Anne's Reviews > Paper Towns

Paper Towns by John Green
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's review
Dec 04, 2013

it was ok
bookshelves: teen
Read in November, 2008

I was pretty disappointed in Paper Towns. I am a big fan of John Green but found this book plodding and boring. I hated the Margo character and thought that Q was a big whiner. His obsession with Margo, who he didn't really even know, was really annoying. I realize that this was one of the messages of the book, that we all assign traits and "personalities" to people we hardly know, but it was still hard to take, page after page.

I still love John Green and his blog, still consider myself a "nerd fighter" and would give just about anything to see him in public, but can't give Paper Towns more than 2 stars.
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02/02 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-31)

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message 31: by Kara (new) - added it

Kara Whaley I agree completely. I love John Green but this book was just not what I was wanting or expecting. I think I may need to reread because obviously people love it. Maybe I missed something.

Rebecca Sanders You hit the nail on the head with this review!

message 29: by Jessica (new)

Jessica I couldn't agree more. I love John Green but this book was at best of times frustrating and at worst painfully boring.

message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Yep, totally agree with you there Anne.

Pebbles Glad I'm not the only one. Paper towns was such a hype among nerdfighters I expected it to be, you know, awesome. But aside from the first alinea, which I actually thought to be written beautifully, it was kind of a frustrating read. Made me feel so guilty for disliking it!

Siobhan. I couldn't agree more! I love his books, but this one stretched out a bit. I've decided to read one chapter a day so i'll finally finish it. This book would probably would have been better as a novella.

Rachel I couldn't agree more!
This was the first John Green book I ever read, and I was actually pretty disappointed. I had high expectations for this author that everyone raved about. Even the people that can't/don't read have somehow managed to read a John Green book.

message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

Rachel wrote: "I couldn't agree more!
This was the first John Green book I ever read, and I was actually pretty disappointed. I had high expectations for this author that everyone raved about. Even the people tha..."

I must say, his other books (The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska) are a lot better.

message 23: by Anne (new) - rated it 2 stars

Anne Rachel wrote: "I couldn't agree more!
This was the first John Green book I ever read, and I was actually pretty disappointed. I had high expectations for this author that everyone raved about. Even the people tha..."

I really liked An Abundance of Katherines.

message 22: by Katy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Katy Glad I'm not the only one who thinks this! I agree with you all!

Rebecca_stanage It's so boring I started reading it before new year and it's just so boring it's been sitting on my shelf unfinished for months! I've read 5 books since starting it and I wasn't even reading non stop I also don't really plan on finishing it anytime soon as I have just finished Cassandra clares clockwork prince and I must read princess, I then plan on moving onto either trouble or divergent and I dread when I will have to finish paper towns which is sad as I love john greens books and this was a disappointment

Juliet Slemming Couldn't agree more, the Margo character IS the Alaska character.

Jackie I agree sadly. I had such high hopes but I've gotten over half way through it and I'm not finishing it, I don't overly care how it ends to be honest!

Rebecca_stanage I got my friend to just tell me the ending so I didn't have to read it and... I'm glad I didn't keep reading I really am

Madison All of his books are written very poorly. He dumbs down the dialogue, the story line, and just about everything else, so that anyone 4+ can read his books. Not a big fan. "The Fault in Our Stars" Is his only book that is even remotely worth reading.

Alexandria Conner I thought it was a good book, but we all have our opinions. There may be some books that someone likes and I don't or I do and they don't. I don't agree, but you had reasoning and some people just flat out say "I hated it". But you had reasons and I totally respect that. Good review:)

message 15: by Lori (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lori I totally agree with you except the ending was better than i expected it to be.

Jillian Harrington I also read Paper Towns by John Green. I actually loved the book. I couldn’t stop reading it because it was so action packed. I also didn’t really enjoy Margo because I thought she was kind of stuck up, but that added to the book. Also I didn’t think Q liking Margo was weird because that’s what the whole story was about. If he didn’t like Margo, the story would have ended by the second part.

message 13: by Lexi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lexi S I can see where you're coming from when you say you think Q is a whiner. Personally, I think John Green made his personality seem that he would most likely complain about an issue than try to fix one because Mr. Green wanted to emphasize how drastic it was for Q to actually go to find Margo. I also think that he made Margo somewhat unlikeable because he wanted the reader to see what Q wasn't seeing; the true Margo.

message 12: by Dani (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dani Hernandez I also love John Green, he actually excercises my brain cells with his novels. So, I loved this book especially the first part with all those breaking in, prank with fishes and whatnot (probably my favorite part). I also liked the searching part with those poems and clues and investigative stuff. I practically loved this book except for Margo (i don't know if I just miss something or if I did not understand the text the right way or I read it differently). When my friend asked me why Margo does those disappearing acts just to give her a unique and pissing way to leave clues for people to find and track her down, I was kind of stuck for a while thinking, yeah, why does she ever have to do those? So I thought maybe she's just a pathetic neighbor who finds forensic-like level of attention seeking a worthwhile hobby for teens especially when she's dragging her childhood friend. So that's all, I loved the search for Margo but I hate her reason for that.

Annika Yes I agree entirely! I just felt like this book was such a disappointment, especially after John Green's much better books. I couldn't help but hate Margo and how selfish she was throughout the entire book. And Q's obsession with her was tiring and super boring. In reality, would you drop everything and leave like he did, and drag a bunch of people with him? No, or at least not in the world I live in.

message 10: by Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ben Harkins Are you kidding me!?! Lol this book was good and at points I liked it more then tfios (the fault in our stars for people who don't know that).

Duchess221B Agreed! The only thing I liked about the book was that it was from John Green and the way Q's friends backed him up in his crazy quest. There was never any evidence of Q's obsession/love for Margo; it's as if a huge backstory was missing where it could guide us into understanding it.

message 8: by Caleb (new) - added it

Caleb Edison If you're going to post spoilers please warn us. Thanks.

Rachel So glad to know I'm not the only one really disappointed in Paper Towns! I just don't see what everyone is going ga-ga over.

message 6: by Diana (new)

Diana Im sorry you found this book book boring. I am also a he John green fan and have read may of his best. Although i still love this book. I can agree with the fact that it is not one of his bests works of literature. when reading this book i found the characters much similar to miles and Alaska from looking for Alaska and colin and Katherine from the abundance of katherines. This book also started very slow for me . I don't think this book god good till margo and quientin discovered the dead mans body or to the night where after a long time margo appears and quentins window asking for his help to play a prank on all the people that have hurt her and caused her paint as revenge. Quientin still loving margo after a long time only accepts because he thinks by doing this , this will restore their friendship and bring them close to each other. To only find out after doing all these pranks including breaking into sea world , margo runs away. This part also reminded me a lot of looking for alaska.

Karli I completely agree. I mean, I liked the other characters, but Q was just really whiny about a girl he barely knew and I didn't like Margo either.

Mark Sheehan Q was the big whiner? I think you got that backwards.
If he didn't "really know" Margo that's Margo's fault . Q NEVER whined. Q was content with his life. He planned for a successful departure from the hell we all experienced of high school , buried his head in his studies and will be off to an Ivy League school of his choosing.
Margo was the whiner . Look at me , look at me , look for me, I'm sooooo cool I run away but NEED people to know I've run away. Her constant need to be the epicenter of a bunch of jock, self centered popular kids and worse she knew that Q harbored a broken heart from unrequited love? No , not even, unrequited friendship until she "needed " him or until she needed to mess with the poor boys head. We all have our Margos. We all chase that which will not be caught, is it the obtaining that's important or is it the chase? I've , as a 42 yr old writer have enjoyed Greens talent for putting me back in high school. Of course when I went we had smoking section, tots and grilled cheese in caf, no Pizza Hut , internet , cell phones, laptops but we had nerds , jocks, druggies, Barbie dolls and Ken Dolls and we went to the movies to see every John Hughes film and I thank Green for filling that void .
Now I cannot wait for Ready Player One to come to film an homage to the 80's , John Hughes , arcades, Back to the Future, wargames , if they pull off the film have as good as the book it may just be the best teen book/film ever!

Cheryl R I agree. I thought the obsession to find Margo by Q was over done and ironic as both of his parents were psychologists. And finding Margo was disappointing .i read this book as a teen challenge - teens had to read book in order to see movie ( summer reading motivation) . Last year we read Fault of our stars which was much better

Mckenzie You literally voiced all of my thoughts on this book. I've been scouring the reviews that weren't 4 or 5 stars because it was honestly not very enjoyable to me. It was very long and drawn out. I'm still a strong nerdfighter I was just less enthralled by this book.

Angela I know this review was posted a while ago, I totally agree with you on every word!

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