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Paper Towns

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Who is the real Margo?

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew...

305 pages, Paperback

First published October 16, 2008

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About the author

John Green

362 books301k followers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

John Green's first novel, Looking for Alaska, won the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award presented by the American Library Association. His second novel, An Abundance of Katherines, was a 2007 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His next novel, Paper Towns, is a New York Times bestseller and won the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best YA Mystery. In January 2012, his most recent novel, The Fault in Our Stars, was met with wide critical acclaim, unprecedented in Green's career. The praise included rave reviews in Time Magazine and The New York Times, on NPR, and from award-winning author Markus Zusak. The book also topped the New York Times Children's Paperback Bestseller list for several weeks. Green has also coauthored a book with David Levithan called Will Grayson, Will Grayson, published in 2010. The film rights for all his books, with the exception of Will Grayson Will Grayson, have been optioned to major Hollywood Studios.

In 2007, John and his brother Hank were the hosts of a popular internet blog, "Brotherhood 2.0," where they discussed their lives, books and current events every day for a year except for weekends and holidays. They still keep a video blog, now called "The Vlog Brothers," which can be found on the Nerdfighters website, or a direct link here.

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5 stars
355,345 (28%)
4 stars
405,597 (32%)
3 stars
343,846 (27%)
2 stars
119,772 (9%)
1 star
40,173 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 54,338 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews293k followers
April 17, 2016
"Nothing ever happens like you imagine it will," she says.
"But then again, if you don't imagine, nothing ever happens at all."

I already said this in a status update but I am so glad I reread Paper Towns. I first read it years ago; back before I'd heard of vlogbrothers, back when John Green was only known by a handful of readers, way way back before The Fault in Our Stars. And I loved it.
“It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”

Then TFiOS happened and I began to question my feelings for John Green's writing. I know millions loved his tragicomedy about teens with cancer, yet I found it cheesy and contrived, with unrealistic characters who wallowed in their own pretentious philosophy (sorry fans, but that's how I felt). And I began to wonder if perhaps his books had always been like that and I'd somehow missed it. If perhaps Paper Towns wouldn't be the way I remembered it.

You see, here's some truths about John Green: He's an intelligent writer. He loves philosophy and he embraces nerddom. And, under it all, he's a romantic. In TFiOS, I believe he took these things too far. It felt like a book that set out with a mission to be deep, clever, to deliver a multitude of messages, to prove that teenagers are quirky and intelligent. Augustus, especially, seemed built around "intelligence" and "quirkiness" to the point that he didn't feel real; he felt like a caricature of a "philosophical teen".

But coming back to Paper Towns made me realise that I hadn't changed. JG's style had. Unlike TFiOS, these characters feel real. I felt like I was observing real teens living real lives, even though the plot does contain some fantastical elements. But it's because Quentin and his friends feel like teenagers. Many of them are still smart (it wouldn't be a JG book if they weren't) but they're realistic, silly, horny, and as ridiculous as we all ultimately are.

I laughed out loud so many times. I highlighted so many quotes and then couldn't decide which ones to include in my review. I enjoyed the "depth" of the novel that emerges gradually behind the silliness. The lessons about teen love and growing up and wanting to escape. In TFiOS, I felt like JG created caricatures. In this book, he takes caricatures and stereotypes and peels back the layers of them to reveal the people underneath. Which is, ultimately, the underlying theme of this book:
“What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.”

Years have passed. People have changed. And this book is still as good as it always was.

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Profile Image for Jamie Felton.
103 reviews173 followers
June 3, 2008
I need to start off with my criticism of John Green:
1) Margo and Quentin are exactly the same people as Colin and Katherine and Miles and Alaska. Quentin/Colin/Miles is this very thoughtful, somewhat nerdy young man who is on the cusp of fucking reaching out and grabbing life by the balls however he can. He is also enamored with Margo/Alaska/Katherine, a girl who is unattainable. She is unpredictable and full of a shimmering charm; she fades oasis-style the closer and closer you try to get. In addition, she feels too much and is never really seen for who she is (but rather, for who everyone wants her to be). Having said this, I am in love with Quentin/Colin/Miles, and Margo/Alaska/Katherine is the girl I want to meet/aspire to someday be so I can't be too critical. Green knows these people and has lit them from inside with realism and dimension.
2) There were moments (albeit far fewer than in his previous books) where I felt like...okay, this is maybe a teensy bit contrived. A little bit too perfectly quirky. I cannot totally relate or believe in a guy who has invented a mathematical formula calculating the probability that the next Katherine he dates will dump him. I think it's a creative premise that makes me want to read the book and is extremely well-executed, but if I don't believe in someone, I'm not going to fully feel for them or understand them. This prevents me from enjoying the book as much as I do Margaret Atwood, etc. Maybe this doesn't bother anyone else, but it bothers me, and I just can't put the guy up on a pedestal.
However, however, I fucking loved this book. And I'm not going to summarize it. It was practically perfect and ridiculously engrossing and extremely fascinating (so much so that my adverb use has increased exponentially). If I even tried to give a synopsis, it would trivialize it too much. Green uses Leaves of Grass in a way that made me want to re-read it (after having suffered through it in high school) and potentially graffiti it all over the United States because: we. have. it. so. wrong. here. (I love Green's use of periods). Part of why I loved it is for selfish reasons. Margo's struggles are my own, and her hates are my hates. In Quentin deciphering Margo, it helped me realize a lot of things about myself; this is something that would be valuable to anyone who needs to become the wounded man.
Profile Image for Sophia..
54 reviews2,545 followers
July 26, 2012
Why so many good ratings for this book? It could basically be called Looking for Margo, or Paper Alaska, because it's the same formula, again and again. How many books can he write about an unbelievable teenager secretely loving another unbelievable teenager? Everything was so absurd, Quentin's parents, the road trip, Ben, the black Santas.
All the metaphors are perharps what made me lose it completely. The book that Quentin reads, Song of Myself, all the thoughts he had about it are so painfully forced down the reader's throat.
I've read somewhere that John Green was in love with his own brain, and I cannot agree more. The rant of the detective about balloons was so badly executed I thought it was a joke. It's not poetic, it's ridiculous. And Quentin is so self absorbed, bashing Ben when really he should take a good look at himself. And Margo. God. I had such a hard time finishing the book. It was this bad.
Profile Image for Sasha Alsberg.
Author 8 books66.8k followers
July 27, 2015
I enjoyed Paper Towns but did not love it as much as Johns other work. The ending was not as fulfilling as I hoped.
3.5/5 stars
Profile Image for Maria.
65 reviews8,485 followers
March 26, 2019
2/5 Stars ⭐️ ⭐️

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

Oh boi. This motherfucking book. Let me talk to you about this book. I HATED THE GUTS OUT OF IT. I have never given this kind of low rating to a book, I guess it's time. And I would have given it less stars but I gifted it half a start because of something I will talk about below. Here's what I wrote when I started this book two days ago:

I have heard the worst fucking things about this book. This isn't the book I was going to read today but "A Court of Wings and Ruin" hasn't arrived yet, and I have NO other book to read (except Greek books ugh) so I'm starting this. If I don't start it now I'm afraid I will leave it get dust on my bookshelf forever so.... yah. Wish that I don't hate it as much as I'm waiting to hate it.

So you can see I went into this book a (tiny) bit prejudiced. But I wasn't wrong to be and I don't think had I not being prejudiced once I started it I would have liked it. I'm entirely certain that if I hadn't read this book now, it would have collected dust in my bookshelves for the rest of my days. And I'm glad I got rid of this now because when I look at books in my bookshelves I haven't read it gives me anxiety. Anyway, now let's start with the tea.

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge— he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues— and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew.

My past with John Green is not as big as other people's. I had read The Fault in Our Stars a gazillion years ago so I don't remember jack shit and Turtles All the Way Down a few months ago which I truly enjoyed. John Green has the reputation of writing pretentious books so yeah, he didn't disappoint with this one. This is an old book and it showed. Mostly on the part that it entailed little to no diversity. Also some good old misogyny. But it is to be expected with a book published in fucking 2008.

Let's start with what I liked about this book, won't take much time

- ???? ??
- The road trip. I gave this book half a star more because of it. It was fun and entertaining but also unrealistic but this is John Green for ya.
- ?????????
- ???????!!!!
- Lacey and Radar. They were cool.
- ???
- The quotes??? Some inspirational shit.
- ??? ?????
- Yeah.
- This line “Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl.” It was the only part in the book that showed Margo to be just a regular girl, not some mythical creature out of this world. I'm very glad it was also included in the movie but let's talk about all these things more later on.

And the tea starts

- Let's start from the first 30 pages. What the fuck was that about? A little 9-8-year-old-whatever-tf girl is doing an investigation on a crime and she goes to the crime scene and the detective or whatever asks the fucking 9-8-year-old-whatever-tf girl if she's with the school newspaper and if she's not, he will answer her questions and then the 9-8-year-old-whatever-tf girl goes to the house next door and a GROWN UP woman tells the 9-8-year-old-whatever-tf girl that the man killed himself because of his divorce and because he was troubled. ????? Who tells a 9-8-year-old-whatever-tf girl these things? Which adult in their right mind does that?? I don't know why I'm stuck at this for so long, but those details weren't included in the movie and I'm very glad of it.
- Margo. Oh man. From now on when people ask me which is the most annoying character for you, I will say her name. Margo Roth Spiegelman. Margo Roth Spiegelman. Fucking MARGO ROTH SPIEGELMAN. I didn't even need to look up her name to write it right. It's stuck in my head for the rest of my life. The perfect girl. The myth. The legend. Margo Roth Spiegelman. The Mary Sue to end all Mary Sues. The most entitled bitch to have ever walked the Earth. Margo Roth Spiegelman. I didn't care if she would be found. I knew she would be doing something stupid and "inspirational" or whatever. She didn't deserve the attention she got.
- The characters. I didn't like any of them. Not even Q. Basically from the beginning till the end I didn't care about any of the characters' fates. I just wanted the book to end because I was extremely bored and unsatisfied.
- The plot. What was even the plot?
- The romance. NO.
- The pace. The pace was just... slow after a certain point. So many clues and then some high school stuff and some more clues and some shit Ben kept saying and more clues and then the road trip and then it's over.
- I was rolling my eyes so hard when Q left his fucking GRADUATION in the middle to go find the entitled bitch when she didn't even want to be found. And I hated that his friends followed him. This is where this road trip was unrealistic for me. This would never happen in real life. And that's why they changed it in the movie too.
- I loathed the fact that Margo, after not talking to Q for 10 years or something, she was so confident in going into his room in the middle of the night and asking him for his car and 11 favors. Like... come on. The dude was head over heels in love, otherwise no one would have done that. It's once again... unrealistic.
- I just didn't wait for this book to be over. It was slowly killing me from the inside. I would rather have eaten dog shit than read this book. It was this bad for me.

And now let's discuss the movie adaptation

Listen to my incredible story for a bit. When I read books which have been adapted into movies or tv shows I ALWAYS WATCH THEM. NO MATTER IF I WANT TO RIP THE BOOK IN TWO I ALWAYS WATCH THE MOVIE OR THE TV SHOW THAT IS INSPIRED BY IT. ALWAYS. So, after hearing this, you will realize I didn't watch the movie because I liked the book, but because I always do. And it's also an excuse for me lately to watch movies, because if I don't watch a movie in the cinema, I never do at home. I'm more of a books and tv shows kind of gal, what can you do?

So, let's start! The movie made the story and the characters a little bit more interesting. It cut out the boring parts and added some very funny and nice scenes that lacked in the book. I liked that they didn't lose their graduation for the road trip to find Margo, because it was totally bollocks. I liked the changes they made with that aspect of the book. I liked the casting, I think it was spot on. Except Margo and not because Cara isn't good enough for the part but because of her weight. Margo is supposed to be "curvy" and she got "bullied" by Lacey because of her figure. And I hated that they didn't keep this part in the movie because there wasn't any real reason after all for Margo to be hating Lacey. And just... don't erase curvy people. Margo was supposed to be "the most perfect and popular girl in the entire school" and she was curvy. Just let that part in, damn it. Also, this movie's description must have been: THE FRIENDZONE OF THE FRIENDZONES. Honestly, why make Q's love for Margo unrequited? When it was the opposite in the book? I didn't understand this change. It was unnecessary and it didn't add anything to the plot. But, to sum it up, the movie was a good enough adaptation for this book. But I didn't like it. Because I didn't like the book. Duh.

In conclusion, this book was a nightmare for me, from start to finish. I didn't earn anything from this book, not lessons, not a new ship, not new favorite characters, nothing. I just wanted it to end. I know it's a popular book and I'm very sorry for this negative review, but not all books are for everyone. And till the next one... K BYE!
Profile Image for karen.
3,978 reviews170k followers
June 19, 2018
beatlemania is nothing compared to what i feel for john green right now.

this book was the perfect palate-cleanser between all the dark apocalyptic stuff i have been shoving in my face. i have been reading so much dystopian YA that i forgot there were other options. i bought this ages ago, because i read looking for alaska, and everyone was giving this one high marks, but i kept passing it up in favor of "kids whose school is trying to eat them" and "kids vs. bears" and "kids in a world without cheese" which is the scariest dystopia i can imagine right now, but i forgot just how scary real life can be. and john green reminded me. and obviously, this isn't a horror novel, but i was reading this with so much apprehension, heading towards an uncertain ending, genuinely concerned for the characters.

i liked this even better than looking for alaska. in that book, i really liked the characters, but they did feel like characters. this feels like i am just observing real people, following actual kids around (which i would never do, officer) but they sound authentic. i thought looking for alaska was great, but those kids were a little too smarty-pants for me, while this book just sounds like actual smart kids talking. and it is funny and sad and intelligent and oh just so good. that scene with r. and the c.f. t-s?? i laughed so loudly, i startled myself. i just could not stop giggling. (fortunately not on the subway for that one)

a lot of the YA stuff i read is like "what if kids were hyper-articulate and possessed of amazing insight and inner resources and also super fighting skills?" but this one reminded me of what it was actually like to be youthful (ahhh....) even grown folks who refuse to dip into YA would enjoy this, i suspect. he is my perfect storyteller. he does his job, he takes you on a journey, and the characters actually grow as people and every character has a distinct voice, and there is dramatic tension. he is a writer. not an "author," but a true writer. some YA, even in books i like, falls into traps: they talk down to the audience, they gloss over certain things, clearly hoping the audience won't notice, they fail to provide appropriate details so the world becomes raggedy... and while it is easier, i'm sure, to operate in a real-world setting, rather than a world of your own making, john green does not take any shortcuts. there is a density to his writing that is truly impressive in a book that is not a slow-paced slog.

will i return to the YA dystopia? duh, obviously - i have like 30 of them here i have been dying to get into. but i know that when i need a break, i can return to john green and be guaranteed a well-wrought and thoughtful story that manages to actually have useful life lessons without coming across as teachy-preachy. and lord knows i still have a lot to learn.

come to my blog!
Profile Image for Nicole.
123 reviews27 followers
January 15, 2011
The following is quite a lot of dribble that I felt the need to get off my chest...
Hmmm...what to say? I'm kind of perplexed by this book. I know I never want to read the name Margo Roth Spielgelman ever again, that's for sure. The characters (apart from the previously named) were fantastic and very believable. The dialogue between the friends was great and funny as I have come to expect from John Green. The first quarter of the book was highly enjoyable and then it deteriorated for me. I think this book suffers from it's own storyline. *spoilers* It veers from an amusing and interesting start to the baffling obsession of Quentin in his quest to find the will-not-be-named-again girl after they had one night of vengeful fun. I found myself wondering if this was seriously what this book was about after Quentin starts a desperate search for said girl who left home, is 18 (yes a legal adult) and has studiously ignored the crap out of him for 9 years apart from that one night! Not to mention she has her own head firmly stuck up her own arse. What is with all the convoluted clues left for Quentin? Talk about self important! Anyway, I read through it all hoping it all had good reason, but it turns out it was just a giant exercise in navel-gazing. That's all good and well, but, in future please do something more interesting with your great characters John Green, thank you.
Profile Image for L DelaRG.
150 reviews13 followers
August 27, 2012
Oh dear lord, I found this book immensely irritating.

I've only just finished reading Looking For Alaska (which was an okay book) and thus it was immediately apparent that this book was EXACTLY LIKE LOOKING FOR ALASKA. It had the same geeky male character. The same kooky (aka annoying) female character. The same male best friend. And whilst this was okay in LFA, reading the same characters again was annoying! And it seemed like they were on the same journey as in FA, except obviously there's a divergence in the second half. Call this book the Alternate Universe version of LFA, if you will.

Also, I just found elements of this book preposterous.

The thing is, John Green is a good writer. And I feel he really needs to branch out a bit more. His other book, The Fault in the Stars, apparently has the same characters in it too. John, really? A sign of a good writer is their ability to be original, and surely he yearns to write about different types of characters? Also, John needs to have a more interesting plot, where things actually happen, rather than nothing much happening except for a lot of musings.

I used to watch YT clips of John and really liked him, so his books are a bit of a let down in comparison. I really do hope he writes something more creative (with fresh characters), because he has got talent - he just needs to push himself more.
Profile Image for K.D. Absolutely.
1,820 reviews
May 3, 2011
“Mirroring” is a concept in psychology where a person can know himself better by soliciting feedbacks from other people who he interacts with either at home or at work. Last weekend, I attended a company-sponsored teambuilding session and the facilitator used this. I got some good feedbacks that confirmed what I already knew but also some revelations. Those included in the so-called “blindspots” quadrant.

In this novel Paper Towns, John Green indirectly used Margo Roth Spiegelman for Quentine Jacobsen or simply Q to understand love and life and to know himself better as a person, as a man. Not by giving him direct feedbacks but by making him experience the things that he would not have dared doing. Who would have dared driving your parents’ car in the middle of the night, pushing it with your friend few meters away from the house so as not to awake them with the sound of the engine? Then going to the houses of the people who wronged your friend just to avenge? Then your friend disappeared, with no intention of returning and not wanting to be found, the following day? Leaving a note after a hug and a kiss: “I. Will. Miss. Hanging. Out. With. You.” That was after leaving catfishes in the underwear drawer of a friend ha ha. Who would have thought of having this plot in the first place?

What makes this novel engaging is the prose: it is downright sincere and true to its voice: youngish, quirky, innocent yet full of life lessons. Green does not push down his philosophy on growing up down your throat. He lets you enjoy his story and life realizations just naturally follow. I am sure that Green’s idiosyncrasies must have been reflected somehow by his many male characters: Q, Radar and Ben but Margo permeates in each page of this novel:
”Yes. The fundamental mistake I had always made — and that she had, in fairness, always led me to make — was this: Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl."
I applaud Green for creating a character like Margo that can rally boys to transform themselves into men without disregard to the pains of growing up. After all, we all went through those pains – not having a prom date, losing your first love, unrequited love, unknowingly pissing off some of our friends, etc – and we all learned from them. As we grow old, we tend to ridicule young people experiencing the same pains and call them trivial and proudly say something like you ain’t seen nothing yet! But for them, those are parts of their lives. That’s where we were. That’s where they are now.

Like Margo’s paper towns, we need to take care not to blow down the delicate houses and make them fall apart. And yes, even one of my blind spots has just been cleared by this novel.

I never thought that a middle-age man like me would still enjoy a YA book. Where were these books when I was growing up?
Profile Image for Anne.
154 reviews9 followers
December 4, 2013
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.
Profile Image for NickReads.
461 reviews1,199 followers
December 9, 2019
This book as the others by this author has the John Green theme:

1.Awkward funny charismatic good looking fit main character that somehow is a looser.
2.The hot popular girl who he is forever in love.
3.A weird funny bestfriend who gets in trouble.
5.Everything happening in the last 2 weeks of high school.
6.Quotes that every teenage tumblr girl has in their blog description.
7.Road trip
8.Some meaningful ending when you re-think all your teenage years and wish that this would have happened to you.
Profile Image for Claudia Lomelí.
Author 11 books75.2k followers
July 8, 2015
OHHHHH. No sé qué pensar... así que lo dividiré.

Lo que NO me gustó:

- La segunda parte del libro, "THE GRASS", se me hizo eterna y en partes muy aburrida.
- Que Quentin no pudiera pensar en nada y en nadie que no fuera Margo Roth Spiegelman. Eso consumía cada minuto de su existencia y lo hacía dejar de lado a sus amigos y otras cosas importantes.
- El speech inspiracional-metafórico de Quentin al final del libro, de ventanas y espejos y cuerdas y todas esas cosas. O sea, me gustó el mensaje, PERO ES QUE NADIE HABLA ASÍ. Ya estaba yo poniendo los ojos en blanco, porque oH GOD.

Lo que me gustó:

- La primera y la tercera parte me encantaron muchísimo. De hecho, el libro habría tenido una estrella menos de no ser por la última parte.
- Radar. Radar me cayó muy bien.
- La decisión de Quentin al final. Si hubiera optado por la otra opción , yo habría estado como: ¿ES EN SERIO? UGHHHH. *avienta el libro por la ventana*
- También me gustaron algunas otras cosas que dejaré bajo spoiler...

Y en general me agradó el libro. Ya leí 4 libros de John Green (TFIOS, Alaska, Katherines, y este) y puedo entender porque todos dicen que siempre escribe "más de lo mismo". Sí, todos sus libros tienen ese mismo tono y ritmo. Y el mismo tipo de protagonistas pretenciosos que hablan con metáforas, hahaha, ¡y esto no lo digo con hate! De hecho, me gustan sus libros, pero no sé porque no terminan de convencerme y siempre me tardo muchísimo leyéndolos.

De igual modo, sé que seguiré leyendo sus libros. Admiro muchísimo a John Green como persona y como escritor.

Profile Image for Alejandro.
1,125 reviews3,551 followers
September 29, 2015
Unexpected in many ways but still quite a ride!


Nothing ever happens like you imagine it will.

This book definitely wasn’t what I expected but then again it surprised me in many ways, and I also made me think, so clearly this wasn’t a journey without a return.

How well do we know the other people?

How well do we know our neighbors?

How well do we know our own close friends?

How well do we know our first crush?

I am not shocked if many readers wouldn’t enjoy this book, since (without spoilers, don’t worry) it’s a love story like not one you may expected, but still hardly a bad one. Just real.

But then again, if you don't imagine, nothing ever happens at all.

Everybody had a first crush, and we put them in pedestals, so high, that even those crushes aren’t able to reach them. That’s unfair to our crushes, to our loved ones, to compete against an imaginary perfection.

We like to fall in love of our perfect images, and sometimes we don’t invest time in real life to get to know the actual people. And even if they turn out not to be what we wish, reality is always better than an illusion.

That blanket still smelled like you.

There isn’t anything wrong with having fantasies, any thing able to fill our hearts with some bit of joy can’t be that bad. Still, we should be always brave enough to meet the real person and accept them for what they are. Maybe it won’t work out, maybe it will, but whatever would happen, it will be real.
Even if they appear in the middle of the night at your window asking to join them in a wacky adventure. What is life without some wacky adventure once and then?


As much as life can suck, it always beats the alternative.

If we aren’t comfortable with our lives, we should seek a way to change them.

We are owners of our own lives, and we should be brave enough to understand what we need to do and not looking for easy exits.

We can live the lives that others expected, because if so, we would be ending living other lives than our own. Always a wise advice should be well received, a friendly tip, but at the end, we must forge our own lives, since only us would be guilty of a sad existence or recipents of a happy lifetime.

However, we also have in mind that we aren’t islands. Our personal decisions can affect others. I don’t say that then you should not take your decisions, just adjust them to include as best as possible those people who appreciate you.

The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle.

Life itself is a miracle and we must honored it doing something good with our lives.

But keeping our eyes open since you never know when a wonderful miracle would enter in our lives.

And enjoy them while you can since miracles don’t last forever, neither you.

Update (July 26th, 2015)

I watched the film adaptation last Thursday, and I liked it a lot. In fact, I think that the movie has a better tempo to tell the events. There are some missing stuff but nothing so relevant. The really important elements in the general story are there.

Also, the cast of actress Cara Delevingne was the right one to give life to the very complicated character of "Margo Roth Spiegelman".

I think that the movie is adequate to tell the same message but giving a better light to the character of Margo Roth Spiegelman that if you don't get what the author wanted to tell in the story, it's quite easy to fall in the road of not liking her. The only sin of the story is not being the cliché of all romantic stories and giving a realistic angle.

Profile Image for Patrick.
Author 88 books231k followers
December 31, 2014
This sort of read is off the beaten track for me, non-fantasy YA-ish literature.

That said, it's amazingly well-written, and I enjoyed it immensely. John Green is an amazing author, and he writes with a delicacy I admire and envy.

This book, was sweet and light and heartbreaking and true. It's the sort of book I'll never be able to write...

Highly recommended for anyone.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.5k followers
January 6, 2022
Paper Towns, John Green

Paper Towns is a novel written by John Green, primarily for an audience of young adults, and was published on October 16, 2008, by Dutton Books.

The novel is about the coming-of-age of the protagonist, Quentin "Q" Jacobsen and his search for Margo Roth Spiegelman, his neighbor and childhood sweetheart.

During his search, Quentin and his friends Ben, Radar, and Lacey discover information about Margo. ]f you liked "Looking for Alaska" or "The Fault In Our Stars" try out "Paper Towns".

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز هفدهم ماه آوریل سال2017میلادی

عنوان: شهرهای کاغذی؛ نویسنده: جان گرین؛ مترج�� سیاوش صمیمی فرد؛ تهران، نشر هیرمند، سال1395؛ در387ص؛ شابک9789644084096؛ موضوع داستانهای نوجوانان از نویسندگان بریتانیا - سده20م

نام فیلم: شهرهای کاغذی؛ ژانر: کمدی - درام - معمایی؛ کارگردان: جیک شریر؛ تهیه‌ کننده مارتی بوون؛ ویک گادفری؛ نویسنده اسکات ناستادتر؛ مایکل اچ وبر؛ بر اساس شهرهای کاغذی؛ اثر جان گرین؛ بازیگران نات وولف؛ کارا دلیوین؛ هالستون سیج؛ آستین آبرامز؛ جاستیس اسمیت؛ کیتلین کارور؛ موسیقی جان دبنی؛ فیلم‌برداری دیوید لنزنبرگ؛ تدوین جیکوب کری‌کرافت؛ توزیع‌ کننده: فاکس سده بیستم؛ تاریخ‌های انتشار روز بیست و چهارم ماه ژوئیه سال2015میلادی (ایاالات متحده)؛ مدت زمان109دقیقه؛ کشور آمریکا؛ زبان انگلیسی؛ هزینهٔ فیلم12میلیون دلار؛ فروش گیشه85.4میلیون دلار

خوانشگران این کتاب، نوجوانان هستند؛ رمان، درباره ی به سن بلوغ رسیدن شخصیت اصلی داستان، «کوئنتین (کیو) جاکوبسون»، و جستجوی او، برای یافتن «مارگو رات اشپگلمن» است، که در کودکی، همسایه، و سوگلی‌ اش بوده است؛ در این مدت، «کوئنتین» و دوستانش «بن»، «رادار»، و «لسی»، به اطلاعاتی درباره ی «مارگو»، پی می‌برند؛ ...؛ «جان گرین»، برای نگارش این کتاب، از تجربه و اطلاعاتش، از «شهرهای کاغذی»، طی گشت‌ و گذار خویش در «داکوتای جنوبی»، الهام گرفته است؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 14/12/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 15/10/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Sarah.
Author 89 books45.7k followers
August 18, 2008
If you liked Looking for Alaska and Abundance of Katherines, you will LOVE this book. I could NOT put it down. It's funny and mysterious and just so real. Definitely recommended.
Profile Image for Louize.
426 reviews43 followers
December 25, 2014
"It's so hard to leave-until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world...Leaving feels too good, once you leave."

We all leave eventually. No matter who and what we are, or where we’re from, we will someday and somehow leave our comfort zones or the norm of our lives to find ourselves a place in this world. Some people take their time into actually doing it. They spent much time planning and scheming on how they should gloriously plow into life. There are some who tried a few times before succeeding, by accepting that their heavy butts are beginning to be a burden to their family and to the economy.

Then, there are those who are used to having things come to them in a rush; and when it’s not fast enough they go for it instead… Such is Margo Roth Spiegelman and many other teenagers out there who cannot wait to be themselves without the restriction of the norm. My dear nephew, Jaff, calls it emancipation. This is perfectly normal; it’s a matter of how they are properly motivated and inspired. They should be equipped, so as not to become scattered dandelions, gliding aimlessly waiting where the wind will blow them. Unfortunately for Margo, she has uninspired parents to motivate her. They are like the paper cut-outs Margo described, who boxed themselves inside this very peculiar thing called normal life. They regard Margo's actions as rebellion.

"It is easy to forget how full the world is of people, full to bursting, and each of them imaginable and consistently misimagined."

Margo, on the other hand, sees life as a colorful journey filled with dark abandoned buildings, knee-high grasses, endless road, moonlit roof and plenty of exhilarating risks. But all this is unknown to her family and friends. All her life, she has coated herself with a shell of Margo Stuff- the cool ones. It then became difficult for her to remove her coating and be herself. So the only option is to leave it all behind. But there is still one string attached to this papergirlQuentin Jacobsen. She wants Q to know her; understand her; love her for who she is inside, no matter how crooked and unreasonable that Margo may be.

"The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle.”

Q braved the challenge- he took the journey and accepted the would be consequences of it. Little did he know that this journey will not only lead him to Margo, but discover the Margo hiding within too. Thus, making him aware of his own capabilities and weaknesses. Knowing that he will succeed in finding his place in the world someday soon. And maybe, just maybe, he’ll find Margo there as well.

This book gets you to think about the idea of a person and the actual being of a person. Because, of course, it is rather unfair to be thought of as (just) a mere idea. My favorite part is the Vessel. It made me laugh out loud listening to Ben’s pissing-in-beer-bottle scene. I had fun with this; I do hope you will too.

Profile Image for Ferdy.
944 reviews1,107 followers
February 26, 2013

This was disappointing. I really don't know what the big deal is about John Green. Sure, The Fault in Our Stars was good but it was hardly a masterpiece and all his other books seem average at best. Why does he get so much love? Is it because he's a guy? I've noticed that most people tend to give men praise and credit even when it's not deserved (whilst the opposite is true for women). I honestly don't think John Green deserves all the fan love and respect he gets — his books are nothing special.

I didn't enjoy Paper Towns all that much. The plot, the characters, the pacing and the writing were all mediocre.

Paper Towns was divided into three parts:

Part 1: Boring and nerdy Quentin, is surprised when girl next door/girl who he's obsessed with climbs through his window and takes him on an all night adventure around town. Naturally, the girl (Margo) that geeky Quentin's been in love with for years is someone he hasn't talked to since he was a child and someone who just so happens to be beautiful, mysterious and popular. Hmm… Isn't it every nerdy guy's wish to get the attention of the beautiful girl? Why is it that nerdy, unattractive guys in books/movies/tv always seem to get the pretty girl yet there aren't any plain ugly girls getting the fit guy? Sure, there's the girls who think they're ugly but in actual fact are beautiful that get the fit guy and there's also the plain girl who gets a sexy makeover that gets the guy. But where the hell are the genuinely plain geeky girls that gets the sexy bad boy? Ugh. Double standards, will they ever end?
Anyway, Margo wants to get back at her boyfriend and friend for cheating on her. I thought Margo would be some crazy badass but she wasn't. Quentin was even worse than Margo, he was scared about every little thing and Margo had to keep pushing him to loosen up and have some fun. I did like the role reversal — it's usually the heroine that's cautious and uptight until the hero struts into her life and makes her do crazy things. So yea, points for that. I thought Margo's revenge would be cool but it wasn't — it was the lamest revenge ever.

Part 2: Margo goes missing/runs away. Quentin worries and then worries some more and then keeps worrying. Margo leaves obscure clues to her whereabouts and Quentin becomes obsessed with them. He forces his friends (Ben the loser and Radar the token black guy) to help him find her. So yea, Quentin just goes back and forth visiting different places trying to find his pwecious Margo. In between looking for her, he gets all deep and profound about people and how they act and who they truly are. It read like an 'after school special'.

Part 3: Quentin and co miss their graduation and drive a really long way to find Margo. This was the most boring part of the book — it was just a long journey that involved Ben pissing, Radar being the token black guy, Lacey being the token female, and Quentin being a boring douche. The ending was really anticlimactic… The whole mystery of Margo was less a mystery and more a mess.

Quentin was a dull and charmless character. He only seemed obsessed with Margo because of her beauty and popularity — it was a very shallow love and that in turn made the whole driving force of the book (Quentin's desire to know/find the real Margo) come across as false and meaningless.
Ben was irritating — especially when he kept calling girls 'hunnybunnies'. I scoffed when he started dating Lacey - it just wasn't believable that someone like Lacey would date a lame loser like Ben.
Radar and Lacey were the only likeable characters. Yea, Lacey was a cow at times but she was one of the good cows.
Was I meant to care about Margo? 'Oh the poor little popular rich girl has pwoblems'… Honestly, I didn't care. I could have liked Margo if her problems weren't so lame… Yea, I'm sure some people would think she had a difficult life but to me she had it easy… Even with her cheating boyfriend and distant parents she had a pretty great life.

All in all, I wasn't impressed. The plot was weak and I couldn't relate to Quentin or his pathetic infatuation with Margo.
Profile Image for Megs ♥.
160 reviews1,285 followers
February 7, 2012
This book truly had me on an emotional roller coaster, and I enjoyed almost every minute of it.

The book was broken into 3 parts, and I honestly felt completely different about each of them.

Part 1:

The first part of this book was brilliant. It was a lovely introduction to the characters, and their life as high school seniors. It has had a flashback which was a fun scene.

The whole part with Q and Margo out at night was amazing. It was suspenseful and quite fun to read about those antics. We really got a sense of how far Q would go to impress this girl, although I never really understood why he liked her so much in the first place. Not that there was anything wrong with Margo, but they went years without talking and still he's obsessed.

Part 2:

The second part of this book just dragged a bit for me. After the first little shocker of the "smelling death" incident it really seemed to slow down a lot. Firstly, I think too much emphasis was put on prom and preparation for something that was really a non-event for the main characters in the end. I just got tired of hearing about prom after so long. Also, finding her just seemed to get monotonous, but that might well be because I'm impatient so don't worry about that!

Part 3:

The final part of the book was love/hate.

*Spoiler contains the ending...*

I definitely enjoyed this book, despite the few things I mentioned, and recommend it.

Profile Image for Baba.
3,559 reviews849 followers
November 21, 2021
2021 read: Exciting, challenging, outspoken, funny, charming and popular… and a woman; this is Margo Roth Spiegelman, one-time childhood friend of fellow high school senior (and main protagonist) Quentin Jacobsen. Out of the blue, a few weeks before Prom Night, Margo drags Quentin on a car ride enabled mission of vengeance and minor law breaking in the early hours of a school night, a night that enthrals as much as it shakes up Quentin's universe. It takes a few days after this night, for everyone to realise that Margo has disappeared, but left a trail of, at times confusing and obscure, clues to her destination or destinations. Quentin becomes obsessed with finding Margo who he feels is the unrequited love of his young life and drags his and Margo's friends into the quest .

The more I read of John Green the more I consider him the number one voice in Young Adult Fiction. In this book alone, despite being from Quentin's male-gaze perspective we have a superb and instantly unforgettable object of desire, envy and inspiration in Margo, so well realised that by the end of this book I felt that Quentin was a part of Margo's story, and not vice versa!

For me this is one of those wonderful books on a number of levels - it focusses on the 'mainstreamers' at high school, the largest group, not cool enough for the cool kids but savvy, rich and/or presentable enough to not be outliers; it's a read that looks at how we idolise those we love from a far without actually knowing who they are; it's also a book about community and how communities can just as much be a prison as a home, depending on personal circumstance; above all, this is one of those very good reads, that I didn't really fully acknowledge until I had completed it, and indeed in the middle of the book, got a bit bored! A book that is more about its whole, but a whole that could not exist without the sum of its parts! This wonderful book is worth reading alone just to understand and learn about the (real) concept and existence of 'Paper Towns'. Just writing this review, has seen me lift the book up a further point than I originally intended. 9 out of 12.
Profile Image for Greg.
1,109 reviews1,843 followers
December 15, 2011
1. A bit of a confession, some of which I've never actually told anyone or said out loud before, but which I now share with the internets.

In the interest of full disclosure, in high school I wasn't popular at all. If there were a popularity graph plotting popularity that looked like this:

It wasn't that I was a pariah of some sort who was generally looked down on, I wasn't harassed by jocks or made to suffer any unnecessary indignities, I was an absolute non-entity. I had no friends, no enemies, I wasn't a part of anything. I was just there hating every moment of high school 2.0 (in continuing with full disclosure, my 'friendlessness' period was from mid November, 1989 through late January 1992, when I did something to make a friend, this something will be discussed shortly).

So, unlike the character in this and pretty much every other book ever written about high school (no awkwardly funny side-kicks here) not even a little circle of close but good friends. But, like the character in this book, I was a clumsy shy dork who was totally infatuated with a girl who the could be described as cute, awesome and badass. By a series of actions of my part that the adult me sees as uber-creepy and stalkerish, but which at the time I thought was somehow appropriate and which is too embarrassing to share in the details, I asked her out in what she might not have known was meant as a date, and she said yes and we started to hang out and became really good friends over the next couple of months. I'm sure she realized, but I'm not actually sure, that I had a gigantic crush on her but nothing ever happened in that direction. Instead she started dating some other guy right around the time I got to know her and I became really good friends with both of them.

Like the character in the book, the girl who I had this gigantic crush on and who was unintentionally making me a 'cooler' person just by spending time with her and her friends, she disappeared soon before I graduated from high school.

I'm just saying this stuff to put it out there, that part of why I might have given this five stars is because a) it's a really good book but b) I could kind of read my own high school experiences in some of what happened. Like most people, when I think something is sort of about me, even though rationally I know it's not, I sometimes tend to like it better.

2. An aside about another John who makes things that I enjoy.

The book starts with a quote from one of my favorite Mountain Goats songs, Game Shows Touch Our Lives.* The song is from one of my three favorite Mountain Goats albums, Tallahassee, a kind of bleak album about living in Florida strung out on booze and being in a bad relationship. The boys in Paper Towns drive around at one point with the radio blasting The Mountain Goats, and they have the windows down so that everyone can hear they have awesome taste in music. I find this somewhat unsettling, I want the characters in this book to have a brighter future than the Florida John Darnielle sings about on this album (but since when do smart kids listen to happy music?) Where is this going? I'm not exactly sure it seemed like a good idea when I started though...... oh right, I don't know if John Green had this song in mind at all, but one of the B-sides from a single off of this album is a song New Chevrolet in Flames, which sounds like it could have been an exploit orchestrated by Margo.

There are actually quite a few points where Paper Towns and Tallahassee intersect, but now that I'm thinking of them there might be some spoilers.

Neither work paint Florida in a very good light though.

But does anyone really like Florida?

*Fortunately for you and for me, I didn't share my cover version of the song. That would have been embarrassing, and I would have done it if I knew which external hard-drive had my songs on it, but I'm too lazy to start plugging and unplugging things right now.

3. On regrets and other things.

This is all a spoiler. Seriously, if you haven't read the book and ever think you will read the book do not read this spoiler. If you are planning on reading this book and you read this spoiler you should email me and let me know when you are about to read or watch anything in the future so I can tell you how it ends before you do because you are a person who wants none of the excitement in not knowing how things are going to turn out.

4. A small problem with the text.

Opps, this is another spoiler. It's not that important, well as a plot point it is, but this is just me being an ass about some small detail in the book. It's not that important, but I get to feel superior by pointing it out.

Number 5 will be spoiler-free.

5. My favorite line from the book. For Karen.

"It's a penis," Margo said, "in the same sense that Rhode Island is a state: it may have an illustrious history, but it sure isn't big."

6. Conclusion and apologies.

I thought this review would be a good one, it's not. While reading the book I had what I thought were all these ideas of things to write and if they existed at all they disappeared when I sat down at the computer to write. If you read this far, I'm sorry to have wasted your time yet again. I think I may have something worthwhile to say at some point in the next year or so, but until then I'll just keep rambling on in these unfruitful book reviews. This book is soooo much better than this review. I recommend you read it.
Profile Image for Ellen.
36 reviews3 followers
October 15, 2008
I was disappointed in this book, especially since John Green is an author I've been meaning to read for some time now. He writes Young Adult novels (Looking for Alaska [wherein "Alaska" is a girl's name], An Abundance of Katherines, to name a couple) and is both a popular and critical success. This is the first of his books that I've read, and I wish now that I'd started with one of his earlier ones.

In a nutshell, this novel bored me. If I were a teenager (the novel's primary audience) reading this book, it's doubtful that I would have finished it. Green failed to make me care.

There were some interesting ideas sprinkled throughout (not that many of them, though), and some of the dialogue was entertaining (very much soon-to-be-dated teenspeak, as is often the case in YA lit), but I only actually liked one of the characters--Radar--and he wasn't the protagonist. Ouch.

Mr. Green just didn't tell much of a story here, nor did he do any of the things that make me forgive a lack of story (experimenting with form; relating incredibly real characters, either likeable or not; achieving transcendent language/description; getting across startling or important ideas--none of these).

I will, out of a sense of professional duty and based on the recommendations of people I trust, try one more of John Green's books--probably Looking for Alaska. But this heavily-marketed, much-heralded waste of dead trees? Don't bother. I only gave it two stars because of Radar.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,808 reviews32.3k followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
June 8, 2015
Going to stop this one at 25%... I'm just not able to get into it no matter how hard I try. Sigh. I love John Green books, but I'm not sure this is the one for me.
Profile Image for emma.
1,822 reviews48.1k followers
May 17, 2021
welcome to the emma vs john green saga: emma reviews her least least favorite entry into the john green canon, which she read 7 years ago and still did not enjoy, even if it did not receive the same personhood-defining bone-deep all-encompassing hatred as the others.

in case you are very, very new here - and by "here" i, for once, don't just mean "the unending hellscape of my way too updated goodreads feed," but rather the john green side of this site in general - john green and i do not get along.

i somehow managed to write the top review of turtles all the way down, a feat for which my reward is getting yelled at by people with a lot of time on their hands and curious ideas on how to spend it for my sin of not agreeing with their literary opinions.

i also went back in time (during the first installment of this writing-reviews-of-books-i-read-a-while-back project) to review the fault in our stars, and spent most of it just quoting it back at itself. mixed reviews on that review as well.

and now, seeing as i have sentenced myself to hopefully reviewing almost everything i've ever read, i'll probably have to review the other 5 john green books that category unfortunately includes.

none of them have ever warranted higher than a 2 star rating.

how fun this will be for us all.

the thing about this book is that it's john green's attempt at responding to critics of his who claimed he can only write manic pixie dream girls, in what was intended to be a genre-punching self-critiquing masterpiece à la 500 Days of Summer.

but he does write manic pixie dream girls (and boys, and side characters, and so on - a real equal opportunity snoozefest), so it doesn't work.

what he TRIES to do is a boy meets girl, boy imprints on girl, boy makes girl into something she's not, takes road trip to find her when she disappears, only to learn that he has turned her into a not-person manic pixie dream girl frankenstein's monster stuff of nightmares and so on situation.

(on a sidenote, the aforementioned road trip is the only part of this book that shoots it up a notch. because i love a road trip, even when john green writes it, as it turns out.)

but the thing is - a manic pixie dream girl figure is someone without baggage, whose backstory we never learn. a quirky pretty fairy thing who shows up in our male protagonist's life to Change Him and Teach Him Something before floating off into the oblivion that is her own existence.

presumably. we wouldn't know if she has one.

and correct me if i'm wrong, but how does Margot Roth Spiegelman (bleh), whose trauma we are unaware of, whose life we know very little (if anything at all) about, who has no real fleshing out beyond the role she plays in Quentin Jacobsen's (double bleh) life...how does her showing up, teaching Quentin a lesson, then disappearing again subvert ANYTHING AT ALL?

don't actually correct me. i don't care.

mic drop.

this is part of a project i'm doing that i already outlined above. this is too long and i have a john green induced headache coming on so i'll be going into no more detail than that.
Profile Image for Dee☾.
402 reviews104 followers
July 21, 2015
The more I think about this book the more I don't like it.
I hated the ending. It made the entire book completely pointless. I do enjoy John Green's writing style, but I'm starting to get the feeling once you've read one of his books you've read them all.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,723 reviews1,278 followers
May 5, 2015
“Nothing ever happens like you imagine it will.”

Well, I have to say, and please don’t hate me, that was a lot better than The Fault in Our Stars! I mean A LOT BETTER!

I liked Quentin in this story, and it was noble the way he was so intent on finding Margo, alive, or dead or somewhere in-between. I did wonder what he was doing at times, he should have been studying, he should have been attending graduation, he should have been doing a lot of things, but instead he was so obsessed with finding Margo! I mean this girl really got to him, and he proved what a loyal, caring person he really was.

The storyline in this was split into three parts – the first part was Margo putting a very interesting plan into action, and allowed us to get to know her a bit. The second part was Quentin trying to work out where Margo had gone, and the third part was

Anyway, I understand what people mean when they say that this book is a bit deeper than it seems on the surface, and I have to say that I liked the mystery, I thought the story was well-constructed, and that last part was really quite gripping!

And that ending! I liked it. Even though the very end made me wonder if they would change their minds? I liked it.

So thanks to everyone that voted this to the number 1 spot on out Group Buddy Read Listopia List! I don’t think I’d have read this if it wasn’t for you ☺
8 out of 10
Profile Image for pstreads.
264 reviews62 followers
June 19, 2015
I'm probably gonna get a lot of WTF responses for saying this book was so overrated. But, it really was. Over. Freaking. Rated. Sorry, not sorry.

I don't understand the hype really.
Guys are so dumb. Girls are so dumb. I think it tried too hard to be "deep", which just made me cringe a lot. This is the third John Green book I've read and maybe I let myself have too high of an expectation but, ugh. Margo is so needy and annoying. Q is stupidly naive. Ben is silly, which I liked. Razor is the saving grace.

Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,937 reviews1,544 followers
January 27, 2013
This book started out well-enough as a semi-atypical teen coming of age story—semi-atypical because the beginning events (Q and Margo on a night about town) are atypical of teens in general but only semi because it's not really unexpected in books about teens. At any rate, getting to know Quentin is fun. He's a fairly standard kid with good grades and a middle-rank social standing. His night with Margo, the high-flying center of gossip, is moderately transformative if only because he has had a chance to cut loose with the girl he has had a crush on since forever.

After their big night, Margo disappears and the rest of the book is Quentin, with occasional help from his friends, trying to piece together why she would do that and where she might be. There is, of course, deep thought and silliness along the way. John Green has a real talent in making his teen characters seem alive. Even the side characters have a strong sense of reality with conflicting motivations and actions that hint of the fundamental insecurity of that transition into adult responsibilities.

That said, I began to be a bit jittery when so much focus was placed on an introspective journey guided by Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. Quentin begins to spend a lot of time worrying about seeing people for who they are and the impossibility of knowing what is truly happening in the inner world of those around us. And it turns out that I was right to worry.

As Quentin and friends begin to home in on Margo, it became kind of obvious that there was one of two possibilities in play. Either Margo was a kind of emotional thrill seeker manipulating people for her own satisfaction—essentially a bitch willing to hurt others out of her own emotional pain. Or she is running from a deeper emotional attachment out of fear of the potential pain it may bring, but hoping for a pre-commitment that will allow her to connect with her followers should they find her. Frankly, either option would have worked, though as a romantic I kind of hoped that it was the latter and that the specific emotional fear was a crush/longing/love for Quentin.

I was, therefore, deeply disappointed by the ending when it became clear that Green had split the difference in a confusing mish-mash of pseudo-philosophical meanderings. On the one hand, it is revealed that Margo is, indeed, an unsympathetic bitch. She really had meant to leave everyone and had no intention of them finding her in time to catch up with her. She meant to have the last word, burn all her bridges, and leave people with no way to respond or retaliate (for better or worse).

If Green had left it there I'd have been satisfied. Unhappy, because I like Quentin and don't want him hurt, but life lessons aren't always kind and he's strong enough that he'd recover and be better off in the end. Instead, we are treated to a lot of literary hand-waving, invoking Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar explicitly, and only barely stopping short of full-on Derrida-inspired alienation and the impossibility of understanding or connecting with others. This transition is supposed to soften our perception of Margo by illustrating a deep connection that she shares with Quentin. We're supposed to believe that she really does care for Quentin—maybe even love him.

Unfortunately, I couldn't buy the excuses. If she truly cares, there's no way she wouldn't have at least hoped to be found before she moved on and had a contingency plan for it. Indeed, leaving a hard date (and time!) for leaving her refuge reinforces the impression that she had such a hope. If she didn't, there was no reason to be so explicit, let alone making her deadline public (if obscure). It isn't like she's got a time-dependent place to be, after all.

It feels like John Green wanted a deeper ending than Q and Margo working out some compromise that allows their relationship to grow—like that'd be too simple or something. So instead, we get her acting like she cares but, when found, it becomes clear she never really did. Only then, we have her and Q making a connection as if she actually does care, after all, so, you know, happy ending. Only John Green doesn't want that so they talk-talk about how impossible it is to connect to people, really (and hey, high-sounding literary references, so we're covered), and then they part ways forever. Because, you know, that's better. Deeper, you know.

Bah. Intellectualized pap.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for daph pink ♡ .
929 reviews3,014 followers
July 19, 2020
All of the female character in his books are the same manic pixie dream girl just given different names and his main male character are all just the same bland, misogynistic and self insert and I read all his books praying and hoping to find a good one …


He literally has no coherent plot of any of his novels.

To be fair I am bit of a sob when it comes to the book I read but this one is really really shit-tier, to be honest!!

I swear every time I try to read a Y/A book that people are in love with, particularly people who seem to have some kind of interesting taste in literature, I find myself bored out of my skull and offended how bad the writing is, how one dimensional that character is and how fucking shitty the characterization, interpersonal relationship and overall plot line is in terms of being challenging.
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