Sophia.'s Reviews > Paper Towns

Paper Towns by John Green
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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.
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Quotes Sophia. Liked

John Green
“What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.”
John Green, Paper Towns


Reading Progress

May 16, 2012 – Shelved
Started Reading
July 14, 2012 – Shelved as: eye-rolls-and-frowning
July 14, 2012 – Shelved as: flaws-in-the-concept
July 14, 2012 – Shelved as: huge-disappointment
July 14, 2012 – Shelved as: makes-no-sense
July 14, 2012 – Shelved as: what-s-the-point
July 14, 2012 – Shelved as: unsatisfaying-ending
July 14, 2012 – Shelved as: unbelievable
July 14, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 206 (206 new)


message 1: by Lilyan (new)

Lilyan Ive only read 1 book for him Abundance of Katherine's. I didn't like it much, and if Paper Town is anything like that book then it probably has a dorky main male character, his smart-ass best friend, a road trip and an "interesting" girl.


Sophia. Lilyan wrote: "Ive only read 1 book for him Abundance of Katherine's. I didn't like it much, and if Paper Town is anything like that book then it probably has a dorky main male character, his smart-ass best frien..."

Dorky male character: check, useless sidekick : check, road trip : check, "interesting" girl : check!
Same freakin' formula.
I couldn't finish An abundance of Katherines, I gave up somewhere around the middle. I couldn't get past the idea that he had dated 17 "Katherines", too absurd for me. But Looking For Alaska was great, though. It's just a shame he doesn't know how to create new things.


Todd thank you thank you thank you, sophia. i am so done with john green books and i'm not even done with this one! as a children's librarian, i can honestly say i've never come across an author more overrated than this guy.


Sophia. Todd wrote: "thank you thank you thank you, sophia. i am so done with john green books and i'm not even done with this one! as a children's librarian, i can honestly say i've never come across an author more ..."

Oh thanks Todd! I know, talk about overrated. This one was awful. It really was.


message 5: by Lilyan (new)

Lilyan And redundant


Sophia. Stargirl1234 wrote: "Everyone of JG books are overrated. He is too. I read TFIOS and I couldn't stand it. It all seemed too unrealistic."

The fault in our stars? Yeah, I really didn't like it either. I didn't think it was touching, or heart breaking, or anything. The dialogues were awful and way overdone. Simplicity, anyone? You don't need to go that far to show that your characters are kinda jaded and different. This was way too much. No one talks that way, no one - let alone dying teens. Just because John Green lives in this kind of weird fantasy were every teen is a genius, and everyone is able to instantly deliver a 10-minute speech, doesn't mean it can work as a book. Not for me, anyway. I still can't understand all the hype around this book.

Actually, the only one I kinda liked was Looking for Alaska, and that's probably because it was the very first one I read.


Joanna Lol true!


message 8: by Moustache5ever (new)

Moustache5ever You can only get a real sense of the books if you're able to relate to them, if you're at that stage in your life where feelings are confusing, thoughts are confusing and just life itself is too. When you're figuring out life and where you want to be and what you want to do. I can honestly say I've read every John green book apart from An abundance of Katherines and I have loved them each more than the one before. I haven't ever been so taken ahold of by an author before, every part of his books are so wonderfully written it was brilliant. If you're not one to love getting absorbed and lost into a book then maybe these weren't the books for you, but I really hope he continues to write because I want to continue getting lost in those wonderful books. I can understand where you're all coming from but maybe you should see what it was like coming from someone who really loved the books too.


Ashley My thoughts exactly!! This book was so unbelievable it made me angry.


Shaylin Surratt Exactly. This was such a waste of time.


Ichigo "painfully forced down the reader's throat" - This is exactly the way I think about all of JG's books. But this one's the worst I've read so far.


Christina Craig Paper Towns is a joke. All of Margo's hastily placed "clues" were drawn out for way too long. Quentin's life of love for Margo was based essentially on lust, creating a huge self-absorbed ego for himself. I couldn't agree more that John Green is crazy overrated. LFA was the only one I seemed to actually appreciate.


message 13: by Sieder (new)

Sieder Villareal I'm not wasting my time with this one, although I really liked looking for Alaska.


message 14: by S. (last edited Nov 07, 2013 03:12PM) (new)

S. J. You mean the guy who wrote An Abundance of Kathrines wrote other books!?

I think I need to escape reality for a bit. Particularly a reality where more books like that exist!


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Finally I'm finding people who don't like this book like me! All the five-star reviews make me feel like the black sheep :(


message 16: by Chris (new) - rated it 1 star

Chris Gordon I'm glad others feel...or rather know how bad this book is. Everyone gives it such high praise when it is nothing more than a pathetic and unreadable rehash of Green's other books.


Sierra May I add that this book is about teenagers and directed towards young adults? Maybe you don't like his formula of how to make a love story or how these teens in his books seem unrealistic. As a teen these books make us feel a certain way and we love the thought of this being a possibility of how love will be for us. I know that it won't turn out like this for me but still I enjoy reading about love like this. No disrespect for your views on this book but I felt the need to point this out.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Ankitha, it is amazing that you loved Paper Towns. Really, it is. It's also okay to share your opinion so that you respect other's opinion. You, however, are putting down others based on their opinions. It is NOT THE READER'S fault for not liking something. It is their HONEST OPINION. Sophia was telling us her HONEST OPINION about something. How would you feel if I told you anyone who liked Paper Towns was a stupid, brainless idiot? Yeah, that's basically what you're doing.
And WE can tell a lot about YOUR mentality from this comment.


Nenia ✨ Literary Garbage Can ✨ Campbell Ankitha Nambiar wrote: " WHAT???? ARE YOU BLIND OR DID YOU EVEN READ THE FAULT IN OUR STARS?? THIS IS FUNNY BECAUSE FORM THAT COMMENT A GOOD READER CAN UNDERSTAND ABOUT YOUR MENTALITY..AND YOU DIDN'T FIND TFIOS TOUCHING???!! ABSURD..!
Paper town is also an amazing book..it requires a lot of brain work and imagination to write such books.And when if the reader can't get it, don't blame the author..blame yourself!All John Green books are amazing except Abundance of katherines and will grayson..He is a genius.. "





Sophia. Nenia wrote: "Ankitha Nambiar wrote: " WHAT???? ARE YOU BLIND OR DID YOU EVEN READ THE FAULT IN OUR STARS?? THIS IS FUNNY BECAUSE FORM THAT COMMENT A GOOD READER CAN UNDERSTAND ABOUT YOUR MENTALITY..AND YOU DIDN..."

hahahahahahaha Nenia


Josephine I could not agree less about your review but I always love hearing other people's opinions and you have a good point.


Danielle (Danniegurl) This was my first john green book and I had heard many many great things about his book. And once I finished this book I removed all his books from my tbrs because I do not want to have to read something that is a waste of my time. I felt, after I finished the damn book of course, that it was an epic waste of my time and wtf was the point of this book? What was I supposed to take away from this book!!? Yep, nothing except that I think Margo is crazy and needs mental health help, like seriously. She sounded depressed and a bit outside of reality.....


Sarah Everything you said. He should have just called this book Looking For Alaska 2. Although I enjoy his writing style no teenager acts like this. Alaska/ Margo are so obviously unhinged its ridiculous, but we're supposed to believe that a smart , adorable dork will become obsessed with these girls simply because they're pretty and eccentric??? I think not. It's the unbelievability of these characters that starts bizarre and ends up ticking me off. Come on now... these girls are nothing more than mentally unstable self centered pretty girls. These guys in real life would see them as the selfish bitches they really are!!


Casey no just stop.


Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies Jeremy wrote: "just stop and get over it.... this book is so beloved there is going to be a movie and people like you should't see it."

And here I am, thinking you've changed, accepting your friend request again when you said you wouldn't make stupid little fucking comments on other people's negative reviews.

Blocked, for the last time.


Danielle (Danniegurl) Lol that's funny because I have absolutely no plans to see the movie either. I may not have written the review but I totally agree with it, why would I want to see a movie about a book I didn't like? I wouldn't. Although maybe they would make margo an actually likable person....but that might be pushing it and in any case I won't be watching it. Guess what? Goodreads is a review site, and that means that people who are reviewing are entitled to give their opinions on what they read. You don't have to agree with them, but she is allowed to make a negative review about a book she didn't like. But telling her to stop? Saying people like her shouldn't see the movie, well that's not exactly insulting, it's stating the obvious. Of course people like her, people who didn't like the book, would not see the movie, it's just common sense. But seriously don't go on people's reviews and tell them to stop, it's their opinion of the book not yours, and you can write your own raving review and we will stick to our negative reviews of books we don't like. Not everyone will like every book.


Lauren Fichera Omg thank you. Everyone is obsessing over JG and to be honest he is wayy overrated. I like The Fault in our Stars, but his other books?? Not so much. I understand his characters are supposed to be quirky and oozing with metaphors and morals but honestly I'm beginning to feel like all his books blend into one another. When people ask me 'what was paper towns like?' I'll probably tell them all about An Abundance of Katherine's and they'll go read the book and not even notice. Sorry John, it's a no from me


message 28: by Rhea (new) - added it

Rhea (apologies for any typos, they really should make a GR app) You know what is funny? i am a 16 year old girl and HATED this book with a passion. tbe charavter of Morfo was honestly si irritating, that guy was so weirs and john green has a habit of making teenagers sound so terribly pretentious and turninf everythinf into a metaphor. i am fed up


message 29: by Rhea (new) - added it

Rhea oh drar god ive just,read,that back so sorry that it is illegible but im typing and my typing box has dissapeared so i xant ser what im writinf argh


Danielle (Danniegurl) Rhea wrote: "(apologies for any typos, they really should make a GR app) You know what is funny? i am a 16 year old girl and HATED this book with a passion. tbe charavter of Morfo was honestly si irritating, th..."

There is a goodreads app, but it definitely does not have full capabilities.


Alessia Strongly agree with your opinion about this book, I hated it and I'm actually sad i spent 10$ to read it.. I expected much more but didn't get anything. I just hope the rest of John green books are not like this one


message 32: by Jason (new) - added it

Jason You ruined this book for the exact reason I feared. Green just annoys me.


message 33: by Samantha (new) - added it

Samantha Jones Yeah I am really baffled with all the obsession about John Greene as well...one of those authors who you read because everyone is suddenly enamored with them, but then you are extremely disappointed. I hate the way the female character is ALWAYS the same, it's like reading the same shitty annoying book over and over, I'm not going to be reading another one of his books, I could barely get through this one and "looking for Alaska" Margo and Alaska are annoying, selfish, users, self-destructive and yet John Greene tries to portray them in a way where we are supposed to feel the way the main character does: that she is hot, and interesting and COOL...and she's just not, she's one of those girls who takes advantage of nice guys while the nice girls watch and shake their heads. It's the equivelent of guys wondering why the girl always goes for the "douchebag" or bad guy...as a female reader I am left really disliking Quenten because he seems like an idiot for being obsessed with a girl who is clearly not a good person, same with Miles and Alaska. I don't get the hype...this shit is not that good. Sometimes Greene will write a line that seems somewhat profound...but he could do that while also writing an interesting, not annoying story.


Casey Samantha wrote: "Yeah I am really baffled with all the obsession about John Greene as well...one of those authors who you read because everyone is suddenly enamored with them, but then you are extremely disappointe..."
sounds like me, no wonder I like them, you have to relate to them to like them in my opinion.


Nicolas I kind of agree. I didn't hate the novel but after reading Looking for Alaska, which I liked, I felt like John Green was a one-story kind of author...which is okay when you are good enough to explore this story through different angles, enlightening different things again and again but Paper town wasn't different from Looking for Alaska, if anything it was weaker because the story lost its plausibility.
The irony is, for a novel about characters not wanting to be one-dimensional characters, Green's characters feel more like types than characters and as he pursues the idea of the mysterious beautiful smart unaccessible girl, Green keeps providing a feminine model that, in its lack of depth, still feels a bit sexist to me.
Finally, even more than in Alaska, I was annoyed by how not-transgressive the novel is. I'm sick of teen literature telling teenagers how it is better to grow up and feet it society. It's what this literature most of the time did and it is still the case today. Green might be popular and he might have good ideas but he doesn't challenge the status quo of a genre that needs to evolve.


Josephine I totally agree with you!!


Avery Clark I don't think you all understand this,
we all have different opinions. Some people really like books where it's unrealistic but still a tragic love story.
Also this book is written for young adults who love romantic yet unrealistic books.
Sure some of his books have the same basic outline, but they all develop differently and if you don't like this book because it is unrealistic than you are in the wrong section for books.
So overall it pains me to see these harsh reviews when you are reviewing a book with a genre you don't like so you would trash it.
Just respect others opinions as you would want them to respect yours.


Nicolas Avery wrote: "I don't think you all understand this,
we all have different opinions. Some people really like books where it's unrealistic but still a tragic love story.
Also this book is written for young adults..."


I disagree. I don't think it's John Green's intention to write an unrealistic novel. He wants it to be quirky, sure, but there is a world between writing a quirky novel and writing a novel that lacks credibility. One has to understand that Green simply follows some basic concepts of post-modern literature. The quirkiness of his "adorkable" characters is quite typical of this type of literature most young adult authors borrow from and in my opinion that's a good thing. But post-modern lit and, by extension, young adult novels, don't have to portray one-dimensional characters. It's the lack of depth of his characters that make us see the novel as "unrealistic". So we're not criticizing the plausibility of the plot, we mostly are blaming the easiness of the plot. We're criticizing the fact that Green failed to make us believe in his universe the way he sometimes manage to make us believe in his universes because he was lazy and he was recycling old ideas in a less inventive way. It's not because it's a book for young adults that we have to be less demanding about the quality of the book.


Avery Clark I agree that he didn't really go in depth with the characters but I think that he wanted people to develop what they believed the character would be like. In Paper Towns, they all have what they think Margo is.
I believe that you should be able to imagine how Margo is and really develop her yourself and not John Green. He thinks different from everyone who reads it.


Nicolas That's an interesting idea but eventually it's true for any novels: an author always simply gives us an idea of a character but we still have our own perception of the character. Here my problem is I didn't feel I had anything concrete to picture Margo as a three-dimensional character despite all the informations Q retrieves on her. She's a type, not a character and so, as a reader, I feel unable to develop her myself.


message 41: by Meredith (new) - added it

Meredith Monroe I have not red paper towns yet but plan to soon. I cannot make a valid argument for the case of Mr. Green's characters except to say that a good, well developed character does not male everyone happy. They are like real people; if everyone likes them they would not be real. As for John Green himself, many of you are wondering why so much of the world is fixated on him. His books are just one part of him; most of the people who love him so much love him for his personality, contribution to the internet community, bringing information to the masses in an entertaining platform, and much much more. He is more than his book. Just Google Vlogbrothers. And as for relating to the characters.. everyone is different. I am a 17 year old girl and I find John's characters very relatable and realistic. He doesn't write the stereotypical teenager; he writes the few intellectual, witty teens that are not popular with the public because they don't care to be. I love his view on teenagers but I also accept that others don't. so all y'all people hating on the people that are hating on John Green, I rather enjoy reading criticism, it keeps the mind open to other possibilities and reminds one that their opinion is not the only one in the world.
- thank you


message 42: by Ruby (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ruby Grayson After reading all of John Green's books apart from Let it Snow (co-written with two other authors) I have to say they become rather far-fetched and monotonous. I really did love Will Grayson, Will Grayson though, but I believe perhaps I enjoyed the writing of David Levithan over John Green? I am surprised no one has mentioned this book because I found it so charming, despite some of John Green's characters. What an eye opener. I did very much enjoy TFiOS, because it was the first book of his I read and it was all new to me. I do find that the character's own personal soliloquies to be overly long, too "inspirational", and just something a teenager from the 21st, of even 20th century wouldn't say. Quite disappointed that Paper Towns didn't really live up to the hype for me :(


Josephine TFIOS was the first book I read by John Green too and it doesn't have that same theme of nerdy boy meets outrageous girl. It's definitely my favorite.


message 44: by karan (new) - rated it 1 star

karan I completely agree. It felt like a cheap rip off of Looking for Alaska.


message 45: by Gigi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gigi Guevara If you don't get the title. You seriously wasted all your time reading this book.


Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies You wasted your 5 seconds with this comment. Really, what did you hope to accomplish from it?


Prescilla Definitely should be titled looking for Margo.... I'm halfway through the book and all that's happened is them looking for Margo!


Isabella I'm so glad that I'm not the only one whom suffered through this book. I picked up this book because everyone had said such wonderful things about John Green's work. I loved The Fault In Our Stars so I had no way of knowing going in that what I was expecting was something entirely different. Quentin felt too self centered in my opinion. All he thought about was this one girl whom he claims to love, but didn't even truly know her. All he cared about was finding her. I don't even know if I will be able to finish this book.


Fanny Wikström I think that's kind of the charm of his books though, they have very similar stories which doesn't disappoint you because you know what kind of story you'd get. I personally loved both looking for Alaska and paper towns, just because they are very alike. If miles life had had a different turn he could have been the boy falling in love with margo, and I kinda like the idea of that.


Josephine Yessss!! Frankly I thought it was a really boring book


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