William Herschel's Reviews > Paper Towns

Paper Towns by John Green
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's review
Jun 13, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, 2010, romance
Recommended for: good YA
Read from June 10 to 13, 2010

** spoiler alert ** Quentin "Q" is neighbors with Margo, an unattainable girl who's a bit of a mystery (and, eventually, becomes one). One day, after a night of adventure (breaking into Sea World, entering homes; but NEVER both breaking and entering, as Margo points out) Margo runs away and Q obsessively tries to find her using clues he thinks she leaves behind.

Most of this was pretty well done. The characters were realistic (paper people?) and there is a lot I can applaud. For instance, there's a lot of history on Florida, lots of poetry -- Leaves of Grass analysis, good music references -- Woody Guthrie and Guided By Voices (to name a few), and general insight.

Paper Towns is both humorous (the night of adventure at the beginning of the book) and suspenseful/depressing (his search and realizations about Margo; feelings on graduating from high school et cetera).

It's the ending I have qualms with. All this suspense on finally finding Margo...and I realize she's an utter bitch and Green has simply created a story about a nerd and his obsession with some bitchy girl, whom (although they end up kissing, of course) chooses to stay behind. This isn't an okay ending for me.

Through a lot of the book Q thinks Margo committed suicide (I've never read Looking For Alaska, his other book, but this is already sounding familiar from what I've heard of it). He visits abandoned subdivisions trying to find her, thinking he's going to find her corpse. As something as sombering as this, and with all the added suspense, the ending doesn't fit.

No more stories of bitchy attainable girls with nerd protagonists for me, but the rest of the book is solid.

EDIT: Perhaps me calling Margo bitchy isn't correct. She's very self-centered, and I don't like her if that's any more correct.
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06/11/2010 page 46
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