and what he was going through, how he felt. In the end,I believe the book was overly acclaimed, but it did not live up to my expectations. The part 1 was definitely my favorite part.
The book is in my opinion was based to attract the younger generations, teens. Throughout the book I, also discovered many significant passages that I found to my liking. Quentin being the smart kid at his school seemed to use metaphors to describe Margo, as well as use powerful life lessons. For example in the book no one knew the true Margo, not even herself and how you have to go explore the world, to live just as Margo seems like that is what she wants to do.
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on February 16, 2016
It was OK. The book was definitely like a roadtrip: You start the trip (the book) all excited, giddy, laugh at just about everything just because. As the ride gets going you're calm, look at all the sites, take everything in. Then after awhile you get bored, there is nothing worthwhile going on. No lights, no sites, outlets, no rest stops, just endless road (pages of non-sense).... Then you hit traffic (a lull)... And finally you're seeing signs again for your final destination, so you get excited again. But when you arrive, you find out that the location is not at all what you wanted it to be. Its ok, but nothing else. All that hype, all that anticipation to get let down.
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