Book Review – Paper Towns by John Green

While I was in Texas, I decided to read as much in my free time as possible.  I got through Paper Towns in about two days, and then got interrupted by homework and other such unimportant things before I could get back to reading.[i]  Ha.

I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but dang, that's an intriguing cover.
I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but dang, that’s an intriguing cover.

I love John Green, and I love his books.  I say that separately, because I also love John Green as a person – he’s half of the vlogbrothers on YouTube, and often hosts the Mental Floss videos on YouTube.  He also runs his own Tumblr, which is awesome.  You should definitely click on those links.  It will be worth your time.  He has a sense of humor that leaves me in stitches, and that translates in his writing, as well.  I have now read three out of four of his books,[ii] and he never disappoints.

Paper Towns is about Quentin Jacobson, a high school senior in Orlando, Florida.  Well, it’s sort of about Q.  But it’s also about Margo Roth Spiegelman.[iii]

Q has been in love with Margo for as long as he can remember.  But the whole school has kind of been in love with Margo – she has a tendency to take crazy adventures and come back with the best stories.  One night, not a month before they are set to graduate from high school, Margo knocks on Quentin’s door and asks him to accompany her for one epic night on the town.  He fights her the whole way, because it’s a school night!  And when he wakes up in the morning, she’s gone.

The majority of the book is about Quentin trying to figure Margo out in order to find her.  It’s a character study in a way I’ve never seen before – we’re learning about a character through the lens of another character.  It’s brilliant.  The book is funny, the characters are very real, and I loved it.  LOVED IT.  Well done, John Green.  5 out of 5, definitely.

I will leave you with a couple of the best quotes from the book, as succinctly recorded in this fantastic BuzzFeed article.  And I fully intend on reading An Abundance of Katherines in the near future.

“It is so hard to leave until you leave.  And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”

“If you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all.”

“What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.”

“That’s always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people want to be around someone because they’re pretty.  It’s like picking your favorite breakfast cereals based on color instead of taste.”

“I’m starting to realize that people lack good mirrors.  It’s so hard for anyone to show us how we look, and so hard for us to show anyone how we feel.”

Oh, Margo.
Oh, Margo.

Happy reading, and don’t forget to be awesome.


[i] I’m now partway through The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.  Everyone has been singing its praises, but I’ve been having trouble getting into it.  Stay tuned for a review, whenever I have the time to finish it.

[ii] The other two are The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for AlaskaTFiOS is becoming a movie that will be in theaters in June, and I’m super excited about seeing that on screen.  And I wrote a review of Looking for Alaska on my old blog site, here.

[iii] I have trouble talking about books without talking about the endings, but I really WANT people to read these books that I’m reviewing, so I’m going to do my damnedest to make them intriguing without spoiling anything.  Sorry about the Divergent Trilogy.  That one I couldn’t control.


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