Book Review: Paper Towns by John Green

Book Review: Paper Towns by John Green

Genres: Young adult, contemporary.

Synopsis:
When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows her. Margo’s always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she’s always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q… until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they’re for Q.

Review:
Paper Towns
is my first John Green novel. I know, I know. I’m so late, but now I have the advantage of buying and reading almost all (I’ve preordered The Fault in Our Stars) of his books straight away, which I will do, because I’ve decided that he’s awesome. His books have been on my “to read” list for a while but I was a little apprehensive about picking them up. I worried that they would just be typical young adult realistic fiction novels that involve a lot of romance, break-ups and teen angst but Paper Towns isn’t like this at all – it’s so much more than that.

The mystery aspect of the novel was a complete surprise as I tend to avoid reading book descriptions properly. I did skim over the “…middle of the night—dressed like a ninja” part, which I thought sounded a little silly. I was wrong. If I were standing next to Q when Margo Roth Spiegelman happened to come by that night, I would have stared at her in awe. I’m not a rebellious person at all but Paper Towns really did bring out my rebellious side. I just wanted to have a spontaneous road trip and do something completely uncharacteristic that I’ll remember forever. That’s what I think makes a good novel. Paper Towns makes you want to do something and it makes you feel something.

The ‘paper towns’ concept, and how it was incorporated into the story in different ways, was fascinating. The characters are also unique and have clear personalities. It’s rare that I view characters as people and not just characters, not just a name, but in this novel I did. I particularly liked Quentin and the personal journey he undertakes in this book. Another favourite character was Ben (is it just me or does anyone else picture him as McLovin from Superbad? I could just imagine him talking about ‘honeybunnies’). He’s hilarious. I loved all of the characters though, really.

Overall, I really, really loved this book. I can see now why so many people quote John Green’s work. He definitely has a talent for writing “re-readable” books. It wouldn’t be enough just read his books once because it’s all about the messages and the metaphors more so than the basic storyline. At least, that’s how I feel about Paper Towns. I have yet to see whether I feel the same about Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, and Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

If I had one small problem with the storyline, it’s that I didn’t like Margo at the end of the novel. I do, however, think that was the point. As many of the characters say: how we see people, and how we imagine them to be, isn’t necessarily who they really are.

There’s so many other things I could say about this book, but I will just say that, if you’ve not read any of John Green’s books, at least try them. You may be surprised.

My Rating:★★★★★

9 thoughts on “Book Review: Paper Towns by John Green

  1. […] than its genre. Previously, I most likely would not have picked up books such as Hereafter and Paper Towns but I ended up really enjoying them! I have also recently discovered that I am able to appreciate […]

  2. […] Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard This is a YA contemporary backpacker novel and after reading Paper Towns, I am hooked on road trip stories, so I’m looking forward to reading this. Precious Bones by […]

  3. […] Paper Towns by John Green  I was extremely apprehensive about reading Paper Towns because 1) it’s John Green, and 2) it’s young adult contemporary. I was worried that I’d be attacked by murderous nerdfighters if I ended up not enjoying it. I also hadn’t had good experiences with contemporary novels in the past. Paper Towns ended up being the main reason why I no longer dismiss contemporary fiction and some have even become my favourite books of the year (for example, see above!). […]

  4. […] read any of John Green’s books. I decided that enough was enough and hesitantly picked up Paper Towns, which I ended up loving and it’s now one of my favourite books. I’d never particularly […]

  5. […] of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness The Maze Runner by James Dashner The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton Paper Towns by John Green The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith Unwind by […]

  6. […] Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan I first read Paper Towns on my Kindle and it became one of my favourite books. In 2011, I purchased physical copies of all […]

  7. […] Paper Towns by John Green Take a road trip with new friends. I’m not a rebellious person at all but Paper Towns really did bring out my rebellious side. I just wanted to have a spontaneous road trip and do something completely uncharacteristic that I’ll remember forever. That’s what I think makes a good novel. Paper Towns makes you want to do something and it makes you feel something. […]

  8. […] Tumblr blogosphere? – but I hadn’t read any of John Green’s books, so I snapped up Paper Towns for only £1.08 in the Kindle sale. I was worried about picking it up: What if I didn’t enjoy […]

  9. Wow. This review is so old and it kind of makes me feel a little guilty that I read Paper Towns so late! If it’s still worth anything it would be cool if you checked it out anyways!

    http://www.little-wanderer.com/?p=175

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