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Paper Towns
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on September 23, 2017
Straight-laced high school senior Quentin Jacobsen has had a crush on the free-spirited and mysterious Margo Roth Spiegelman since he was a little boy. He loves her so much that he agrees to go with her on a late-night revenge prank spree against everybody in Orlando, Florida who has ever wronged her from backstabbing best friends to promiscuous ex-boyfriends. The very next day, Margo goes missing and leaves behind a trail of clues for Quentin and his friends, Ben and Radar, to track down. Everyone seems intent on giving up on Margo and getting on with their own lives, except for Quentin, who is determined to find her even if it means missing out on his most important life moments.

While I won’t divulge what the ending result of this story is, I will say that it hit me harder than a flying brick to the skull. It was painful to where it almost made me cry, but it was a necessary pain that conveyed the message of the story all too well. It shows how dangerous putting people high on a pedestal can be, especially when those “idols” fail to live up to your expectations. Lord knows I’ve had a lot of crushes in my lifetime and still have some today. I keep thinking these women are angels sent from the heavens to steal my heart away and make me eternally happy. And that’s why they say, “Never meet your idols, because they will disappoint you.” I spent the entire reading of this book thinking the best was going to happen and then I get a much-needed slap in the face. Thanks for that, John Green.

I also admire Mr. Green’s ability to incorporate preexisting pieces of literature into the clues of his mystery. The bulk of these clues rely heavily on a Walt Whitman poem called Song of Myself. The themes of death, rebirth, and burial create a deep sense of fear within Quentin that Margo might be dead. But then there’s another piece of literature that fits in perfectly as well: Moby Dick. Captain Ahab becomes so obsessed with finding this whale that it nearly kills him. It reminds me of The Shawshank Redemption where Andy Dufresne expands the prison library and one of the books is The Count of Monte Cristo, a novel about breaking out of prison and getting revenge on those who locked him up. It’s a fascinating literary technique that has stood the test of time. After all, the classics never go out of style, right?

And then we have the theme of paper towns, phantom settlements with fake names that have no business being on official maps. After Margo takes Quentin with her on the revenge spree, she talks about Orlando being a paper town due to the lack of real people with real emotional substance. In other words, the citizens are too concerned with shallow values such as getting laid, buying things, and being better than everyone else. I’d want to go missing from a place like that if I could. Come to think of it, I did live in a “paper town” as Margo describes it. It was called Chehalis, Washington and it’s the town where I considered suicide for the first time in my life. It too was filled with people who walked around like zombies and stabbed each other in the backs. I left that place in 2001 and only came back in short bursts. One can’t help but think Margo has a good point, which is why it’s easy to fall in love with her even from many miles away.

Paper Towns is a book that transcends the young adult genre and is accessible to any age group. Lord knows there are older adults that will feel a sense of jaded nostalgia when they read about the activities going on in this novel. To those people, I say be thankful that you can leave your past behind and look forward to a better day. Be grateful for your newfound maturity so that you don’t make the same mistakes that Quentin Jacobsen makes in this novel. An extra credit grade goes to John Green for giving me the slap in the face that woke me up from the matrix.
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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 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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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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