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Paper Towns
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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 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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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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on March 19, 2015
The phrase Paper Towns appears in the beginning of this book, and many times more afterwards, but I understood it completely only after I read the last page of the book. That's the first thing that went in my mind after reading this book.
Although I find this book really interesting and it really made me think with all of the metaphors- I couldn't exactly realize them. It's like the metaphors are one thing, the characters are another, and the story is way another. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this story way more than I expected, but there are way too many extravagant metaphors that I couldn't crack and would complete the story just right.
One last important thing, I hear John Green's readers say all the time " Why doesn't he like his characters and kills them?" But I think that those paper people who live in their paper towns with their paper friends see only the good endings and the obvious ones. But John Green writes in a 3D world where not everyone lives happily ever after and nothing is expected- and that's why we, with all of the disappointments, keep reading his work.
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on August 6, 2015
I haven't seen the movie but since I really enjoyed both the book and movie of The Fault in Our Stars, I looked forward to reading this John Green story. It started badly for me with a Wimpy Kid sensibility that I couldn't really take seriously. However as it switched from outcast dork to action/adventure, the story really picked up. The next phase of the story, the journey of self discovery, was very well done, and I really enjoyed Q's process of unravelling the clues about his missing friend and his own view of the world. The end of the story (no spoilers) was definitely aimed at the YA reader. This is not a criticism, just an acknowledgment that from my perspective, I can not fully embrace the final conclusions.
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on July 20, 2015
I originally bought this book due to my LOVE of the Fault In Our Stars, but this book cannot compare to the TFIOS for it sits on a much higher level of amazingness. Not only does this book explain the complicated to the tenth power idea that is teenage romance FLAWLESSLY like TFIOS did, but adds so much more to the mix. There is something for everyone in this book, do you like adventure? This book has you covered! Do you like romance? This book has got your back! Do you like mysteries? Then look no further! With every word that was typed into the beautifully crafted book, I could picture a clear-as-day image in my mind. From the gorgeous Margo Roth Spiegelman, to the immense size of Chuck Parson, to even the holy glory that is the beer can sword. This book does much more than just tell you the story of an adventurous lad, but it immerses you into the story, as if you were Quentin sitting for hours upon hours in a car, while your best friend sits in the back seat peeing into a beer can. I finished this masterpiece in a short 3 days and honestly, I was terribly sad when I finished it, as if Margo Roth Spiegelman, Quentin, Radar, Ben, and Lacey had left my life forever, but the truth is, they haven't. Even if I never re-read this genius-on-paper (which will most likely not happen) I will always have the elusive Margo Roth Spiegelman to thank for the amazing adventure that was the past three days, surely an adventure that I will never forget...

Despite the greatness of this book, in my opinion, it is not suited for children under the age of 13 for it has brief, but frequent, cussing, and often references things such as drinking and other things that should not be exposed to young children, but if you are willing to be exposed to these things, I would without-a-doubt recommend this book to any avid readers with an expanded vocabulary.

My final rating for this book, no... calling it a book would bring it great shame.., this masterpiece is a 100 out of ten. No other book can bring you into its world as brilliantly as "Paper Towns" does. No other book can compare to this, for just four dollars, I hope this book can steal your heart, just as it did mine...
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VINE VOICEon May 24, 2015
I find this book very perplexing. If memory serves me, I felt many of the same emotions when I finished The Fault in Our Stars, and so it leads me to wonder if maybe I just don't fully get John Green. On the one hand, this book was fantastic and so engrossing I had trouble putting it down. On the other, it was banal and far-fetched, and kind of cliched. Green's storytelling powers are quite strong, but ultimately, as with TFIOS, this book deflated like a disappointing souffle. Some spoilers to follow.

In one respect I did think this book was superior to TFIOS: the dialog between the characters sounded a lot more feasible to me. There's something about the way Green does the dialog in this book that just sounds right. The teens in TFIOS sometimes sounded weirdly pretentious and overly adult, but in this book, I bought their interactions. Their conversations sounded like conversations, complete with run-ons and genuinely hilarious moments, in which characters concoct elaborate sentences just for the sake of amusing one another. Quentin is something of a pedant, but Margo points this out to him, and it goes a long way toward humanizing him.

The characters in general were well done--except for Margo. Because Q is so level-headed and focused on his future, I found it very difficult to imagine he would go to the lengths he goes to in order to try to unravel the mystery of what has become of Margo. The two have so little interaction for a stretch of nine whole years that I really couldn't buy into his sudden overwhelming obsession with her. Yes, he has always nursed a crush on her, but it didn't seem all that powerful to me. After all, he still managed to do really well in school and maintain a good relationship with his friends. Had Margo not left Orlando, I could have bought him falling under her spell after spending some more time with him, but it seemed to me that someone who seems as put together as him would have enjoyed his wild night with her and regretted her loss, but who would have accepted her flitting out of his life in the end.

And in saying I thought the characters were strong, this doesn't mean that I always found all of them likeable, but for me that was part of the book's attraction. Q was really obnoxious for a good stretch, getting angry with his friends for not being as obsessed with Margo as he was, and holding grudges because they dared to have other things going on in their lives. Yet I could also understand what it's like to be in that tunnel vision sort of state, and it made his character feel authentic to me. I was especially happy when Radar called him on his behavior as that made it even more clear that Q had failed to spot his own hypocrisy up to that point.

However, Margo was the exception to this rule for me. I found her entirely stock. There was nothing about her that made her all that interesting to me. I thought maybe she was experiencing some growth, as her behavior on prank night makes it seem like she's gaining some insight, but it didn't turn out that way in the end. She struck me as highly selfish, dramatic, and thoughtless. It's hard for me to imagine why anyone might find a person like this appealing, let alone why Q does. Many of Margo's problems seemed to me to be of her own making, that if she'd decided to eschew her phoniness she could have found more fulfillment. Instead, she effectively quits her problems by disappearing. It seems like the book tries to justify her disappearance by making her parents jerks, but that felt off to me. And were they really jerks? I would have liked the dynamic between Margo and her parents to have been more than one dimensional.

Plot-wise, I really enjoyed the psychological mystery feel to this book. I like books like this, where characters try to unravel the mysterious inner workings of the minds of other characters. It's the sort of thing that appeals to me, trying to imagine what spurs someone to behave the way they do. Though I did enjoy the road trip, my ardor for the book cooled a bit by that point, as the mystery of Margo's disappearance was inherently more interesting to me. To be honest, I think I'd have preferred the book to take a darker turn, as it seemed to be heading in that direction. I found the resolution kind of a letdown.

Ultimately, I feel ambivalent about this book. I enjoyed a lot of it while reading it, but in the end it didn't feel like a really good book to me. I think this may be because the events in this book didn't feel organic, and once I feel like things are happening in a book because the plot demands it, that book automatically loses something fundamental.
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on November 14, 2015
I know I'm in the minority here, but I don't like downer endings. If I invest my time and energy reading your book, I want to feel BETTER than if I'd just stuck with my ordinary life. If your book is going to make me feel like crap, I really don't see the point. Work makes me feel like crap without any help. The person the book is more or less about is irredeemable. I found myself actually wishing her bad because she's a rotten person. Won't be reading anything else he writes/wrote.
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on July 13, 2015
The writing itself, especially the dialogue between characters, is well done and humorous making for an easy read. While the every day details were good, they apparently were so thorough that it left no time to support the ideology of the plot. It had the potential to be profound but was lost on what I thought was a ridiculous character (Margo) who was unbelievably loved despite being crass, unreliable, and fake her entire life. The ending was also too fast of an exchange that didn't offer enough of an explanation as to why she was the way she was, leaving Quentin's 23 hour road trip and my 5 hours of reading unsatisfied.
I give it three stars though for how much I enoyed the other "supporting" aspects of the novel; inner thoughts of Q, humor, dialogue, proper (and hilarious) identification of high school seniors, etc.
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