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Showing 1-10 of 4,091 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 5,285 reviews
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 February 5, 2016
I give this book a 2 1/12 star (rather than a 2) because I liked the writing style, which I found to be entertaining. The story arc? Not so much. I actually thought it was pretty good up to the point where Margo disappears, which is fairly early in the story. But from then on, the story spins it's wheels, while the characters obsess about prom, get drunk, over-think things, and follow clues that go nowhere, until the story finally limps to an unimpressive climax.


Margo is ultimately found. But why she preferred to run away days before completing her HS diploma to live in scary, decaying, boarded-up buildings and write in notebooks didn't really resonate with me. Other than her parents being intolerant asses and not understanding her, in the absence of any terrible psychological, emotional, or physical trauma, I couldn't fully appreciate (as presented) her appeal for this dreary and lonely lifestyle. Although she disappears early in the book, she's a big presence in the book, talked about and obsessed about constantly by Q and the other characters. She's revered as a "legend" and arguably one of the more interesting characters in the book - if not by presence, by reputation. So there's all this mystery and build up around her. The allure of her bigger-than- life persona. Her fearless wild actions. It all sets up a series of questions that begs for dramatic answers. Where did she go and why? Did she run away? Was she dead? Was she off doing wondrous bold things?

After a drawn out circle-jerk of clues, that made little sense at all- they finally find her and...pffffft. Her reasons for running aren't particularly interesting or strong - which was a major let down. Equally unsatisfactory: What ultimately happens to Margo from there? After a kind of climactic "wrap it up" talk between Margo and Q, which I guess, is supposed to be deep, about how much Q has grown brave because of her and how no one really knew or saw Margo for who she is, insert metaphors, literary symbolism, and more metaphors, they make pledges to email and stay in touch, etc etc etc - Q and his merry crew leave Margo where they found her - in a small NY town living in a deserted decaying building with no electricity or plumping (she has to go to the nearby truck stop to shower) which is, I guess where she wants to be. [ Apparently, planning to eventually move to NYC or something] She seems pretty depressed to me. What's to become of her? We never know. But I guess Margo's not supposed to be the point, although you kinda wish she was, after all, she's pretty much the main focus of Q's inner dialog ad nauseam throughout the entire book. But it's Q's journey and how his idealization of Margo drives him. I just wish his journey had been more interesting.

BTW, the whole Paper Town analogy didn't quite resonate for me either. Something about suburban new development , or....something. To be fair, I was skimming rapidly by this time, having tired of the clues to no where, so maybe I missed it.
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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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