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Paper Towns
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on January 17, 2018
Paper Towns by John Green tells the story of Quentin, otherwise known as Q. Q and his next door neighbor Margo used to be best friends and, as they’ve grown up and become high school seniors, they have turned into acquaintances. One night, Margo talks Q into helping her seek revenge on her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, who happen to be sneaking around behind her back to have sex together. After their fun and rowdy late night, Q is anxious to see if Margo acts differently towards him at school. When she’s not at school or even at home for a couple of days, everyone assumes Margo is on just another one of her adventures. As Q tries to figure out and follow the clues, he begins to worry that he might find Margo dead. The ongoing suspense along with the wonderfully executed humor have made this one of my favorite books from beginning to end. Dynamic, complex, real characters bring depth, realism and humor into this adventure of a story-5 Stars!
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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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VINE VOICEon July 2, 2015
Of the John Green books I have read, this is my favorite. We have a familiar cast of characters -- the nerdy teenage boy and his brainiac friends and the damaged teenage girl who is may be popular and confident on the outside but is deeply troubled on the inside. We also have a lot of smart dialogue, a mystery, a quest and the anguish and sweetness of young love. But in this book, it somehow comes together, aided by the musings of Walt Whitman, is a way that is not treacly or weepy - but real and grounded.

The book is dominated by Margo, a high school queen bee whose brash exterior hides an intellectual and angst-filled interior. The male lead is Quentin, brainy but balanced. The two live next door but are in different social sects in the high school caste system. However Quentin carries a torch for his childhood friend. After an extraordinary night of adventure together a month before graduation, Margo disappears leaving some cryptic clues as to her whereabouts. It is for Quentin to follow the trail -- but to find Margo he first has to understand Margo, not as an ideal or love object or symbol -- but the real person.

The climactic scenes of this quest are extraordinarily well done and the final resolution is moving without being shattering. Really enjoyed this one.
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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 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 July 25, 2015
If you enjoyed reading 'Fault in Our Stars' by the same author, John Green, you will almost surely like 'Paper Towns'. Quirky, humorous and sometimes deep, it seems like the author has a keen understanding of teen angst and insecurities. Yet with the maturity to write compelling, fast-paced prose to keep us interested, and amused.

Parts are silly; like the voice of Ben, a friend of the protagonist, whose desperately seeking a prom date, yet boasts about his 'imagined' charms. And another friend, whose parents keep a collection of Santa's in the house.

The magic is in the chemistry between Q and Margot who grew up together as neighbors. Margot, the adventurous one, who climbs through bedroom windows in the middle of the night, teases Q into a misadventure soon before graduation day in an attempt to wake him out of his bland, attend-school-everyday existence.

Soon into the story, Margot leaves - disappears. And Q is beside himself, worrying about her well-being and spending most of the novel sifting through clues trying to find her. His friends helping him out along the way.

The story sometimes goes deep with references to Walt Whitman and other dead poets and authors. Offering us tips on the meaning of life and as clues that most adolescents have to stumble upon in search of adulthood; going beyond those innocent years before graduating and going to college.

You'll find out what 'paper towns' really means. It's not just a metaphor. It's real.

Well-paced, with strong character development and with easy prose and splashes of humor, 'Paper Towns' was a pleasure to read. Although classified as 'Young Adult' fiction. It's a good read for 'Old Adults' too.
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on July 31, 2015
So I downloaded this book because the advertisement for it popped up on my Kindle; which then reminded me that I had recently seen a movie trailer for it. I realized once I started reading the Editorial Reviews that it was written by the same author of the The Fault in Our Stars. I honestly would never have put it together it was the same author until I read that... So that being said I decided to download it. Ok... fast forward to about 15 minutes into the book and I realized what my problem was going to be with the book (same problem I had with The Fault in Our Stars), I do not know of any teenagers who talk the way that John Green writes his teenagers. I understand that they are all of above average intellect but their vocabulary and speech patterns just do not flow right. If the character of Ben said the phrase, "honey bunnies" one more time I thought I was going to pull my hair out. But thankfully once he got a girlfriend that phrase miraculously dropped out of his vernacular. The lists that Q. keeps making and reiterating in his mind that he never discusses with anyone became really annoying too. They stopped for a while and then came back, they served almost no point. I get that Quentin was a very methodical person and that was part of his thought process but his lists were fairly repetitive and did not aid in the understanding of the scenario. I know it sounds like I did not like this book at all however, I did really enjoy it. I made it through some of the longer winded parts, and some of the annoying parts and came out at the end. The ending was not what I expected and I was glad. There was definitly a conclusion (although some may say this is not the case), and I thank John Green for that. I do not think it was the kind of ending that ties up every loose end but these kids were all graduating from HS so the ending was really a starting point for all of them. And that is what made it a good ending.
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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 August 12, 2015
Breakdown of Rating

●Plot: 5/5
●Characters: 5/5 From serious to funny, eccentric to sensible, these characters are multi-faceted and well crafted.
●Theme: 4.8/5
●Flow: 5/5
●Originality: 5/5
●Book Cover: 4.5/5
●The Feels: 5/5 Had me laughing out loud throughout.
●Sex Factor: talk of it
●Ending: 4.8/5. Cliffhanger: No

Will I read more from this Author: Quite possibly. I read this book because I seen the trailer for it at the theater, and thought it looked good.

My Thoughts :

Margo Roth Spiegelman is an enigma, especially for Quentin. He is determined to figure out what happened to her and why. This is quite the adventure, from Quentin and Margo's night of craziness; all the way to that crazy non-stop roller coaster of a road-trip they take to find her. It's about that last year of high school and what it means to a person when they realize it's all about to come to an end. It is a coming of age story and a mystery rolled into one. It is heartfelt and hilariously funny.

It is all these things and more...and it made me smile.
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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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